Shoes and socks. Ketchup and fries. Hitchhikers and murder. These things are inextricably linked in the collective psyche. We all know a story about a hitcher disappearing into the disconcertingly plastic-wrapped interior of a friendly motorist only to reappear in a ditch a few days later. She was never reunited with her head.
The humble hitchhiker. So often the victim. James Donald French may have been attempting to redress the balance when, whilst thumbing around Oklahoma in 1958, he kidnapped and brutally murdered a poor unfortunate that picked him up.
We’ll never know Jimbo’s motive but his crime netted him a life sentence. By 1961 the idea of life imprisonment was beginning to weigh him down. Unwilling to commit suicide, French decided throttle his cellmate to try to compel the state to hand down a death sentence. It worked like a charm.
French was executed by electric chair in 1966. Before his death he is reported to have uttered the “Famous Last Words”:
“How’s this for a headline? ‘French Fries’!”
Now that’s an example of gallows humour.
We must remember that two counts of first-degree murder have been glossed over by one zinger in the chair. James French fried for two shocking crimes.
The pieces below hopefully capture the zap of James French’s last words. The fonts in use are Frontage and Letrista Script.
Red, blue and green. A sweet palette for a particularly unsavoury character.
I definitely think that this one is the most “electrical” looking of the batch. Lightning bolts probably suit a yellow gradient far better than most shapes!
This purple, orange and teal palette definitely evokes the late 50s. A great time for colour fans but a far less auspicious period for conscientious drivers in Oklahoma.
Dear readers, I do hope you’re enjoying the “Famous Last Words” project. If you have any comments or “electrifying” suggestions for future entries do share them in the comments below.
Right, that was a real effort. I’m frazzled. A bit like James French.