Gary Gilmore

As a Utah man elects to be executed in a hail of gunfire, Lawrence Schiller recalls his last talks with condemned man Gary Gilmore and what he witnessed as Gilmore chose to die by firing squad.

Polaris Communications Inc.

Polaris Communications Inc.

Gilmore in early December 1976 while being interviewed behind glass at Utah State Prison

Polaris Communications Inc.

In the early morning hours just hours before being executed. In an office of a prison official, the photos were taken without the permission of the authorities.

Polaris Communications Inc.

In the early morning hours just hours before being executed. In an office of a prison official, the photos were taken without the permission of the authorities.

Polaris Communications Inc.

In the early morning hours just hours before being executed. In an office of a prison official, the photos were taken without the permission of the authorities.

Polaris Communications Inc.

In the early morning hours just hours before being executed. In an office of a prison official, the photos were taken without the permission of the authorities.

Polaris Communications Inc.

Gilmore in early December 1976 while being interviewed behind glass at Utah State Prison

AP Photo

Convicted murderer Gary Gilmore is surrounded by deputies and other guards after receiving a new execution date of Jan. 17, shouts to a newsman as he is led from the courtroom, Dec. 15, 1976. Looking lean and haggard and speaking of his girlfriend Nicole Barrett, he said "I love her more than life itself."

AP Photo

Convicted killer Gary Gilmore, scheduled to be executed by firing squad, leaves the University of Utah Medical Center to be returned to the state prison, Dec. 18, 1976. Gilmore was found unconscious Thursday after taking what doctors described as a potentially lethal dose of phenobarbital.

AP Photo

This is the view the five executioners had for the Gary Gilmore execution this morning at the Utah State Prison, Jan. 17, 1977. View looks through the slot for the rifle pointed toward the chair where Gilmore was seated.

AP Photo

Ambulance attendants carry the body of Gary Gilmore into the Utah State Medical Center following his execution, Jan. 17, 1977.