Execution date for Bobby Joe Long who raped and murdered women set after he desperately tried to delay it saying 'it could hurt'
Serial killer Bobby Joe Long who took the lives of eight women and raped over 40 in Tampa, Florida, in the early 1980s has finally been given a date for his execution after staying on death row for more than three years.
The 65-year-old's execution date has been set for May 23 at 6 pm making him the 98th person to be executed in Florida ever since the state decided to reinstate the death penalty in 1976. Even though he pleaded guilty to his crimes, Long had attempted to delay his execution on the grounds that it could hurt. His lawyers went to court to attempt to argue for a stay of execution based on the belief that Etomidate (which is the first of the three lethal injections) will not suffice for Long.
The drug will make him unconscious while a second injection will paralyze him and a third will stop his heart. However, his team claims that he suffers from epilepsy and is at a risk that the Etomidate injection could induce a seizure.
Long was not able to hear the arguments in person but instead had to listen over the phone. This was because he complained that restraints would be used on him while traveling three hours to Tampa in Florida which would hurt as well. As reported by Mirror, he explained from prison, "With leg irons, handcuffs, waist chains, a black box on the waist chain, which goes on top of the handcuffs and locks the handcuffs in place so there is no flexibility, no movement and that's pulled in the waist chain and pulled tight against my stomach."
Long did not seem so concerned about pain while inflicting it upon his victims nor did the victim's family's pain bother him as he protested. For a mother, Lula Williams whose daughter Chanel was one among Long's victim, the pain was absolutely unbearable. "It seems like he's enjoying what’s going on. He inflicted pain on my daughter and the other victims. And he's worried about pain, what he's going to feel. No, that's not right," she shared.
His request for delaying the execution was denied. Long did not have a particularly happy life and was the child to single mother Louella Long who would work late nights in a bar and often bring men back to the bedroom which she shared with her son. Long resented this. He also suffered from a medical condition and was born with an extra chromosome which led to him growing breasts at age 13.
Even though he had surgery, he was still bullied. He was also accident prone and had a head injury after falling from a swing. There was some ray of hope when he married his childhood sweetheart Cindy Guthrie Brown in 1974. Cindy revealed, "We dated for years and had a lot of fun together. We'd go to the movies, go spearfishing down on the quays and run around the neighborhood as younger kids. He was a very caring person… we were best friends."
Soon that changed and after suffering another head injury, Long took a turn for the worse. The couple had two children but Long would beat Cindy resulting in them getting divorced in 1980. It was four years later that he went on a rampage in Tampa.
His first victim was an exotic dancer, Lana Long (20), who was found bound and with a rope around her neck. Next was Michelle Simms (22) followed by Elizabeth Loudenback (22) and Chanel Williams (18), all three were prostitutes. Most of his victims had been raped and then murdered. It was his last victim Lisa McVey who survived after telling Long she was caring for her sick father which won his sympathy.
After raping McVey at gunpoint and 26 hours of captivity, he drove her home blindfolded. "I was going to do whatever I could to get out of that situation. I wasn't going to allow anyone else to take anything from me," McVey recalled. She took notes of his features and was alert to clues which led to the capture of Long and soon linked him to the other murders. The experience resulted in McVey becoming a County Sheriff's deputy. "I'm no longer a victim. I'm a survivor," she shared.