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'He needed to take his last breath, he took my daughter’s last breath...' Victim's family says they waited too long for Purkey's execution

One family waited for 17-years for Thursday morning's execution after Wesley Purkey murdered and dismembered their daughter.

Posted: Jul 16, 2020 4:32 PM
Updated: Jul 16, 2020 6:33 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - One family waited for 17-years for Thursday morning's execution after Wesley Purkey murdered and dismembered their daughter.

William and Olivia Long traveled to Terre Haute from the Kansas City area to witness Purkey's execution.

"It didn't mean much to us. I hope he rots in Hell. I really do," William and Olivia said during a joint statement. 

They are Jennifer Long's father and stepmother. William said the execution won't bring them any closure, but it was important for them to be there nonetheless.

"You would have to put me down for me to miss this," William told us. "I've been dreaming of this for 17-years. A long wait. A long wait. It's something I think about every day. My life hasn't been the same." William said.

William and Olivia Long spoke with the media after the execution. See their full statement below.

WILLIAM: Good morning ladies and gentlemen, my name is William Long. I’m Jennifer Long’s father. We took of today what we needed to take care of. It has been a long time coming. He needed to take his last breath, he took my daughter’s last breath. And there’s some resolve. There is no closure and there never will be because I won’t get my daughter back. But you know what he did, I don’t need to go into it. He went to sleep and he didn’t feel anything. I have no comment toward his family. His family knows what he did. Everybody else knows what he did. I know what he did. I’ll just never get to see my girl again. That’s really all I have to say.
She was a beautiful 16-year-old girl who had celebrated her 16th birthday exactly one month before he took her away from me. Just would do anything for anybody. Just a beautiful child. And hug your kids every day because you never know whenever a monster like this will come into your life and take everything away from you.

In my opinion, there needs to be some kind of, I don’t know what you want to call it, there’s way too many delays. Too many putting in for appeals. It needs to be rescrutinized. It’s not right. I’ve been waiting 17 years for something that even though there was a moratorium on death row, there’s monsters out there that need to be getting rid of. They need to be put down like the dogs they are. There’s just no excuse for it. In a hate crime or anything, it just doesn’t matter. It needs to be re-evaluated, rescrutinized and redone.

OLIVIA: “It just took way too long. All these appeals, some of them he put through several times. And then we sat in a van for four hours this morning while he did a bunch more appeals, some of them he had already done. We just shouldn’t have had to wait this long.”

WILLIAM: “It brings up everything all over again. You just sit there and relive it. I’ve been reliving it. 17 years he sat on death row and every day and every day for the rest of my life I will think of it, I will remember it and it is not something any parent should have to live through.”

OLIVIA: He was a very manipulative individual and there was obviously nothing wrong with him mentally because he remembered Jennifer’s name to apologize for us. So apparently he wasn’t mentally diminished. That was just another thing he was trying to throw out there to get out of it.

WILLIAM: Anything he could do to prolong his life for another minute, he did. It’s just not right. You’d have to put me down for me to miss this. I’ve been dreaming of this for 17 years. A long wait. Something you think about every day, relive every day and my life hasn’t been the same ever since.

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