Florida serial killer Bobby Joe Long was put to death Thursday night – as his last victim who managed to escape watched on from the public gallery.
Lisa Noland – who was known as Lisa McVey at the time of her attack – was released by Long after he’d already murdered 10 women in a spree that began March 1984 and ended with his arrest eight months later.
Noland helped capture the killer and bring him to justice 34 years ago.
After his execution, a tearful Noland said: ‘I wanted to be the first person he saw. Unfortunately, he didn’t open his eyes.’
‘The peace that came over me is a remarkable feeling.’
The scheduled 6pm execution at Florida State Prison had been delayed temporarily while the U.S. Supreme Court considered the 65-year-old’s final appeals.
He was finally pronounced dead at 6:55pm.
Lisa Noland (left) who survived an attack at the hands of serial killer Bobby Joe Long (right), speaks to reporters after his execution Thursday in Starke, Florida.
Long was condemned for the killing of 22-year-old Michelle Simms. He also was serving 28 life sentences for the other crimes committed in the Tampa Bay area.
Prison officials say Long’s last meal was a roast beef sandwich, French fries, bacon and a soda.
Long had no last words before he was executed.
A witness at the execution wore a polo shirt with a photo of one victim on the front and the words ‘Gone But Not Forgotten.’ On the back were photos of all 10 slaying victims and the words, ‘The Ones That Matter.’
In a previous interview, Noland said she would tell long ‘Thank you’ for picking her as his victim.
‘I would say “Thank you for choosing me and not another 17-year-old girl”.’
‘Another 17-year-old girl probably wouldn’t have been able to handle it the way that I have,’ she said.
Long’s final victim who escaped in 1984 included the design of a churchyard tree she tripped in front of when he released her on the custom shirt. Her evidence led to Long’s capture
The day before her abduction she planned to end her life after years of sexual abuse by her grandmother’s boyfriend.
But she ended up making heroic use of that history.
‘At the time he put the gun to my head, it was nothing new to me,’ she told The Associated Press earlier this week.
Noland was 17 when she was abducted outside a church and raped by Long.
She described the gun he pressed to her head, the bright light she could see on the car’s dashboard beneath the edge of her blindfold. It said Magnum, as in Dodge Magnum.
She was menstruating and made sure she left blood evidence on the car’s backseat. She could tell when they were on an interstate north of Tampa. When she was brought to the killer’s apartment, she counted the steps up to the second floor. When he let her use the bathroom, she made sure she left fingerprints everywhere.
She said she knew from her past abuse that if she fought Long, it would 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,’ she said on Wednesday.
Michelle Denise Simms, 22, (left) was killed on May 27, 1984. Lana Long, 19, (right) was killed on May 13, 1984
Kimberly Swann, 21, (left) was killed on November 11, 1984. Virginia Johnson, 18, (right) was killed on November 6, 1984
She appealed to a glimmer of kindness he showed while he washed her hair after raping her repeatedly. She asked what made him do what he did. He said he had suffered a bad breakup and hated women. She told him he seemed nice and that maybe she could be his girlfriend. She wouldn’t tell anyone.
Long later got Noland dressed. He let her loose and told her not to take the blindfold off for five minutes. She got out of the car and tripped on the curb. Long caught her before she fell. She waited for what seemed like an eternity and pulled off the blindfold. She was in front of a tree in another churchyard.
Today, she claims that tree as hers, and included it in the design of the T-shirt she made to mark Long’s execution.
And she’s joined the ranks of the law enforcement officers who captured Long. She’s a deputy with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the same department she helped lead to Long’s arrest.
Long later admitted killing 10 women in the Tampa Bay area. Noland, had previously survived being raped by her grandmother’s boyfriend.
Chanel Williams, 18, (left) was killed on October 7, 1984. Elizabeth Loudenback, 22, (right) was killed on June 8, 1984
Kimberly Hoops, 22, (left) was killed on October 31, 1984. Karen Dinsfriend, 28, (right) was killed on October 14, 1984
Investigators gave the serial killer the moniker The Classified Ad Rapist while trying to solve dozens of rapes. Long would go through classified ads and make appointments to see items for sale. If a woman answered the door and was alone, he would rape her.
Investigators had been baffled by the trail of bodies Long left in the Tampa Bay area. Artiss Ann Wick was the first woman killed.
Most of the victims were strangled. Some had their throats slit. Others were bludgeoned. Authorities say the killer positioned most of the bodies in gruesome poses.
Long moved from West Virginia to the Miami area as a child and was raised by his mother, a cocktail waitress.
After high school, he married his childhood sweetheart, but the relationship became violent.
Long’s ex-wife, Cindy Brown, said earlier that she regrets not shooting him dead after a brutal beating and the decision has haunted her ever since given the lives he later destroyed.
Brown, who was Long’s childhood sweetheart and shares two children with him, said she believes he is getting what he deserves.
‘This is something that in my heart should have happened many, many years ago,’ she said.
‘It’s been a long time coming. I hate to see anybody die, but he’s done the things that he’s done. You made your bed; it’s time to lay in it.’
Long, who has two daughters, went on a murderous spree in 1984 in Tampa Bay earned him 28 life sentences and the death penalty for one of the 10 killings
The woman who was his childhood sweetheart and father of their two children, Cindy Brown, said she believes he is getting what he deserves. The couple divorced in 1980 before his murderous spree