A 62-year-old man in Texas received death penalty for killing his two daughters while their mother listened on the phone helplessly. The former accountant, John David, Battaglia, died 20 minutes after he was given a lethal injection on court order. The man had killed his nine-year-old daughter Faith and six-year-old daughter Liberty in 2001 while they were out with him.
Battaglia was separated from his wife Mary Jean Pearle and on the day of the murder he had picked up his daughters from a shopping center car parking for his court ordered visit with the girls. The man was harassing his ex-wife after the divorce and was enraged on her for complaining about him to the police. He thought killing the daughters was the best revenge on his estranged wife.
The mother of the girls, who had gone on a dinner after the Battaglia picked them up from the shopping center, got a call from one of the daughters on the day of the murder. She could hear her elder daughter pleading to Battaglia, “No, daddy, please don’t, don’t do it.”
Pearle yelled at the children to run away but it was already late. She heard gun shots and soon heard Battaglia’s voice saying, ‘Merry..Christmas’ to her. Battaglia was out from jail on a probation for attacking his ex-wife during the Christmas of 1999.
She heard some more gun shots soon after and called the police. Battaglia was arrested outside a tattoo shop where he was getting two red rose inked on his body to commemorate his daughters.
In an interview with a news channel in 2004, he had said that his daughters were his best friends and he had pictures of them displayed on his prison walls.
He was declared mentally incompetent for an execution and so the court decided that he should be injected with a lethal injection. While he was being taken to his death chamber he taunted his ex-wife by smiling one last time at her.
On being asked his last wish, he first denied and then changed his mind to say, “Well, hi, Marry Jean. I’ll see y’all later. Bye.” after that he told the warden, “Go ahead please.”