'Ninja Killer' Executed in Florida

Louis Bernard Gaskin, 56, wore ninja clothing during 1989 double murder
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 13, 2023 12:00 AM CDT
Florida Executes 'Ninja Killer'
Louis Bernard Gaskin.   (Florida Department of Corrections via AP, File)

Florida executed a man known as the “ninja killer” on Wednesday for the 1989 slayings of a couple visiting the state from New Jersey, the AP reports. Louis Bernard Gaskin, 56, was pronounced dead at 6:15pm after receiving a lethal injection, the governor’s office said. He was convicted of killing Robert Sturmfels, 56, and Georgette Sturmfels, 55, on Dec. 20, 1989, in their Flagler County winter home on Florida’s northeastern coast. Gaskin, whose last meal included BBQ pork ribs, pork and turkey neck, Buffalo wings, shrimp fried rice, french fries, and water, was visited by his sister Wednesday, but he did not meet with a spiritual adviser, a Department of Corrections spokesperson said. No relatives of the victims had arranged to be in the witness room during the execution, which was scheduled for 6pm and started without delay.

When asked if he had any final statement, Gaskin said: “Justice is not about the crime. It’s not about the criminal. It’s about the law.” He then referred to the legal proceedings surrounding his case and the appeals and finished his statement saying, “Look at my case.” Gaskin, who was dubbed the “ninja killer” because he wore all-black ninja clothing during the crimes, shot his victims with a .22-caliber rifle, investigators said. He was convicted of first-degree murder. Items he stole from the Sturmfels’ home—a clock, two lamps, and a videocassette recorder—were found at his residence and were intended to be Christmas gifts for his girlfriend, according to investigators. He was also convicted of armed robbery, burglary, and the attempted murder that same night of another couple who lived nearby.

(More Florida stories.)

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