You will hear about the Arizona execution of Joe Wood all day today.  You will hear that he took to hours to die, and that he gasped and wheezed the entire time.

What you may not read is that doctors were there and 8 times declared him to be deeply comatose, and not capable of feeling pain.  

And what you won't see anywhere else is the truth about the crimes he was sentenced to die for. 

The Year Was 1989.

Joseph Wood was in a rough and tumble relationship with a woman named Debra Dietz.    They lived together in an apartment, but Wood couldn't hold a job and she pretty much paid the bills.   Wood beat her up all the time.  Finally she broke things off and moved home to her folks house.

Debra Dietz 

She worked with her father Gene at an auto shop he owned.  On August 7, 1989, the day of the killings Wood called the shop and asked if the father and daughter were there.  Another employee said they would be shortly.  Wood called back three times. Debra hung up on him once, Gene hung up twice.

Wood drove to the shop drew a revolver, walked to within four feet of Gene.  While other employees shouted at him to drop the gun, Wood shot Gene in the chest and smiled.   Wood left the shop, but came right back in and pointed his gun at Gene again.  Gene's 70 year old brother struggled with Wood who broke free and ran to the area was Debra was working.

She was trying to call 911 to get help for her father.  Wood grabbed her around the neck from behind and placed his revolver directl against her chest.  She screamed and said "No Joe Don't!"  Wood said "I told you I was going to do it."  "I have to kill you". "Bitch". And then he shot her twice in the chest.

Police were already arriving on the scene and told Wood to drop his gun.  He did, but then leaned over and picked it up again.  As he raised it towards the officers, he was shot several times, but lived.

Wood never denied the crime, but said it was an impulsive acct, not premeditated.  The jury disagreed and he was sentenced to death on two counts.

That's other side of the story.


Reese Rickards Wood Radio News Director