Florida Executes Man Who Killed Women He Met in Bars

Michael Zack killed 2 women in 2 days
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 3, 2023 7:09 PM CDT
Florida Executes Man Who Killed Women He Met in Bars
This booking photo provided by the Florida Department of Corrections shows Michael Duane Zack III.   (Florida Department of Corrections via AP, File)

A man who killed two women after meeting them a day apart in north Florida bars in 1996 was put to death Tuesday evening. Michael Zack III, 54, was pronounced dead following a lethal injection at Florida State Prison in Starke. The execution started promptly at 6pm. Zack was asked if he had any last words, and he answered, "Yes sir." He then lifted his head to look at the witnesses and said, "I love you all." He was executed for the murder of Ravonne Smith, a bar employee he befriended and later beat and stabbed with an oyster knife in June 1996. He also was convicted and separately sentenced to life in prison for murdering Laura Rosillo, who he met at another Florida Panhandle bar.

Zack admitted killing Smith, the AP reports. He said he became enraged and beat her when she made a comment about his mother's murder, which his sister committed. He also said he thought Smith was going to another room to get a gun when he stabbed her in self defense. Zack's lawyers had sought to stop the execution, arguing that he was a victim of fetal alcohol syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder. On Monday afternoon, the US Supreme Court denied Zack's appeal for a stay of execution without comment. Zack's execution was the eighth under Gov. Ron DeSantis since 2019 and the sixth this year.

(Read more Florida stories.)

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