A serial killer who terrorized Florida with a murderous spree that claimed 10 women in 1984 was put to death Thursday. The execution was witnessed by a woman who survived one of his attacks and aided in his capture, CBS News reports. Bobby Joe Long, 65, was given a lethal injection at Florida State Prison. The killer terrified the Tampa Bay area for eight months in 1984 as women began showing up dead, their bodies often left in gruesome poses. Most were strangled, some had their throats slit, and others were bludgeoned. Law enforcement had few clues until the case of Lisa Noland, who survived one of Long’s attacks. She witnessed Thursday’s execution from the front row.
Just 17 in 1984, Noland was abducted by Long outside a church. He raped her but let her go free. She left evidence of his crimes on the scene and gave police details leading to his capture. Long confessed, receiving 28 life sentences and one death sentence. for the murder of 22-year-old Michelle Simms. Positioned herself in the witness room where she hoped Long would see her. “I wanted to look him in the eye. I wanted to be the first person he saw. Unfortunately, he didn’t open his eyes,” she said. “It was comforting to know this was actually happening.” The brother of victim Vicki Elliot thanked Gov. Ron DeSantis for signing the warrant for his execution and Chanel Williams’ mother said the execution gives her peace of mind knowing justice has been done.