11/29/09

Can this be?

Why didnt anyone care about this 6 year olds death? What happened to her? Who killed her?

in reference to: Ugly Girl Killed | The Onion - America's Finest News Source (view on Google Sidewiki)

11/27/09

Besides fighting for womens rights and the rights of women inmates Im a mom and a writer. Im always looking for mom sites that can appeal to all angles of my personality. I found Five Minuets for Mom last year and have been a reader ever since. I like it because its  not all sappy and silly. Its more than just talk about things kids do and soap operas and house cleaning.
There are relevant articles that really help. They are currently giving away an HP desktop that freaking rocks.
My home state is about to execute its sixth person since 2000.
Cecil C. Johnson Jr was 23 when in 1980 he walked into a convenience store and shot dead three people, including a twelve year old boy.

He is now 53 and about to realize his punishment.
The robbery netted him about $200. He shot the store owners son and killed him as his father looked on, wounded. Johnson then went outside and killed two bystanders who could have been witnesses. Johnsons own father turned him in and the store owner identified him in court. In 1987 Johnson was convicted of a beating death while in prison.

His execution is set for Wednesday and I do  not forsee any intervention.

11/21/09

I just finished Leo Damore's book about Antone Costa. What a strange fellow he was. He killed and raped and dismembered at least four women. He was axtremly slippery and sneaky guy. After reading the book I googled around for him and found a post written by his son, Peter, talking about his father.
in reference to:
"a semi-autobiographical novel written by the man convicted of the murders, Antone "Tony" Costa. One chapter described two of the murders."
- Cape Cod Confidential : Antone "Tony" Costa, In His Own Words (view on Google Sidewiki)

11/20/09

What happened?

Another 15 year old girl murderess. What happened to her. I cant find anymore info after she was indicted.

in reference to:

"Sharell Butler, a.k.a., Lady Red: The making of alleged teen 'killer'"
- Sharell Butler, a.k.a., Lady Red: The making of alleged teen 'killer' (view on Google Sidewiki)

What happened?

What has happened to this girl? I cant find any information after she was indicted.

in reference to: Sharell Butler, a.k.a., Lady Red: The making of alleged teen 'killer' (view on Google Sidewiki)

11/19/09


Here she is folks, 15-year-old Alyssa Bustamante, who dug a grave and then waited a week for the right time to kill a 9 year old girl for no other reason but for the experience. She confessed and led police to the body. Missouri will not sentence her to death. We know already that she has been treated for mental issues and raised in an unstable family by a grandparent. She has attempted suicide on previous occassions.
If she had been treated correctly previously would her 9 year old victim still be alive?

Determining factors

What are the determining factors to decide if she is tried as an adult? Besides the psychological testing, I mean. What exactly are they looking for to make that decision?

in reference to: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,569416,00.html (view on Google Sidewiki)

11/14/09

The Justice Department said yesterday the self-proclaimed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other Guantanamo Bay detainees will be sent to New York to face trial in a civilian federal court.

They are currently charged before military commissions with conspiring to commit the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people.

"After eight years of delay, those allegedly responsible for the attacks of September the 11th will finally face justice," Attorney General Eric Holder said this morning. "They will be brought to New York to answer to their alleged crimes in a courthouse just blocks away from where the Twin Towers once stood."

NBC New York Story
I live about 30 minutes from where Judy Neelley was raised and lived her life before Alvin. I was especially curious as to how someone from my little corner of the world could turn into a rapist and murderer. I visited her old neighborhood, talked with her family and the people who remembered her. I yearned to talk to Judy herself. I felt a kinship with her, but I was also curious as hell. I wondered what she had to say about the events leading up to her incarceration. I knew I was taking a chance that she would even want to tell her story to me. I was surprised when she wrote me back.

Judith Ann Adams Neelley was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. What is now a thriving metropolis, virtually indistinguishable from the bright lights of Nashville, was nothing more than a wide spot in the road when Judy came into it.

Murfreesboro ate, drank, and slept Nashville in those days and made its living off the city’s back. Around every corner was a “Grand Ole’ Opry” liquor store or a Loretta Lynns’ Country Kitchen. Not one day would pass without a denim-clad, star eyed, country singer complete with battered guitar sauntering across town in their slow, easy way. The lower rents and living expenses made the forty-five minute commute to Nashville appealing for many people. New faces came in and out of town so quickly a stranger could blend in and make a home for himself easily. And they did, in droves.

Judy’s childhood was as desperate and dead-end as the town that borne her in 1964. She and her four siblings lived with their parents in one rusty trailer park after another. She was a long, lean child that always seemed a little out of place in her own skin. Her arms a little too long, legs too skinny and teeth that stuck out; pale and gangly Judy was teased mercilessly. It didn’t bother her much though. She could rush home to her father who thought she hung the moon and told her so. At home she wasn’t a stick thin, awkward nobody but a beautiful princess.

“Sometimes I wake up from a deep sleep and smell my dad. I don’t know what it is but there are times I wake up and that mixture of Pabst Blue Ribbon and Viceroy hits me in the face the same as if he were standing in the room.” Judy wrote in mid 2004. Although a borderline alcoholic he honored his family commitment and worked one construction job after another in a city that was growing by leaps and bounds.

Sadly, Judy’s father was killed in a motorcycle accident when she was nine years old, which would be the first of many events to alter her life. Without his financial support Judy and her four siblings learned to live with what little their mother could provide in the 1970's rural south. Jobs were plentiful but low paying and scarcely enough to feed a family of five. “We ate a lot of fried potatoes, cornbread and pinto beans.” Judy wrote in late 2005. “But I’d give anything for real country corn bread right now.”

Judy attended Kitrell Elementary School, which looks today much like it did then. A short span of brick bordered with drab beige gutters that sits relatively unchanged in the midst of the rich, green pasture that surrounds it. The only other building nearby is the deserted Kitrell Fire Hall across the street, with its weed-choked gravel drive and faded whitewash sign. “She was always real smart,” said Dottie, Judy’s older sister. “She kept to herself but was like any other kid her age. She didn’t like chores and would rather be off reading or sitting high in a tree, watching the dirt road.”


Once Judy’s father died, her mother lost focus on her children. Her mother became promiscuous, bringing home strange men at least four nights a week Nor was her mother particularly selective about her partners, as court records show she was arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a teenage boy during that time.

“The kids were a quiet bunch,” recalls Mary Stalls, a neighbor at that time. “You’d see them playing in the yard with each other but not so much with any other kids. You hardly ever saw any adults, unless it was late at night.”

Judy met Alvin Neelley when she was fifteen and he twenty-six. Known back home in Georgia for being a baby-faced charmer, it took him less than three weeks to talk Judy into hitting the road with him. Marriage seemed a perfect escape from the meager existence her mother was able to provide for her, so the pair ran away after Judy’s mother refused to allow them to marry. Alvin gave her everything she had been missing since her father’s death. The attentions of a seemingly loving man, if not food, shelter and clothing that wasn’t someone else’s hand me downs. Alvin cared about her and was interested in her. For the first time in what seemed like a lifetime she was someone’s number one.

The two were soon inseparable and those that knew them took to calling them “Bony and Claude” because their actions and appearance so resembled the notorious Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. Petty burglary and two-bit check scams were easy to pull if it meant being able to eat every night. They seemed blissfully happy. Constantly moving from one city and state to another kept them from getting caught and a life of petty crimes soon progressed into armed gas station robberies and gunpoint muggings to finance their on-the-move lifestyle.

Eventually, the couple was picked up in Georgia on check fraud. Both served jail time but Judy, who was pregnant with twins, voluntarily took most of the blame. Alvin explained to her that at the age of 18 her sentence would be much lighter than his. He told her how easy doing time would be for her and that may have been true had Alvin allowed it. Instead, he wrote her letters detailing his interactions with other women, taunting and baiting her with his conquests. She would write return letters full of threats she vowed to take out on Alvin’s temporary replacements for her. He kept her stoked and ready. Alvin’s lesson of the day: you have to fight for what’s yours.

Soon the twins were born and Judy experienced unconditional love for the first time in her life. She tried to make each motel a little like a home. She would set snapshots of the kids around the room, sometimes picking up toys and clothing for the children at thrift stores and yard sales. If a check scam went particularly well Alvin would allow her to buy new outfits for them. She loved to dress them in matching garments; one blue, one pink.

Things could have appeared normal until the new started to wear off and Judy realized Alvin was no knight in shining armor. Her dream rescue on the back of Prince Charmings horse was more like a desperado pillaging the village youth. “I can't remember when it started really. It seemed like it was all of a sudden but looking back on it I see it was gradual.” Judy explained in an early 2006 phone call. “He'd get real moody and if I asked why or said anything he'd yell at me and tell me that me and the twins were holding him back. He'd talk all about how much he could be without us. He would tell me ten times a day that killing us would be doing us all a favor. I believed him after a while.” She quickly became Alvin's whipping post and learned that a life with an unsatisfied Alvin was a life of pain and degradation. To please Alvin meant one more day of life without a beating, molestation, or depravity. Together with Alvin she killed at least two women after forcing them to sexually satisfy him.

“I can clearly remember the day the killing started.” Judy told me in one early 2006 phone call, “We had been driving around for about two days. He wanted beer and I couldn't get anyone to cash this check we had. He got frustrated and started to hit me in the head with his fist over and over. He was screaming at me and I was yelling. The kids started to cry then. Hurting me always made him excited sexually so he grabbed my head and shoved it into his crotch. I couldn't breathe and my lip busted open on his zipper. He told me that as soon as the kids went to sleep I was getting fucked. I started to cry because I know what that means. He was telling me he was going to rape me and beat me until I passed out. Then he could climax. I was begging him not to, to please let me heal one more day from the last time. I had a bite mark on my breast that was still swollen and bled easily. The kids were starting to cry again so he pulled my face close to his and pointed to a bunch of girls walking through the parking lot. He told me he would make me a deal that night. It was me or one of them.”

The girls were from The Ethel Harbst Home for Neglected Girls in Georgia. They were on a day trip to the mall. Judy followed them until they began to stray off in pairs and threes. Two of the smaller girls broke away together and Judy approached fourteen-year-old Lisa Ann Millican.
“I started to talk to her. I asked if her name was Sarah Miller. That always worked with the robberies. You act like you might know them and they will talk to you.”

Eventually Judy lured Lisa to her car with promises of partying and alcohol. The two went to a motel room that Alvin had rented a few hours earlier. Alvin and Judy waited until the twins were asleep. Plying Lisa with alcohol, Alvin made a pass at her. She refused it and demanded to leave the room. Enraged, Alvin savagely beat the girl, punching and strangling her until she complied. The couple spent the next two days raping and beating the girl in front of their children. In between the individual assaults, Lisa was forced to sleep on the floor, handcuffed to the bed to prevent her escape. Eventually it was decided that Lisa had to go.

Judy took her to the edge of a sequestered canyon deep in the Alabama wilderness. She walked quietly with Judy, obviously resigned to her fate. Stoic, she stopped and sat when Judy told her to.
“I had 6 syringes full of Drano that Al fixed and put in a plastic baggy. I put one in her neck and told her to sit still. I got a sick feeling watching the sharp point make a dent in her skin. The dent filled with a speck of blood and then it was gone. When I was pushing in the plunger I could see that her skin was bubbling under it. She was crying and whining but just a little. I thought she would die right away and I waited for her to jerk and thrash around but she didn't. When she touched her neck her fingers made a print in her neck that wouldn't go away, like when you touch a memory foam mattress or something. I waited for a while. I don't know how long. But she wouldn't die so I did it again and again. I kept thinking I was supposed to be doing her a favor but I was causing her so much more pain. I only knew that if she didn't die soon Al would find us and maybe kill us both or rape her more. Her skin was melting and bubbling. It was turning gray and smelled weird and so I loaded the .38 and shot her two or three times. A real peaceful look came over her face then and I felt better. I rolled her to the edge and then pushed her over."

11/12/09

I started writing to Judith Neelley in 2005 after I learned of her story by chance. It was while I was researching the case of Christa Pike who, at age eighteen was the youngest woman on death row.

I stumbled across the book “Early Graves” by Thomas Cook. It is the story of Judy and Alvin Neelley and the crimes they committed. The cover blurb shouted out “Shocking True Crime- The Youngest Woman Ever on Death Row” – and I was hooked. I ordered a used copy from Amazon and devoured it in twenty-four hours.

I learned Judy was born thirty minutes from me and had attended the same elementary school as the children of several of my friends. The book covered the couple’s life of crime with the emphasis being on Judy. I also read about how reed thin Judy brutalized and abused her 280-pound, and by all accounts, charmer of a husband. Apparently Judy, was able to coerce Alvin into committing rape and murder both with her and without her. I pondered this for a while.

While I read the book I pictured the scenarios that may have taken place. Nothing was ringing true to me. Something was still unresolved for me. It was partly because I couldn’t quite believe that something so evil could have been bred in my own little corner of the world. But it was also because of a memory that kept recurring.

Over and over I would get flashes of my mom filing her fingernails to sharp points before donning my brother’s bicycle and riding ten miles to the home of my dad’s mistress.

I thought maybe Judy wasn’t such a monster. Maybe something similar happened to her as I watched happen to my mother that day.

Like most abused women my mother was a quiet, modest grandmother whose whole life was her job at the local Whirlpool factory. My aunt tells stories of her as a vivacious, beauty queen, riding in parades and attending parties. I never got to know that woman. She wasn’t my mother.

My mother was a damaged, fragile shell.
My father beat the crap out of her with sickening regularity. The Christmas Eve when I was twelve I peeked down the hallway to see him pull a handful of hair out of her head that was as big as a kitten. It was the first time I’d actually seen any violence between them. Usually I was awakened in the night by screams and arguing. I would cower under the covers and try to make sense of what I was hearing. It was always muffled, scary, and indecipherable. Morning would find mom quietly nursing her coffee and balancing her Marlboro with its inch long ash on her purple, fat lip.

My brother and I would look at each other over our cereal bowls and wonder just what the hell had happened during the night.Our damaged family dynamics changed shape the night my mom rode those ten miles to town.

My dad had this bony, black haired mistress who would call our house all night long. She would drive around our house late at night and shine her headlights in the windows. Our two-year-old baby brother would howl and my parents would fight. Dad would get mad and storm out. He would go from one woman to the other leaving a trail of madness behind him.

One spring morning full of this particular madness my mother came unglued. She sat on the couch all day filing her nails to sharp daggers and painting them with a thick acrylic paint. She stewed in that black funk all day and when evening came she jumped on my brother’s bike and rode 12 miles to town.

She told me later that her intentions were to end that chapter of her life. Her goal when she left the house was to end the madness and the ass whippings it brought with it by any means necessary. When she got there she called daddy and the woman out and pounced on her. My mom lost her mind that day. She had been beat down so many times that she snapped. She made dangerous choices based on irrational, anxious thoughts and violent circumstances.

By anyone’s accounts my mom was a genuinely sweet woman who would hurt no one, unless my dad was in the mix. Because that was such a fact of life in my world I began to apply that line of thought to Judy. I could easily see my mother losing it and doing something similar to what Judy did. Especially if she thought it would save her an ass whipping or at least post-pone the last deadly one.

Perhaps madness had overtaken her as well. I wondered if it was possible that Judy was also just a damaged, shell with so many cracks it just became easier to fall apart than hold it together.

Survival of the fittest. Kill or be killed.
I wanted to know her.
I needed to know her.

11/10/09

What would you say if I told you that you could be a cold blooded killer? A murderer. Would you believe me?

Its a scary thought but many people believe that every single one of us could be a murderer if the circumstances were there. You might think to yourself, "well, if my child were in danger or if it were a life or death situation..."

But what about other circumstances? I know a young woman who sits on death row now for the murder of her boyfriends parents. She was 17 at the time and he was 22. She was very caught up in the love and attention she recieved from him and would have followed him blindly into hell, happily. Now that is exactly where she is. Years later she wonders how she ever did what she did.

Then there is Andrea Yates and Susan Smith, who killed their children. Each received very different punishments. One deemed insane, the other a monster.

Then there is Christa Pike who sits on death row for the killing of a rival for her boyfriends attention. Her mother knew something was wrong with her mentally and asked the state and doctors for help for her for many, many years only to be turned down.

Is it in all of us? This ability to kill for one reason or another?

Matthew Perkins Triple Murder

The man who committed these murders recruited my daughter into the Army. We had quite a bit of contact with him at the time. Can you ima...