October 22, 2021

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Lisa McVey reveals how serial killer Bobby Jo Long’s horrific kidnapping of her ‘saved my life’

7 min read

The woman who was abducted for 26 hours and ‘lost count’ of the amount of times she was raped by US serial killer Bobby Joe Long has discussed why she wanted to be in the front row for his execution – and says her brush with death actually ‘saved my life’. 

Lisa McVey, now a sheriff working in Tampa, Florida, is the subject of harrowing Netflix series Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey. The true crime film is based on real events of how a then 17-year-old McVey was kidnapped, held at gunpoint and raped for 26 hours by US serial killer Bobby Joe Long on November 3 1984.

Appearing on This Morning via video link, she detailed how she had intended to take her own life just hours before she was abducted after enduring horrific mental and sexual abuse that had begun when she was just two-years-old.   

Netflix series Believe Me is true crime film is based on the real-life story of 17-year-old Lisa McVey, who was kidnapped and raped by Bobby Joe Long. She appeared on This Morning today to speak out about how she survived her 26-hour ordeal at the hands of one of America’s most notorious serial killers

The Netflix film shows the harrowing ordeal in unflinching detail: Long told This Morning that she wanted to be on the front row when Long was executed in 2019, saying: 'Justice was served the day he was arrested and justice completed the day he was executed.'

 The Netflix film shows the harrowing ordeal in unflinching detail: Long told This Morning that she wanted to be on the front row when Long was executed in 2019, saying: ‘Justice was served the day he was arrested and justice completed the day he was executed.’

Speaking on This Morning, she detailed how she was held for 26 hours by the US serial killer - saying horrific childhood abuse had helped her survive

Bobby Joe Long who killed at least 10 women in the early eighties in Florida

Speaking on This Morning, McVey detailed how she was held for 26 hours by US serial killer – saying horrific childhood abuse had helped her survive. Right: Bobby Joe Long who killed at least 10 women in the early eighties in Florida 

She told hosts Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield that her early years were ‘extremely traumatic’ and she was raped by her grandmother’s boyfriend from the age of 13 to 17, saying: ‘She condoned it. She approved it. There were times she would stand there and watch and do nothing to protect me.’ 

McVey said the morning she was abducted she plotted to take her own life after she finished her shift at work at a local do-nut shop – because she’d reached such a low point. 

However, fate intervened – in a terrifying way – and instead she was asked to work a double shift meaning she fell into the snare of Robert Jo Long as she was returning home by bicycle at 2am. Long bundled her off her bike and into his car. 

Lisa was the only one of Long’s victims to survive after he embarked on an eight-month murder spree from March 1984, and killed at least 10 women. 

After she was released by her kidnapper, the teenager helped capture the killer, who was executed for his crimes in May 2019 after 34 years on death row. 

She told the This Morning presenters today how she fought for her life. A stoic McVey said she turned from being suicidal to fighting to live, saying: ‘I couldn’t afford to allow anyone to take my life and put it in the hands of someone else, especially a total stranger to kill me.’

A stoic McVey told the presenters how she turned from being suicidal to fighting to live, saying: 'I couldn't afford to allow anyone to take my life and put it in the hands of someone else, especially a total stranger to kill me.'

A stoic McVey told the presenters how she turned from being suicidal to fighting to live, saying: ‘I couldn’t afford to allow anyone to take my life and put it in the hands of someone else, especially a total stranger to kill me.’

Netflix fans have been left 'sickened and sobbing' after watching Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey (pictured)

Netflix fans have been left ‘sickened and sobbing’ after watching Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey (pictured)

Viewers expressed their outrage at how the Florida teenager, now known as Lisa Noland (pictured in 2013), was repeatedly failed by the people around her, as they initially failed to believe her story

Viewers expressed their outrage at how the Florida teenager, now known as Lisa Noland (pictured left in 2013), was repeatedly failed by the people around her, as they initially failed to believe her story. Pictured right: Bobby Joe Long in custody

Speaking about his subsequent arrest, she said that a female officer she had approached initally had said there were ‘holes in my story’ and it was only ‘soft-spoken’ Sergeant Larry Pinkerton who took her story seriously – and went on to get his man. 

‘I owe my life to him’, she told the show, saying: ‘If he had not believed me, god knows where I would be today.’ 

McVey was left naked, blindfolded and bound in her captor’s apartment. Bobby Joe Long, a serial killer who had mutilated and murdered eight women in Tampa, Florida. A vast police taskforce had hunted in vain to find him before he was finally taken into custody in 1985.

‘When I found out he [Long] was captured, it was a whirlwind of emotions. Was it the same guy? I must knew it was him. I spoke to Larry Pinkerton about it and I said: “He is the same guy. My abductor is the serial killer. 

‘He asked me how I knew. I just knew, it was that gut instinct that helped me survive.’ 

Detailing how she had a ‘front row’ seat at Long’s execution, 35 years after his crimes, she told the presenters. ‘I was holding Larry Pinkerton’s hand. It wasn’t about closure for me – 35 years is a long time. I stand by this quote: ” Justice was served the day he was arrested and justice completed the day he was executed.’

The true crime film (pictured) is based on the real-life story of 17-year-old Lisa McVey, who was kidnapped, held at gunpoint and raped for 26 hours by US serial killer Bobby Joe Long on November 3 1984

The true crime film (pictured) is based on the real-life story of 17-year-old Lisa McVey, who was kidnapped, held at gunpoint and raped for 26 hours by US serial killer Bobby Joe Long on November 3 1984

Netflix fans have been left ‘sickened and sobbing’ after watching the interpretation of Long’s crimes in Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey. 

Viewers expressed their outrage at how the Florida teenager, now known as Lisa Noland, was repeatedly failed by the people around her, as they initially didn’t believe her story.

The film, first released in 2018 on the Lifetime channel in the US, shot up to become the UK’s current No 1 film on Neftlix after being added to the streaming service earlier this week. 

In one scene, Lisa tried to explain the torture she had experienced at the hands of Long to two female police officers, who appeared to not believe a word she’s saying.

The teenager’s own grandmother even found the story far-fetched. 

Lisa was the only one of Long’s victims to survive after he embarked on an eight-month murder spree from March 1984, and killed at least 10 women. Pictured, a scene from the film

Lisa was the only one of Long’s victims to survive after he embarked on an eight-month murder spree from March 1984, and killed at least 10 women. Pictured, a scene from the film

After she was released by her kidnapper, the teenager helped capture the killer, who was executed for his crimes in May 2019 after 34 years on death row. Pictured, a scene from the film

After she was released by her kidnapper, the teenager helped capture the killer, who was executed for his crimes in May 2019 after 34 years on death row. Pictured, a scene from the film

Lisa previously said she knew from her past abuse that if she fought Long, it would enrage him.

‘I had to learn who he was, what made him tick. If I did the wrong move, could it end my life? So literally, the night before I wrote a suicide note out, and now I was in a position where I had to save my life,’ she said.

Her description of the incident, as well as her intentionally leaving evidence such as fingerprints around Long’s bathroom, helped police capture the killer. 

Long later admitted to killing 10 women in the Tampa Bay area and was sentenced to death. 

At his execution, Lisa said she tried to position herself where he would see her, explaining: ‘I wanted to look him in the eye. I wanted to be the first person he saw. Unfortunately, he didn’t open his eyes.’

The film (pictured), first released in 2018 on the Lifetime channel in the US, shot up to become the UK’s current No 1 film on Neftlix after being added to the streaming service earlier this week

The film (pictured), first released in 2018 on the Lifetime channel in the US, shot up to become the UK’s current No 1 film on Neftlix after being added to the streaming service earlier this week

She said that she started to cry after watching the execution, adding: ‘The peace that came over me is a remarkable feeling.’

Lisa is now a deputy with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the same department she helped lead to Long’s arrest.

Viewers of Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey were quick to express their feelings about the film, with one writing: ‘It was the hardest but most inspirational thing I’ve ever watched.’

Another said: ‘Good for Lisa McVey. She survived a horrifying ordeal and stopped a serial killer. I was sobbing by the end of the film. I’m glad she got the happy family she wanted.’

Reaction: Viewers of Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey were quick to express their feelings about the film

Reaction: Viewers of Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey were quick to express their feelings about the film

A third added: ‘Absolutely sobbing after watching Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey.’

A fourth wrote: ‘Just watched Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey on Netflix and I am sobbing. That woman went through the most unimaginable horror as a young girl, and yet saved so many lives. Now she works in the police to protect children from sex crimes.’

A fifth penned: ‘I’m trying to watch Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey on Netflix and it’s making me feel so sick, oh my god this is horrendous.’

The film was a Canadian-American co-production starring Katie Douglas, Rossif Sutherland, and David James Elliot Anyone. 

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