Justice for Delores & Alicia: Executing Bill J. Benefiel

The death penalty is a controversial topic across the United States, but for states that do allow for capital punishment, executions continue to occur. Some would argue that these executions are both necessary and a form of justice—as would be the case for the execution of Bill J. Benefiel.

Benefiel was sentenced to death on November 3, 1988, for the murder of Delores Wells. But there is more to the story than what happened to Delores in the Benefiel house of horrors.

The Horrors of Benefiel House

Terre Haute, Indiana: Alicia Elmore, a 17-year-old high school senior, was kidnapped only two blocks from her home by Benefiel. He held her captive for approximately four months where he continually raped and sodomized her, beat her, chained her to a bed, and super-glued her eyelids shut.

A little over three months into her captivity, she discovered Delores Wells, a 19-year-old girl who, as it turns out, had also been kidnapped by Benefiel and held captive for 12 days before killing her. Benefiel killed Delores after beating and raping her by inserting super glue into her nostrils. He pinched her nostrils shut and she later died of asphyxiation.

He was represented by a defense attorney (such as this criminal defense lawyer in Nashville) and used a not guilty by reason of insanity defense, which was not successful as the jury found him both competent and guilty of the murder of Delores Wells and sentenced him to death.

Death by Lethal Injection

Benefiel was executed on April 21st, 2005, at 12:35am by lethal injection. He spent the day watching television and was visited only by his attorney. His final meal consisted of four pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, a large pizza, an Italian beef sandwich, twelve cans of soda, and an apple pie.

As a death row inmate of Indiana State Prison, he was asked if he had any final words, to which he replied, “No, let’s get this over with. Let’s do it.” Dolores Well’s mother, Marge Hagan, went to the prison for the execution but was not there to witness it. Hagan said, “He was there for her last breath, and I want to be there for his. I want to be as close as I can and know for sure this monster is gone and he will never, ever again hurt anyone else ever again.”