Last week, the 2018 drama shot up to become the UK’s current No 1 film on the streaming service with many people praising it as “disturbing” and “mind-blowing”, especially given the fact that it is based on real events.
Believe Me is based on the real-life case of Lisa McVey, a 17-year-old girl (played by Katie Douglas) in Tampa Bay, Florida, who was abducted and raped by serial killer Bobby Joe Long (Rossif Sutherland) in the Eighties.
On 3 November 1984, Long knocked McVey off her bicycle on her way home from work. He abducted her for a 26-hour period during which he raped her multiple times.
McVey – who had suffered abuse previously from her grandmother’s boyfriend at the time – was able to free herself from Long.
Speaking to Fox News in 2018 when the film was originally released on the Lifetime Channel in the US, McVey said: “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.”
After she escaped him, McVey gave evidence to police detectives that was instrumental in helping the officers capture Long shortly after. He was arrested outside a movie theatre on 16 November.
Long was believed to have killed at least 10 young women in the Tampa area during the Eighties.
At his trial in 1985, he pleaded guilty to all charges, including eight murders as well as the kidnapping and assault of McVey. He was executed on 23 May 2019.
Now 54 years old, McVey works as a member of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, specialising in sex crimes and working to protect children.
She also works as a school resource deputy at a middle school close to the original crime, and occasionally acts as a motivational speaker.
Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey is available to stream now on Netflix.
If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, you can contact your nearest Rape Crisis organisation for specialist, independent and confidential support. For more information, visit their website here.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, you can call the 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge, on 0808 2000 247, or visit their website here.