Kathryn Varn, Pinellas Sheriff, Clearwater Police, St. Petersburg Police Reporter

Kathryn Varn

Pinellas Sheriff, Clearwater Police, St. Petersburg Police Reporter

I cover breaking news and public safety in Pinellas County. That includes police and fire departments, hurricanes and any other topics in the death and destruction arena. In other words, I’m really fun at parties. Before coming to the Times in 2015, I was a student at the University of Florida studying journalism. I picked the major as a prerequisite for law school, but once I started covering crime for my college newspaper, I couldn’t get enough. When I’m not sweating under deadline, I’m singing with my rag-tag adult A Cappella group, Weird and Wonderful, or hanging out with my fat cat, Rose.

Tampa serial killer Bobby Joe Long is executed in silence

Tampa serial killer Bobby Joe Long sits between his public defenders during a 1985 murder trial. Long, 65, spent more than three decades on Florida’s death row for his crimes. Times files (1985)
After 34 years on death row, Bobby Joe Long was finally put to death. He had confessed to killing 10 women during the 1980s and raped many more. He said nothing before he was executed at Florida...

Tampa serial killer Bobby Joe Long has no visitors on day of execution

Bobby Joe Long, 65, has spent more than three decades on Florida’s death row. [Florida Department of Corrections]
Long is scheduled to be put to death at 6 p.m. at Florida State Prison.

Bobby Joe Long execution: One family has waited 34 years for justice.

Kim Swann, left, and cousin Lisa Avery Rich pose in front of a Christmas tree in 1983. The photo was taken during the last Christmas before Swann was murdered by Bobby Joe Long. The 21-year-old Swann was last seen on Nov. 11, 1984. Long is scheduled to be executed on Thursday. [Courtesy of Tammy Kaspi]
Long, 65, killed at least eight women in the Tampa Bay area in the 1980s. His execution is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday.

A fabricated rape. A fatal stabbing. The bizarre backstory of a Largo man’s death.

Michael Peterson enjoys one of his favorite activities, fishing, in this undated photo on the left. He was fatally stabbed May 10 in an incident that was ruled a case of self-defense. At right is a memorial for Peterson, 60, that sits outside his apartment in the Lakes at Largo complex at 11442 137th St. [Courtesy of Mark Peterson  |  KATHRYN VARN, Times]
It started with a woman falsely reporting that she was sexually assaulted, police said. It ended with the stabbing death of her neighbor, Michael Peterson, 60.

Strange stairwell, burst pipe and a ceiling escape. St. Pete cops carry rich memories from old HQ.

St. Petersburg Police Detective Wally Pavelski continues to work on cold-case evidence at the old St. Petersburg Police Department building as the agency finishes up its move to a new headquarters. Some officers feel a sense of nostalgia about the old building, but they welcome the move. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
Some 800 people have nearly completed their move to a new building. But, like all change, this one comes with a touch of wistfulness.