In a criminal investigative process and the subsequent trial proceedings, the involvement of a victim as a witness presents a complex and risky challenge to the prosecution.

Many procedures during the investigation make the victim undergo a re-traumatization, which may bring about all sorts of difficulties in conducting a compelling inquiry into an alleged criminal activity.

For instance, a victim of sexual assault or abuse is inevitably forced to relive the physical violence and psychological distress of the actual incident in the past.

Many victims quickly become frustrated, wanting to put the bad experience behind. But when victims are determined to help solve cases, they can be the most reliable witnesses. 

Lisa McVey Noland was a rape victim who helped the police catch her attacker.

Her excellent memory and willingness to cooperate with the authorities led to the capture of a serial killer and rapist Bobby Joe Long in November 1984, about two weeks after Lisa had escaped her ordeal.

Nearly 35 years later, in May 2019, Lisa sat in the front row when Long was executed by lethal injection at Florida State Prison in Raiford.


10 /10 Killing Rampage

When Bobby Joe Long kidnapped Lisa McVey on November 3, 1984, he peaked an eight-month killing rampage.

All across Tampa, the police had recovered ten women’s bodies but without any clear path toward solving the mystery.

However, it was clear that the deaths were linked because the police found the same red carpet fibers in all the bodies.

The connection was the most conclusive fact the investigation could find for months. The beginning of the killing spree happened when Lisa managed to convince Long to release her.

9 /10 Executed By Lethal Injection

Before the capture, Bobby Joe Long was one of Florida’s most notorious serial killers.

Following the arrest in November 1984, he eventually admitted having killed ten women and raped dozens of others since March across the Tampa area.

Many of his victims were exotic dancers, sex workers, and women advertising furniture in newspapers. All victims were between 18 and 28 years old, last seen walking alone at night.

After spending 34 years on death row, Bobby Joe Long was executed by lethal injection at Florida State Prison.

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8 /10 Long List Of Sentences

Bobby Joe Long pleaded guilty to eight murders. He also confessed to kidnapping and raping Lisa McVey.

He was sentenced to death for the murder of Michelle Simms, a receptionist at a massage parlor in Fort Pierce and a former beauty pageant contestant.

According to the Florida Department of Corrections, for his crimes, including murder, rape, and abduction, Bobby Joe Long received a 5-year sentence, four 99-year sentences, 28 life sentences, and a death penalty.

Most of the sentences were awarded in 1985, and he received the death penalty in July 1986.

7 /10 Crucial Evidence

The findings of red fibers began with discovering the body of Ngeun Thi Long, a 19-year-old girl from Southern California. She had just quit her job at a nightclub in Tampa, planning to go back to college.

Two young boys found the body as they walked in a vacant field near an interstate overpass in May 1984.

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office collected all possible evidence from the scene and sent them to FBI headquarters in Washington.

Further analysis discovered the presence of the fibers, which would later become critical evidence in the case.


6 /10 Same Fibers On More Bodies

The following body also had the same red fibers from a carpet. Michelle Simms was discovered about two weeks later in a vacant field near an overpass. Her throat was slashed, and ropes bound her body.

The former beauty pageant contestant was only 22-years-old at her death. More bodies were found within the following weeks.

All had no physical evidence to point the investigation to a suspect, but every single of them carried the same red carpet fibers. And then, in November, the police came across a survivor, Lisa McVey.

5 /10 Suicide Note

Bobby Joe Long snatched Lisa McVey from her bicycle in front of the church parking lot on November 3, 1984. She was only 17 back then, working a double shift at the Krispy Kreme.

Lisa left the shop at around 2:00 am, but she had no intention to return home. At the time, she was living with her grandmother. For three years, Lisa had been molested by her grandmother’s boyfriend.

That night, she decided to end her life. Lisa had even written a suicide note. In some weird coincidental way, Bobby Joe Long canceled the suicidal thought.

4 /10 To Get Back At Women, He Said

As soon as Lisa felt a hand grabbing her body, she realized that the attacker held a gun against her left temple. She remembers screaming and begging for her life. The attacker took her to his car and drove away.

Along the way, Lisa tried her best to memorize every turn and the details of her attacker and the car.

Once inside an apartment, he ordered Lisa to undress and then raped her multiple times. When she asked the attacker why he did what he did, she responded, “to get back at women.”


3 /10 Bad Relationships

Bobby Joe Long was a 10th-grade dropout and an unemployed X-ray technician. It was later revealed that he had just gone through two bad relationships before the bodies started piling up.

After a divorce from his high school sweetheart, he found another woman with whom he could start a new relationship. However, he soon realized that the new woman was seeing another man.

According to his mother, Bobby once called her and complained about how he couldn’t find any decent girl in the world. The killing spree began just two months after the call.

2 /10 Sympathetic Facade

From the conversation Lisa had with her attacker, she realized that her only chance at surviving was to play a sympathetic facade.

She made up a story about being the sole caretaker of an ill parent, hoping that Bobby would also feel sympathetic. It worked better than she could have expected.

Bobby decided to let her go. Blindfolded but clothed, Lisa was left alone not far from home.

She told her grandmother and the police the story, with all the details she could remember. Bobby’s killing and raping spree was coming to an end.


1 /10 Red Carpet

In her story to the police, Lisa said that the only thing she could see while blindfolded in the car was the red carpet. The police immediately realized that her story could be connected to other cases.

The evidence collection process revealed the same red carpet fiber from Lisa’s clothes. More importantly, Lisa knew her attacker was driving a Dodge Magnum.

Lisa continued helping the police with the investigation until the prime suspect, Bobby Joe Long, was arrested on November 16, 1984. Lisa McVey is now a police officer working in the department that arrested her attacker.

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