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Tampa Bay serial killer Bobby Joe Long confessed to killing 10 women, and raping more than 50, in the 1980s.
Though serial killers like Bobby Joe Long often blend seamlessly into society, profilers use the term "leakage" to describe the telltale signs of an aberrant mind.
Serial killer Bobby Joe Long drew inspiration for his method of abduction from witnessing a robbery inside his parents' home.
Profilers explore the physical and psychological childhood scars which helped shape the mind of serial killer Bobby Joe Long.
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When Cynthia filed for divorce in 1980, Long moved in with a female friend, Sharon Richards, who would later accuse him of rape and battery. In the fall of 1983, Long was found guilty of assault against Richards. Around the same time, he was found guilty of sending an inappropriate, sex-infused letter and photographs to a 12-year-old Florida girl, receiving a short jail sentence and probation. In a re-trial,
Long was acquitted of assault charges in the Richards case.
Making a criminal leap in early 1984, Long committed what is thought to be his first premeditated rape. Finding a newspaper advertisement about a home for sale in New Port Richey, Florida, he secured vicious plans and traveled to the home. Armed with a gun, he didn't wait long to execute his plans when he arrived at the house: He quickly pulled his gun and raped the female homeowner. Long continued to commit sexual crimes by looking for "For Sale" signs on homes and going through classified ads for furniture, homes and other household items. He soon became infamously known in the Tampa Bay area as the "Classified Ad Rapist."
According to police, Long committed more than 50 rapes during this period, before moving to darker crimes.
By the spring of 1984, Long had made another criminal jump: He committed his first murder. He would continue a killing spree for the next eight months, allegedly motivated by his obsession with sex and long-held anger toward women. Initially just looking to fulfill his sexual needs, Long picked up a young prostitute named Artis Wick in March 1984. After assaulting and raping Wick, he decided that he wasn't content with his crimes, so he strangled and killed her.
In May 1984, while driving on Nebraska Avenue in Tampa, Long spotted a young woman walking named Lana Long. He pulled up to Lana and offered her a ride, and she accepted, asking him to take her to a nearby bar. Instead of taking her to the bar, however, Long pulled his car off the road not far from the bar, and pulled out a knife. When Lana began screaming and attempting to fight Long, tied her up and drove to a road farther away. He then pulled her out of the car, raped and strangled her. According to police, Lana Long's body was found—on Mother's Day, May 13, 1984—lying face down with her hands bound behind her back, and her legs were spread far apart (officers measured five feet and one inch from one heel to the other).
Long's next victim was Michelle Simms, a 22-year old prostitute who had reportedly been struggling with drug addiction. After raping Simms, Long hit her with a club, then strangled her and cut her throat. Detectives connected Simms's murder to Lana Long's when the same material—red trilobal nylon carpet fiber—was found on each victim. Police found Long's fourth victim, Elizabeth Loudenback, in Tampa's Madorick Park (formerly Turkey Creek Reservoir), 17 days after she was killed. Loudenback's body was badly decomposed when detectives found her; she was lying on her back, fully clothed.
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