Frank Spisak Executed in Ohio for Nazi-Inspired Murders

Frank Spisak
Frank Spisak Executed in Ohio for 1982 Racially Charged "Hunting Mission" Slayings
Frank Spisak

(CBS/WOIO/AP) Ohio has executed cross-dressing Nazi-sympathizer Frank Spisak, who shot three people to death nearly 30 years ago on the campus of Cleveland State University in a shooting rampage that targeted African Americans.

Spisak, 59, was pronounced dead Thursday at 10:34 a.m. following a lethal injection of sodium thiopental at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, about 80 miles outside of Columbus.

He set the Ohio record for the longest time on death row before his execution, at more than 27 years.

Spisak's racially motivated shooting spree took place from February 1982 to August 1982, reports CBS affiliate WOIO. He was found guilty of murder after attempting to start a race war in Cleveland by searching out and shooting African Americans while on what he called "hunting missions."

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected Spisak's final appeal Wednesday afternoon, turning down his request to delay his execution while he argued the constitutionality of Ohio's death penalty law.

Spisak is responsible for the deaths of 57-year-old Rev. Horace Rickerson, 50-year-old Timothy Sheehan and 17-year-old Brian Worford. Sheehan was Spisak's only white victim, reports WOIO.

His attorneys claimed he was bi-polar and was too mentally ill to die.

During his 1983 trial, Spisak grew a Hitler-style mustache, carried a copy of Hitler's book "Mein Kampf" and gave the Nazi salute to the jury.

WOIO obtained a statement released by the Sheehan family after Spisak's execution.

"Today we chose to celebrate the life of husband and father, Timothy Sheehan, not the death of Frank Spisak," the statement read. "We are grateful that the justice system has worked, and appreciate those in the criminal justice system whose diligent efforts have helped bring this matter to a final resolution."

Spisak reportedly blamed the 1982 shootings on his hatred of homosexuals, African Americans, Jews and on his mental illness, which was supposedly related to confusion about his own sexual identity.