John Crutchley, 49, was driven from the Raiford jail in north-west Florida to a halfway house in Orlando after several cities said he was not welcome and many Floridians expressed outrage. Although he is now subject to a 50-year probation period, he is free to leave the state-run Orlando Probation and Restitution Centre whenever he finds a home and job, state officials said.
Crutchley, a bespectacled former engineer, was convicted of kidnapping and raping a 19-year-old woman hitchhiker at his beachfront home in Malabar on Florida's east coast in 1986.
Naked and handcuffed, she escaped through a bathroom window and later described to police how he had drained her blood - tests showed she had lost almost half her total - with a syringe and drunk it during an 18- hour ordeal. Crutchley was also suspected of, but not charged with, at least six murders in which the victims had lost a lot of blood.
A judge sentenced him to 25 years, far beyond the recommended 12-17 years for the kidnapping and rape, but prison rules automatically took 3,000 days off the term and he received a further 2,250 days off for good behaviour.
Local county sheriff Kevin Beary said: "I think the system screwed up."Reuse content