Originally published on Advocate.com December 05 2003 1:00 AM ET
Convicted killer Richard Charles "Chuck" Duncan was executed in Texas Wednesday night for the slayings of the parents of his boyfriend at their Houston home more than 16 years ago. Testimony at his trial showed that Duncan, who was arrested at his home in Federal Way, Wash., hoped to share the $500,000 life insurance of John High, 71, and High's 73-year-old wife, Ruth, to save the failing computer business he ran with the couple's son and another man.
Authorities initially believed High and his wife were asphyxiated by gas, but autopsy results confirmed they were murdered. John High had been beaten on the head and was found October 8, 1987, on the
kitchen floor. His wife had been smothered, probably with a pillow, and her body had been arranged in her bed to make it look as if she had died reading a book. Their killer turned on a portable gas stove and locked the door behind him as he left.
Asked if he had a final statement, Duncan said he did but instead replied, "Now that I see my family here and everything, all I want to say is, I love you all so much. I'm innocent, and you know that. You're all so beautiful." Duncan, 61, gasped several times and was pronounced dead at 6:21 p.m., five minutes after receiving the lethal injection.