On this date, August 28, 2001, Jack Dale Walker was executed by lethal injection in Oklahoma for the Dec. 30, 1988, stabbing deaths of 17-year-old Shelly Ellison and her uncle, 30-year-old Donald Gary Epperson.
Jack Dale Walker
Summary: Walker was executed for the Dec. 30, 1988, stabbing deaths of 17-year-old Shelly Ellison and her uncle, 30-year-old Donald Gary Epperson. Walker was the estranged boyfriend of Shelley Ellison and the father of her 3-month old son, Joshua. Walker went to the Epperson home where Ellison was staying, but grew angry once inside the home in an argument over custody and attacked Ellison with a hunting knife. Donald Epperson came out of a bedroom to help her and began fighting with Walker. Ellison managed to dial 911 during the attack: "He's stabbing me. I'm dead. Please." When police arrived Ellison was dead. She had been stabbed 32 times, including several times with an ice pick. Donald Epperson suffered 11 stab wounds. Although he was conscious when police arrived at the home, he later died from his wounds. Ellison's grandmother, Juanita Epperson, was also wounded in the attack, suffering a broken arm and a stab wound after trying to stop Walker by hitting him with a pipe wrench. Walker was arrested at the scene. Joshua Ellison, the son of Walker and Shelly Ellison, who was three months old at the time of the murders, wrote a letter to the state Pardon and Parole Board in support of the execution.
QUOTE 1: Joshua Ellison, the son of Walker and Shelly Ellison, was three months old at the time of the murders. Now 13, Joshua Ellison wrote a letter to the state Pardon and Parole Board in support of Walker's execution. "Sometimes I think about what life would be like if my mom were alive, but then I come to my senses and realize that was destroyed by one man, Jack Walker," he wrote. "I think Jack Walker should pay for what he did to my mother. I think he should die for taking my mom away from me."
QUOTE 2: Seventeen of Ellison's and Epperson's family members witnessed the execution. Some said they regretted Walker's death was so peaceful when compared with the deaths of their family members. "The laws of Oklahoma would never allow for the type of death we would have chosen for Walker," said Kathy Ellison, the mother of one of Walker's victims and the sister of the other. "We believe if you live by the sword, you should die by the sword. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth."