Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey – The true story behind the Netflix movie

Katie Douglas stars as Lisa McVe in Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey (image via Mubi.com)

The horrifying crime drama “Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey” has finally been released on Netflix. Directed by Jim Donovan, the film originally came out in 2018 on Lifetime.

The film stars Katie Douglas and Rossif Sutherland in lead roles. Based on the 1984 kidnapping and abuse of 17-year-old Lisa McVey, the film follows Lisa’s story of survival and escape.

Upon its release, the film also got a theatrical premiere in Tampa. The real Lisa McVey also attended the screening. Besides Netflix, the film is also available on Lifetime Movie Club, Amazon Prime Video, and Vudu.

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The real story behind Netflix’s Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey

The one-and-a-half-hour film depicts the whole incident of Lisa McVey’s abduction and rape by heinous serial killer Bobby Joe Long. In 1984 Lisa was kidnapped by Bobby on her way back home from work.

Bobby sexually abused Lisa in his car and held her captive in his apartment for 26 hours. She was held at gunpoint and went through terrible abuse multiple times. She was left blindfolded almost the entire time at Bobby’s house.

Meanwhile, Lisa also learned about Bobby’s crimes involving the murder of 10 other women in the residence of Tampa. He was also charged with sexually assaulting 50 more women in the area. Lisa was the only victim to survive Bobby’s attack.

During her time at the apartment, a blindfolded Lisa touched several materials in Bobby’s washroom. She hoped to leave behind traces of her DNA to help in the process of investigation. She later persuaded the abuser to set her free.

After figuring out the way to her house, Lisa informed her grandmother about the incident. The 17-year-old lived with her grandma and her boyfriend, Morris. Unfortunately, Lisa experienced traumatic abuse by Morris in the past.

Katie Douglas and David Elliot in a still from Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey (image via Netflix)
Katie Douglas and David Elliot in a still from Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey (image via Netflix)

Before her abduction, Lisa was even planning to take her own life. However, she shared in an interview with Fox News that the abduction gave her the will to survive against all odds.

“I had to take all of the abuse I had incurred as a child and just reach down one more time, into the pit of my stomach, and tap into those survivor skills in order to overcome him psychologically. And it worked. Here I am.”

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Lisa turned to the police after her grandmother refused to believe the incident. She was also subjected to doubt and vehement questioning at the station. It was sex-crime specialist Larry Pinkerton who first believed in Lisa’s story.

After a serious investigation, Bobby Joe Long was found guilty of the charges. He was arrested outside a theater in Tampa in November 1984. He was placed on death row and finally executed in 2019.

Lisa went on to live with a distant aunt after the ordeal. She also decided to serve as an officer at the sex crime department later in life. She also works as a school resource officer at Hillsborough.

In the Fox interview, she shared her desire to empower survivors of abuse.

“It’s to empower people, it’s to show people how to embrace life after horrific things happen to you. Maybe physical things, maybe mental or emotional, I want to be an inspiration to others.”

Since the latest release of “Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey” on Netflix UK, viewers have taken to Twitter to praise Lisa McVey’s bravery.

Katie Douglas from Netflix’s “Ginny and George” portrays protagonist Lisa McVey in the film. Rossif Sutherland plays criminal Bobby Joe Long. Meanwhile, Canadian actor David James Elliott plays officer Larry Pinkerton.


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