A serial killer is facing execution Thursday for a murderous spree that claimed 10 women's lives and terrorized Florida's Tampa Bay area in 1984. Bobby Joe Long, 65, is set to receive a lethal injection at Florida State Prison in Starke, per the AP. Artiss Ann Wick was the first woman he killed, in March 1984. Nine more victims followed until his arrest eight months later. Most were strangled, some had their throats slit, and others were bludgeoned. One teen rape victim who survived helped lead cops to Long. After his arrest, Long confessed to that and other crimes and admitted to being the "Classified Ad Rapist," a moniker investigators gave him. Long would go through classifieds and make appointments to see items for sale. If a woman was home alone, he'd rape her.
"This is something that in my heart should have happened many, many years ago," says his ex-wife, Cindy Brown. "I hate to see anybody die, but he's done the things that he's done." Brown, who divorced Long in 1980, still vividly recalls an increasingly violent man. One day, he grabbed her, choked her, and slammed her head into a television, knocking her unconscious with a gash to the forehead. He threatened to kill her if she told the hospital the reason for her head injury. After their divorce, Long began his violent spree, which earned him 28 life sentences and the death penalty for one of the killings, that of 22-year-old Michelle Simms. The execution would be the first under Gov. Ron DeSantis, who took office in January.
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