TAMPA, Fla. — While attorneys for convicted serial killer Bobby Lee Long worked Wednesday to stop his scheduled execution, a woman who survived a violent encounter with Long spoke to Tampa-area media about how Long haunted her for years, even as she went on to join the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
- Deputy Lisa McVey Noland was 17 when she was kidnapped, raped by Long
- Noland said she cried when Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Long's death warrant
- Noland says she plans to attend Long's execution, if it proceeds as scheduled
- More Hillsborough County stories
Authorities have said Long murdered at least eight women in the Tampa Bay area in the 1980's.
One of his victims, Lisa McVey Noland, survived and went on to become a Hillsborough County Sheriff's Master Deputy.
Noland said Long kidnapped and raped her when she was 17 years old.
She said he's haunted her life for years.
"Ever since then, it's just been a nightmare of "Is he coming after me?" or "Are the doors locked in my house?" she said.
Noland said part of the reason she went into law enforcement is because of the experiences she had as a child and teenager.
She's been with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office for 20 years and speaks across the country about her experience of survival.
Late challenges to death sentence
Noland said she cried when she heard Governor Ron DeSantis had signed Long's death warrant and that his execution was scheduled for May 23.
The warrant was signed in the case of Michelle Simms, a former beauty pageant contestant, who was found murdered near Plant City in May, 1984.
Long's attorneys have since been filing a series of last-minute challenges. Among these challenges is a claim that the state's lethal injection protocol may be considered "cruel and unusual punishment."
Noland, who told us Long held her at gunpoint for about 26 hours, called the argument "ironic."
She said officials in Tallahassee have been keeping her in the loop about what's happening.
"I had to pray to God and ask God, 'If it's your will, it's your will,'" she explained. "If he's executed, great. That's justice for me, but mainly for the families who can't be with their loved ones because they were taken too soon and peace if he's not executed, because then I'll continue to fight for it."
Noland said if the execution takes place, she plans to be there.
She said she also has a message for Long.
"Thank you. Thank you for choosing me that night, because you kept somebody else from being hurt. Thank you for that and you changed my life."
Long will be back in a Tampa courtroom Friday for a hearing on the lethal injection protocol issue.