Bobby Joe Long

Robert Joseph "Bobby Joe" Long[1] (October 14, 1953 – May 23, 2019)[2] was an American serial killer and rapist who was executed by the state of Florida for the murder of Michelle Denise Simms.[3] Long abducted, sexually assaulted, and murdered at least ten women in the Tampa Bay area in Florida during an eight-month period in 1984. He released 17-year-old Lisa McVey after 26 hours. McVey provided critical information to the police that enabled them to arrest Long. Long was also a serial rapist.

Bobby Joe Long
Bobbie Joe Long.jpg
Robert Joseph Long

(1953-10-14)October 14, 1953
DiedMay 23, 2019(2019-05-23) (aged 65)
Cause of deathExecution by lethal injection
Other namesThe Classified Ad Rapist
The Adman Rapist
Criminal statusExecuted
Cynthia Bartlett
(m. 1974; div. 1980)
Conviction(s) (September 24, 1985)
Criminal penaltyDeath (July 25, 1986)
Span of crimes
March 27, 1984–November 11, 1984
CountryUnited States
Date apprehended
November 16, 1984
Imprisoned atFlorida State Prison

Long was sentenced to death for two of the ten murders he was suspected of committing. He was executed by lethal injection on May 23, 2019.

Early lifeEdit

Robert Joseph Long was born on October 14, 1953 in Kenova, West Virginia, to Joe and Louetta Long.[4] Long was born with an extra X chromosome, also known as 47,XXY, a specific variant of Klinefelter syndrome. This condition results in excessive estrogen production yielding some female traits such as breast development. Long was teased as a child for his large breasts and underwent breast reduction surgery in adolescence.[5] He also suffered multiple head injuries as a child resulting from diverse accidents.[6]

Long had a dysfunctional relationship with his mother; he slept in her bed until he was a teenager and reportedly resented her multiple short-term boyfriends she brought with her when returning home late at night from her job.[4] Long married his high school girlfriend in 1974, with whom he had two children before she filed for divorce in 1980.[7]


Long committed at least 50 rapes as the "Classified Ad Rapist" in Fort Lauderdale, Ocala, Miami, and Dade County. Starting around 1981, Long began contacting women through the Penny Saver and other classified ads. When Long found a woman alone, he asked to use the bathroom, took out his "rape kit" and raped and robbed the woman. Long was tried and convicted for rape in 1981 but requested a new trial, which was granted. The charges were later dropped.[why?][8][9][unreliable source?]

Long moved to the Tampa Bay area in 1983. In 1984, while on probation for assault, Long raped and strangled 20-year-old Artiss "Ann" Wick in March; her body was discovered in a rural area on November 22, 1984. She had reportedly hitch-hiked from Gas City, Indiana to Tampa, and was engaged to be married.[10]

Over the next eight months, Long abducted, raped, and murdered at least 10 women in three counties in the Tampa Bay area (Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas). The investigation involved personnel from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, the FBI, the Tampa Police Department (TPD), the Pasco County Sheriff's Office (PCSO), and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).[10]

The bodies of the victims were typically found in a state of decomposition long after the murders, having been dumped near a rural roadside or dragged into the woods. Long appears to have targeted vulnerable women, including abducting women walking alone and those working as sex workers, persuading women to enter his car where he would rape and torture them. Of Long's 10 known victims, five of the women were identified as known sex workers, two as exotic dancers. The remaining three victims were a factory worker, a student, and one with an unknown occupation.[11]

During this period, Long also continued his classified-ad rapes, attacking 33-year-old Linda Nuttall in her home.[12]

In the early hours of November 3, 1984, Long abducted 17-year-old Lisa McVey as she rode her bike home from work. She was blindfolded and taken to Long's home, where he repeatedly raped her. Aware of the danger she was in, the blindfolded McVey reported leaving as many fingerprints in Long's home as she could to aid any future police investigation.[citation needed]

After 26 hours, Long released McVey and she provided investigators with information on his home, car and a time period in which she heard him use an ATM. This led to police identifying Long and he was arrested on November 16, 1984. He was linked to the murders through red carpet fibers found on the bodies of several victims.[citation needed]

Known victimsEdit

  • Artiss "Ann" Wick, 20 – killed on March 27, 1984
  • Ngeun Thi Long, 19 – killed on May 13, 1984
  • Michelle Denise Simms, 22 – killed on May 27, 1984
  • Linda Nuttall, 33 – assaulted in May 1984; survived
  • Elizabeth Loudenback, 22 – killed on June 8, 1984


At the time of his capture, Long was wanted in three Tampa Bay area jurisdictions where investigators had collected multiple forms of forensic evidence, including clothing, carpet fibers, semen, ligature marks, and rope knots.[11]

Long was arrested outside a movie theater on November 16, 1984, and charged with the sexual battery and kidnapping of Lisa McVey. Long signed a formal Miranda waiver, and consented to questioning. After the detectives procured a confession for the McVey case, their questioning focused on a series of unsolved sexual battery homicides in the Tampa Bay area. As the detectives questioned Long about the murders, he replied, "I'd rather not answer that."[13][14]

The detectives continued the interrogation, and handed Long photographs of the various murder victims. At this point, Long stated, "The complexion of things sure have [sic] changed since you came back into the room. I think I might need an attorney." No attorney was provided, and Long eventually confessed to eight murders in Hillsborough County, and one murder in Pasco County.[13][14]

Fiber evidence analysis by the FBI linked Long's vehicle to most of his victims.[11]


The Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office and the Public Defender's Office of Hillsborough County reached a plea bargain deal. Long pled guilty on September 24, 1985, to eight of the homicides and the abduction and rape of Lisa McVey, receiving 26 life sentences without the possibility of parole (24 concurrent and two to run consecutively to the first 24) and seven life sentences with the possibility of parole after 25 years.

The State retained the option to seek the death penalty for the murder of Michelle Simms. In July 1986, Long was found guilty and was sentenced to die in Florida's electric chair.

Although Long confessed to raping and killing women, his confession was thrown out. His trial proceeded straight to the penalty phase, which was possible in the 1980s. In early 1985, he received the death penalty.

Long was convicted and appealed his first degree murder conviction and death sentence for crimes committed in Hillsborough County.[15]

Long appealed his first degree murder conviction and sentence of death in the death of Virginia Johnson.[16]

On appeal, Long's death sentence was vacated, his conviction reversed, and his case remanded back to the trial court with directions to enter an order of acquittal for the murder of Virginia Johnson.[17]

On February 24, 1999, Long accused the Capital Collateral Regional Council (the state office defending death row inmates in their appeals) of revealing his private letters to a book author, thus violating attorney–client privilege. He also accused the agency of running a "death pool," betting on the dates on which inmates would be executed, and asked that the agency be removed from his case.[18] An investigation concluded that these allegations were unfounded. Long's petition for a writ of mandamus to require Bob Dillinger, the public defender for the Sixth Judicial Circuit, to relinquish possession and control of his file in State v. Long, was denied.

According to the Florida Department of Corrections, Long was ultimately serving one five-year sentence, four 99-year sentences, 28 life sentences, and one death sentence.[3]


On April 23, 2019, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed Long's death warrant; the first death warrant signed by DeSantis since he took office in January 2019.[19][20] Long's subsequent appeals were denied and he was executed by lethal injection on May 23, 2019, more than 30 years after his conviction.[21] He ate his final meal at 9:30 a.m. local time; he requested roast beef, bacon, french fries and soda.[22] He was pronounced dead at 7:00 p.m. and had made no last statement.[23]

Some documentaries relating to Long's crimesEdit

TV moviesEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Robert Joseph "Bobby Joe" Long (1953-2019) - Find..." Retrieved April 10, 2022.
  2. ^ "Robert Joseph "Bobby Joe" Long (1953-2019) - Find..." Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  3. ^ a b "Inmate Population Information Detail – Inmate 494041". Florida Department of Corrections. Archived from the original on November 11, 2018. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Bobby Joe Long – The Classified Ad Rapist". Department of Psychology, Radford University. Archived from the original on August 21, 2008. Retrieved August 12, 2009.
  5. ^ Ramsland, Katherine. "Shame and the Serial Killer: Humiliation's influence on criminal behavior needs more attention". Psychology Today. Archived from the original on January 27, 2021. Retrieved September 13, 2020.
  6. ^ Giannangelo, Stephen J. (1996). The Psychopathology of Serial Murder: A Theory of Violence. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 22. ISBN 978-0-275-95434-5. Archived from the original on January 27, 2021. Retrieved November 2, 2016.
  7. ^ Moore, Melissa. "Married to a Monster: Ex-wife discusses serial killer who raped, killed 10 women". crimewatch. Telepictures Productions Inc. Archived from the original on July 8, 2018. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
  8. ^ Norris, Joel (1988). Serial Killers. N.Y.: Doubleday. pp. 137–149. ISBN 0-385-26328-7.
  9. ^ "Bobby Joe Long: The Classified Ad Rapist". Frances Farmers Archived from the original on January 5, 2008. Retrieved November 1, 2007.
  10. ^ a b "The "Bobby Joe" Long Serial Murder Case: A Study in Cooperation". Archived from the original on August 7, 2007. Retrieved November 1, 2007.
  11. ^ a b c Hickey, Eric W. (1991). Serial Murderers and Their Victims. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole. pp. 135–136. ISBN 0-534-15414-X.
  12. ^ ""Long overdue:" Florida serial killer executed after 34 years". WTVT. Raiford. May 24, 2019. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  13. ^ a b "ROBERT JOE LONG, a/k/a v. STATE OF FLORIDA". June 30, 1988. Archived from the original on October 10, 2007. Retrieved November 1, 2007.
  14. ^ a b Ramsland, Katherine. "Bobby Joe Long". Crime Library. truTV. Archived from the original on July 14, 2012. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
  15. ^ "ROBERT JOE LONG, a/k/a BOBBY LONG, Appellant, v. STATE OF FLORIDA, Appellee No. 69,259". June 30, 1988. Archived from the original on October 10, 2007. Retrieved November 1, 2007.
  16. ^ "Robert Joe Long, Appellant, v. State of Florida, Appellee". November 12, 1987. Archived from the original on October 10, 2007. Retrieved November 1, 2007.
  17. ^ "ROBERT J. LONG, Appellant, vs. State of Florida, Appellee, No. 83,593 Corrected Opinion". March 6, 1997. Archived from the original on October 10, 2007. Retrieved November 1, 2007.
  18. ^ "The Morgue Archives: Jan–Feb 1999". Archived from the original on October 10, 2007. Retrieved November 4, 2007.
  19. ^ "Robert Joseph Long – Death Warrant – May 2019" (PDF). Florida Supreme Court. April 23, 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 24, 2019. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  20. ^ "Upcoming Executions | Death Penalty Information Center". Archived from the original on April 22, 2019. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  21. ^ "Convicted Killer Who Terrorized Tampa Bay in Mid 80s Executed". Bay News 9. Archived from the original on May 23, 2019. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  22. ^ Davidson, Tom (May 23, 2019). "Serial killer Bobby Joe Long requests special final meal ahead of execution". mirror. Archived from the original on May 26, 2019. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  23. ^ "Serial Killer Who Took 10 Women's Lives Executed in Florida". Time. Archived from the original on May 24, 2019. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  24. ^ Lloyd Sowers, "'Believe Me': Hillsborough deputy's survival story now a Lifetime movie" Archived February 27, 2020, at the Wayback Machine. WTVT, September 27, 2018.

External linksEdit