Bobby Joe Long
Written By: LFG
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Robert Joe “Bobby” Long was born in the quiet town of Kenova in West Virginia on October 14, 1953. As an infant, Bobby was diagnosed with Klinefelter syndrome, which meant he had an extra X chromosome in his body. This chromosomal abnormality resulted in excessive production of estrogen and led Bobby to develop breasts. He was bullied as a child due to his breasts, and it got so bad that the young man ended up in numerous fistfights. As the years went by, he decided to go under the knife to remove them when he became an adult. He also experienced several head injuries when he was a kid by falling off a bike and a pony.
Bobby’s parents, Louella and Joe Long, got divorced when he was still young, so he grew up with his mother, whom he shared an unconventional relationship with. They reportedly slept on the same bed together till he was 12, and it is believed this contributed to Bobby’s unlikely behavior. After Louella got a job at a local bar, Bobby started to resent her and any other woman who worked of a similar nature.
Everything changed when Bobby met the love of his life, Cindy, when he was just 13 years old. They tied the knot in 1974 after dating for six years and had two children. Sometime along the way, a motorcycle accident gave Bobby a traumatic head injury that altered his temperament. According to his wife, he suddenly became violent towards her and the kids and became exceptionally hypersexual. Bobby recovered after weeks in the hospital, but then his sexual appetite became so insatiable despite constant physical contact with Cindy. As it turned out, that was the catalyst that would lead Bobby to seek other ways to satisfy his carnal thirst. Unfortunately, his spouse couldn’t take his odd behavior any longer and filed for divorce in 1980.
It didn’t take long before Bobby began to prowl for women who could “fulfill his manly needs,” and since he was newly single, he decided to prey on innocent housewives instead. From 1980 to 1983, he scoured the local papers of Ocala, Miami, Dade County, Fort Lauderdale, and even in Long Beach, California, for classified ads, answering ones that were selling small appliances or furniture at home. Once Bobby found an ad, he would head over the possible victim’s residence under the guise of being a buyer–but in reality, he was checking whether the woman was alone or not. Bobby usually did this during midday to ensure the women’s husbands were out at work, and once he saw the woman was vulnerable, he would threaten her with a knife before binding and subsequently raping her; sometimes, he robbed the victim’s home before would escape. Bobby raped a total of 50 women throughout his three-year spree, with some victims as young as 12 years old. His first arrest was in 1981 after a woman charged him with rape, but he dodged this case after witnesses came out saying the encounter was consensual.
In 1984, a year after moving to Tampa Bay, Bobby committed his first murder. However, he didn’t follow his modus this time as he began a new routine where he would drive around town looking for women (usually prostitutes) and convince them to accompany him in the car. Worse, in cases where he failed to do so, Bobby would abduct the woman directly. After molesting these women, the killer would take the poor victim to a remote area and strangle her until she dies. Most of the bodies found were naked and positioned in a weird sexual way, with some found to have been killed by strangulation, slitting of the throat, and a gunshot wound.
An investigation kicked off after ten corpses were found around the Tampa Bay area, usually in the woods or anywhere deserted. Still, it wasn’t until one of Bobby’s victims, seventeen-year-old Lisa McVey, managed to survive the ordeal that the police finally got a hold of him. Bobby released Lisa after feeling sorry for her as the young girl shared how difficult her life was at home after she was sexually harassed. Little did Bobby know that getting on his good side was Lisa’s plan along, and she left multiple DNA samples around his house in case the police would come. After her release, the teen immediately went to the police and reported the horrendous crime. Bobby managed to kill two more women before being arrested on November 16, 1984, just outside a local cinema near his home. Interestingly enough, he confessed to abducting Lisa without question but was apprehensive when he was interrogated about the other murders. Eventually, he initially admitted to killing eight women around Hillsborough, including one in Pasco County.
The trial began in April 1985 at the Hillsborough County State. Thanks to the compelling evidence against him, Bobby was officially convicted for the murder of 10 women and the rape of more than fifty women on September 24, 1985. In total, he received about 28 life sentences without parole, along with a 500-year sentence, plus a death sentence.
Bobby Joe Long was incarcerated in Florida State Prison in Bradford County before he was executed by lethal injection on May 3, 2019, at the age of 65.
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