The last Terre Haute resident to be executed was Bill Benefiel in 2005

Local News

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) Bill Benefiel’s crimes continue to shock people.

Benefiel is the last man executed from Terre Haute. He was put to death by the State of Indiana.

He kidnapped two women in Terre Haute and held them captive for months by chaining them to beds. He beat and raped them both, eventually killing one. He superglued her mouth and nose shut.

It’s unclear if she was still alive when he wrapped her head in duct tape and buried her. An autopsy showed she died of asphyxiation.

Phil Adler was the new Vigo County Prosecutor back in 1987. He had been in office for less than a year when police received a tip about Benefiel and his “House of Horror.”

“I figured, if there was ever a death penalty case I was going to be involved in, this had to be the one,” Adler said.

After a three week trial, Adler won the conviction, and the jury recommended the death penalty.

After more than 16 years of appeals, Benefiel was put to death by lethal injection in April of 2005.

According to the state, Benefiel’s last meal was pizza, an Italian beef sandwich, four pints of ice cream and 12 sodas.

When asked if he had any final words, he said, “No, let’s get this over with. Let’s do it.”

Family members of both victims traveled to Michigan City where the execution took place, but according to media accounts, the surviving victim did not go.

Due to Indiana state law, none were allowed to watch Benefiel die.

While the death penalty is still legal in Indiana, the last state execution was held in 2009.

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