Jimmy, the kidnapped child, was later found in a kitchen cabinet in a freezing abandoned house in Georgia. A neighbor heard the boy’s cries and rescued him.
FBI agents nabbed Gore in Kentucky.
Suspicion soon fell on Gore for the disappearance of Tennessee college student Susan Marie Roark, who had disappeared two months earlier. She was last seen in his company. In April 1988, Columbia County deputies found Roark’s body, reduced to almost a skeleton, off a rural forest road.
Gore grew up in Cutler Ridge and served time in federal prison on a firearms conviction.
Women were drawn to him. He listened, gave good advice and cooked them meals. But he was also known for his ego and quick, raging temper.
“Once I was in the car with him and he was really nice and we were laughing, then I accidently hit the window with my keys and he started yelling at me and cussing at me,” a 17-year-old high school senior who said she was raped by Gore told The Miami Herald in 1988.
In all, Gore was suspected of at least 15 sexual assaults, the attempted murder of a girl in Broward and the two murders. Police said he stole one woman’s black Mustang and her personal property.
Throughout his trials, Gore proved unpredictable and antagonistic in court.
During his 1989 trial for the attack on Tina, he shocked the court by walking off the witness stand in the middle of cross examination. The television cameras unnerved him, he claimed.
When the clerk read the guilty verdicts, Gore chuckled and clapped. His howling and insults, many directed at his own lawyers, continued over the years as he was tried, convicted and sent to Death Row for the Novick and Roark murders.
His antagonism bought him some time. On the witness stand in his 1995 trial for Novick’s death, he repeatedly jousted with prosecutors. The Florida Supreme Court later overturned his conviction and ordered a new trial, saying a prosecutor had crossed the line for telling jurors Gore “deserves to die.”
A new jury nevertheless convicted him. He returned to Death Row.
“He really believed he could manipulate the system as he was able to manipulate these women before he killed them and left them for dead,” said former Miami-Dade prosecutor Gary Rosenberg, who tried Gore in three cases. “The death penalty was made for someone like him. He was never going to stop doing what he was doing.”
His raging behavior has continued, even in prison — he recently threw his cell TV set in a fit of rage because other inmates were making noise.
A panel of psychiatrists, appointed last month by the governor to evaluate Gore before his execution, found that he was mentally sound for execution.
They noted, though, that he spun a conspiracy theory: The “Illuminati” is executing him to sell his organs. One senator, he insists, wants his eyeballs to give to his son.
“This fantastic, imaginative scenario,” the panel reported to the governor, “was patently a fabrication designed to mislead the panel and avoid responsibility for his past actions.”