Lisa McVey family: Did the teen really live with her grandmother?

7 June 2021, 12:09

Lisa McVey family: Did the teen really live with her grandmother?
Lisa McVey family: Did the teen really live with her grandmother? Picture: Netflix

Viewers have expressed their heartbreak and anger online.

Trigger warning: The following article contains themes of sexual assault and abuse that some readers may find upsetting.

Originally released on Lifetime back in 2018, Believe Me depicts the real-life, 1984 abduction of Florida teen Lisa McVey.

Now available to stream on Netflix, the film has attracted a new audience - who have been left stunned by Lisa's tragic ordeal.

Not only was McVey kidnapped and repeatedly raped by infamous serial killer Bobby Joe Long over a 26-hour period, she had been sexually abused throughout her childhood.

Here, we take a look at the Tampa Bay teen's upbringing and why she went to live with her grandmother.

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Did Lisa McVey really live with her grandmother?

Lisa had been in and out of foster care growing up, owing to her mother's drug addiction.

She was then sent to live with her grandmother aged 14, when her mother could no longer look after her and her sister. Her mother told her she would be helping her elderly relative out.

The teenager was then sexually abused by her grandmother's boyfriend, but her family turned a blind eye and told Lisa told that she should be grateful she was now living in a house with her own room.

Lisa McVey helped Sergeant Larry Pinkerton crack the case
Lisa McVey helped Sergeant Larry Pinkerton crack the case. Picture: Netflix

What happened to her grandmother's boyfriend?

After escaping serial killer Bobby Joe Long, Lisa went to the police to give a statement about her ordeal.

Instead of being met with concern from her family, Lisa was told she was exaggerating and telling lies.

It was the police officer on her case, Sergeant Larry Pinkerton, who not only believed the teenager's story, but also delved into her home life.

Upon probing Lisa, he discovered that she had been abused and her grandmother's boyfriend was then arrested.

What has Lisa McVey said about her family?

Lisa revealed that before the abduction she was considering taking her own life. She had even drafted a suicide note.

However, after she was kidnapped by Long, Lisa felt completely different about things: "Here I was thinking about killing myself, and now I was going to be fighting for my life."

McVey went on to become a sheriff's deputy at the Hillsborough police: "That was my motivation to become a police officer," she said, "I'm no longer a victim."

Believe Me is available to stream on Netflix now.


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