Lisa McVey Noland Escaped A Serial Killer By Earning His Trust, Then Helped Capture Him

In the autumn of 1984, Lisa McVey Noland did something truly incredible: She took down a serial killer. By the time Bobby Joe Long targeted Noland as his victim, he had already murdered at least 10 women and sexually assaulted dozens more over an eight-month period.

What occurred during the 26 hours Long held Noland captive ultimately changed both of their lives forever.

  • Serial Killer Bobby Joe Long Abducted Lisa McVey Noland When She Was 17 Years Old

    On November 3, 1984, 17-year-old Lisa McVey Noland was riding her bike home from her shift at Krispy Kreme around 2 am. Noland lived with her grandmother near Tampa, FL, where serial killer Bobby Joe Long abducted her.

    After grabbing her off her bike and holding a gun to her head, Long bound Noland's hands, blindfolded her, and forced her to partake in sexual acts. Afterward, he drove for about 30 minutes and brought her into an apartment.

    Over the course of 26 hours, Noland endured a horrific ordeal; Long assaulted her so many times, she reportedly lost count. Tragically, Noland later stated her experience with sexual abuse as a child helped her endure the hours of Long's torture and abuse.

  • Noland Had Experienced A Lifetime Of Abuse Leading Up To Her Abduction

    Prior to her abduction, Lisa McVey Noland suffered abuse throughout her childhood. Her mother dealt with drug and alcohol abuse, which resulted in Noland spending five years in and out of the foster care system.

    She eventually moved in with her grandmother when she was 14. While Noland lived there, her grandmother's boyfriend would sexually assault her while holding a gun to her head. Years later, when Noland discussed her abduction, she stated, “It was nothing new," referencing her childhood abuse and trauma.

  • Noland Had Considered Taking Her Own Life Prior To Her Abduction

    As Noland rode her bike home from work in the early hours of November 3, Lisa McVey Noland was planning to take her own life. She had even written a suicide note prior to working a double shift at the donut shop. Before Noland could make it home, however, Bobby Joe Long kidnapped her.

    Noland later recalled, “One bad situation got me to another bad situation is what saved my life. Because the night before I’m doing my suicide note, and the next night I’m fighting for my life.” Noland also stated that so much had been taken from her in childhood, she wasn't going to let Long take her life.

  • Long Had Murdered At Least 10 Women And Assaulted More Than 50 Prior To Abducting Noland

    Robert “Bobby Joe” Long had already committed numerous crimes before he kidnapped Noland. 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 eventually caught Long, and a jury found him guilty of one of these crimes; however, Long asked for a retrial, and the charges were dropped.

    He went on to murder at least 10 women over the following eight months. Red carpet fibers found on the victims' bodies were the only clue police had to link all of the murders.

  • Noland Began Talking To Long, Slowly Earning His Trust

    After being repeatedly assaulted by Long inside his red Dodge Magnum, Long took Noland to his apartment, where she began asking him questions. When Noland asked why Long had abducted and assaulted her, he replied, “to get back at women.”

    Noland later learned Long had gone through two bad breakups, even telling his mother he couldn't “find any decent girls in the world.” Long himself later confessed that he didn't know why he murdered women.

    During her time at the apartment, Noland also made up a story about having a sick father and claimed she was his primary caregiver. She told Long there would be no one to care for her father if he killed her. Noland believed her story further helped her earn Long's sympathy.

  • Noland Focused On Gathering Information About Long

    From the moment Long grabbed her, Noland began gathering as much useful information as possible. Although she had a blindfold on, Noland could still see a 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.

    Although Noland never actually saw Long's face, 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 was murdered.