Lisa McVey had always been a survivor. Growing up a sufferer of abuse, daughter of a mum with drug and alcohol problems, Lisa was sexually attacked regularly between 14 and 17 years old. Forced deep into depression, even contemplating suicide, Lisa had no means of realizing that her experience with abusive men would one day save her life.
Lisa was Abducted
With an alcoholic mum who lost their house due to addiction, Lisa had to watch over for herself from a young age.
When she was 14 years old, Lisa moved in with her grandmother and her grandmother’s partner. As Lisa’s mum was living on the street, Lisa had nowhere else to turn.
When the abuse started, at the hands of her grandmother’s partner, Lisa’s battling spirit was all that kept her going. Regularly raped in her bed, Lisa’s suffering grew and grew.
At 17 years old, Lisa started working a job at a local doughnut shop, wishing that she could earn money enough to leave her Grandmother’s house.
In the winter of 1984, Lisa reached an all-time low. Incapable to escape her abuser, she felt that life was no longer worth living. By the night of November 3rd, 1984, she had inferred that suicide was her only choice. Lisa decided that when she got home that night, she was going to end her suffering and her life forever. Lisa had already written a suicide note.
Return Of Lisa
That night, a chance clash with a serial killer would alter Lisa’s life and give her back the fighting spirit that she desired to survive, and eventually, to live.
As Lisa rode her bicycle home from her shift, a car drove into her.
Surprisingly, the man jumping from the vehicle was not coming to Lisa’s aid. Rapidly he came to Lisa, pointed a gun at her head, and dragged her into his car.
Once inside the vehicle the man produced a knife and blindfolded Lisa before speeding off with them both inside.
A little while later, the couple reached the man’s apartment. Once inside, Lisa was raped countless times. As she suffered these horrible violations, Lisa found her feelings turning to survival:
“I was deathly scared that he was going to murder me. Here I was thinking about murdering myself, and now I was going to be battling for my life.” — Lisa McVey, The Tampa Tribune
After hours in the man’s apartment and with no clue as to his individuality, Lisa found her fighting passion and started to think about how she could save herself from certain death — her captor had made it obvious that he would kill her.
Lisa realized that to live, she would need to make her captor glimpse her as a human being. As someone with whom he could sympathize and relate.
Gathering courage, Lisa started talking to the man, inquiring him about his life, his thoughts, and his motivations. All the time he talked, Lisa was planning her next question or comment. Drawing on her experience with predatory men, she was able to steer the discussion to the point where her abductor gave away some crucial information that she could use.
The kidnapper revealed that he’d been dumped by his girlfriend and felt embarrassed; he was taking his revenge on young women that he didn’t know.
Lisa instantly honed in on his miserable excuses and insecurities, turning them to her benefit.
‘’I told him that I would have been proud to be his girlfriend and that he looked like a decent man’’ — Lisa McVey, The People.
This awful man was so in touch with his ego, that Lisa’s plan rapidly started to work. Now that Lisa had his attention, she concocted a tale to appeal to him.
Contending to have a sick father, she managed to assure her rapist that he would be a bigger man if he let her go. Freeing her was a heroic and noble thing to do.
After suffering 26 hours in his apartment, the man discarded Lisa on the outskirts of town and left her there — alive.
“When he released me and drove off, I took off my blindfold and saw this incredible oak tree. I had wished to die before and now I wanted to live.” — Lisa McVey, The People.
Her suffering was over, Lisa was willing to turn to the police for assistance. Amazingly, despite being subjected to such an awful ordeal, Lisa was able to guide the police.
Not only could she give an astoundingly valid explanation of her abductor, but she was also able to interpret how she’d heard him stop the vehicle and knew he’d used an ATM, just before he dropped her off.
By glancing under her blindfold in his apartment and his vehicle, Lisa had collected crucial clues and the police wasted no time.
Using the ATM lead that Lisa had given them, the police rapidly pulled up bank records and discovered that only one male had used that ATM within the time window they’d established — Bobby Joe Long.
Bobby Joe Long — Thief, Rapist, Abductor, Killer
Lisa was surprised to hear that she’d been captured by an infamous murderer. At the time of her attack, Long was already wanted by police across Florida for numerous rapes and suspected killings.
Before shifting to Florida, Long had also committed more than 50 rapes across California.
On the west coast, Long was known as the Classified Ads Rapist. Long would scour newspaper adverts where homeowners listed unwanted minor appliances for sale. Claiming to be a customer, Long would then go to the house in the hope of discovering a woman alone. Which he did. Several times. Long would then ask to use the bathroom, where he’d assemble his ‘rape kit’ before assaulting the woman and robbing the house.
Long was tried and sentenced for rape in 1981 but requested a new trial, which was permitted but the charges were dropped. Following Lisa’s escape just 3 years later, the police had a description and other details, they launched a new manhunt.
Tragically, Long kidnaped, raped, and killed two more women that week; Virginia Johnson (18) and Kim Swann (21).
Finally, Long was arrested outside of a cinema. Instantly waiving his rights, he admitted to Lisa’s kidnapping and rape. When presented with evidence of his other crimes, Long was stunned and abruptly reverted to ‘no comment’ and requested a lawyer.
Trial and Sentencing
Long reached a plea deal for eight of the killings and the kidnapping and rape of Lisa McVey. Long pled guilty on September 24, 1985, to all of these crimes, receiving:
1 x five-year sentence
4 x 99-year sentences
28 x life sentences
1 x death sentence
Long managed to appeal the death verdict for decades, but in 2019, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed his first-ever death warrant — Bobby Joe Long’s death warrant.
30 years after being sentenced, Long would die for his horrible crimes against women.
On 23rd May 2019, Bobby Joe Long ate his last meal of roast beef, bacon, french fries, and soda. Once ready for the lethal injection, Long refused to make a final statement and was declared dead at 6.55 pm local time.
Lisa McVey had a front-row seat for the execution.
Some courageous women survived rape, violence, and robbery at the hands of Bobby Joe Long, but numerous did not. Lisa McVey was one of only two women to withstand once Bobby Joe Long became a serial killer.
Following her ordeal, Lisa got the assistance she needed and could eventually make her way into the world. Determined not to be a sufferer ever again, Lisa told her story and went on to join the police force.
In 2019, Lisa said:
My empowerment comes from being so powerless and lost, that impression I had when I was 17 years old. I’m not lost anymore.
I’m on the prime of my mountain and it feels pretty nice.
Lisa has been a Police Officer for 17 years now. Largely encouraged by what happened to her in her childhood, Lisa is determined that no one will get hurt on her watch.