Paul Rhoades Executed Idaho Serial Killer

Paul Rhoades was a serial killer who was executed by the State of Idaho for three murders

According to court documents Paul Rhoades would go a killing spree that saw him murder three people in a three week period: 21-year-old Stacy Dawn Baldwin, 20-year-old Nolan Haddon and 34-year-old Susan Michelbacher

Paul Rhoades was also suspected but not charged in four additional murders

Paul Rhoades would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death

Paul Rhoades would be executed on November 18 2011 by lethal injection

Paul Rhoades Photos

Paul Rhoades execution

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When Was Paul Rhoades Executed

Paul Rhoades was executed November 18 2011

Paul Rhoades Case

Idaho prison officials executed Paul Ezra Rhoades today for his role in the 1987 murders of two women, marking the state’s first execution in 17 years.

Rhoades, 54, was declared dead at 9:15 a.m. at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution after being administered three separate drugs that make up the state’s new lethal injection protocol.

In his final words, Rhoades apologized for one of the murders, bid goodbye to his mother, and forgave state officials for the execution.

The execution was witnessed by representatives of all three of the victims’ families, Rhoades’ mother, Pauline Rhoades, and four members of Idaho media. It appeared to go according to protocol, witnesses said.

Rhoades delivered his final statement while lying on his back, strapped to a table. He seemed antsy, occasionally tapping his hand on the table.

In a clear, loud voice, Rhoades apologized to Michelbacher’s husband for her murder but did not take responsibility for the other two slayings.

“To Bert Michelbacher, I’m sorry for the part I played in your wife’s death,” he said. Michelbacher did not attend the execution; but friends of the Michelbacher family were in attendance.

“For Haddon and for Baldwin, you still have to keep looking. I can’t help you,” Rhoades said. “I’m sorry for your family. I can’t help you.”

After that statement, Baldwin’s brother quietly said, “He lied the whole way through.”

Julie Haddon, Nolan Haddon’s mother, commented, “What a coward.”

The time from initial injection to declaration of death was 22 minutes.

Brian Edgerton, a long-time family friend of the Michelbachers, told the AP after the execution that he felt a sense of relief, as well as continued grief over Susan Michelbacher’s murder. He helped search for Michelbacher after she was reported missing, and said that everyone who knew her was devastated.

“It’s amazing how much is still there after all this time,” Edgerton said. “A psychologist said there’s always going to be a gnawing pain — it never completely heals. This helps a lot to move on and do the best we can to go forward.”

The other victims’ family members seemed to feel the same way, he said.

“I think that was felt by several of the families — a sense of peace and closure,” Edgerton said.

Paul Rhoades’ attacks on Michelbacher, Baldwin and Haddon were brutal and his death was long overdue, Edgerton said, calling the execution “the appropriate, compelling and lawful consequence of these heinous crimes.”

The killings of Michelbacher, Baldwin and Haddon occurred during a three-week span in the winter of 1987. Prosecutors said Rhoades snatched Michelbacher, a special education teacher, into his van, raped her, shot her nine times and continued the sexual assault either as she lay dying or after she was already dead.

Baldwin died in similar fashion. The newlywed and convenience store worker was abducted at gunpoint and taken to a remote area where prosecutor said he intended to sexually assault her. She fought back, and as she was scrambling away on all fours, he shot her twice and left her to die alone in the snow.

Haddon also worked at a convenience store. He had long hair, and investigators speculated that Rhoades may have mistaken him for a young woman because of his blond locks. In any case, Rhoades robbed the convenience store, shooting Haddon five times and leaving him for dead in a walk-in cooler. Haddon died several hours later.

Rhoades, an Idaho Falls native, was the first Idaho inmate to be executed since 1994 and the only person to be involuntarily put to death in the state since 1957. The last inmate to be executed gave up all of his remaining appeals and asked the state to carry out his lethal injection.

The execution was the target of protests by capital punishment activists outside the prison south of Boise.

Early Friday, about 50 people braved the cold and wind to protest at the prison’s entrance. Some of them sat on the ground in silence, while others prayed collectively and waved signs with messages such as “What Would Jesus Do?”

Across the street, about a half-dozen people gathered in a fenced-off area designated for supporters of the death penalty.

Rhoades admitted committing the murders, but he and his lawyers have vigorously appealed his case and Idaho’s new execution protocols and procedures. On Thursday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request for a full judge’s panel to review their appeal, and Rhoades’ attorneys also filed a last-ditch appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court cleared the way for the state to proceed

A section of the state’s protocol that barred media witnesses from viewing the first part of the execution was also subject to a separate challenge. Under the state’s procedure, media witnesses were not allowed to see the execution team bring Rhoades into the chamber, secure him or insert the IVs.

Media cited a 2002 California case in which the 9th U.S. Circuit Court ruled the public — through media representatives — had a First Amendment right to view an execution in its entirety. The Department of Correction rejected requests from various Idaho newspapers, The Associated Press and broadcast groups to change the policy in the days leading up to the execution.

Rhoades, who is a diabetic, was in fair health during his final days, though he was anxious about the coming execution, said Ray, the corrections spokesman. The department planned to cremate his body after the execution and give the remains to Rhoades’ attorney, Oliver Loewy.

Rhoades was a high school dropout who began drinking at the about the age of 10, suffered polio as a child and developed a serious methamphetamine addiction as an adult.

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