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Showing posts from November 8, 2009

My Daughter Has Felony Drug Convictions Now What?

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 Ly…
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 pict…
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 …