Monday 24 June 2019

Serial killer who murdered ten women executed in Florida

Bobby Joe Long poses for a prison photo at Florida State Prison
Florida Department of Corrections/Handout via REUTERS
Bobby Joe Long poses for a prison photo at Florida State Prison Florida Department of Corrections/Handout via REUTERS

Brendan Farrington

A serial killer who terrorised Florida with a 1984 spree that claimed the lives of 10 women has been executed.

Inmate Bobby Joe Long was pronounced dead on Thursday evening after a lethal injection at Florida State Prison, authorities said.

The 65-year-old had no last words before his execution, with witnesses saying he simply closed his eyes as the procedure began.

The killer terrified the Tampa Bay area for eight months in 1984 as women began showing up dead, their bodies often left in gruesome positions.

Most of the victims were strangled, some had their throats slit and others were bludgeoned.

Law enforcement had few clues until the case of Lisa Noland.

Then 17, Ms Noland was abducted by Long outside a church that year. He raped her but ultimately let her go free.

She left evidence of his crimes at the scene and gave police details that led to his capture.

Long confessed to the crimes, receiving 28 life sentences and one death sentence for the murder of 22-year-old Michelle Simms.

Investigators had been baffled by the trail of bodies Long left in the Tampa Bay area. Artiss Ann Wick was the first woman killed, in March 1984, and nine victims followed.

Ms Noland said on Wednesday that she planned to sit in the front row in the room where witnesses watched executions. She said she wanted to hear Long's final words, though she would not be able to address him.

But if she could, it would be this, she said: "I would say 'Thank you for choosing me and not another 17-year-old girl.'"

"Another 17-year-old girl probably wouldn't have been able to handle it the way that I have," she said.

Long moved from West Virginia to the Miami area as a child and was raised by his mother, a cocktail waitress.

After high school, he married his childhood sweetheart, but the relationship became violent.

Investigators gave the serial killer the moniker The Classified Ad Rapist while trying to solve dozens of rapes. Long would go through classified ads and make appointments to see items for sale. If a woman answered the door and was alone, he would rape her.

Press Association

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