It was 2am in the morning, Lisa McVey Noland was riding her bike home after working a double shift at Krispy Kreme. She was only 17-years-old.
That night she’d penned a suicide note, after years of sexual abuse at the hands of a family member had taken its toll.
This was it, she thought. But first, she had to get through work.
What Lisa didn’t know was that she wouldn’t be returning home.
Instead, a series of horrific events would change her life forever.
“I always took the same route on the way home. It was always dark, but it seemed darker than usual that night,” she told the Crime and Investigation Network.
“I’m pedaling my bicycle on the sidewalk but a car blew a horn. I thought, ‘that was kinda odd. Why would a car go by and blow a horn? I’m on a sidewalk’.
“I got halfway down the street, I noticed a car was in the parking lot of a church. I looked back at the church and next thing I know, I was yanked off my bicycle.
“Then I felt a cold, steel barrel of a gun to my left temple. He dragged me across the street. I couldn’t see his face. He got me to the same car I’d seen in the parking lot. I remember seeing a huge knife sitting in the middle of the seats. He blindfolded me, bound my hands, my wrists and my feet, and took my seat and reclined it back.
“Shortly after that, he drives off. I’m like, ‘this is it, he’s going to kill me here’.”
What came next could only be described as living hell as Lisa was brutally raped and used as a sex slave for 26 hours.
“I was deathly afraid that he was going to kill me,” she revealed.
“Here I was thinking about killing myself and now I was going to be fighting for my life.”
Lisa’s captor was a notorious serial killer and sexual sadist, who had raped more than 50 women in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area before he moved to Tampa and tortured eight women and dumped their bodies.
Lisa became Bobby Joe Long’s next victim. He would abduct, sexually assault and murder another two women after her.
“I was held at gunpoint, he raped me over and over again, lost count,” Noland said on the 31st anniversary of her abduction.
“His demeanour was very aggressive. I did what he told me to do. I was afraid if I didn’t he would kill me.
“I remember that we had a conversation and at one point I asked him why he was doing this to me. He said he was doing this to me because he was getting back at women in general for a really bad breakup with another girl.
“This guy he knew what he was doing, he had me. I could’ve been dead. I could have been lying down in a ditch somewhere. I remember pleading with God, ‘whatever you do, just don’t let him kill me.’”
Lisa knew the only way to survive was to be smart. Blindfolded, she caught a glimpse of the colour and number plate on a car used to transport her.
She counted the stairs in her attacker’s apartment, and noted it was located in a wooded area.
She placed her fingerprints across the bathroom; the toilet, a mirror, shower curtains and worked to build his trust.
“I had street smarts and I did everything I could to remember every detail of where I was and what happened,” she said.
She used reverse psychology to orchestrate her escape. And something truly remarkable happened. He let her go.
Lisa was the only victim of Long’s to survive.
“I think he took sympathy on me but I don’t know why he didn’t kill me,” she said.
“He drove off. I pulled my blindfold down, and the first thing I saw was this gorgeous, beautiful oak tree. That’s the moment I knew my life was about to change for the good.
“I had wanted to die before and now I wanted to live.”
Lisa knew she’d been given a second chance at life and embraced it.
These days she works as a sheriff’s deputy at Hillsborough County.
Long, remains on death row, 30 years later.