How Many Victims Did Bobby Joe Long Really Have?

Bobby Joe Long was a serial killer who preyed on young women in the Tampa Bay area of Florida in 1984. The FBI believes Long kidnapped, raped, and murdered 10 women, between May and November of that year. An 11th victim, Lisa McVey Noland, was just 17, yet she is the only known Bobby Joe Long victim to be set free.  

According to the FBI, Long's murder victims ranged in age from 18 to 28. Long drove a 1978 Dodge Magnum and his method was to talk women into getting into his car. Once inside, Long moved quickly to gain control, brandishing a gun or a knife and then tying them up. Next, he would take them to a remote or private location where he would sexually assault them, then murder them and leave their bodies in isolated areas around Hillsborough County. 

Case files on Find Law quote Long who was interviewed by CBS as saying, "When I saw them walking down the street, it was like A, B, C, D. I pull over, they get in, I drive a little ways, stop, pull a knife, a gun, whatever, tie them up, take them out. And that would be it. And they all went exactly the same until McVey came along."

The 17-year-old whom Long abducted, took to an apartment, and raped for 26 hours before he let her go went to police who connected McVey's attacker with the then-unknown assailant murdering young women and leaving their battered bodies scattered around the Tampa Bay area.

Bobby Joe Long confessed to killing 8 women

Many of Bobby Joe Long's victims are listed as sex workers by the FBI, but one was a factory worker, and a couple of others were waitresses. He strangled or asphyxiated five of them, one was shot in the head, another was beaten and her throat was slashed, and three others' causes of death were unknown. Eight of Long's crime scenes included found "cordage/knots." 

Bobby Joe Long ultimately pleaded guilty to eight murders, according to case information on FindLaw, and was sentenced to death for two of them, Michelle Simms, 22 and Virginia Johnson, 18. The other women Long killed according to the FBI were: Lana Long, 20, Elizabeth Loudenback, 22, Chanel Williams, 18, Vicky Elliott, 21, Karen Dinsfriend, 28, Kimberly Hopps, 22, Kim Marie Swann, 21, and Artis Wick,18.

The Tampa Bay Times reported that Long was on death row for 34 years before being executed via lethal injection on May 23, 2019. Some of the victims' families, including the mother and sister of Chanel Williams, were there.

William's mother told the Tampa Bay Times, "We thank God that this day has finally arrived. Now, after 35 years, we can say we had some peace of mind knowing that justice has been served."

William's sister sat in the front row at the execution. She told the Tampa Bay Times, "That was something I wouldn't miss." Long had no final words.