Bobby Joe Long kidnaps and rapes 17-year-old Lisa McVey in Tampa, Florida. The victim’s subsequent courage and bravery led to the capture and arrest of Long, who was eventually found guilty of 10 murders committed in the Tampa area during the early 1980s.
McVey had been riding her bicycle home from work in the evening when she was abducted and blindfolded by Long. He then smuggled her into an apartment where he sexually assaulted her for more than a day. While successfully convincing Long to spare her life, McVey remained mentally alert enough throughout the brutal ordeal to remember certain details that were crucial in helping police capture her attacker.
By estimating the amount of time she spent in Long’s car after being abducted, McVey was able to help establish a radius for his location. She also was able to estimate the time of day that Long had used an ATM by recalling the television show music she heard playing faintly in the background. Since ATM’s were still relatively rare in 1984, police were able to narrow possible culprits by checking out everyone who had conducted an ATM transaction in that time frame and area. Lastly, the victim had seen enough of Long’s car to provide details that helped identify its year and model.
With this critical information, police were able to locate and arrest Long on November 16. After confessing to 10 area homicides, he received a string of 99-year prison terms and two death penalty sentences, although the latter were eventually overturned because he had been interrogated despite his requests to speak to a lawyer. Long died in prison in 2019.