TAMPA, Fla. — For more than 20 years Lisa McVey Noland has served Hillsborough County as a deputy with the sheriff’s office, but it’s what happened to her nearly 35 years ago that helped shape her purpose to serve and protect.
"He came up behind me, grabbed me, put the gun to my left temple,” she said of her 1984 encounter with convicted serial killer Bobby Joe Long. "When I felt the steel, cold barrel of that gun, it was very familiar. My grandma's boyfriend used to put a gun to my head every time he molested me for three years."
McVey Noland was just 17 the night she said Long abducted her while she was riding her bike home from work around 2:30 a.m. in Tampa. After blindfolding her and ordering her to undress, she said Long raped her.
"He proceeded to escort me to the bathroom and he gives me a shower. The next 26 hours I was raped by this monster. And I want to put it out there, it's not molestation, it's not sexual assault, it is rape. I endured that for 26 hours,” she said.
While she doesn’t consider herself religious, she recalled reciting the Lord’s Prayer and asking God to spare her life. “I said, 'God, whatever you do, don't kill me.”
Ironically, the day before, she considered taking her own life due to abuse she endured at home. However, her abduction ignited a fierce determination to fight for her life.
"I'm kind of glad that the encounter with Robert Joe Long happened. Because if it had not happened, I would not be standing before you here today,” she said. “The night before, I'm doing my suicide note, and the next night, I'm fighting for my life. I wasn't going to allow anybody else to take anything else from me."
Today, Noland and her husband proudly serve their community as sheriff’s deputies. She said her abduction and rape, coupled with the abuse she endured as a child has shaped her into a deputy that serves with compassion.
Upon learning about Long’s execution scheduled for May 23, Noland said she cried, and hoped it will help her start a new chapter in her life.
“Knowing that he is going to die in less than 25 days from now, I’m hoping to get a full night’s sleep without any interruptions. I have not slept since 1984 a full night of sleep.”
See the complete interview here
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