Bobby Joe Long, a serial rapist and killer who terrorised Florida in the early 1980s, has been executed.
Long was pronounced dead by authorities at 6.55pm on Thursday after a lethal injection at Florida State Prison.
Long was convicted of murdering eight women in the Tampa Bay area in the early 1980s, although he confessed to killing ten women in total. He sexually assaulted many more, according to a detailed report by the Tampa Bay Times.
At the time of his crimes, investigators called Long “The Classified Ad Rapist”, a reference to his habit of finding victims in classified ads. He would make appointments to see items for sale, and if a woman answered the door and was alone, he would rape her.
Long was finally stopped in part after Lisa Noland, at the time 17 years old and called Lisa McVey, convinced him to set her free after he abducted her and raped her for 26 hours.
The night before her abduction, Ms Noland had written a suicide note. She was planning to end her life after suffering years of sexual abuse by her grandmother’s boyfriend.
“At the time he put the gun to my head, it was nothing new to me,” she told the AP.
“I had to study this guy,” she continued, saying that she knew from her experiences that fighting Long would only enrage him. “I had to learn who he was, what made him tick. If I did the wrong move, could it end my life? So literally, the night before I wrote a suicide note out, and now I was in a position where I had to save my life.”
Ms Noland is now a deputy with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the same department she helped lead to Long’s arrest.
She was present for Long’s execution. Though she did not speak to him before his death, she knew what would she would have said.
“I would say ‘Thank you for choosing me and not another 17-year-old girl’,” she said. “Another 17-year-old girl probably wouldn’t have been able to handle it the way that I have.”
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