Demon Bobby Joe Long slaughtered ten women in Florida in 1984 – and National ENQUIRER reporter Douglas Montero had a front-row seat when Long was executed by lethal injection on May 23. Here is his chilling account of the 65-year-old serial killer’s final moments at the Florida State Prison in Raiford.
The 65-year old serial killer’s life ended in a solemn, meticulously planned and controlled 13-minute episode conducted by the Florida Department of Corrections – very different circumstances to the victims who suffered at his hands as he raped then choked the life out of them.
A beige curtain behind a large glass pane blocked the view of the “death chamber” -- the same room where Ted Bundy got 2,000 volts in 1989 while strapped in “Old Sparky” -- the nickname given to the state’s electric chair, the preferred method of execution until 1999 when Florida switched to lethal injection.
Twenty-six spectators were packed into three rows of seats inside a sterile white “witness gallery” where the air of death was thick along with the heavy hearts of the fiend’s survivors and family members of the women he brutally murdered in a blood-soaked reign of terror in 1984.
Inside the witness room no one was allowed to speak, cheer, applaud or damn Bobby Long. The silence was only punctuated by the hum of an air-conditioner and the occasional yelp of a victim’s relative as they silently sobbed for the lives which had been taken from them.
Witnesses gazed at the curtain waiting for it to rise like a macabre Broadway show, one starring their worst nightmare --- Bobby Joe Long, the former X-Ray tech and father of two kids, who became a psycho rapist killer after cracking his skull in a 1974 motorcycle accident. A survivor of his inhuman spree, Lisa McVey Noland, had a front row seat to the drama because “I wanted to look him in the eye – I wanted to be the first person he saw.”
Lisa was a troubled, suicidal 17-year-old – she had repeatedly been raped by her grandma’s boyfriend – when she was abducted outside a church in Hillsborough County, Florida.
Long brutalized her for 26 hours before she somehow convinced him to let her go. Oddly, she had written a suicide note the day before the kidnapping but credits Long with giving her a reason to live.
“Bobby Joe Long pressed a gun, with the tip of its cold steel barrel, against my left temple before dragging me to his car,” said Lisa, who heroically led investigators to Long’s evil lair and eventually became a Hillsborough County Deputy Sheriff.
“I vowed from that moment on to save my own life,” she added.
Lisa kept her chin up as the chamber curtain slowly began rising at 6:42 pm, revealing their nightmare for the first time in decades – now reduced to a decrepit elderly husk of a man, beaten down by years of jail, with white hair and sagging flesh.
Long was strapped to a gurney and covered in a white sheet from neck to feet. His left arm was connected to the lethal injection intravenous line. His arms jutted out from the blanket and were held by leather straps.
Behind Long’s head was a mirror attached to the wall and angled so witnesses could see his pudgy face – and he too could see the distraught faces of the people he scarred for life.
Three men in suits made up the “Execution Team,” headed by a “Team Leader” who stood the closest to Long, who had enjoyed a roast beef sandwich, French fries, bacon and a can of Coke for his last meal.
At 6:43 p.m. the Team Leader, a balding man with a thick mustache, picked up the beige landline phone which connected directly to the office of no-nonsense Gov. Ron DeSantis who on April 23, 2019 signed the death warrant to remove Long from this earth.
After a brief chat, the Team Leader hung up and the humming air conditioner in the witness room was abruptly turned off. An intercom system activated so witnesses could hear the Team Leader ask Long if he had any last words.
“No,” the killer spat, with venom in his voice.
The air conditioner was turned back on to blast cold air onto Linda Nuttall, viciously attacked by Long, daubed “The Classified Ad Rapist” as he targeted home-alone housewives who had placed advertisement in local newspapers to sell off furniture or other items.
Linda had been caring for her two kids, then aged four and one, and her husband was at work when Long rang her doorbell.
“When he came to the door, he was in a three-piece business suit, very polite so I let him in,” Linda said, her voice faltering. “He immediately grabbed me, tied me up, held a knife to my throat and brutally attacked me. My two children were home at the time.”
“He was just a miserable human being,” she told THE ENQUIRER, adding that her sickly one-year-old died of natural causes 9-months after the attack.
At 6:44 p.m. Kevin clutched Linda’s hand as the Executioner delivered the first dose of etomidate, an anesthetic.
Within seconds Long - born in West Virginia - was asleep from the anesthesia. His jaw moved side to side as he snored. After a few minutes the Team Leader used the back of his forefinger to check Long’s eyes, then grabbed both of his shoulders to vigorously shake him -- just to make sure he was truly out cold.
As Long was finished off peacefully with two more chemical doses, his adult daughter, Sarah Crosby, gathered with around 70 others outside the prison walls to protest against the death penalty.
Sarah was eight-years-old when her father was arrested. It took her until 2001 to muster up the trust and love she needed to visit him in prison. Sarah had wanted to see her father die – but the heartless killer didn’t want his only daughter inside the witness room.
“I wanted to be there to support him – that way he would’ve known that somebody in there truly loved him,” Sarah told The ENQUIRER, who insists her father became a killer after his brain injury.
“The governor with the stroke of a pen hired a hitman, that’s the executioner in Florida to commit a homicide on my dad as punishment for committing homicide.
“It completely makes no sense. I don’t think anyone has the right to make that decision or that judgment other than God.
“They made me a victim the same way my dad made those girls and their families’ victims!”
Sarah says her father was ready to die – despite charges that Long showed no remorse because he didn’t apologize to the victim’s families inside the death chamber.
In fact, Sarah said her father signed documents to donate his brain to traumatic brain researchers at Boston University because, as he put it: “If it helps one person – I don’t need it.”
“He told me that he thinks about those girls and their families every day and that he hated the part of himself and the pain he caused,” Sarah told The ENQUIRER.
Sarah complained she was unable to see her father’s chest slowly stop moving as spectators craned their heads to watch Long’s soul leave his body.
At 6:53 p.m. a long-haired female doctor dressed in white emerged from a curtained door like the Angel of Death. She used a pen light to examine Long’s pupils and her stethoscope to make sure his heart had stopped beating.
After mumbling a few words, the doctor left and the Team Leader picked up the governor’s hotline phone again to report the execution had gone without incident.
The humming air- conditioner in the witness room was turned off a second time as the Team Leader somberly stared through the window to announce: “The sentence of death in the case of State of Florida vs. Bobby Long has been carried out at 6:55 p.m.”
Awkwardly, the Team Leader stared at the witnesses as the beige curtain slowly lowered. The stunned and relieved were also frozen by the surreal moment, wondering if Long’s death would finally bring closure to their lives.
News of Long’s death reached the ears of Miriam Elliott, the co-coordinator of the Gainesville Citizens for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, who complained he should not have been put to death because of his medical condition – among other reasons.
“It’s state sanctioned murder and it does not follow Jesus’ teaching of love,” she said – adding she felt the execution process was a huge hypocrisy.
“It’s an uncivilized thing to do but they try to counter the narrative by saying ‘but we are calm and respectful when we carry this out. It’s like we’re not like the lynch mob that has picnics by the hanging tree.’ To say it is respectful and quiet and -- it’s a delusion!”
Lulu Williams, the mother of murder victim Chanel Williams, 18, walked out of the prison with a bad taste in her mouth.
Her daughter was found face down on the grounds of a cattle ranch, entangled in barbed wire with a gunshot wound to the back of her head after being raped and strangled by Long. Lulu, 69, wanted to see the murderer suffer for his crimes.
“It was too easy,” she told The ENQUIRER. “It was too comfortable for him. I just think about what he put us through all these years, then to see him just laying there at peace --- he had no remorse, no anything!
“No, I would have liked to see more pain. The pain he inflicted on my daughter – the pain that we have in our hearts.”