Often, we hear wild tales of outlaws and bad men from the era when the Texas panhandle was still being settled. Rarely do those stories arise from the 1980s.

For instance, do you remember how a jewelry store robbery and a tortilla made Amarillo history?

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Does The Name Charles Rumbaugh Ring A Bell?

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

If not, I'll remind you. Charles Rumbaugh was a man whose past was littered with crime. His first one taking place when he was six.

According to the stories that are out there, Charles and his brother broke into a building in San Angelo when he was only six years old. Six years later, he would wind up having another brush with the law when he committed armed robbery...with a tire iron.

The story goes that he made his grand escape from that crime scene on his bicycle.

Murder At Seventeen

At the age of seventeen, Charles graduated to murder. It happened during an armed robbery of a jewelry store.

A teen-aged Charles Rumbaugh shot and killed Amarillo jewelry store owner Michael Fiorillo. That was in 1975.

Supposedly, Charles would later say it was a matter of him running into a place with a gun and demanding money. Most people would just fork over the cash. Charles is to have said, "Somebody finally called my bluff."

Protests And A Single Tortilla

Photo by Usman Yousaf on Unsplash
Photo by Usman Yousaf on Unsplash

Charles would find himself in the Texas death chamber in 1985. He would die by lethal injection.

Since he was only seventeen at the time of the murder, there were protests surrounding his execution. Namely, Amnesty International who claimed the execution would violate international agreements that state a person can't be executed for a crime they committed while under the age of eighteen.

For his final meal, he would make a rather simple request. It was only one thing.

A single flour tortilla.

How Charles And His Tortilla Made History

The execution was the first in over twenty years of someone who had committed a crime while under the age of 18.

They wrote about it in the New York Times.

He was the 48th to be executed after the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty, the 10th in Texas, and the 12th by lethal injection.

Executed Death Row Inmates from the Texas Panhandle

The following individuals were convicted of Capital Murder for crimes committed in the Texas Panhandle (Amarillo and its surrounding areas) and sentenced to death by lethal injection. Read a brief summary on the area's executed Death Row inmates.

All information and photos have been taken from TDCJ and court records.

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