We can always count on Netflix to deliver us a true crime fix, and the streaming giant’s latest offering is no different. Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey tells the terrifying true story of Lisa McVey, a 17-year-old Florida native who was abducted and raped by one of the Tampa Bay area’s most notorious serial killers—only for the harrowing story to end in her persuading her abductor to release her.
Having originally been released in the U.S. in 2018, the dramatic retelling recently dropped as part of Netflix’s June 2021 lineup and has quickly captured the attention of viewers. The gripping film recounts the true story of McVey, who was abducted and raped for 26 hours in 1984 by serial killer Bobby Joe Long, following his murderous rampage in the months prior.
The entire film is based on real events, which McVey herself gave approval for—she even attended a special screening when the film was originally released.
Read on for a deep dive into the film’s cast, and a look at the real people they portray on screen.
Katie Douglas as Lisa McVey (now Lisa Noland)
Canadian actress Katie Douglas takes on the role of Lisa McVey in Netflix’s Believe Me.
You may recognise the 22-year-old from another Netflix project, Ginny & Georgia, where she takes on the role of Abby.
Interestingly, Lisa’s experiences led her to join law enforcement, and she has been a member of the Hillsborough County Sherriff’s Office for nearly two decades and a School Resource Officer for seven.
“If a student is down in the dumps, I tell them a story about a girl whose family abandoned her and who was kidnapped and raped. And I say, ‘Do you think she lost her way? No. She became a police officer. You’re looking at her,” she told A&E.
Rossif Sutherland as Bobby Joe Long
Serial killer Bobby Joe Long is portrayed by actor Rossif Sutherland.
The Canadian actor is the son of Hollywood royalty Donald Sutherland and Francine Racette and is best known for his roles in The Con Artist, Reign, River, and Hyena Road.
Bobby Joe Long is a serial killer and rapist who terrorised the Tampa Bay area of Florida in the early ’80s, reportedly sexually assaulting up to 50 women and murdering 10. In November of 1984, Long was arrested outside a movie theatre and charged with Lisa’s kidnapping, where he later confessed to the abduction, as well as 10 murders. He was handed down the death penalty in 1985 and was executed in 2019, more than 30 years after his conviction.
David James Elliott as Sgt Larry Pinkerton
Canadian actor David James Elliott takes on the role of Sergeant Larry Pinkerton, the law enforcement official who looked after Lisa following her abduction.
The actor is best known for his role as Harmon Rabb Jr in Jag, as well as in Netflix’s drama Spinning Out.
Amanda Arcuri as Lorrie McVey
Amanda Arcuri plays Lorrie, Lisa’s sister, in Netflix’s Believe Me. The 23-year-old actress is best known for her role as Lola in Degrassi.
Megan Smith Fahlenbock as Lisa’s mother, Betty
Canadian actress Megan Smith Fahlenbock plays Lisa’s mother, Betty, in the Netflix drama. She is best known for her voice roles as Gwen on Total Drama, Jen Masterson on 6teen, and Eva Kant in Diabolik.
Not much is known about Lisa’s mother, but she has been open in the past about the years of sexual abuse she endured by her grandmother’s boyfriend, with who she was living with at the time after being abandoned by her parents.
“I was deathly afraid that he was going to kill me. Here I was thinking about killing myself, and now I was going to be fighting for my life,” Lisa previously said in an interview. “When he released me and drove off, I took off my blindfold and saw this amazing oak tree. I had wanted to die before and now I wanted to live, I got a second chance at life.”
Intrigued by Lisa’s story? Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey is available to stream now.