STARKE, Florida – A U.S. man convicted of killing a woman and her two teenage daughters in June 1989 as the victims returned from a dream vacation to Disney World has been executed.
Oba Chandler, 65, was administered a lethal injection and pronounced dead at 4:25 p.m. Tuesday at the Florida state prison, Gov. Rick Scott's office said. Chandler's death warrant was the second Scott has signed since taking office.
Chandler was convicted in 1994 of killing 36-year-old Joan Rogers and her daughters, Christe and Michelle, who were 14 and 17. The three were on vacation in Florida -- their first ever -- and were on their way home to their small farming community of Wilshire, Ohio, when they met Chandler.
Authorities concluded that the women met Chandler when they stopped and asked him for directions to their Tampa-area motel. Chandler, who had ties to Ohio, sweet-talked the women into going on his boat, police said.
Once there, detectives said Chandler bound the womens' arms and legs, tied concrete blocks to ropes around their necks, then threw them overboard. The three were found floating in Tampa Bay a few days later, naked from the waist down.
Detectives didn't crack the case for three years. Two things helped make the arrest: a tourist brochure with Chandler's handwriting was found in Rogers' car, and Chandler looked similar to a composite sketch of a suspect wanted in an unsolved assault of a Canadian woman aboard a boat in Tampa Bay.
Authorities took the unusual step of publicizing the handwriting on the tourist brochure, putting it on a billboard to see if anyone recognized it.
One of Chandler's neighbors recognized the writing and called authorities.
For his last meal, Chandler ate two salami sandwiches on white bread, a half of a peanut butter sandwich and coffee.