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David Martin LONG

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robberies - "A satanic experience"
Number of victims: 5
Date of murders: 1978 / 1983 / 1986
Date of arrest: October 24, 1986
Date of birth: July 15, 1953
Victims profile: James Carnell (gas station attendant) / Bob Rogers (his former boss) / Dalpha Jester, 64, her daughter Donna Jester, 38, and Laura Lee Owens, 22
Method of murder: Beating with a tire iron / Fire / Beating with a foot-long hatchet
Location: California/Texas, USA
Status: Executed by lethal injection in Texas on December 8, 1999
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Date of Execution:
December 8, 1999
Offender:
Long, David #862
Last Statement:

Ah, just ah sorry ya'll. I think of tried everything I could to get in touch with ya'll to express how sorry I am. I, I never was right after that incident happened. I sent a letter to somebody, you know a letter outlining what I feel about everything. But anyway I just wanted, right after that apologize to you. I'm real sorry for it. I was raised by the California Youth Authority, I can't really pin point where it started, what happened but really believe that's just the bottom line, what happened to me was in California. I was in their reformatory schools and penitentiary, but ah they create monsters in there. That's it, I have nothing else to say. Thanks for coming Jack.

 

Texas Attorney General

Tuesday, December 7, 1999

Media Advisory: David Martin Long Scheduled to be Executed

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn offers the following information on David Martin Long, who is scheduled to be executed after 6 p.m., Wednesday, December 8th.

FACTS OF THE CRIME

On September 27, 1986, the bodies of Dalpha Jester, her daughter Donna Jester, and Laura Lee Owens were discovered at their home in Lancaster, Texas, by Donna's boss. Laura's body was found in the front yard, while Donna and Dalpha were found laying on the bed in the back bedroom of the house.

All three died as a result of numerous chopping wounds to their heads and faces which had been inflicted with a hatchet. The murder weapon was found rinsed off and wrapped in a towel in a bathroom sink in the victims' home. Through entries in a diary kept by Donna, police were able to focus on David Martin Long as their prime suspect.

According to the diary and Long's subsequent confession, Donna met Long when she picked him up as he was hitchhiking on September 19, 1986. Since Long "had no place to go" Donna allowed him to stay in her home in exchange for house repairs. Donna also agreed to supply Long with cigarettes and wine, specifically MD 20/20, while he worked on her home.

According to testimony from Long and police officers, the women's home was filthy and smelled of dog hair and feces from several dogs who roamed freely through the home. Although he initially slept outside in Donna's car, Long developed an apparently loving and sexual relationship with Laura. During that time, Long also began to fear that Donna had dead bodies, possibly of other hitchhikers, buried in her backyard.

Long testified that on the day of the murders, September 27, 1986, he experienced these fears and many unexplained emotions. Long claimed that he was also adversely affected by the filth and smell in the house. According to a forensic psychologist who later examined Long, Long related foul odors to his mother's death, which occurred when Long was ten years old, and certain odors caused him to become "out of control" or agitated. Nevertheless, on the day of the murders, Long completed several repairs on the house and did not consume any alcohol until Donna and Laura arrived home from their jobs. When Donna and Laura went to the back bedroom to talk with Dalpha, Long thought they were conspiring against him. Long then retrieved a hatchet.

When Laura returned to the living area to watch television, Long told her to go outside because he needed to talk to her. However, Long attacked her, from behind, with the hatchet. Long proceeded into the back bedroom of the house where he killed Donna and Dalpha. Long then returned to the front yard and repeatedly struck Laura with the hatchet. All three victims sustained defensive wounds to their hands and arms. Dalpha was particularly defenseless against Long as she was 65 years old, partially blind, and needed a walker for mobility. Long claimed that he was having some sort of a "spiritual experience" that was related to "satanics" during the attacks.

After cleaning off the ax, Long fled in Donna's car drinking MD 20/20 all the while. He was arrested that night in Buffalo for driving while intoxicated, but was later released. Long was eventually arrested on a felony warrant (from Dallas County) on October 24, 1986, in Austin where he had also been arrested for public intoxication.

Long gave the Austin police of fictitious name but his true identity was revealed through a fingerprint analysis. Lancaster authorities took Long back to Dallas County, where he confessed to the murders. In his confession, Long stated, "I'm a cold hearted son of a bitch and I killed them because they threatened my relationship with Laura Lee. I killed Dalpha Jester because she knew my name and I felt like she was living dead anyway."

Long's presented an insanity defense at trial. Long testified regarding a lengthy substance abuse history which began with regularly consuming alcoholic beverages by the age of twelve and later included marijuana, heroin, cocaine, LSD, methamphetamine, and barbiturates. Long stated that he had suffered head injuries from a bat, a beer bottle, and being hit by a car. Long claimed he sought help for his alcoholism and drug abuse and was committed both voluntarily and involuntarily to several hospitals and institutions.

Two or three days before he met Donna Jester, he was released from a voluntary alcohol treatment program at Serenity House in Little Rock. According to Long's religious beliefs, unless a condition is organic, insane people are actually demon possessed. Long stated that he was engaged in a game between God and Satan that he did not want to be a part of anymore.

Medical records indicated that Long had been previously diagnosed with "toxic psychosis superimposed residual schizophrenia," which can result from drug or alcohol ingestion, "catatonic schizophrenia," which is a severe condition manifested by almost total withdrawal from reality, borderline delusional thinking, and paranoid ideation.

A defense psychologist, Dr. William Hester, testified that Long had an unstable childhood, accompanied by over-discipline or physical abuse, as well as sexual abuse by a family member. Hester diagnosed Long with an extreme antisocial personality disorder, which came under the former label of "psychopath." Hester opined that Long may have been operating under an alcoholic hallucination due to alcohol withdrawal at the time of the murders and there was a reasonable probability that Long committed the murders in a psychotic episode and did not know that his conduct was wrong. However, Hester stated that Long was "malingering" on one of the tests he had administered.

In addition, Long stated in a second interview that perhaps he was possessed by demons. When Hester confronted with the fact that he had not mentioned demons during the first interview, Long dropped the subject. Hester admitted that he had previously concluded in one of his reports that, "there was no evidence to support insanity obtained in any of my interactions or testing of the defendant." Ultimately, Hester acknowledged that he could not render an opinion whether Long was legally insane when he committed the murders.

Long's brother Gary, who is four years older than Long, and sister Linda Dornhoff, who is seven years older than Long, testified that Long changed after their mother's death when Long was ten years old. Gary and Linda related that their father's subsequent alcohol abuse and neglect of Long and their other brother Daniel resulted in the two boys being placed in various institutions and foster homes. By age twelve, Long was in reform school. Both believed that Long had serious mental problems and a long history of substance abuse. Linda also described that when their mother became sick, their father would go out drinking and leave the children alone. Following one such episode, their father brought a woman home from the bar and had sex with her in front of his children.

Dr. James Grigson, a psychiatrist called by the State, testified that he had met Long, reviewed medical records of Long's previous hospitalizations, and met with the defense expert. Grigson's attempt to examine Long was not unsuccessful. Based on a hypothetical question encompassing the facts in evidence, Grigson testified that he would diagnose Long with a severe sociopathic personality disorder. He noted that such a diagnosis coincided with Dr. Hester's diagnosis as well as test results from Long's previous hospitalizations. An antisocial personality disorder is not a disease or defect, and there was no evidence of organic damage in Long's medical records. According to Grigson, Long was not insane or suffering from a disease or defect and understood the difference between right and wrong.

Grigson also testified that it is not unusual for an individual to exhibit behaviors fitting a wide range of diagnoses and that a sociopath sometimes does this to manipulate his doctors. He believed Long may have done this because the later medical records reveal no evidence of schizophrenia and "schizophrenia doesn't come and go."

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On November 18, 1986, a grand jury in Dallas County, Texas, indicted Long for the capital offense of the intentional murders of Dalpha Jester, Donna Jester, and Laura Lee Owens, committed during the same criminal transaction, on or about September 27, 1986. Long entered a plea of not guilty to a jury and asserted an insanity defense.

On February 7, 1987, the jury found Long guilty as charged in the indictment. On February 10, 1987, after a separate punishment hearing, the jury answered affirmatively three special punishment issues and in accordance with state law, the trial court (the Criminal District Court No. 2 of Dallas County, Texas) sentenced Long to death by lethal injection.

Because he was sentenced to death, appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals was automatic. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed Long's conviction and sentence on December 4, 1991, and denied rehearing on February 5, 1992. On June 29, 1992, the United States Supreme Court denied Long's petition for writ of certiorari. On August 11, 1992, the convicting court scheduled Long's execution for September 17, 1992.

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, stayed Long's execution on September 15, 1992, appointed counsel, and gave Long 100 days within which to file a federal habeas petition. After Long filed his federal petition, the district court dismissed the cause, on April 23, 1993, so that Long could present his claims to the state courts before receiving review of the claims in federal court.

On July 12, 1993, Long filed an application for state writ of habeas corpus with the convicting court. On August 30, 1993, the trial court recommended that relief be denied. On March 3, 1994, the Court of Criminal Appeals agreed and denied relief on the basis that the record supported the trial court's findings of fact and conclusions of law. The Supreme Court denied Long's petition for writ of certiorari on October 3, 1994, and denied rehearing on November 28, 1994.

Long returned to federal court by filing another federal habeas petition on February 1, 1996. The district court denied relief on July 9, 1998, and denied Long permission to appeal on August 11, 1998. On July 15, 1999, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit similarly denied Long permission to appeal. The Fifth Circuit denied Long's petition for rehearing on August 10, 1999. Long then filed a petition for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court. The matter is pending before the Court.

PRIOR CRIMINAL HISTORY

At the punishment phase of trial, the State presented evidence that the instant triple murder was not Long's first murder. After he had given his confession to the instant murders, Long confessed to having committed two additional murders. Regarding the first murder, Long stated:

"In approximately 1978 I had been at a party to celebrate a wedding in San Bernadino, California. I was run off from this party for smoking marijuana. I was drunk. I decided to go to a bar. I went in a bar called Clyde's on the southeast corner of Waterman Ave. and I 10. I left the bar very intoxicated and jumped a median with my car which resulted in two tires being blown out. I went ahead and went to the Union 76 gas station on the northwest corner of Waterman and I 10. I had the flats repaired. I was already feeling angry about what happened at the party and the gas station attendant overcharged me for the tire repair. I went to the car and took out a tire iron from the back and followed the attendant into his parts room where I proceeded to beat him all over the head with the tire iron. I then took a broom and stuffed the handle of it down his throat to be sure he was dead.

A car pulled up to get gas. I acted as the attendant and pumped the gas. The customer produced a credit card but I did not know how to work the machine so I told him we did not take credit cards after 10 o'clock and to come back tomorrow and pay. He left then I left.

The only thing I took from the attendant was his key chain to make change for the customer. After I left, I threw the key chain in a field.

I killed him because I was pissed about him over charging me."

Long's confession to this offense was corroborated by the testimony of a San Bernadino police officer. This officer testified that, on November 28, 1978, at 1:38 a.m., he received a call reporting that a man with blood on his hands was giving away free gasoline at a Shell gas station. The person who had called the police was a customer who had attempted to pay for his gas with a credit card but the attendant would not accept it. The Shell station is located directly across the street from Clyde's Bar. Upon arrival at the Shell station, the officer discovered the body of James Carnell in a tool room. Carnell had suffered extensive head injuries and was lying in a large pool of blood. Blood and brain matter were spattered on the wall, and Carnell's injuries were consistent with a beating from a tire iron. In a work area, Gibson observed a broomstick with blood on the handle area. Carnell's key chain and keys were missing.

In confessing to the second murder, which occurred in Bay City, Texas, Long stated:

"On 12/20/83 at about 9:00 p.m., I went over to see Bob Rogers at his trailer because he had not been to work earlier that day. He had sent me out earlier in the day when I went by to buy him a bottle of whiskey. I had noticed that he had several hundred dollars in his billfold, I, at the time, had been shooting heroin on a regular basis along with Preludin. Besides that, I had a grudge against him. He had fired me and made a small matter a big matter when I had driven a company vehicle to a girlfriend's house. Though he had rehired me, I still held a grudge against him. When I got to his trailer that night he passed out while sitting in a chair in the living room. I had not been there more than five minutes. Seeing him sitting there, I snapped and first I went outside and tried to light the underside of the trailer on fire with no success. I then went into the trailer and proceeded to pour whiskey around where he was sitting. I then lit the drapes on fire with a Bic lighter. Then I took the money, a few hundred dollars, out of his billfold. I left a twenty dollar bill in the billfold to make it not look like a robbery. The fire at the time was beginning to engulf the drapes and I went to drug connections [sic] house and shot a hundred dollars worth of Heroin. I killed him because I hated the son of a bitch."

This confession was corroborated by several witnesses. An undercover law enforcement officer, who after hearing a dispatch regarding a fire at a local trailer park, observed Long arrive at a drug house which was under surveillance. A neighbor of Rogers's identified Long from a photographic lineup and in-court as the man he had seen running from Rogers's trailer home immediately after he had seen the curtains in Rogers's trailer burning and heard Rogers's smoke alarm. Another law enforcement officer stated that, after he locating Rogers's badly burned body in the trailer, he found Rogers's billfold. The billfold contained one twenty-dollar bill.

DRUGS AND/OR ALCOHOL

According to the defense testimony at trial, there was alcohol use connected with the instant capital offense.

 
 

Texan Who Took Overdose Is Executed

By Jim Yardley - The New York Times

December 9, 1999

With several high-profile death penalty cases in Texas in coming weeks, the execution of a convicted murderer, David Martin Long, was not expected to generate much fanfare. He had been scheduled to die by lethal injection this evening, making him the 32nd person executed in Texas this year.

But when death row guards found him unconscious from a drug overdose on Monday morning, Mr. Long himself became a high-profile case. Placed in intensive care on a ventilator in a Galveston hospital, Mr. Long suddenly presented a politically delicate question for Gov. George W. Bush, even as he campaigned for the Republican presidential nomination today in New Hampshire:

Would the state of Texas remove an inmate from intensive care so that he could meet his date with the executioner rather than stay the execution for 30 days? The answer is yes.

After the Supreme Court rejected Mr. Long's final petition for a delay tonight, Texas officials took him to the death chamber in Huntsville and executed him by lethal injection.

Because Mr. Long's doctor deemed such a move ''risky,'' state officials used an airplane staffed by medical personnel to ensure that he arrived in good health after the 25-minute trip. With Mr. Bush out of state tonight, the decision on Mr. Long's fate technically fell to Lt. Gov. Rick Perry, but Mr. Bush's spokeswoman said the governor agreed the execution should proceed.

A staunch advocate of the death penalty in a state that strongly shares that view, Mr. Bush has made no pretense of extending his campaign theme of compassionate conservatism to death row. But the Long case and other upcoming cases might present politically ticklish moments for Mr. Bush as death penalty opponents try to paint a grim picture of the system in Texas.

On Thursday for example, the state is scheduled to execute another convicted murderer, James L. Beathard, whose accuser has recanted and whose original lawyer now admits he had a conflict of interest. In January, three inmates who committed homicides as juveniles are scheduled to die. That same month, Johnny Penry, a convicted murderer who is considered mentally retarded, is scheduled for lethal injection.

''These cases challenge our assumption of the death penalty as fairly and justly administered,'' said Maurie Levin, executive director of the Texas Capital Defense Project, a nonprofit group that helps death row inmates.

In Texas, which leads the nation with 195 executions since 1982, public support for the death penalty is very high, and Mr. Bush's Democratic predecessor, Ann Richards, was also a strong advocate.

The Long case, however, presented unusual circumstances. Convicted of the 1986 hatchet slayings of three women, one of whom was blind, Mr. Long ingested an overdose of anti-psychotic drugs on Monday morning. Doctors in Galveston placed him on life support and found themselves in the odd situation of trying to restore to good health a man with only two days left to live.

Dr. Alexander Duarte, the physician in charge of the case, said Mr. Long, 46, was removed from the ventilator on Tuesday, and by today his condition had improved to serious from critical. Dr. Duarte said Mr. Long still required oxygen and continual medical care. Under normal circumstances, he said, he would probably keep Mr. Long in the intensive-care unit for another day or two.

Instead, Dr. Duarte said state officials asked him to sign an affidavit stating that Mr. Long could be safely transported to Huntsville, a request he said he refused. But Dr. Duarte said he signed an affidavit stating that Mr. Long's health had improved, that he had suffered no seizures and was responding to questioning -- but that transporting him could be risky without appropriate medical care.

Mr. Long's lawyers argued before a state court judge this afternoon that their client was no longer competent enough to be executed. Lawyers for the state attorney general, John Cornyn argued the opposite, and Judge Edwin V. King agreed.

With that, and rejections by the Supreme Court (a 6-to-3 vote) and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (a 4-to-3 vote), Mr. Long's appeals were all but exhausted. Earlier in the week, the state Board of Pardons and Parole had rejected his clemency application. So his last chance was the governor. With Mr. Bush in New Hampshire, Mr. Perry rejected Mr. Long's request for a 30-day stay of execution. Under Texas law, when the board rejects clemency, the governor has two options: reject clemency or grant a 30-day stay.

Why not just delay the execution 30 days? ''Mr. Long has been convicted of three murders,'' said Ray Sullivan, Mr. Perry's spokesman. ''The Texas Department of Criminal Justice determined that transporting him from Galveston to Huntsville is not life threatening. He has received his court appeals and, barring any additional court actions, we expect the execution to go forward.''

One of Mr. Long's lawyers, John Blume, disagreed. ''It seems like a pretty sick process when you jerk a guy out of intensive care on a ventilator,'' he said, adding, ''What's the huge rush?''

 
 

David Martin Long, 46, 99-12-08, Texas

Despite a recent suicide attempt and a last-minute effort by his lawyers to have his execution postponed, David Long was executed by injection Wednesday for the hatchet slayings of 3 women in 1986.

In a strong voice, Long, 46, apologized for the murders.

"I was raised by the California Youth Authority," he said, looking at the niece of one of his victims watching through a window a few feet away. "I was in their reformatory schools and their penitentiary, but they create monsters in there."

Long took short breaths as the drugs began taking effect, and a few seconds later he snorted and began gurgling. A blackish-brown liquid then spouted from his nose and mouth and dribbled to the floor.

Prison officials later said Long had vomited a charcoal solution administered at the hospital to neutralize the drugs he took in his suicide attempt. Long had been hospitalized Monday after overdosing on prescribed anti-depressants authorities believe he hoarded in his death row cell.

Long's attorneys sought a court order from his Dallas trial court judge, Edwin King, to have the execution postponed. King refused a reprieve, saying that because Long previously was judged competent to be executed, there was a presumption of competency.

Court rulings have determined an inmate must be aware of his surroundings and know why he is being punished before he can be executed.

Long was executed for the 1986 killings at a home in Lancaster, just south of Dallas. He was arrested in Austin about a month after the bodies of Donna Sue Jester, 37; her blind cousin, Dalpha Lorene Jester, 64; and a 3rd woman, Laura Lee Owens, 20, were found. All 3 had been beaten with a foot-long hatchet.

Long was hitchhiking and had been discharged from an alcohol abuse program in Little Rock, Ark., when Donna Jester gave him a ride and a place to stay.

"They objected to my drinking," he has said of the rampage. "I just got tired of hearing all the bickering."

Long becomes the 32nd condemned inmate to be put to death this year in Texas, and the 196th overall since the state resumed executions on Dec. 7, 1982.

(sources: Associated Press & Rick Halperin)

  


 

David Martin Long was convicted in the 9/27/86 hatchet slaying of his three female roommates in Lancaster, a Dallas suburb. 

The victims were Donna Sue Jester, 38; her cousin Dalpha Lorene Jester, 64 and blind, and Laura Lee Owen, 20.  Laura was a drifter from Florida who was staying in the same house as the Jesters and Long.  All three victims were hacked to death with a hatchet. 

Long had lived at the house for only a week when he killed the women.  In a diary that police found, Donna Jester said she picked up Long as he was hitchhiking.  A few days later, she also let Ms. Owen move into her house. They had been at the home several days before the murders. 

Long later told authorities that the provocation for the slayings was the constant arguing among everyone in the household. "They objected to my drinking," he said, explaining his rampage. "I just got tired of hearing all the bickering."

Long had told Laura Lee Owen he wanted to see her outside.  As she walked down the front steps, Long swung a foot-long hatchet.  He walked back inside and used the weapon on Donna Jester and her bedridden, blind adoptive mother, Dalpha Jester. All three women were cut down from behind.  Long left hatchet wrapped in a towel in the sink.  

All three victims were struck repeatedly on the head and neck. Ms. Owen suffered 21 hatchet blows, including some to her hands, police said. 

Afterward, Long packed a bag and drove away in one of the women's cars. He was arrested a month later in Austin on an unrelated charge and linked to the Lancaster crimes.  Long called the murders a "satanic experience" and said he would kill again if he was not given a death sentence.  He testified, "I don't want to die, but I don't see any other way. I'm afraid I will kill again." 

In a statement to police, Long claimed to have murdered his former boss three years earlier, and a service station attendant in California in 1978.  Long never denied killing the women, telling a judge he was "guilty as hell" and telling trial jurors he was "irreparable." 

The slayings 13 years ago were called the most brutal in Lancaster's history.  "I've been a policeman 25 years. You see tragedy all the time," said Lancaster police Lt. Sam Turner, who investigated the slayings in September 1986. "I'll probably remember this one forever."  

Police also linked Long to the fatal bludgeoning of a service-station attendant in San Bernardino, Calif., in 1978 and Bob Neal Rogers, 37, a former employer in Bay City, Texas, who burned to death in a fire at his mobile home.  He was never tried in either case. 

Those who dealt with Long described him as an intelligent, charming, handsome man - and one of the most vicious killers they have ever seen.  "He threatened to kill me once," said John Read, who was Mr. Long's court-appointed attorney. "He is the most dangerous . . . coldblooded killer I've seen." 

Long recently wrote a letter to the half sister of victim Donna  Jester, saying that the slayings were the result of a dream he'd had years earlier.  "I was consumed by a revelation from God that what had happened was a manifestation of the dream I'd had 5 years before," he wrote. "Consumed with guilt, self-loathing and utter despair I only knew one thing for sure. I deserved death and desired death." 

He also wrote that "God warned me in many ways and forms to leave Donna's house," but alcohol "blinded him."  Long wrote that he regrets the murders.  Ms. Jester's half sister Janis, who did not want her last name disclosed, said the letter renewed the horror of the murders.  "Why now?" said Janis, who was also the niece of Dalpha Jester. "I was devastated. It totally reopened the wound like it happened yesterday. . . That was literally half of my family that he took."  

Janis described Donna Jester as a caring woman who tried to help people in need, including the hitchhikers she picked up. Ms. Jester, who worked at a telephone company, also cared for her bedridden adoptive mother, she said.  "She just gave and gave of herself," Janis said. "That's what got her killed." 

During the trial, defense attorneys argued that Long was insane at the time of the killings. Mr. Read described his client as "nuttier than a fruitcake.  This sucker was mean. . . . This guy was far more lethal than Ted Bundy," he said.  Lt. Turner remembered sitting in back of a car with Long as authorities drove him back to Dallas County. They talked about cars and other things not related to the killings.  "You looked in his eyes, and there was nothing there," Lt. Turner said. 

Janis said she had not planned to witness Long's execution but changed her mind after receiving the letter through another relative who corresponded with the inmate.  Lt. Turner said he too wants to witness the execution because it is the only guarantee that Long will never harm anyone again.  "He is a monster, and he will tell you he is a monster if he is truthful about it," Lt. Turner said.  

12/8/99 - State officials were going ahead with plans Wednesday to execute condemned murderer David Long, whose apparent suicide attempt earlier this week left him seriously ill and in a hospital.  Long, 46, was found "unresponsive in his cell" about 6:30 a.m. Monday.  "We are proceeding as if there is an execution," Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Larry Fitzgerald said Wednesday morning. "Our orders here are to not stand down." 

Long remained hospitalized in Galveston, about 125 miles south of Huntsville, where he was taken by ambulance Monday after overdosing on prescribed anti-depressants authorities believe he hoarded in his death row cell.  Long's attorneys sought a court order to have the execution postponed.

The death warrant issued by State District Judge Ed King specifies Long be given lethal injection after 6 p.m. Wednesday.  "Absent a court order, they (prison officials) will comply," Heather Browne, a spokeswoman for the Texas attorney general's office, said. Ms. Browne said while Long's health had deteriorated early Wednesday, by morning his condition had improved.  Court rulings have determined an inmate must be aware of his surroundings and know why he is being punished before he can be executed. 

Prison medical staff or officers dispensing medications are supposed to make certain the inmate swallows the drugs.  "Inmates can be devious," Fitzgerald said.  Julius Whittier, a former assistant district attorney in Dallas County who prosecuted Long, described the former cable television technician as intelligent and dangerous. 

Authorities determined Long had received care from 8 to 10 mental institutions.  "One thing consistently showing up was that David Martin Long would feign mental illness successfully enough to get doctors to prescribe drugs," Whittier said. "Apparently he was getting off on them.  He knew exactly what he was doing." 

Long told detectives he would confess to the Lancaster killings if they would guarantee he received a death sentence. At his trial, where he had tried to plead no contest to capital murder, he stood up after his lawyer passionately argued for a life sentence and warned jurors he would kill again.  "I appreciate everything my lawyer has just said but everything he has told you is bullshit."

Former Dallas assistant district attorney Andy Beach, who assisted Whittier in the prosecution, recalled Long saying. "If you give me a life sentence, some day they're going to put an 18-year-old crew-cut boy in my cell down there for auto theft and I'm going to go into one of my little snits and I'll kill him."  "It was amazing," Beach said.  Less than an hour later, jurors returned a death sentence. 

12/8/99 - Despite a recent suicide attempt and a last-minute effort by his lawyers to have his execution postponed, David Long was executed by injection Wednesday for the hatchet slayings of 3 women in 1986. 

In a strong voice, Long, 46, apologized for the murders.  "I was raised by the California Youth Authority," he said, looking at the niece of one of his victims watching through a window a few feet away. "I was in their reformatory schools and their penitentiary, but they create monsters in there." 

  


 

"I can't really pinpoint where it started, what happened, but really believe that's just the bottom line, what happened to me was in California. I was in their reformatory schools and penitentiary, but ah, they create monsters in there. "

David Long, executed in Texas on Dec. 8, 1999

 

 

 
 
 
 
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