Profile of a Serial Killer - Part 3 - Bobby Joe Long
Leading normal lives, with wives, children, jobs, relatives, and friends. Waking up, going to work in the morning. Coming home, sitting down, having a family dinner with polite and restrained conversations. Then going out to kill. Do you think that the patients, and tenacity required to keep up this facade day after day, month after month, sometimes year after year, would be exhausting, or exhilarating? These men, these killers, most likely fantasizing about killing during every one of their polite and restrained conversations throughout the day.
In part three of this ten part series we look into the life of Bobby Joe Long. And once again will point to several factors prevalent in serial killers including confusion of sexual orientation, and troubled relations with parental figures.
90% of serial killers are white males between the ages of 25 and 35 years of age and have a higher than normal I.Q. Most ranging between 105, and 120, though several have been found with an I.Q. of around 140. Most heterosexual killers will kill women, and most homosexual killers will kill other men, all of whom fall into on of the following categories.
Gain - Wanting to gain money, or something of value from their killing.
Lust - The need for sexual conquest, usually driven by irrational desires.
Missionary - The need for killing comes from a belief that they are being called to "rid the world" of a certain type of person.
Power - Wanting to control their victims in very specific ways.
Thrill - Gets some excitement from killing and desires to repeat the process. These killers usually are patterned to a fault.
Visionary - Usually psychotic, and, or schizophrenic, these killers believe they are being told by someone (God, the devil, etc.) to kill, and must obey.
Bobby Joe Long
Born in Kenova, West Virginia in October of 1953, Bobby Joe Long had a very dysfunctional relationship with his mother, sharing her bed until his early teens. Rarely getting along with and usually resenting her many short term boyfriends through the years. Puberty, difficult for most teens was especially turbulent for Long as he was born with an extra X chromosome, causing him to grow breasts which led to severe teasing from his peers.
Free from the torments of school life, he married his high school girlfriend in 1974, together they had two children, but would file for divorce only four years later. This may have been the trigger for the beginning of his deviant lifestyle.
Beginning in 1981 Long became a serial rapist, known as the "Classified Ad Rapist". He would answer classified aids for small appliances, when he found a woman home along he would ask to use the bathroom. Once there he would take out a "rape kit" and brutally rape and rob the woman. His territory was wide, ranging as far south as Miami, and North to Ocala, spanning nearly 3/4 of the state. He was tried and convicted of rape in 1981 but was freed after requesting a new trial, and the charges being dropped. Back on the streets he relocated to Long Beach, California where he quickly resumed his abusive habits. He was never prosecuted by California for any rapes.
In 1983, Long returned to Florida, moving to HillsboroughCounty (Tampa Bay area) where his crimes escalated to murder. A serial killer was on the lose, who's signature was distinctive. The killer would pose his victims at the dump site in unusual manners after being bound and raped. But the method of death varied, some were strangled, others were bludgeonedto death, others had their throats slit. The victim was found in May of 1984. The killer was averaging a murder every two week.s Law enforcement agencies from all around the area teamed up to investigate the mourning number of serial killings in the area. The FBI joined local law enforcement by the summer of 84.
Long had also changed victims, moving away from the lone woman, turning to prostitutes and exotic dancers, but not exclusively.
Dysfunctional relationship with mother
No relationship with father
Strenuous relationships with any other male influences
Not accepted by peers
Additional X chromosome caused him to grow breasts alienating him from peers and potentially made him question his own manhood.
May 13th, 1984- Southeast of Tampa - the body of an Asian female victim is found lying face down near the I-75. She had been severely beaten, there were two different types of rope around her neck and wrists, and a silk cloth had been used as a gag. Both hips had been broken to allow her legs to be pulled out at right angles to her body. The cause of death was determined to be strangulation. She was later identified as Ngeun Thi Long - a.k.a. Lana Long. She was a 20 year old exotic dancer at the Sly Fox Lounge in Tampa Bay.
May 27th, 1984- Near Plant City Florida - Hillsborough County Sheriffs Officers respond to a call from a construction worker that a female body had been found. When arriving at the scene, investigators found grizzly details similar to a homicide earlier in the month. The woman, found nearly nude was bound with two different kinds of rope. Several cuts adorning her neck and cheek area, including a deep slash across the throat. The victim had suffered multiple head traumas with a large injury over her left ear. She had been dead only a half a day, cause of death was ruled to be asphyxiation and blunt trauma to the head.
She was identified as Michelle Dinese Simms, a 22 year old prostitute with a drug problem. But it seemed that matching tire impressions, and similar forensic evidence was bringing police closer to their killer. Hairs found at the scene were identified as belonging to a male Caucasian.
The facts of the case as detailed by the FBI profile of the murder scenes read;
- The victims had to depend on others for transportation
- The victims were essentially nude when found
- The victims had been similarly bound, while one was posed
- They had been picked up in Tampa
- They had been left near interstate highways in rural areas
- There were tire tread impressions at both scenes
- They were found at quite a distance from where they were last seen
- Carpet fibers confirmed the relationship of the crimes
The FBI profile of the killer listed the following attributes;
- White male - probably mid 20's
- Extroverted, and manipulative.
- Organized - he would operate normally in society
- Narcissistic - need to be the center of attention.
- Macho self image - may have tattoos to reinstate that, or carry weapons.
- In keeping with macho self image he most likely has had masculine jobs - i.e. construction.
- No more than a high school education, though intelligent most likely had problems with the structure and discipline required for higher education.
- Due to his lack of discipline he would also most likely have difficulty maintaining employment - he would have had multiple short-term jobs.
- Probably delinquent as a child exhibiting rebelliousness, discipline problems.
- May have a history of bed-wetting, arson, or animal cruelty.
- His choice of car would be flashy, like a sports car.
- Most likely already had a criminal record.
- Would most likely be a police enthusiast and attempt to immerse himself in the investigation, both to deflect investigators from believing him a suspect, and to relive the crime.
- He would kill again if not captured.
The Killings Continue
June 8th, 1984, the mother of 22 year old Elizabeth Loudenback reported her daughter missing, stating that she had gone for a walk and never returned. Two weeks later her body was found severely decomposed. She was not immediately linked to the serial killings because she had not been bound, and she did not fit the profile of the prior victims either being a prostitute, exotic dancer, or hitchhiker. She was later distinguished as the third victim after the same red fibers were found that matched the two prior killings.
Five months would pass before killings would begin again. Police may have begun to believe that he had been captured on some other crime, or was killed. But they couldn't be that lucky. On October 7th, 1984, the decomposing body of a young black female was found shoved under a barbed wire fence near Hillsborough State Park. Her clothing scattered around the area, the girl had been raped and then strangled before being shot in the back of the head. Recently released from prison, Chanel Devon Williams, 18 years of age was a known prostitute in the area. All forensic evidence pointed to the same killer that had already taken three lives at the beginning of the summer. Same red fibers, both A and H blood group from semen samples, and the same brown hair that had been found on previous victims.
One week later a fifthbody was found, her hands tied with a red bandanna, her neck with a shoelace. Raped and severely beaten, her battered torso exposed, her yellow sweatshirt pushed up around her neck was the only clothing she was wearing. All of her other articles of clothing were scattered about the area. Karen Beth Dinsfriend, 28 years of age was a known prostitute and drug addict. Identical forensic evidence found at the murder scene.
Two weeks later on Halloween night the mummified remains of Kimberly Kyle Hoops, a prostitute only 22 years of age was found in a ditch near US 301. The body so decomposed that it took weeks to identify the body, or tell if the killing had even taken place where the body was found. Cause of death was ruled to be strangulation, a black cloth choker she wore around her neck had been used to end her life.
One week later on November 6th a woman riding a horse on her ranch came across a grizzlyscene. Body parts strewn throughout the field, it appeared that some type of animal had gotten to the body. The medical examiner was able to determine that the cause of death was strangulation. She was later identified by the killer as 18 year old Virginina Lee Johnson, a prostitute from Tampa.
Only six days later yet another body was discovered. A loose leash-like noose tied around her neck, rope burns on her body, her clothing on the ground near her. Her face and upper body severely battered, her legs forced open for shock value. Dead two to three days, detectives found identical forensic evidence as every other victim. One main difference was that the killer had apparently defecated at the scene, leaving fecal matter on the victims shirt. Inside the jeans of the victim police discovered a drivers license for Sly Fox Lounge dancer Kim Marie Swann, 21 years old. With the bodies stacking up, the desperate police department redoubled their efforts to catch the killer who had obviously accelerated his killing schedule.
The Beginning of the End
On the night of November 3rd, 17 year old Lisa McVey was grabbed off of her bicycle and tied up by someone who had been hiding in the bushes. She was quickly blindfolded and bound before being thrown into a car. She begged and pleaded with the man not to hurt her saying that she would do whatever he wanted. He ordered her clothes removed and for her to perform oral sex on him. She complied, but was not released. After driving around for some time she was taken back to his apartment where he kept her hostage for the next 26 hours raping her repeatedly.
Keeping a level head, she left a baret near the bed, and made whatever mental notes she could to assure that the man could be captured, assuming she made it out alive. The man woke, and for some reason finding her still there, the man seemed to began to seem to trust her, his behavior towards the girl became less threatening, even making statements that he wished he could find a way to keep her.
Placing her back in the car, Lisa was sure that he was taking her to her death. To her surprise he stopped the car and said "get out", even saying "take care" as he drove away.
She hurried home and told her father what had happened, he immediately called police. Lisa described her killer to police as a white male in his mid 30's, with "layered" brown hair, thin eyebrows, a short mustache, a big nose, small ears, and good teeth. She stated that he was slightly overweight, and had come across as "somewhat feminine". She continued to describe the gun, the car, a dark red Dodge Magnum with an all red interior, even details about the inside of the apartment.
About two weeks later, Long was pulled over by Tampa police, they gave him a story about possibly matching a suspect of an unrelated crime, and so he allowed them to take his photograph before being released. With the information gained they were able to gather enough evidence for an arrest warrant.
Crime and Punishment
Evidence from the search confirmed Robert Long was their killer. The fibers from his car matched the fibers on all of the murder victims, his blood type matched, and detectives even found pictures he had taken of some of the rapes in his apartment. They also found some articles of womens clothing he had kept as souveniers. Bobby Joe Long was arrested on November 16th, 1984, charged with sexual battery and the kidnapping of Lisa McVey.
Nearly a year later, in September of 85, Long plead guilty to eight homicides, along with the abduction and rape of Lisa Mcvey for this received 26 life sentences without possibility of parole. He was also charged with the murder Michelle Simms in July of 1986, and for this he was also found guilty and was at that point sentenced to death by Florida's electric chair.
In total, Bobby Joe Long received one five year sentence, four 99 year sentences, 28 life sentences, and one death sentence.