Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday ordered the execution of a central Florida serial killer who raped and dismembered five women before raping and murdering a teenager he picked up hitchhiking in Indian River County almost 30 years ago.
David Alan Gore, 58, is scheduled to be executed April 12 for the murder of 17-year-old Lynn Elliott on July 26, 1983. Gore’s death warrant was the fourth signed by Scott since he took office last year.
“He did not care about anybody, he had no remorse, he’s admitted it. Should have been gone a long time ago,” said Carl Elliott, the victim’s father. “Since 1983 my ex-wife and I are still not the same. We’ve never forgotten it, we never will.”
After Gore was arrested for Elliott’s murder, he led authorities to the remains of the five women he killed. He was sentenced to life in prison for the other deaths and first sentenced to death in the Elliot murder on March 16, 1984.
Gore and his cousin, Fred Waterfield, picked up Elliott and her 14-year-old friend along the side of a road. Gore pulled a gun on the girls and threatened to kill them. He handcuffed them and brought them to his house, where Elliott was tied with rope and her friend was handcuffed. Waterfield left the house and Gore put the girls in separate rooms and raped them. He told them they were going to be there for “a few days” and indicated he would eventually kill them.
Elliott ran from the house, naked and still bound in rope. A boy heard her screams and saw Gore running naked after her and firing a gun. Gore caught the girl and dragged her along the ground back toward the house. As she struggled for her freedom, he threw her to the ground and shot her twice in the head. The boy went home and told his mother, who called police.
Gore tried to divert authorities by placing 911 calls to the Indian River Sheriff’s Department, but investigators found Elliott’s body in the trunk of his car parked in his garage. The 14-year-old was found alive in the attic.
Carl Elliott expressed frustration that it has taken so long to carry out the sentence, but said there was a sense of satisfaction when Scott’s office called and told him the death warrant had been signed in the murder of his daughter.
“It was like a load of your shoulders. It was hard to describe, but it was almost an elation,” he said. “My ex-wife and I sat and talked right after we heard about it and we started calling friends and telling them about it and we just couldn’t believe how good it felt to know that he was finally going to get executed. It was a good moment for us. It didn’t bring Lynn back, but it was great.”
Gore had been released four months earlier after serving a 16-month sentence for armed trespassing. In 1981, a woman found him in the backseat of her car with a gun. Police found rope, handcuffs and a police scanner in Gore’s car. He was still on probation for that offense when he murdered Elliott.
Waterfield was convicted of manslaughter in Elliott’s death and is serving two life sentences for participating in one of the other five murders.
Last month, Scott was asked about the Gore case during an editorial board meeting with Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers. The governor asked for details about the case and if there was anything that was holding up the execution and said he would look into it.
Gov. Bob Martinez signed a death warrant for Gore in 1988, but the U.S. Supreme Court ordered a new sentencing hearing. He was resentenced in 1992.
“She never had a chance to become an adult and do the things that we all did and bring us grandchildren. She never had a chance. He took her life for nothing,” said Carl Elliott.