Lisa McVey had always been a survivor. Lisa was often sexually attacked between the ages of 14 and 17. Her mother had problems with drugs and alcohol, so she was abused as a child. Lisa had no way of knowing that the abusive men she had to deal with would one day save her life. They had pushed her into a deep depression, and she even thought about killing herself.
Lisa McVey was Abducted
Lisa had to take care of herself from a young age because her alcoholic mother lost their home because of her drinking. Lisa moved in with her grandmother and her grandmother’s partner when she was 14 years old. Lisa had nowhere else to go because her mother lived on the street.
When her grandmother’s partner started to hurt her, Lisa’s fighting spirit was the only thing that kept her going. Lisa’s pain grew and grew as she was raped in her bed over and over again.
Lisa got a job at a doughnut shop when she was 17. She wanted to make enough money so she could move out of her Grandmother’s house.
Lisa’s life was at its worst in the winter of 1984. She couldn’t get away from the person who hurt her, so she felt like life was no longer worth living. By the evening of November 3, 1984, she had decided that her only option was to kill herself. Lisa made up her mind that when she got home that night, she would end her pain and her life for good. Lisa’s suicide note was already written.
Return Of Lisa
That night, Lisa had a chance encounter with a serial killer, which changed her life and gave her back the fighting spirit she needed to stay alive and, eventually, live.
As Lisa was riding her bike home from work, a car hit her.
Surprisingly, the man who jumped out of the car wasn’t going to help Lisa. He ran up to Lisa quickly, put a gun to her head, and pulled her into his car.
Once they were in the car, the man pulled out a knife and blindfolded Lisa, then drove off quickly.
After a while, the two people got to the man’s apartment. Lisa was raped many times once she was inside. As she went through all of these horrible things, Lisa’s thoughts turned to survival. “I was petrified that he was going to kill me,” she said. I had just thought about killing myself, and now I would have to fight for my life.” The Tampa Tribune’s Lisa McVey
Lisa spent hours in the man’s apartment and had no idea who he was. After a while, she found her fighting spirit and started to think about how she could get away from her captor, who had made it clear that he would kill her. Lisa realized that if she wanted to live, she had to make her captor see her as a person. As someone he could understand and connect with.
Lisa got the courage to talk to the man and asked him about his life, his thoughts, and what drove him. Lisa was thinking about what she was going to say or ask while he talked. She had dealt with predatory men before, so she was able to steer the conversation so that her kidnapper told her important information that she could use.
The kidnapper said that his girlfriend had dumped him and made him feel bad, so he was getting back at young women he didn’t know.
Lisa was quick to pick up on his lame excuses and insecurities and use them to her advantage.
“I told him I would have been proud to be his girlfriend and that he seemed like a good man.” The People, by Lisa McVey.
This horrible man was so aware of himself that Lisa’s plan started to work quickly. Now that she had his attention, Lisa made up a story that she thought he would like.
She told her rapist that her father was sick and that he would be a stronger man if he let her go. It was brave and kind of you to free her.
After Lisa had been in his apartment for 26 hours, the man dumped her on the edge of town and left her there, still alive.
“After he let me go and drove away, I took off the blindfold and saw this amazing oak tree. Before, I wanted to die, but now I wanted to live.” The People, by Lisa McVey.
Lisa was ready to ask for help from the police now that she was no longer in pain. Even though Lisa had been through such a terrible thing, she was able to help the police.
Not only could she explain her kidnapper in a way that made a lot of sense, but she could also figure out why she heard him stop the car and knew he used an ATM right before he let her go.
By looking around his apartment and car while wearing a blindfold, Lisa found important clues that the police used right away.
Using the ATM information that Lisa had given them, the police quickly looked up bank records and found that only one man, Bobby Joe Long, had used that ATM during the time frame they had set.
Bobby Joe Long — Thief, Rapist, Abductor, Killer
Lisa was shocked to find out that she had been taken by a famous killer. At the time of the attack, Long was already on Florida police’s wanted list for a number of rapes and possible murders.
Long had also done more than 50 rapes in California before he moved to Florida.
Long was known as the Classified Ads Rapist on the west coast. Long would look through newspaper ads where people were selling small items they no longer wanted. Long would go to the house and say he was a customer, hoping to find a woman alone. He did that. Quite a few times. Then Long would ask to use the bathroom, where he would put together his “rape kit” before attacking the woman and stealing from the house.
In 1981, Long was charged with rape and found guilty. He asked for a new trial, which was granted, but the charges were dropped. Three years after Lisa ran away, the police had a good idea of what she looked like and other information, so they started a new search.
Tragically, Long kidnapped, raped, and killed two more women that week. Their names were Virginia Johnson (18) and Kim Swann (21).
Long was finally caught outside of a movie theatre. He gave up his rights right away and said he had taken Lisa and raped her. When Long was shown proof of his other crimes, he was shocked and quickly said “no comment” and asked for a lawyer.
Trial and Sentencing
Long made a deal to plead guilty to eight of the murders and to kidnapping Lisa McVey and raping her. Long pleaded guilty to all of these crimes on September 24, 1985. He got:
1 sentence of 5 years
4 terms of 99 years
28 x life sentences
1 death penalty
Long was sentenced to die, but he was able to appeal the decision for decades. In 2019, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed his first death warrant, which was for Bobby Joe Long.
Long would die for the terrible things he did to women 30 years after he got his sentence.
Bobby Joe Long’s last meal was roast beef, bacon, French fries, and soda on May 23, 2019. Once Long was ready for the lethal injection, he refused to say anything else. At 6:55 pm local time, he was pronounced dead.
Lisa McVey had a front-row seat for the execution
Some brave women made it through Bobby Joe Long’s rapes, beatings, and thefts, but many did not. Lisa McVey was one of only two women who didn’t run away when Bobby Joe Long started killing people over and over again.
After what she went through, Lisa got the help she needed and was able to get out into the world. Lisa told her story because she didn’t want to be a victim again. She then joined the police force.
In 2019, Lisa said:
When I was 17, I felt like I had no control and was lost. This made me feel like I could do anything. I’m no longer lost.
I’ve reached the top of my mountain, and it feels good.
Lisa has been a police officer for 17 years. Lisa is determined that no one will get hurt while she is in charge. This is mostly because of what happened to her as a child.