Florida serial killer and rapist Bobby Joe Long, 65, was executed by lethal injection on Thursday, May 23 and pronounced dead at 6:55 p.m. Long was convicted of murdering 10 women throughout Tampa, during an eight-month killing spree in 1984. Long received the death penalty in 1985 along with 28 life sentences. Most of his victims were found strangled or bludgeoned to death while some had their throats slit. His order for execution was signed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on April 24.
“A lot of lives just gone down the tubes because of me,” said Long, who has spent the last 34 years in prison. “It’s not a pleasant feeling. I’m not proud of anything I’ve done. And the worst thing is I don’t understand why.”
Here’s what you need to know about convicted serial killer Bobby Joe Long.
1. Long Also Confessed to Being the “Classified Ad Rapist”
Once Long was apprehended for the Tampa murders, he confessed to being the “Classified Ad Rapist” who’d terrorized women in South Florida and the Tampa area for several years. Long located victims by scanning appliance classified ads, hoping to find a woman who might be home alone. Long came up with the ruse back when he was living in South Florida. During this time he also frequented bars and strip clubs, on the prowl for potential victims.
Long’s deep hatred of women dated back to his bizarre relationship with his mother, Louella. Long recalled that she worked in a bar, frequently brought men home and that he and his mother shared a bed until he was 12 or 13 years old.
2. A Survivor Identified Long & Fibers From His Car Tied Him to the Murders
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Governor orders execution of Florida serial killer Bobby Joe Long. The Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the death warrant for convicted serial killer Robert Joseph Long. Bobby Joe Long admitted to authorities he had killed 10 women in Hillsborough & Pasco counties. Long plead guilty to 8 murders. Robert Joseph is scheduled to be executed on May 23,2019 #crime #truecrime #truecrimecommunity #bobbyjoelong #serialkiller #execution #justiceforthevictims
Long’s reign of terror came to an end in 1984 when Lisa Noland, a 17-year-old girl who survived Long’s brutality, was able to identify him. Noland was snatched off of her bike and held at gunpoint while heading home from her job. Noland revealed that Long raped her multiple times.
A previous victim of sexual abuse, Noland said she understood her survival depended on knowing what to say to gain her captor’s trust. She told him she could be his girlfriend but she’d keep their relationship secret. While she was with him she made sure to leave fingerprints and other physical evidence behind in his car and apartment.
Noland memorized as many details as possible about her rapist, his vehicle and where he lived. Her ability to recall that he drove a Dodge Magnum was a key detail that led to his arrest. Noland is now a sheriff’s deputy with the Hillsborough County Police Department, the same agency that arrested Long.
Long was also tied to the murders via evidence repeatedly discovered at his crime scenes: red, trilobal nylon carpet fiber and one tire track considered rare by experts.
3. Long Frequently Posed His Victims in Awkward Positions
Law enforcement knew that Long’s signature involved posing victims’ bodies in awkward positions. Police often found the deceased women with nooses tied around their necks, hands bound and legs splayed. His victims were often found left behind in wooded areas.
According to psychologists, posing may be done for several different reasons. Some killers place their victims in certain positions to send a message to authorities. Other murderers manipulate their victims to fulfill a sick fantasy, which Long admitted was his motive.
4. Long Was Born With an Extra X Chromosome & Suffered Head Injuries as a Child
Long suffers from Klinefelter syndrome, a chromosomal condition that can affect physical and psychological development. The condition causes boys and men to acquire female characteristics. As a child, Long was often bullied for having breasts.
Individuals with the condition typically have poor impulse control and a lack of social skills, possibly made worse after Long sustained two head injuries during childhood. The first occurred when he fell off of a swing at the age of five and the second resulted in a concussion after he crashed his bike into a car when he was six.
Long’s attorney Robert Norgard filed a motion with the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court in early May requesting a stay of execution. The motion stated Long suffered from mental illness and epilepsy resulting from his childhood injuries. The motion also said that his execution would amount to cruel and unusual punishment since the drug etomidate, one of the drugs administered to put him to death might cause Long to have a seizure. “It’s ridiculous that I’m expected to come in there and say ‘here’s a better way to kill my client,” Norgard told New Channel 8.
Norgard’s motion was rejected by Judge Michelle Sisco. The Florida State Supreme Court determined that Long had been aware of his brain injuries since the penalty phase and had “unjustifiably” waited until just before his execution date to mention them as a possible defense.
5. Long’s Ex-Wife Says His Execution is “A Long Time Coming”
In 1974, Long married his now ex-wife Cindy Brown right after high school and the couple had two children together. Over the years she said her husband became increasingly violent. There were incidents where he grabbed her, choked her, slammed her head into the television and knocked her unconscious. Brown, who divorced Long in 1980, said her former husband’s violent behavior was exacerbated after he had a serious motorcycle accident.
Brown described how Long would cry immediately after abusing her, apologize and promise never to hurt her again. But then he would warn her “When you drive yourself to get your stitches, if you tell them what really happened, I’ll kill you when you get home.”
She revealed to the Associated Press that she’d loaded a shotgun and had planned to kill him but had a change of heart that she regrets to this day. Brown explained that while she can forgive Long, she can never forgive him for the harm he caused their son and daughter, “nor will I ever forgive him for what he did to those girls, whether they be the murder victims or the rape victims.”