STARKE, Fla. — A former escort service owner who spent 23 years on Florida’s death row for the killings of two women was executed Tuesday for the slaying of one of those women, an exotic dancer.
Marshall Lee Gore, 49, was pronounced dead at 6:12 p.m. Tuesday following an injection at Florida State Prison, authorities said. Gore had no last words before the death sentence was carried out.
He was sentenced to death for the March 1988 murder of 30-year-old Robyn Novick, whose nude body was found dumped in a trash heap in rural Miami-Dade County. She had been stabbed, beaten and strangled. Gore also was convicted of killing Birchwood student Susan Roark, and of the attempted murder of a third woman.
Roark was last seen in Cleveland on Jan. 30, 1988, at a convenience store.
According to Christina Young, daughter of the late Dewey Chastain who was a Cleveland Police detective at the time of Roark’s disappearance, the case was one of two that Chastain was passionate about solving.
According to historic information, Chastain learned Gore had “pawned some of Roark’s jewlery and given some of it to a 13-year-old girl along with a box Susan’s cassette tapes and her car key.
He was later seen in Tampa Fla., driving Roark’s black Ford Mustang.
Chastain testified at the trial regarding his investigation into the disappearance of Roark, who was a student at Cleveland State Community College.
In addition to the two death sentences, Gore was given seven life sentences plus another 110 years in a case involving the attempted murder.
Novick’s sister, Pamela Novick of Cincinnati, read a statement to reporters calling Robyn a “vibrant young woman” whose trust in others was grossly misplaced in the case of Gore. She was also critical of how long Gore remained on death row after his conviction.
“The fact that Gore has been able to enjoy exercising, watching television, food, clothing and shelter, let alone being able to breathe and even exist and have any quality of life for 25 years after committing such crimes, is reprehensible beyond belief,” Pamela Novick said.
The U.S. Supreme Court denied Gore’s last appeals late Tuesday afternoon.
Earlier, Corrections Department spokeswoman Jessica Cary said Gore requested a last meal of a sausage and pepperoni pizza, but he didn’t eat it. Gore met with both his spiritual adviser and one of his attorneys during the day.
This was the fourth time Gore’s execution has been scheduled this year. Twice, courts put the execution on hold due to insanity claims. Attorney General Pam Bondi’s staff also once asked that it be postponed because it conflicted with her political fundraiser, for which Bondi later apologized.
Gore had claimed he suffered from delusions related to a conspiracy theory in which the purpose of his execution is so that the elite and wealthy people can harvest his organs. Gore also had said he is being targeted by satanic worshippers for human sacrifice, that he hears voices telling him to hang himself and that he was somehow injected with the virus that causes tuberculosis.
The appeals judges sided with a panel of state-appointed mental health experts who concluded Gore’s “insanity” was all an act “designed to mislead the panel and avoid responsibility for his past actions.”
Gore was arrested after attacking a third woman, who survived, and later testified at his trial in connection with Novick’s death. The survivor said Gore beat her with a rock, choked, raped and stabbed her, leaving her near where Novick’s body was found.
The FBI tracked the woman’s stolen car to Paducah, Ky., and arrested Gore. When he was found, he had the woman’s bank and credit cards in his jacket pocket, according to court documents.
Upon questioning about all three crimes and shown pictures of Novick’s body, police said his eyes filled with tears and he said, “If I did this, I deserve the death penalty.”