Lisa McVey Noland Escaped Her Captor Through Superior Wit And Guile

Lisa McVey Noland did something truly incredible: she took down a serial killer. Bobby Joe Long, AKA Robert Long, had already murdered at least 10 women and raped 50 others when he chose Noland as his next victim. What happened during the next 26 hours would change both of their lives forever.

Noland joined the very small group of serial killer survivors after using her street smarts and attention to detail in November 1984. After taking his first life, Long murdered every subsequent woman he picked up, except Noland. How she convinced him to let her go provides an important lesson for everyone. After all, you never know when you might need to talk your way out of a bad situation. Noland now helps catch bad guys in an official capacity, and her story is inspiring for every woman who considers herself a survivor. 


  • Noland Was Abducted As A Teenager

    Bobby Joe Long abducted Noland while she was riding her bicycle at approximately 2 a.m. on November 3, 1984, near Tampa, Florida. She was 17 years old. The serial killer and predator bound her hands, put a blindfold on her, and forced her into sexual acts. Afterward, he drove for about 30 minutes and took her into an apartment.

    The next 26 hours were a horrific ordeal that included Long assaulting Noland so many times she lost count. Noland believes her experience with sexual abuse as a child actually helped her endure and may explain how she was able to maintain and ultimately outwit Long. 

  • She Asked Long Questions About His Motives, And He Answered

    In the movies, people often get their assailant to share their motives and plans, which typically leads to the bad guy's demise. In Noland's case, asking Long why he had abducted her turned out to be very useful. Long's answer was that he "was getting back at women in general for a really bad breakup with another girl."

    Noland used this knowledge to her advantage when trying to reason with him. 

  • She Focused On Gathering Information About Her Abductor

    From the moment Long grabbed her, Noland began gathering as much useful information as possible. Although she had a blindfold on, the teenager could still see a little bit. By paying close attention, she obtained critical identifying details for the police, including the type of car Long drove, the approximate route they took, the fact that he visited an ATM, and even a rough description of his face.

    She never actually saw his face, but she felt it with her hands and told police about his mustache, approximate body build, pockmarks, haircut, and more. Noland also put her fingerprints on every surface possible in the apartment's bathroom to help police identify her if she died. 

  • Long's Unpredictable Temperament Ranged From Aggressive To Gentle

    McVey's situation was particularly terrifying because of Long's unpredictable temperament. He was rough with her one moment, gentle the next, then rough again. About the abuse she said: 

    His demeanour was very aggressive. I did what he told me to do. I was afraid if I didn’t he would kill me. Then he got in the shower and it was like night and day. It was like a fantasy for him. He started bathing me, started washing my hair, trying to touch me gentle. He would hold me for a second, and then all of a sudden become this aggressive monster again. One minute he was calm as a four-year-old child, next thing he was a raging bull

  • Long Had Previously Been Charged For Raping At Least 50 Women

    Long Had Previously Been Charged For Raping At Least 50 Women
    Photo: Florida Department of Corrections / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Long committed numerous crimes before Noland helped send him behind bars for good. In fact, he had a completely different criminal career as the so-called Classified Ads Rapist that predated his first murder. As the name suggests, Long found women via the classified ads in Florida newspapers. He assaulted at least 50 women during this crime spree.

    Police caught Long and a jury found him guilty of one of these crimes. Long asked for a retrial, though, and the charges were dropped. This allowed him to redefine himself as a serial killer. 

  • She Lied And Told Long She Would Become His Girlfriend

    Having a history of sexual abuse gave Noland a better understanding of the mindset of a rapist. As a result, she spoke to Long in soft, gentle tones, as if talking to "a four-year-old." She also made a fake offer to become his girlfriend, which might have made him feel like she was on his side. 

    "I said, 'Listen, it's unfortunate how we met, but I can be your girlfriend. I could take care of you, and no one ever has to know.'"