Death Penalty

Triple-Murderer Oba Chandler Executed in Fla., 22 Years After 'Angels & Demons' Slayings


A convicted triple-murderer who a top prosecutor called a “poster child for the death penalty” was executed this afternoon in Florida.

Oba Chandler’s death came 22 years after the slayings of Joan Rogers, 36, and her daughters Michelle, 17, and Christe, 14. Murdered after accepting a ride on his boat while taking a rare vacation from life on their Ohio dairy farm, they became the subject of a Pulitzer Prize-winning 1999 series in the St. Petersburg Times about the search for their killer and his trial.

Chandler, 65, made no final statement and banned members of his family from attending his execution, the St. Petersburg Times reports.

Hal Rogers, the one surviving member of the family, was working on their farm at the time of the murders. He attended the execution wearing a suit and tie.

Another St. Petersburg Times article interviews those instrumental in putting Chandler behind bars.

A number of the jurors who convicted him said their lives will never be the same.

Having seen for themselves that evil exists, “I believe everybody who was in that jury room will go on with a piece of them missing.” said juror Don Fontaine.

Now 43, he is a Scoutmaster and a father. But he postponed getting married and having children after the trial, knowing that life is perilous.

Today, “We just clutch our kids really tight,” he told the Times. “There are other Oba Chandlers out there.”

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Prosecutors, Defense Lawyer in Oba Chandler ‘Angels & Demons’ Murder Case Plan to Witness Execution”

St. Petersburg Times: “Angels & Demons”

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