April 12, 2012 / 11:15 PM / in 6 years

Florida executes serial killer who murdered six women

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (Reuters) - A Florida serial killer who admitted he murdered six women in the 1980s to satisfy his sexual urges was put to death by lethal injection on Thursday for killing a 17-year-old girl who had been hitchhiking to the beach.

David Alan Gore, 58, was pronounced dead at the Florida State Prison near Starke at 6:19 p.m., governor’s spokeswoman Amy Graham said.

The state executed Gore for the 1983 kidnapping and murder of his final victim, Vero Beach teenager Lynn Elliott. He was the fourth inmate put to death since Florida Governor Rick Scott took office in January 2011, and the 13th executed in the United States this year.

Executions that had been slated for Thursday in Alabama and Oklahoma were halted by the courts.

Gore shot Elliott, 17, as she ran naked and screaming in an attempt to escape from his parents’ home, court documents said. She and a 14-year-old friend were taken there after being picked up as they hitchhiked to a beach.

Gore said he raped Elliott, though he was not charged with sexual assault.

The teen’s murder, witnessed by a passing boy, led to Gore’s arrest and the rescue of the other girl.

That set in motion a series of discoveries and confessions about a string of earlier rapes and murders committed by Gore and his older cousin, Fred Waterfield, between February 1981 and July 1983.

Criminal psychologists testified that the pair formed a morbid alliance, hunting young women at beaches and along stretches of roadways in and around Indian River County, a rural citrus-growing region hugging the Atlantic coast about 150 miles north of Miami.

Gore confessed to killing five other women and received life sentences for their deaths. He was sentenced to death in 1984 for Elliott’s murder, and again in 1992 after his initial sentence was overturned. Waterfield is serving two life sentences at a Florida prison.

In his final statement on Thursday, Gore apologized to Elliott’s parents and said he prayed they would find peace.

“I wish above all else my death could bring her back,” Gore said, according to a record of the statement provided by corrections officials.

In letters years after his convictions, Gore admitted to tracking his victims to satisfy sexual urges that, once heightened, were impossible to ignore, he said. On some occasions, Gore said, Waterfield paid him for finding victims.

Gore’s last meal on Thursday included fried chicken, french fries, a soda and butter pecan ice cream, Department of Corrections spokeswoman Jo Ellyn Rackleff said.

Reporting by Michael Peltier; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Cynthia Osterman

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