Breaking News
More () »

Governor orders execution of Florida serial killer Bobby Joe Long

Robert Joseph Long admitted to authorities he had killed 10 women in Hillsborough and Pasco counties.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed the death warrant for convicted serial killer Robert Joseph Long.

Known more commonly as Bobby Joe, Long admitted to authorities he had killed 10 women in Hillsborough and Pasco counties. 

In May 1984, Michelle Simms' body was found by Hillsborough County deputies. Investigators said Long had driven Simms to a remote location, tied her to the car seat, sexually battered her and tried to strangle her. He ended up cutting her throat and leaving her on the side of the road. 

Ten homicides occurred in the Tampa Bay area over about 8 months, all attributed to Long. The victims ranged from 18 to 28 years of age. Investigators said most of the victims were strangled and one was shot.

Related: Examining the history of Tampa Bay's serial killers

Detectives' hunt for the killer ended when Long abducted 17-year-old Lisa McVey in November 1984. McVey said she convinced Long to let her go and provided information to investigators that led to Long's arrest.

McVey's experience led her to become a Hillsborough County sheriff's deputy.

Long, now 65, also claimed to have raped 40 women in three different states. He eventually pleaded guilty to eight murders and was sentenced to death for Simms' murder.

This is the first death sentence DeSantis has authorized since taking office.

An execution date is set for Thursday, May 23, 2019.

What others are reading right now:

► Florida man's genealogy hobby helped catch the Golden State Killer
► Born before 1989? You may need another dose of the measles vaccine
► Woman with unique face tattoos gets arrested -- again
► Avengers: Endgame: When you should take a bathroom break
► Kit Kat to launch mint, dark chocolate candy bars

Have a news tip? Email desk@wtsp.com, or visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed.

Before You Leave, Check This Out