Bobby Joe Long | The Classified Ad Rapist | Serial Killer

(Bobby Joe Long. Right: a picture of him in his later years in prison. Left: Long at one of his earlier court appearances. Picture credit: trillmag)

When it comes to Serial Killers, I think it's safe to say that Bobby Joe Long had to be up there with the likes of Ted Bundy for being one of the most evilist, most twisted and most dangerous murderers America (or even the world) has ever seen. 

I have decided to cover this case this week as it's a request from one of my regular readers/patrons and it's been a case that I have wanted to include here on my blog for some time. Despite being just as sick and dangerous as the likes of Ted Bundy, for some reason Bobby Joe Long's campaign of terror seems to not get as much attention and I do try and include cases here that many people might not know that much about. 

As a regular reader of true crime and avid watcher of serial killer documentaries I always think that I know all about a certain case or murderer but when I actually go in and do my own research I seem to open up a whole can of worms and end up finding out a whole lot more than I knew before. 

I know that is what my readers are looking for, they want the truth, the facts of what actually happened in these cases and I try my best to deliver in as much of a sensitive manner as I can. 

Before I begin delving into the Bobby Joe Long case, I just want to remind you that you can find all of my content and social media links here and if you would like to buy me a coffee and help support my blog/content, you can do so here, Thank you so much. 

Just as I'm about to go on this little dark journey with you I have to remind you as I always do in my posts, some of the details shared are disturbing so please bare that in mind. 

Let's begin...

Anyone who's ever studied the behaviours and crimes of Bobby Joe Long has always asked the question ''was he born to be a killer?''. His childhood was a mess, a nightmare. He came into the world as Robert Joe Long on the 14th of October 1953 in Kenova, West Virginia and was said to have been a distant cousin of the infamous serial killer Henry Lee Lucas on his mother's side. 

He was born with a genetic condition which resulted in him having confusion over his gender. The condition caused him to have extra X chromosome and by the time he reached his teenage years he had developed breasts which caused a huge amount of self consciousness in him. He would later have surgery to remove the excess tissue (six pounds) from his chest after endless bullying from the other kids at school.

Long had suffered a number of head injuries in his childhood. He seemed to have the worst luck having first at the age of 5 being knocked unconscious when he fell off a swing and his eyelid was also caught on a stick. Not long after this he was in an accident involving his bike. Having been thrown off of the bicycle and landing headfirst into a car. He lost some teeth and had severe dizzy spells from the incident. Another time, just aged 7 he landed headfirst onto the ground after falling off of a pony.

As well as all of these incidences he and his mother had a very strange relationship which is usually a common occurrence with serial killers especially serial killers who murder or sexual assault women. Bobby was very clingy with his mother and would continue to sleep in her bed until the age of 13. He would later claim that his mother would bring various men home and he would be forced to hear and see all of the inappropriate things a child shouldn't see their parents doing. His mother denied this claim but they were both living in a single bedroom apartment at the time. He grew to resent his mother and these men. 

Bobby wasn't an assertive personality at this point and his mother as well as other girls his own age and older would tend to boss him around and he would just do as he was told. He struggled with his sense of masculinity. At the age of 13 he met a girl and this was the moment when he ceased sleeping in the same bed as his mother. 

In an attempt to toughen up a bit and learn to stand on his own two feet he later had a brief stint in the army but again he ended up having another incident which would involve yet another head injury and this time the lasting damage was different to what he'd experienced before. He ended up in the hospital and reportedly due to this head injury he suffered intense headaches and violent mood swings. Apparently the only thing that would calm him down and make him feel better was for his him to masturbate 5 times a day. This became an everyday occurrence and when he finally went home he continued to do this. 

I have read in the past that some people who have had a severe head injury can lose their sense of smell, taste or develop mood swings as a result. With the numerous head injuries that he sustained up until that point, it is a wonder what exact damage was done to his brain and was that the cause of what was to come later or was it his genetic condition or the environment he was brought up in?

Bobby married his long term girlfriend and they had two children but he turned out to be the husband from hell. His wife suffered horrendous abuse at his hands and one day when he was asleep she grabbed a gun and pointed it at him, he woke up and told her to shoot him but then mocked her saying that she didn't have the nerve. Luckily, his wife and the two children were able to get out of that situation alive and the pair were soon divorced. 

(Bobby Joe Long and his ex wife on their wedding day. Picture credit: mirror)

For Bobby Joe Long the 1980s were about to be a new chapter in his life, a hellish chapter that would unleash fear, torture, suffering and murder upon his unsuspecting victims. This was an individual (I'm not calling him a man, a real man would never do such things) who just seemed to go from bad to worse, he was a monster, a bad seed that just grew and grew. 

And as the sickness in him grew, so did his hatred of women. He would dwell on the embarrassing memories of seeing his mother with those men and he hated her. Nobody wants to think of their parents in a sexual manner and anyone who's accidentally walked in on their parents at a private moment, knows of the embarrassment that can bring and years later these memories can pop up again at a random moment and make you cringe but most of us only saw things like that once or twice. With Bobby it was a regular occurrence and so that hatred grew, he felt like she didn't care about him, that she cared about those men more. He felt humiliated and he wanted revenge, he wanted these feelings of shame and embarrassment to go away. On top of all of this he didn't feel like a man, his ex wife had found the courage to leave him and so he sought out sex workers and women he considered ''tramps''.

Whilst frequenting the red light districts, he came up with a sickening plan to target women in their own homes. He would read through the local classified ads to see who was selling second hand items and would claim to be interested in buying the item. One he was at the house he would check to see if the woman was alone, if her husband was there, he would say that he wasn't interested in the item and then he would leave. Other times if he knew a lady was on her own he would bound and rape the terrified woman in her own home. He was reported to have raped around 50 women.

In one such incident, he attacked a woman who's husband was at work. She had two children in the house with her at the time, one of whom was critically ill. She would later say that she had no idea why he let her live but thought that maybe he had seen her critically ill daughter and it had some kind of effect on him. This poor lady and her husband not only had to endure the trauma of what had happened with the horrific rape but also had to deal with the loss of their daughter just 9 months afterwards. 

These sickening acts were beginning to lose their appeal for Bobby and he knew he could't keep running around targeting women through the classified ads for risk of being caught. In 1981 he was convicted of rape but was cleared after he appealed. This began his taste for appeals and finding ways he could manipulate the system to delay things and try and get out of situations. This was the point that many families and survivors would later say that Bobby should have gotten psychological help and this may have prevented more of the horror to come. 

Bobby was back on the streets again and paying particular attention to the women he viewed as ''Tramps''. The women who danced as strippers in the clubs or who were sex workers. Instead of having a fright at being nearly put in jail it didn't seem to have an impact on him, he wanted more. He went on a sickening murder spree that lasted from May to November of 1984, some of his victims survived but some sadly died at his evil hands. He would target women, rape and torture them before either strangling them or cutting their throats. He would then dump the bodies and place them in undignified positions, naked with no respect or decency given to these poor women. Just treated them like trash, it was utterly heartless. It was the final act of humiliation and power for him knowing that these women would be found like that. 

In November of 1984, Bobby's murderous spree in the Tampa Bay area of Florida was to come to an end. 17 year old Lisa McVey had just finished her shift at work was making her way back home on her bike, Bobby spotted the young girl and dragged the frightened teenager off of her bike, placed a gun to her temple and told her to come with him or he would kill her. The next 26 hours Lisa was subjected to a horrendous ordeal of rape and torture. The terrified young girl tried her best to be strong but felt that she would never see her family again. Whilst Lisa was in his apartment she later said that he was going back and forth in behaviour, one minute he was gentle with her and the next he was terrifying. He made her get into the shower with him and she had the idea to leave her fingerprints on as much surfaces in his apartment as possible just incase he did kill her, she wanted evidence of her being there to be left behind.

She realised as time was going on that she could possibly talk this guy around, try and appeal to him, try and be his friend somehow in an attempt to make him let her go. She told him that he was a nice guy and that she'd wished she'd met him in another situation, she even offered to be his girlfriend. Lisa also told him a private detail about herself, she told him that she'd been sexually abused by her own father in the past. Hearing Lisa saying all of this had some kind of impact on him and he told her he was going to let her go. He dropped the terrified girl off at an oak tree and sped off. Luckily Lisa lived to tell the tale. 

Lisa went straight to the police and was able to give investigators a lot of information which was a huge help in catching him. Unfortunately just two days after Lisa's ordeal, Bobby's murderous rage struck again and he attacked and murdered 21 year old Kim Swann.

Eventually, the police tracked Bobby down and arrested him for the abduction and rape of Lisa McVey.  whilst in custody he confessed to being the Classified Ad Rapist and also to the murders of 8 women. In 1985 Bobby Joe Long was sentenced to death and given 28 life sentences. He was placed in Florida State Prison where he spent the next 35 years doing appeal after appeal in an attempt to prolong the execution or get it thrown out. The families of the victims and the survivors had to live with the knowledge that this individual was trying his best to manipulate the system. During his years in prison, Bobby Joe Long became familiar with the law and would try every trick in the book to disrupt things. 

Karma soon came back around even if it was 35 years later. The Governor of Florida signed Bobby Joe Long's death warrant in May of 2019, his official date of execution was on the 23rd of May 2019. Bobby must have been so shocked, he thought he was so clever and planned to spend the rest of his days behind bars and die of natural causes.

On the day of his death he was given a final meal which he requested. He had roast beef, bacon, french fries and soda at around 9:30am. His victims families and some of the survivors as well as members of the media were present to view Bobby Joe Long being strapped onto the table. He had no final words and witnesses said that he appeared to have died peacefully. He was pronounced dead at 6:55pm. His children and ex-wife (who took nothing to do with him) were not present at the execution but sent a message of sympathy to the victims and families. 

A few of the victims families and survivors gathered outside afterwards to speak to the media (I have included the full 30 minute video at the end of this post). Lisa McVey who was now a police officer herself, was present and gave a heartbreaking speech about her own ordeal and she also paid tribute to the victims calling them ''Angels''. 

(Lisa McVey Nolan pictured during her speech at the press conference after Bobby Joe Long's execution. Picture credit: cnn)

''I want to give credit to God first for saving my life 35 years ago. I'm going to dedicate in memory and honour the victims, our 10 angels who can't be here today to witness the execution of Bobby Joe Long. So in memory and honour of the victims: Artiss Wick, Ngeun Long, Michelle Denise Simms, Chanel Williams, Elizabeth Loudenback, Karen Dinsfriend, Vicky Elliott, Kimberly Hopps, Virginia Johnson and Kim Swann. I would like to take a moment to remember and honour the victims who never got the chance to be here to witness the execution of Bobby Joe Long. I would like to take a moment to remember the victims who were viciously attacked in their own homes at the hands of Bobby Joe Long. In the early hours of the 3rd of November 1984, I was snatched off of my bicycle and brutally attacked by Bobby Joe Long while riding home from work. Bobby Joe Long pressed a gun with the tip of it's cold barrel to my left temple before dragging me to his car. I vowed from that moment on to save my own life. Bobby Joe Long kidnapped me and held me hostage for the next 26 hours. I was brutally raped and tortured. I believed him when he said he would kill me if I ever tried to escape. I didn't think I would ever leave or see my family ever again. However, in the early hours of November 4th 1984, Bobby Joe Long released me. I promised myself I would never live as a victim. I would empower myself with strength and courage to overcome my life's tragedies. I made a lifetime commitment to educate people by speaking about how I survived my attack by a notorious serial killer and the abuse I endured as a child''.

Lisa then went on to say '' Bobby Joe Long, people often ask me what I would say to you if you were stood in front of me and here's my answer....Bobby Joe Long, thank you! Thank you for choosing me instead of another 17 year old little girl. The reason why I say thank you now is because I have forgiven you for what you have done to me. Had I not forgiven you, I might as well be in my own prison without walls.''

(The 10 angels: some of the women who lost their lives at the hands of Bobby Joe Long. As with all serial killer cases we can never be sure if all of the victims have been accounted for. Picture credit: mirror)

This was a hard case to cover and I thank you if you were able to make it all the way through to the end. I'm thinking about the victims, the families and the survivors of Bobby Joe Long. It's madness that he was able to get away with so much in the past and was able to manipulate the system to prolong his execution for as long as possible. To think of what all those survivors and families of victims had gone through, not only the ordeal itself but having the monster who caused them so much pain, being able to put in appeal after appeal to the point of where he sat on Death Row for 35 years.

I would like to pay my condolences to the known deceased victims of Bobby Joe Long and their families. My heart also goes out to the amazing survivors who stood side by side on the night of his execution and shared their stories and to the survivors who couldn't be there, I think about you all. 

Further Reading & Sources:

Thank you for checking out my latest post x 


  1. Thank you so much Jo for paying such an amazing tribute to all the victims and survivors. I will watch all the documentaries and interview that you published about the case.

    You're right, that monster is not a man and he didn't deserve to be called man or even human. He is pure evilness and I'm in shock. I thought I knew the case but I've been learning a ton of things that I wasn’t aware at all.

    Thank you again for your incredible work. My heart is with all the victims and families but also with the survivors, they are all warriors !

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read my latest blog post, I really appreciate it and for sharing your comments too x

  2. Wow! Each time I think I've read your most intense case to date there comes along another case... more powerful... more frightening... more intense! 😯🤯🙊

    The case of Bobby Joe Long just reinforces my firm believe that case appeals are actually a disgrace to the judicial system. A legal loophole utilized by crafty criminals and corrupt disgusting lawyers.

    In regards to this True Crime Story... this was amazing! Absolutely Incredible! And as always you honor the memories of the victims and what they had to endure. I truly am blown away by this weeks post! 🙏🏼❤🔥

  3. Thank you for taking the time to read my latest blog post, I really appreciate it and for sharing your comments too x