Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey has left viewers both in tears and amazed by Lisa McVey's courage.
Warning: This article contains content that some readers may find distressing and/or triggering.
The notorious serial killer raped and murdered at least ten women in the Tampa Bay area of Florida in 1984 and committed numerous rapes before then.
One of his victims, Lisa McVey, was lucky enough to escape and tell the tale, leading police to his capture.
He was born as Robert Joseph Long on 14th October 1953, in Kenova, West Virginia, but spent most of his childhood with his mother in Florida.
Long had an unconventional childhood. Several sources report that Long's hatred for women developed early on in life, starting with his mother. She would go to work in bars scantily clad and bring home different men. Long shared a bed with his mother until he was about 13 years old.
Long was also bullied and he failed the first grade. He was also injured in a couple of accidents.
Long was married to his childhood sweetheart, Cindy Brown, between 1974-1980. They had two children.
In the interview with the publication, she recalls the beating when her head was slammed into the TV and she was knocked unconscious.
"'I'll never do it again. I'm so sorry.' [Long said] Then the next words were, 'When you [Cindy] drive yourself to get your stitches, if you tell them what really happened, I'll kill you when you get home,'" Cindy said.
When Cindy divorced Long in 1980, he went on a raping spree, which later progressed to murder.
Long was involved in a bad motorcycle accident not long after he married Cindy and he was hospitalised for several weeks. According to Crime Watch Daily, he wasn't the same after that.
Cindy claimed he had always been short-tempered, but after the accident, he turned physically violent and also had an impulsive and violent sex drive.
Criminal psychologists would later call Long a sexual sadist because of this compulsion.
After the split from Cindy in 1980, Long moved in with a female friend, Sharon Richards, who later accused him of rape and battery, but the charges were dropped.
Long started driving around town looking for opportunities to rape women. He would scout around for 'For Sale' signs on houses or answer classified adverts for furniture, because it was likely women would be home alone in those scenarios and he could easily get in the house and rape them.
According to police, Long committed 50 rapes during this period. In 1984, his crimes turned more violent and he started murdering his rape victims.
Long had been taken to court and served time before the1984 murders. In 1983, he was charged for writing a sexual letter and sending photos of himself to a 12-year-old girl and served some time in prison.
After his arrest for the Lisa McVey rape, Long was given 28 life sentences and one death sentence in the summer of 1986.
After more than 30 years on death row, he was executed in May 2019. Lisa McVey was present at the execution and gave a powerful statement.
His ex-wife Cindy said Long had gotten what he deserved.
"I have forgiven the man for what he did to me - the name calling, the physical violence, everything else... I don't think I will ever forgive him for what this has caused my children," said Cindy (The Daily Mail). "Nor will I ever forgive him for what he did to those girls, whether they be the murder victims or the rape victims."
Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey is available to stream on Netflix now.
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