Thomas Creech, 73, has now received his death warrant and is set to be executed on November 8.
The killer was sentenced in 1974 for the deaths of two people and admitted to another 1974 murder in 1979, before beating a fellow inmate to death with a sock filled with batteries in 1983.
Cops suspect him of at least seven more murders, and over the years he reportedly confessed to as many as 42 killings in several states.
Thomas Creech, 73, is scheduled to be executed on November 8. He has been convicted of four murders, but is suspected of at least seven more and confessed to as many as 42
Idaho is one of five states that allow firing squad executions, with the punishment a backup option due to issues with obtaining lethal injection drugs in the US. Pictured is the execution chamber at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution, where Creech is being held
Creech’s official death warrant was handed down Thursday evening in an Ada County courthouse according to court documents obtained by the Idaho Statesman.
The state passed laws earlier this year making it among a select few, including Utah, South Carolina, Oklahoma and Mississippi, that allow firing squad as a backup option in carrying out the punishment.
The Idaho Department of Corrections said in a statement Thursday that it has secured the drugs needed to carry out Creech’s lethal injection, however it is facing a lawsuit from another prisoner after consistently re-scheduling his execution.
The law has also fueled speculation that accused Idaho quadruple murderer Bryan Kohberger could face a firing squad if found guilty.
The statement did not elaborate on how the drugs were procured, amid a slew of issues around the manufacture of the drugs that have been allegedly propped up by the black market.
Texas prison officials are also facing a number of lawsuits after allegedly extending the use-by-dates on the drugs used to carry out its lethal injections in recent years.
Creech’s attorneys noted the scandal as they condemned the decision to execute the killer, given his four-decade wait.
Creech is Idaho’s longest serving death row inmate, with his 44-year wait for death set to end next month
Creech was originally sentenced to death in 1974, and has awaited trial from the Idaho Maximum Security Institution (pictured)
‘The state continues to be focused on rushed retribution at all costs and by any means necessary, rather than careful consideration of the propriety of execution,’ Deborah A. Czuba, supervising attorney of the nonprofit Federal Defender Services of Idaho, a unit that oversees death penalty cases, said in a statement.
‘We will be doing everything we can to fight for Mr. Creech’s life, including challenging the quality of the drugs and execution by lethal injection.’
If the backup option of a firing squad is used, Creech would become the first since Ronnie Lee Gardner, 49, was killed in that way in June 2010 in Utah, although the murderer had the choice of a lethal injection at the time.
The firing squad execution was also the first in 14 years.
The killer’s attempts to stay his execution were also notably supported by the judge who originally sentenced him to death, retired Judge Robert Newhouse.
Idaho has also faced challenges from other inmates contesting its death row practices, including Gerald Puzzuto Jr, who sued the state last year as he claimed the constant re-scheduling of his death was unconstitutional as it amounted to ‘cruel and unusual punishment.’
Creech would be the first killer to be put to death by firing squad since Ronnie Lee Gardner (pictured) chose the punishment over a lethal injection in June 2010
Creech is set to become the first person executed in Idaho since Richard Leavitt (pictured) was put to death in July 2012
The state has attempted to execute Puzzuto, a quadruple killer, three times since 2021, but his execution was halted most recently in March because the state could not obtain the lethal injection drugs needed.
Creech was initially incarcerated for the 1974 murders of two men, Edward Arnold, 34, and John Bradsford, 40, in Valley County, Idaho. He also pleaded guilty in 1979, from behind bars, for the murder of William Dean in Oregon in 1974.
He was sentenced to death for the slayings, before his sentence was commuted to life in prison. In 1981, he found himself back on death row after pleading guilty to beating fellow inmate David Dale Jensen to death.
Creech was reportedly working as a jailhouse janitor at the time, and allegedly got into an argument with Jensen about cleanliness before he pummeled him with a sock filled with batteries.
If his execution is carried out on November 8, Creech will be the first person put to death by the state of Idaho since murderer Richard Leavitt in July 2012.