Brian Steckel

Brian Steckel

Brian David Steckel (December 14, 1968 – November 4, 2005) was a convicted murderer executed in the U.S. state of Delaware. On September 2, 1994 He was convicted of the rape and murder of 29-year-old Sandra Lee Long near Prices Corner, near Wilmington.


On September 2, 1994, Brian Steckel knocked on Long's door and asked if he could use her telephone. He then unplugged the telephone and demanded sex from her. After she refused he threw her onto a couch and attempted to strangle her with some pantyhose. The pantyhose broke, so he continued his attack with a sock. After she succumbed to the lack of oxygen, he penetrated her first with a screwdriver he had brought with him, and then sodomized her. He dragged her to a bedroom, where he set her and the bedroom curtains on fire.

Steckel left the scene and went to the home of a former co-worker for a few beers. The man left, and so Steckel got the man's wife to drive him to the liquor store. The route she chose took them past Long's apartment, which was now on fire. The woman said that Steckel became noticeably agitated and became angry when she jokingly said "you look like you've killed someone."

At the apartment, two men tried to rescue Long, who had since regained consciousness. They could not get into the burning apartment, however, and she died from smoke inhalation and burns to 60 percent of her body.

Within hours of the fire, a man called "The News Journal" saying he was the "Driftwood Killer" and named his next victim. This woman was put into protective custody by police, where she told them that she had been receiving phone calls that were "very lurid, very sexual." The calls to the newspaper and the woman were traced to Brian Steckel, and he was arrested over an outstanding harassment warrant. Steckel was intoxicated at the time of the arrest and so given the night to sleep it off. The next morning, after waiving his Miranda rights, he confessed to the attack on Long. A forensic dentist determined that a bite wound on Steckel's finger had been received in the last 24 hours, by Long's teeth.

Trial and imprisonment

He was convicted in New Castle County of three counts of first degree murder (one count of "intentional" murder and two counts of felony murder). After the separate penalty phase, he was sentenced to death on January 8, 1997, by a vote of 11-1. During the penalty phase he told the jurors that:"I ask you to hold me accountable for what I did … I know what I did was wrong: it was selfish [and] despicable."

Steckel was otherwise unrepentant for his crime. During his trial he sent Long's mother a copy of the autopsy report attached to a note that read "Read it and weep. She's gone forever. Don't cry over burnt flesh."

The sentence and conviction were affirmed by a Delaware Superior Court on May 22, 1998. Throughout 1998 and 1999, Steckel continued to appeal his conviction and sentences, claiming that he had ineffectual defense. This claim was rejected by the Superior Court on August 31, 2001, and by the Delaware Supreme Court on April 11, 2002. Other appeals for the writ of habeas corpus were denied by U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Steckel also tried to challenge the constitutionality of the death penalty laws in place in Delaware at the time of his sentencing. On September 30, 2005, a Superior Court set an execution date of November 4.


For his last meal he ordered cheesesteak, coleslaw and a Pepsi. During his last statement he said::"I want to say I'm sorry for the cruel things I did. I'm not the same man I was when I came to jail. I changed. I'm a better man. … I walked in here without a fight, and I accept my punishment. It is time to go. I love you people. … I'm at peace."

He was pronounced dead at 00:21 hrs EDT on November 4, 2005 after being executed by lethal injection at the Delaware Correctional Center, near Smyrna.

Fordham University law professor Deborah Denno, a death penalty expert, said that descriptions of the execution seem to suggest that there were several failures in injecting the drugs. Witnesses said several audible clicks were heard during the twelve minutes after Steckel finished his last statement. During this time Steckel was still lucid and continued to make several comments to his family members and friends who witnessed the execution. She said it appears that the sedative and paralytic drugs failed to take effect as Steckel was seen to convulse. Delaware Department of Correction spokeswoman Beth Welch said that nothing went wrong with the execution and the length of time was just due to the Warden giving Brian Steckel more time for his statement.

ee also

*Capital punishment in the United States
*List of individuals executed in Delaware


* [ November 2005 Executions] from
*" [ Brian Steckel v. State of Delaware] ", Delaware Supreme Court decision
*cite news|url=|title=Execution date set for convicted killer|date=October 12, 2005|publisher=The News Journal
*cite news|url=|title=Convicted killer executed in Delaware|date=November 4, 2005|publisher=Associated Press
*cite news|url=|title=Steckel's execution didn't go quickly|date=November 5, 2005|publisher=The News Journal
* [ The Clark County (Indiana) Prosecuting Attorney's Office's case history on Brian D. Steckel]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Brian Burke — Personenbezogene Informationen Geburtsdatum …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • David Steckel — Dave Steckel bei den Capitals 2008 David „Dave“ Steckel (* 15. März 1982 in West Bend, Wisconsin) ist ein professioneller US amerikanischer Eishockeyspieler, der momentan bei den Washington Capitals in der National Hockey League spielt …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Dave Steckel — Vereinigte Staaten Dave Steckel Personenbezogene Informationen Geburtsdatum …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Peine de mort dans le Delaware — Application de la peine de mort dans le Delaware Article principal : Peine de mort aux États Unis. Le Delaware est un des trois États américains ayant le taux d’exécution par habitant le plus élevé, il a également exécuté quatorze personnes… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Deaths in November 2005 — Deaths in 2005 : January February March April May June July August September October November December → The following is a list of notable deaths in November 2005. 30 Donald Breckenridge, 75, American hotel developer, lung cancer. [1]… …   Wikipedia

  • List of people from Delaware — This is a list of prominent people who were born in, lived in, or are otherwise closely associated with the U.S. state of Delaware.A* John Andrews (1746–1813), minister and academicB* Phineas Banning (1830–1885), businessman and general * Alice M …   Wikipedia

  • Application de la peine de mort dans le Delaware — Article principal : Peine de mort aux États Unis. Le Delaware est un des trois États américains ayant le taux d’exécution par habitant le plus élevé, il a également exécuté 14 personnes dont une par pendaison, Billy Bailey, qui en a eu le… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs — Logo for 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs The 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs of the National Hockey League began on April 15, 2009, after the 2008–09 regular season. The sixteen teams that qualified, eight from each conference (the winner of each of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Musikfest — Location(s) Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Years active 1984 present Founded by Jeff Parks Date(s) Begins on the Friday before the first Saturday in August and ends on the Sunday ten days later Genre Classic Rock, Rock and Roll, Alte …   Wikipedia

  • NHL trade deadline — The National Hockey League s trade deadline is a date set by the NHL league office after which no trades will be allowed for the remainder of the season. The deadline for the 2010–11 NHL season is set for February 28, 2011 at 3 pm EST.[1] Prior… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”