Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida executes serial killer David Alan Gore after 28 years

STARKE — David Alan Gore, one of the most vicious serial killers in Florida history, was executed Thursday after spending 28 years on death row.

After an excruciating series of execution delays, two dozen relatives and law enforcement personnel watched in silence as Gore succumbed to a lethal dose of chemicals.

Prison official Tim Cannon, after speaking briefly to the governor's office by phone, announced that the death sentence was carried out at 6:19 p.m.

Gore, 58, who killed six women in Indian River County in 1981 and 1983, repeatedly sought to use the judicial system to prevent his execution and described an uncontrollable urge to kill in a book about serial killers.

But a few minutes before his death, as he lay strapped to a gurney in the death chamber, covered in a white sheet, he said: "I'm sorry. I've had remorse. ... I'm not the man I was back then. I don't fear death."

The execution took 10 minutes.

Gore was condemned to death for the rape and murder of 17-year-old Lynn Elliott, who was hitchhiking to the beach with a friend on a summer day in 1983 when Gore stopped and picked them up.

After assaulting Elliott repeatedly at the home of his vacationing parents, Gore shot the girl in the head as she ran down his driveway with her hands tied. A boy riding by on his bicycle witnessed the killing and called 911.

On Thursday evening, Elliott's father, Carl, sat in the center of the front row of a small observation room as Gore lay a few feet away, visible through a large window.

Elliott was Gore's final victim. The others were Hsiang Huang Ling, 48, and her daughter Ying Hua Ling, 17; Judy Kay Daley, 35; Angelica LaVallee, 14, and Barbara Ann Byer, 14.

Gore's cousin and accomplice Fred Waterfield is serving two consecutive life sentences for his role.

Gore was tried and convicted of Elliot's slaying in Pinellas County because of intense pretrial publicity in Vero Beach.

An author who corresponded for years with Gore, Pete Earley, detailed in a book that Gore felt an uncontrollable urge to kill and expressed no remorse for his killings.

The book Serial Killer Whisperer was brought to Gov. Rick Scott's attention by Vero Beach newspaper columnist Russ Lemmon shortly before Scott signed Gore's death warrant. Forty other inmates have been on death row longer than Gore.

For years, Gore's attorneys filed appeals to delay or reverse his execution. A federal judge vacated Gore's death sentence in 1989 after Gore claimed he was too drunk to have known what he was doing the day of the Elliott killing. Another judge reimposed the death penalty three years later.

In his final appeal, Gore raised a flurry of legal issues in an effort to stay alive, from the subsequent disbarment of a former attorney to his length of time on death row. In a decision Monday, the Florida Supreme Court rejected all of his arguments.

Gore, one of 400 prisoners on Florida's death row, became the 73rd person to be executed in Florida since the state re-instituted the death penalty in 1976. He was the fourth person to be executed since Scott became governor 16 months ago.

"This was an individual whose crimes were heinous," Scott said earlier Thursday. "He was convicted and sentenced to death."

The governor rejected calls by Florida bishops who oppose capital punishment to spare Gore's life.

"I can tell you, I pray about it," Scott said. "I pray for his family. I pray for his victims. It's not something I take lightly."

Florida executes serial killer David Alan Gore after 28 years 04/12/12 [Last modified: Thursday, April 12, 2012 11:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Leaves, mountains, ice cream and cheese: What's not to like in Burlington, Vt.?


    If I loved Burlington, Vt., during a visit with my daughter when the high was 37 degrees, I feel completely comfortable recommending the city as a great destination for fall, when it's considered one of the top leaf-watching spots in the world.

    Founded in 1791, the University of Vermont is the sixth-oldest college established in New England.
  2. Puerto Ricans in Tampa Bay wait with dread as Hurricane Maria approaches island


    TAMPA — As Hurricane Maria swirled in the Atlantic Ocean, Sarykarmen Rivera got a phone call from her parents in Puerto Rico. They had an ominous message.

    Sarykarmen Rivera sits for a portrait with a picture of herself and her family in her hometown of Guayama, Puerto Rico, while at the Univision studios in Tampa on Tuesday. Rivera's mother, father, and extended family are currently in Puerto Rico and she worries about their safety as Hurricane Maria approaches. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. Early estimates peg Hurricane Irma damage at as much as $65B


    The damage totals from Hurricane Irma are still being tallied, but early numbers are in: As of Tuesday, the storm is estimated to have caused between $42.5 billion and $65 billion of damage. That's according to a Tuesday release by Irvine, Calif.-based analytics company CoreLogic.

    Hurricane Irma is estimated to have caused up to $65 billion in damage, said analytics company CoreLogic. Pictured is 
Hermilo Munoz Castillo as wades down a flooded street to check on his home in southern Collier County, Fla. after Hurricane Irma passed. | [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  4. Port Tampa Bay makes public/private commitment for $60 million expansion project


    TAMPA — Port Tampa Bay approved a public-private partnership agreement with four other entities to divvy up who will pay for a $60 million widening and extension of the Big Bend Channel.

    Port Tampa Bay approved a participation agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Florida Department of Transportation, Tampa Electric Company and Mosaic Company at the port's monthly board meeting on  Tuesday. Port Tampa Bay President & CEO Paul Anderson signs the agreement as Ram Kancharla; Port Tampa Bay's vice president of planning & development, Brandon Burch; project manager at United States Army Corps of Engineers, Lois Moore; of Alcalde and Fay and Charles Klug; Port Tampa Bay principal counsel, and Tim Murphy; deputy district engineer of the Army Corps., looks on. [Company handout]
  5. Hurricane Maria strengthens on way to Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands


    An even stronger Hurricane Maria is moving steadily toward the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico and is likely to still be a powerful category 5 storm when it arrives.

    [National Hurricane Center]