Marshall Lee Gore, pony-tailed strip-club patron, seemed affable enough when he bought a drink for a dancer named Tina.
Within a few months, his charm vanished. He raped and stabbed Tina, bashed her head into a rock and left her half-dead in a South Dade trash pile. Then Gore kidnapped her 2-year-old son.
Both victims survived. Not until cops captured Gore three days later in Kentucky, and detectives connected the dots, did it become clear that he was responsible for a staggering string of rapes, robberies and two murders stretching up the Florida peninsula.
Now, 25 years later, Gore is scheduled to be put to death at 6 p.m. Monday by lethal injection for the strangulation murder of Lauderhill’s Robyn Novick. Her body was discovered in a trash heap near Homestead as officers looked for Tina’s kidnapped child.
Gore, 49, leaves behind a slew of shattered families. Gone is the smooth-talking listener that proved alluring to women, replaced by an inmate with a legacy of defiant outbursts and outlandish claims — the latest, that he is being executed for “organ harvesting” and “to be a human sacrifice.”
“He was smart, cunning, intelligent, charming and he was heartless. No conscience whatsoever,” said retired Miami-Dade sexual battery detective Louis Passaro, who investigated Gore’s crime spree. “Nobody should be shedding a tear for this guy. It’s no loss to humanity.”
Gore’s lawyer is still fighting for a last-minute appeal, saying he should be allowed to explore claims Gore should not be executed because he is insane. The Archdiocese of Miami, which opposes capital punishment, is planning an 11:45 a.m. vigil for Gore and his victims on Monday at St. Martha Catholic Church, 9301 Biscayne Blvd.
Novick was 30 when she fell victim to Gore in March 1988.
She grew up in suburban Cincinnati. After a brief marriage, she moved to South Florida. Her parents, who had a condo in North Miami-Dade, bought her a home in Lauderhill to make sure she was safe.
A petite woman, Novick was a longtime credit representative for General Motors. She drove a yellow 1987 Corvette convertible with the license plate ROBYNN.
But with bills piling up, she began moonlighting as a dancer at Solid Gold in North Miami-Dade. She quit after a couple of weeks, but by then she had met Gore, a man she knew as Tony.
On March 11, 1988, Novick was supposed to be meet her boyfriend, Scott Baum, for a date. But first, she told him, she had to meet Tony. She told a friend he was paying her $2,500 to deliver some documents. “Nothing illegal,” she reassured her friend.
A witness saw Novick and Gore leave the Redland Tavern in her Corvette. One of Gore’s pals later told police the killer was driving her Corvette the next day.
Coral Gables police soon found the Corvette abandoned, the top down. Gore’s last name was scrawled on a note found in the car.
Days later, police discovered Tina, a Tootsie’s dancer, who had been beaten, slashed in the throat, stripped naked and left for dead in a Homestead-area field. She survived, barely.
“I could tell you it was the worst beating I had ever seen in 30 years of police work,” said former detective Passaro.
As officers fanned out to search for her missing 2-year-old son, they discovered Novick’s body. She had been stabbed in the chest and had a belt tied around her neck. She was covered with a blue tarp.