TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Participants in the 11-year legal struggle to execute Ted Bundy tempered their somber relief with frustration and sadness after the confessed serial killer went to Florida's electric chair Tuesday.
'I feel like justice has been carried out. It was past due,' said David Lee, the former Pensacola police officer whose arrest of Bundy for a routine traffic violation ended a transcontinental killing spree.
But Steve Hooker, a Florida State University police officer who helped investigate the 1978 murders of two Chi Omega sorority sisters, said Bundy's last-minute confessions to scores of killings robbed him of any satisfaction.
'I came this morning looking for a sense of finality and I'm leaving without that sense,' Hooker said.
'Ted Bundy has waited until the 11th hour to establish a whole new generation of grief for a lot of people in the United States. He had 11 years to give us what he has given us in the 11th hour,' Hooker said.
'We are left now with just another chapter in his book of evil.'
'This closes a sad chapter here in Florida,' said Gov. Bob Martinez, who signed Bundy's death warrant last week and gave the final execution order Tuesday morning.
'If there's ever been anyone on Florida's death row that deserved the electric chair, Ted Bundy was that individual. Today ends his chapter on what he did to Americans and the victims and the survivors of the victims,' he said.
It has been estimated that Florida taxpayers spent more than $6 million to put Bundy to death, counting expenses from his arrest through two trials and myriad appeals.
'We've put obviously more effort into this case than any other criminal case since I've been attorney general, that's for sure,' said Attorney General Bob Butterworth, who began personally monitoring the Bundy case when he took office two years ago.
Like Martinez, Butterworth was in his office Tuesday morning on a direct telephone line to the execution chamber in case Bundy's lawyers secured a last-minute stay.
He also informed the families of victims in Florida and Washington that Bundy finally was dead.
'I believe justice has been carried out,' Butterworth said. 'It's something I think has taken too long. But when you look at the last couple of days, this killer's actions before his execution only served to further prove his guilt. He's paid the price he deserved.'
Aides to the governor said the mood in his office was somber when Martinez ordered the execution. Later, Martinez said he had no time to reflect on the gravity of the moment.
'I remember the victims,' Martinez said. 'I don't let the killer become the victim. I always remember that the reason I signed the death warrant is that this individual left a victim behind.'
Steve Bodiford, of the Leon County Sheriff' Office, who also helped investigate the Chi Omega slayings, said the execution brought 'no sense of joy.'
'There's a sense of sadness,' Bodiford said, 'that there is this evil in our society that must be dealt with in this manner.'