STARKE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man convicted of raping and strangling a woman and throwing her body in a canal was put to death Tuesday by chemical injection.
William Happ, 51, was pronounced dead at 6:16 p.m. at Florida State Prison. He had been convicted of the 1986 murder of Angie Crowley, whom he kidnapped from the parking lot of a north Florida convenience store.
Crowley’s mother and two siblings died before they could see the sentence carried out, but Crowley’s surviving sisters and brothers planned to be in Starke, Fla., to watch as Happ was executed.
“Once this is over, we don’t have to worry about legal aspects of it again. We can sit back and enjoy the memories and that’s sort of what we’re all looking forward to,” said Crowley’s brother Chris, who was making the trip from Missouri for the execution.
Angie Crowley had moved to Florida from Oregon, Ill., just five months before her murder. She was working as a travel agent in the Fort Lauderdale area and planned to make the 300-mile drive to visit a college friend in Yankeetown. Crowley was prone to getting lost, so her friend told her to drive to a convenience store in Crystal River and call her from a pay phone in the parking lot and she’d meet her and guide here the last few miles.
Crowley found the store, but she never made it to the phone. Happ just happened to be there, too. He smashed the window to the car and kidnapped Crowley and took her to a canal where he beat her severely in the head. He raped her then strangled her with her stretch pants and threw her body in the water.
Happ left for California, where he was arrested on unrelated charges. A detective flew from Florida to get one of his sneakers and later matched it to a shoe print at the scene of the killing.
At the time, Happ was a high school dropout living with his aunt. He did odd jobs, laid bricks and did some landscaping. He was also abusing alcohol and drugs.
Crowley’s murder shocked Oregon, a town of about 3,500 about 25 miles southwest of Rockford. She was an honor student, cheerleader and musician.
She just happened to pull into the parking lot at the wrong time.
After Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed Happ’s death warrant, Happ told a judge he did not want any lawyers filing appeals for him.
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