Normally, when a man wants to kill himself, he jumps off a ledge or in front of a bus. But suicide is a much more difficult task when you’re on death row. So inmate Steven Hayes, due to his limited access to buses and ledges, concocted a crazy plan to off himself with oysters.
Hayes, who is on death row for the brutal Connecticut home-invasion murders of a mother and two daughters in 2007, told police he was responsible for 17 other killings.
Why would he do that, you ask? His plan was simple: If he told police that he was responsible for a slew of other killings, they would bargain with him. When they asked what he would want in return, he was just going to ask for oysters. Nothing more, and nothing less. Why? Because he’s deathly allergic to the shellfish.
Hayes would tease the police with the potential for closing 17 cold cases, and then he would get oysters. When the cops would come to check on him he would be either dead or dying. A happy ending, right?
The only problem with the plan was that no one really believed Hayes’ confessions, mostly because he wasn’t specific about the 17 people he killed, and there were no matching missing-person reports that lined up with his story.
To get around those issues, Hayes claimed that he had the victims write letters to their families saying they had run away, which would be the reason why there were no missing-person reports.
According to Hayes:
“With most, a second and third note would be written, by the girls themselves, and I would mail these weeks and months later. The notes would be detailed and disarming. This was key because while the girl would be gone within hours, the notes gave the appearance of what I wanted, a runaway or a girl who left her boyfriend or a hooker drug addict who went to greener pastures.”
Hayes’ previous attempts to kill himself involved slashing his wrists and crashing a car. He has also “considered” putting his head into a prison toilet and breaking his neck, but he didn’t go through with it (probably because that’s more difficult than getting one’s hands on some oysters.)
When the police uncovered Hayes’ plan, he gave the shoulder-shrug-worthy response of, “I think I’ve survived because I am meant to live with the thoughts of what I did to that family.”