Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Judith Neelley, Sadistic Pervert Serial Killer - 1982

EXCERPT: Active from 1980 to 1982, Alvin Neelley and his wife, Judith, liked to refer to themselves as the Night Rider and Lady Sundance. This murderous couple who delighted in the association of their heinous exploits with those of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, killed at least fifteen women [based on Alvin’s confession] in a reign of terror that ranged across three southern states. [Michael D. Kelleher & C. L. Kelleher, Murder Most Rare: The Female Serial Killer, Praeger Books, 1998, p. 135]


EXCERPT: Judith adapted the standard “politically correct” defense [its the man’s fault] only after reflection and thus created a new narrative adding stories of domestic violence.  As Davis notes, “Asked if she was afraid of her husband Alvin, she shook her head and said that he was the only person she’d ever trusted. She would later change this story to suggest that he’d abused her almost every day of her life – though the endless beatings mysteriously left not a single bruise.  … Prior to her trial, Judith had never alleged that Alvin had abused her – but now she followed Jo Ann to the stand and gave a defence that amounted  to Battered Wife Syndrome, even though she didn’t fit the true definition of a battered wife. [Carol Ann Davis, Women Who Kill: Profiles of Female Serial killers, 2001, Allison & Busby Ltd, p. 100-01]

Yet, the following type of inaccurate, yet politically correct, claim – fitting the dogma of ideological “gender theory” continue to be put forth: “Judith Neelley, a battered woman and the youngest American woman to serve time on death row, was convicted of committing the heinous murders of two women at the behest of her abusive husband.”


Wikipedia: Alvin Howard Neelley, Jr. (1953–2005) and Judith Ann Adams Neelley (born 1964) are an American couple responsible for two torture murders. They each were convicted of the kidnappings and murders of Lisa Ann Millican and Janice Chatman. Judy Neelley was sentenced to death by the state of Alabama in 1983, but her sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment in 1999. She is serving her sentence at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka, Alabama. Alvin Neelley was serving a life sentence at the Bostick State Prison in Hardwick, Georgia at the time of his death in 2005.

~ Early lives ~ ~

~ Alvin Neelley ~

Alvin Howard Neelley, Jr. was born in Georgia in 1953, where he was a car thief during his teenage years. He met his second wife Judith Ann Adams when he was 26 years old and she was 15. Alvin divorced his first wife shortly before eloping in 1980.

~ Judith Ann Neelley ~

Judith Ann Adams was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee in June 1964. Her father, an alcoholic, died in a motorcycle accident when she was nine. After meeting Alvin Neelley, she began her life of crime, committing armed robbery across the country (even when heavily pregnant) for which she was later caught. She gave birth to twins while incarcerated at Rome’s Youth Development Center.

~ Youth Development Center crimes ~

On September 11, 1982, a Youth Development Center employee, Ken Dooley’s home was shot at four times. The following day, fellow employee Linda Adair’s home was firebombed with a Molotov cocktail. Phone calls were made to the victims following the attacks by a female who claimed to have been sexually abused at the Youth Development Center, but neither victim could identify the caller’s voice.

~ Lisa Ann Millican ~

Lisa Ann Millican, a 13 year-old girl from Cedartown, Georgia was abducted by Alvin and Judith Neelley from the Riverbend Mall in Rome, Georgia on September 25, 1982. She was taken to a Murfreesboro, Tennessee (Scottsboro, Al.) motel where the Neelleys held her captive. During her captivity, Lisa was raped by both Neelleys, and Judith injected her with Drano. On the 28th, Lisa was shot in the head by Judith and her body was thrown in the Little River Canyon in Fort Payne, Alabama. Judith even called police to report Lisa’s body.

“The couple held her prisoner for three days, repeatedly molesting her in seedy motel rooms while their own children looked on. Finally tiring of the game, Judith tried injecting their victim with liquid drain cleaner, but she kept hitting muscle instead of a vein, reducing Lisa’s flesh to what a coroner would call “the consistency of anchovy paste. Still Lisa lived, in agony, and she was driven to Alabama’s Little River Canyon, finished off with bullets after more injections failed to do the job. [Bad Girls Do It!,

~ Janice Chatman and John Hancock ~

Janice Chatman and John Hancock were a young engaged couple from Rome, Georgia. On October 4, 1982, they were abducted by Judith Neelley. John Hancock was shot while Janice Chatman was abducted and brought back to the Neelleys’ motel room, where she was tortured and murdered. John Hancock, however, did not die, and was able to point to Alvin and Judith Neelley as his assailants.

~ Arrests and trial ~

Judith Neelley was arrested on October 9, 1982, and Alvin was taken into custody a few days later. Judith was deduced as being the perpetrator in the YDC employee attacks.

To avoid the death penalty, Alvin Neelley pled guilty to murder and aggravated assault in Georgia. He was not tried for the Lisa Millican murder. Judith Neelley’s trial began on March 7, 1983, in Fort Payne, Al. Before her trial however, she gave birth to a third child behind bars. After a six-week trial, Judith was convicted of the torture murder of Lisa Ann Millican. Despite a jury‘s recommendation to sentence Judith to life in prison, judge Randall Cole sentenced the 18 year-old mother of three to death in Alabama‘s electric chair.

Following her first conviction, Judith pled guilty to Janice Chatman’s murder.

~ Aftermath ~

Alvin Neelley was incarcerated at the Bostick State Prison from 1983 until his death in November 2005.

Judith Neelley became the youngest woman sentenced to death in the United States. She was on Alabama’s Death Row at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women.

Judith appealed for a new trial, but it was denied in March 1987. In 1989, the United States Supreme Court affirmed her death sentence. On January 15, 1999, Judith Neelley was days from her execution date when Alabama’s then-governor Fob James granted her clemency, commuting her death sentence to life in prison. The decision was met with controversy, but James cited how Judith’s jury wanted to sentence her to life in prison, but the judge sentenced her to death. Judith will be eligible for parole in January 2014.

~ In the media ~

On February 28, 2008, the Neelleys’ case was profiled on the Investigation Discovery program Most Evil. On a scale developed by forensic psychiatrist Michael Stone, Judith was ranked as a category 22 killer, the “most evil” level deemed for serial torture murderers.

On October 23, 2008, Alvin and Judith Neelley were featured on another Investigation Discovery program, Wicked Attraction, in the episode “Hearts of Darkness.”

Judith, presented as the mastermind of the murder spree, was featured on a third Investigation Discovery program, Deadly Women, in the July 2011 episode “Twisted Thrills.”


Alvin’s arrest and statements following October 14, 1982 arrest –

“Police got a break on October 14, when the Neelleys were arrested for check in Judith’s hometown of Murfreesboro. Alvin initially denied raping Lisa Millican, but he finally caved in. Even so, he contended, the crimes had been Judith’s idea. She enjoyed rough sex with women, he said, but the real turn-on was power – in this case, the literal power – in this case, the literal power of life and death. Neelley fingered his wife for a minimum of eight murders, perhaps as many as fifteen, committed in her role as “enforcer” for an elusive white-slave ring. More to the point, he sketched and signed a map of rural Cattooga County, Georgia, where police found Janice Chatman’s decomposing corpse.” [Michael Newton, Bad Girl’s Do It! 1983, Loompanics Unlimited, p. 128]


FULL TEXT: Wetumpka, Ala. – Authorities are investigating the death of a Montgomery woman they believe killed herself to honor a suicide pact with death row inmate Judith Ann Neelley.

Mrs. Neelley was in stable condition Tuesday in the medical unit at Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women after slashing her arms Monday afternoon. She was cut severely with a blade taken from a disposable razor, said prison spokesman John Hale.

Mrs. Neelley, a 29-year old native of Murfreesboro, Tenn., was sentenced to die for the 1982 murder of a 13-year-old Northwest Georgia girl, Lisa Ann Millican, who was sexually abused, injected with liquid drain cleaner and shot to death after being kidnapped from the Riverbend Mall in Rome.

Mrs. Neelley testified at her 1983 trial that she and her then-husband, Alvin Neelley, kidnapped Lisa from the mall.

Monday a home near Gadsden, authorities found Alisa Dianne Wall, 26, dead of a gunshot wound to the throat, said sheriff’s investigator Jack Lowe. Investigators recovered a cassette tape containing a conversation between the women, Lowe said.

“Their plans were to do it at the same time of clothes and pictures all around,” Hayes said.

Two photographs of the woman, apparently taken when Mrs. Wall visited the prison, were found Ms. Wall’s body, Etowah County Sheriff James Hayes, said.

Hale said “two identical pictures” were found in Mrs. Neelley’s cell.

The taped conversation indicated the women had been together “as late as a few days ago,” Hayes said.

Etowah County Coroner William Bragg said Ms. Wall was visiting a friend in the Gadsden area. The relationship between the victim and Mrs. Neelley was not known, he said.

Bragg said an autopsy has been ordered.

“It’s definitely going to be a suicide,” Lowe said.

Hayes said Ms. Wall’s father had received from Mrs. Neelley about the suicide pact.

Mrs. Neelley was convicted and sentenced to die in Alabama’s electric chair in Holmen in 1983. No execution date has been set.

Tim McAbee, one of Mrs. Neelley’s attorneys, said he didn’t know why she had tried to killer herself.

Lisa, originally from LaFayette, was on a large trip with a group from Harpst Children’s Home in Cedartown, when she was kidnapped from the mall in September of 1982.

At first, police suspected Lisa, described  as a “sad and troubled child,” had ran [sic] away. Four days after her disappearance, however, Lisa’s body was found in Alabama’s Little River Canyon.

Mrs. Neelley’s husband was not charged in Lisa’s murder, but was not charged in Lisa’s murder, but was sentenced to life in prison for the slaying of Janice Chapman of Rome a few days after Lisa was killed.

On Oct. 4, 1982, Ms. Chapman was missing and her common-law husband, John Handcock, found shot in the back. Ms. Chapman’s body was found 11 days later, lying face-down in a Chatooga County creek.

[“Woman dies in Neelley suicide pact,” Rome News-Tribune (Ga.), May 18, 1994, p. 1]


FULL TEXT: The father of a woman who shot herself to death in the apparent suicide pact with a death row inmate says he believes the inmate, Judith Ann Neeley, “killed again, even again, even while she’s in prison.”

“It’s because of Judy that my daughter killed herself,” said Frank Sanders of Montgomery, Ala.

His daughter, Alisa Dianne Wall, died from a self-inflicted shotgun blast to her neck at an Etowah County home on Monday, May 16, authorities said. Ms. Neeley was found later that day in her jail cell with both wrists slit, but she survived.

Ms. Neelley had been sentenced to death for the death for the murder of a Northwest Georgia girl. She is also serving a life term she received in Chattooga County for kidnapping.

Sanders described Mrs. Neelley as a former friend he had introduced to his daughter.

“I wish I had never done that,” he said. “Judy is a very manipulating and controlling person, even to me. Alisa was a malleable person, easily led and needing someone to tell her what to do. I feel Judy talked her into killing herself.”

But Ms. Neelley attorney, Barry Ragsdale, described Sanders as a father who mistreated his daughter and was hoping to shift blame for her suicide.

“If anything, it was Alisa who talked Judy into committing suicide,” Ragsdale said.

Sanders, 55, said he was being cared for in a hospice while in the final stages of AIDS. He said shortly after receiving the call that his daughhter had killed herself, he received an envelope in the mail containing separate letters – one from Mrs. Neelley and one from his daughter.

“They were sort of laughing at me,” Sanders said. “They said, ‘Ha, ha, ha. By the time you get this, we will both be in heaven together. You can’t stop us from being together now.’”

Saunders said the two women had been having “a love affair” that included lengthy telephone conversations and death row visits.

“Judy had called me and asked, ‘You don’t mind if Alisa and I are in love with each other?’” he recalled. “I felt that was a safe relationship since Judy was in prison.”

Sanders said Mr. Neelley talked his daughter into leaving his home after he discovered details of her crime. Ms. Neelley was sentenced to death in 1983 for the slaying of 13-year-old Lisa Ann Millican, who was abducted from a Rome, Ga., mall, shot in the back, raped repeatedly and injected with liquid drain cleaner.

Lisa, originally from LaFayette, was on a trip with a group from Harpst Children’s Home in Cedartown when sge was kidnapped. Ms. Neelley testified in her 1983 trial she and her then-husband, Alvin Neelley, kidnapped the girl from the mall.

At first, Lisa, who was described from the mall in Rome, Lisa’s body was found in Alabama’s Little River Canyon.

“I read about the details in a book,” Sanders said. “It was then that I tried to get her back away from the relationship. But it had gotten too far. … The more I tried to pry them a part, the closer they become.”

Saunders said he had not seen his daughter in about a year.

 “Both their (suicide) letters to me were hateful and bitter,” he said. “I know it’s vindictive, but I am glad Judy didn’t succeed in killing herself. … I hope she has to think about this and suffer for the rest of her life.”

Alvin Neelley, who was not charged in Lisa McMillan’s murder, was sentenced in Georgia to life in prison for the slaying of Janice Chapman of Rome, a few days after Lisa was killed.

On Oct. 3, 1982, Ms. Chapman was missing and her common-law husband, John Hancock, found shot in the back.

The couple had gone for a ride with Ms. Neelley, who claimed to be new to the area and was looking for someone to take a drive with her.

Using a citizen’s band radio, Ms. Neelley contacted her then-husband, who they met up with later.

Ms. Chapman’s body was found Oct. 14, 1982, lying face-down in a Chattooga County creek.

The Neelleys were arrested that same day in Murfreesboro, Tenn., for allegedly attempted to pass fraudulent money orders.

Ms. Neelley received a life sentence in Chattooga County for the kidnapping of Ms. Chapman.

A series of appeals has kept her out of Alabama’s electric chair – though she was sentenced to death for Lisa’s murder.

[“Victim’s dad: Judith Neelley ‘killed again,” The Chattooga Press (Summerville, Ga.), Jun. 1, 1994, p. 1]


Judith Ann Neelley took him out into the woods and taunted him before shooting him in the back. “I took a half step to the left and that saved my life,” John Hancock said. “She shot me and left me for dead.” [John Bailey, “Step to the left: Survivor’s tale of the murderous rampage of Judith Ann and Alvin Neelley,” April3, 2016] 


• Alvin Howard Neelley, Jr., born July 15, 1954, Trion, Georgia; died Oct. 24, 2005.
• Judith Ann Adams, born June 7, 1964, Murfreesboro, Tennessee.


Jul. 14, 1980 – Judith and Alvin marry.
Oct. 31, 1980 – Judith: armed robbery, mugging of female victim.
Nov. 10, 1981 – Arrested for theft (15 counts of forgery).
Nov. 12, 1981 – Judith delivers twins.
Nov. 17, 1981 – Judith transferred to Rome Youth Development Center.
Nov. 1981 – Judith released from custody.
Sep. 11, 1982 – Youth Development Center employee, Ken Dooley’s home was shot at four times.
Sep. 11, 1982 – fellow employee Linda Adair’s home was firebombed with a Molotov cocktail.
Sep. 25, 1982 – kidnapping of Lisa Ann Millican, 13.
Sep. 28, 1982 – murder Lisa Ann Millican.
Oct. 1982 – Murfreesboro woman raped.
Oct. 3 (4?), 1982 – murder Janice Chatman, shooting of John Hancock.
Oct. 9, 1982 – Judith Arrested.
Oct. 14, 1982 – Alvin, check fraud arrest.
Mar. 7, 1983 trial begins in Fort Payne, Al., for torture murder of Lisa Ann Millican
1983 – Conviction Following her first conviction, Judith pled guilty to Janice Chatman's murder.
April 18, 1983 – sentenced to death.
May 16, 1994 – Alisa “Lisa” Dianne Wall, 26 – Suicide, shotgun blast to throat in suicide pact with Judith who cut her wrists without much effect.
Jan. 15, 1999 – death sentence was commuted to life in prison by Gov. Fob James That was just a few days after the U.S. Supreme Court had rejected an appeal by Neelley.
2003 – Alabama “Legislature passed a law in 2003, retroactive to Sept. 1, 1998 (about four months before James commuted Neelley's sentence), making inmates whose death sentences are commuted to life, not eligible for parole.”
Oct. 24, 2005 – Alvin Neelley, 52, dies at Oconee Regional Medical Center, Ga. (serving time at Bostick State Prison in Hardwick, Ga.), while undergoing surgery.
April 18, 2014 – “Neelley files a federal lawsuit challenging a state law that was intended to make sure she was not eligible for parole.”
Nov. 10, 2014 – “U.S. District Judge W. Keith Watkins granted the state's motion to dismiss Neelley's claims on state law but let her federal law claims proceed.”
Jul. 26, 2016 – U.S. District Judge W. Keith Watkins ruled that Judith Ann Neelley can not challenge the constitutionality of a state law barring her from parole eligibility.



Lisa Millican, 13 – 4 days couple raped; Judith murdered Sep. 25, 1982.
Janice Chatman – murdered, Oct. 3, 1982.
John Hancock – wounded, shot in back Oct. 3, 1982.
Unnamed victims – Alvin’s confession claimed a total of  8 to 15 women murdered [Michael Newton, 1993]
Murfreesboro woman raped, Oct. 1982 [M. Newton, 1993].
Alisa “Lisa” Dianne Wall, 26 – Suicide, shotgun blast to throat May 16, 1994; in suicide pact with Judith who cut her wrists without much effect.






Links to more Serial Killer Couples




  1. Does anyone know what happened to her children?

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I am a distant relative of Judy's. My grandma Irene wrote a lot to Judy in prison, but she never really spoke about her to me.. Judy was her niece. Growing up I heard about her having children and I heard their names now and again and I always wondered about them.. I am Irene's first born granddaughter...I'm glad to hear that her kids all went on to lead normal lives.. God bless..

  3. My name is Amy Neelley I am the oldest child of Alvin Howard Neelley. Judith is my step mother I was six years old when they we're arrested my siblings the twins we're one years old when all of this happen my baby brother was born after Judith was arrested. Our family was sleeping in the middle of the night when we we're a woke by police coming in our home and putting handcuffs on my father and as my father was being taken out our home he tells me go back to sleep everything will be OK . The very picture of my father and step mother you are viewing Judith has a black eye I was there when she got that I know how it happen I remember actually going in my dad room and picking up a syringe and asking my father what is this for and I remember my father going completely nuts that i even touch it. The twins have been harass there entire life because of our parents my sister lives in fear every day because of stalkers it is not there fault what happen they we're only one years old when these things happen and I'm glad for that cause they probably don't remember anything. We have lived in our parents shadow our entire life I now go by Amy Knight rather than Amy Neelley because of people judging but if someone wants to ask about it please ask me I'm on Facebook not hard to find please leave the twins alone and my baby brother

  4. The twins went into Foster care at thirteen and they both married and have been leading normal lives and I'm glad I got my grandmother to let the twins go to Foster care cause they went through some tough situations before Foster care i fought for so long to get them out so I can say Foster care was the best thing that happen for them after all they had been through and now they live great lives other than occasionally harassment about there mother and our father. My mother was the one my father divorce before he elope with Judith and I know Judith as my mother cause my mother was not in my life. I have seen my mother once when I was 19 we did talk but in the end she explain she couldn't have anything to do with me cause I remind her of my father Alvin and it reminds her of the abuse my father did to her so it's like she pretends she never had three other children because of our father Alvin Neelley

  5. Amy, I just happened to look this page up. I was telling my grandchildren about what had happened all those years ago as we live not too very far from where it happened. I can assure you dear child that not everyone in the world blames you or your siblings. I am one of many who do not. I can say with all honesty I never knew either of them had children and I am truly sorry for the suffering you have lived through because of their actions. I hope that it makes you a stronger person for going through this. I'm sure it takes a strong spirit to get through it. I will include you and your siblings in my prayers tonight. Again, I'm so sorry you went through all of that. Be strong sweetheart.

  6. Poor kid's,,,It's not their faults,,,I can't imagine twins one year old and new born living apart from parents,,, It must be very tough years,,,,Be strong,,,Keep believing that God always be there for you and your twins,brother siblings,,,,

  7. http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2016/12/judith_ann_neelley_seeks_chanc.html#incart_river_home_pop