20 February 1998 – Michael Edward Long

Obsession gripped Michael Edward Long, who was executed on this day in 1998.

He was transfixed by an Oklahoma florist and, when she shunned his affections, he turned aggressor and killed her. And that resulted in a lethal injection fix for Michael Long.

Longing

He’d met Sheryl Graber at the florist where they worked and he soon started fancying her. But she wasn’t interested.

Torn apart by his sexual frustration, he went to her house on 7 April 1987 in the hope of getting his end away. Thing is, he also went armed with a hefty knife and a gun, so he must have known the answer long before he’d even got there.

Needless to say she refused him, so he threw her to the floor and stabbed her when she screamed. Graber managed to let herself loose and get to the front door, where she screamed for help.

Murder most foul

The neighbours came running, but by this time Long had pulled her back. He put the neighbours’ minds at rest by saying she was drunk. He calmly closed the door and then proceeded to stab Graber 30-odd times, so viciously that fragments of blade were left inside her.

He finished her off with a bullet to the head and to the stomach, before turning the gun on her four-year-old son. He shot little Andrew twice, then stabbed him for good measure.

By this time, the neighbours had called the police and he was apprehended as he tried to make his getaway. He was sent to trial and found guilty on two counts of murder. And, for his crimes he got two death penalties.

Anti-dope

And so he was set to get a shot of toxins, but not without vacillating between wanting to try to overturn his death penalty and waving his rights to appeal. Yet appeal he did. In doing so, Long tried to assert that his confession was inadmissible, because he hadn’t volunteered it.

He also made out that the photos of the bloodied corpses were inadmissible, because they were unfairly emotive. But the evidence and witness statements were overwhelmingly against him and, despite his lawyer’s best efforts, the death penalty remained intact.

Long was finally put down by lethal injection on 20 February 1998, after having spent a third of his life behind bars, in what he described as a ‘hellhole’.

Also on this day

20 February 1929 – Frank Hollington

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6 Responses to “20 February 1998 – Michael Edward Long”

  1. Michele Says:

    she was not the first obsession he had. I was. Fortunately for me and unfortunately for her, she was the victim of his violence.

  2. Joshua Says:

    edward didnt kill anyone he’s right there>

  3. Donna Says:

    The man that is described here is not the Mike I knew. I knew him my whole life. I NEVER saw that side of him. I know that he did kill them. But there is always two sides to everyone. Just as there are three sides to every story, side A, side B and the truth. I do miss him very much and think of him often. For many years I did not communicate with him. I was about 7 months pregnant with my first child. He said that I should name him Mike. I did not get a chance to tell him I was carrying a little girl. Nor did I tell him that the rose still comes every year. There is one line from his letter that sticks out in my mind…. “It seems as if it was only yesterday you were sitting out in the yard making your little brother eat mud and now you are all grown up having your own baby”

  4. Michele Says:

    Like Donna, I had known Mike for most of our lives. I too was pregnant when this occurred and oddly enough was having my daughter when he went to trial. I had only seen a scary side to him once but once was certainly enough. If anyone had spent much time talking to him, really talking to him as I did , then they would realize that he had very deep issues. It is most unfortunate and now 23 yrs later it still haunts my life. It is a part of me that will not seem to go away. Donna says there are 3 sides to the story. The only side to the story is that he went knowingly with a gun and knife to this womans home and purposefully brutally killed her and her young son as he didnt want to leave any witnesses. Just because you never see a lion attack its prey doesnt mean they dont attack. I am glad for Donna that she has such glowing warm memories of a murderer. As his best friend said to me after the murders…..” he is dead to me if he would do such a horrible thing. He got what he deserved and they didnt.”

  5. Barbara "Sunny" Murchison Says:

    Rest in Peace, Michael Edward Long. I remember our telephone conversation. You were allowed one phone call every three months from OSP death row. Michael, I asked you ié you wanted to share about what you did. Your voice dropped as you said, “No.” I knew you were remorsefully sorry, Michael. I lived in New York 1985-1993 and ministered to you all at OSP and Texas Ellis I and II through The Light of Christ Prison Ministry, which I created, because my brother was in federal prison in Oklahoma. Michael, I still have the photos you sent me. You had such a darling face! When I returned to live near my beloved family in OKC, OK, in 1994, from Ole Miss Law Center, in Oxford, I read the headlines a few years later, in the Daily Oklahoman, that you were executed. My heart dropped. But you wrote me, years earlier that you loved Jesus Christ, and that you were ready to go to be with him.I have that very newspaper, Michael. Your darling face shines through the news! May God keep you eternally in love, Michael Edward Long! In Christ’s Light, your friend, B.A. “Sunny” Murchison

  6. Sunny Murchison Says:

    MICHAEL, I STILL HAVE THOSE PHOTOS YOU SENT MY LIGHT OF CHRIST PRISON MINISTRY. II REMEMBER OUR ONE TELEPHONE CONVERSATION. WHEN I WAS BACK IN OKC, I READ THE DAILY OKLAHOMAN HEADLINES -I SAVED THAT PAPER- THAT YOU WERE EXECUTED. MY HEART DROPPED AS I CONTEMPLATED YOUR FACE. BUT, MICHAEL, YOU SHARED WITH ME, YOU WERE READY TO BE WITH JESUS CHRIST ETERNALLY!

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