Serial killer Bobby Joe Long used classified ads in papers to pick his victims before raping and killing them
Serial killer Bobby Joe Long was one of Florida's most prolific serial killers and rapists during the 1980s. Long's crimes that were looked into by Oxygen's 'Mark of a Killer' were so heinous that it led to his 2019 death sentence. Long had admitted to killing 10 women but hinted that he had many more victims. The police revealed that he had admitted to raping 40 women and, as a result, spent 34 years on death row.
Classified ads to choose victims
Long would use classified ads for home and appliance sales that were posted by women in local papers to pick his victims. He had been prowling for potential victims using classified ads. Long would make an appointment to check out an item or sale posted by a woman and if he found a woman alone, he would attack and rape her, according to a Times Union report.
His main target areas were Fort Lauderdale, Ocala, Miami, and Dade County. According to CNN, one victim Linda Nuttal had placed an ad to sell some furniture when Long had responded to the posting. He then raped her while her young children were inside the home. In 1984, Long moved to Tampa where his crimes eventually escalated to murder. Investigators were horrified and baffled by the trail of bodies Long left in the Tampa Bay area.
Long's 10 known victims had all been very pretty and petite women between the ages of 18 and 28. He would also target sex workers and some of his victims had last been seen walking alone late at night or after leaving a club. The first of Bobby Joe Long’s victims was 20-year-old Artiss Wick who he abducted, raped and strangled on March 27, 1984. Her remains were found on Nov. 22, 1984, and it is often forgotten that she was Bobby Joe Long’s first victim due to the delay in finding her body.
The first body that was found was on May 13 in 1984. It was that of 19-year-old Ngeun Thi "Peggy" Long who had been found naked and strangled with a rope around her neck in Tampa. Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Capt. Gary Terry spoke to the Washington Post and said, "Right at the scene we realized we had a problem." As the bodies began to pile up, the police found that most of Long's victims had been placed in grotesque positions after being killed.
It was his last victim Lisa McVey Noland who survived after telling Long she was caring for her sick father which won his sympathy. She was able to lead authorities to the vicious killer. Noland had been kidnapped by Long while she rode home on her bike late night after leaving work.
She was held for around 26 hours where she was bound by ropes, blindfolded and raped. Last year she spoke to Naples Daily News and said, "Another 17-year-old girl probably wouldn't have been able to handle it the way that I have." "I truly believe that all the abuse I'd been through in my life helped me get out of that situation," she shared. Noland had remained calm and poised despite what Long subjected her to and also did her best to leave evidence behind incase she did not survive.
When investigators surveyed the area where Noland believed she was attacked, they found Long's vehicle. Long was arrested on Nov. 16, 1984. He admitted to 10 murders and dozens of rapes from the "Classified Ad" attacks. Long was executed for his crimes with lethal injection at 6:55 pm on May 21 at the Florida State Prison. He offered no motive behind his crimes.