She Should Have Been Executed


How do you kill someone? Inject them with Drano in their neck in two places. That doesn’t work. Try injecting another caustic in a couple of other places in the body. Gosh, darn, 13-year old Lisa Ann Millican is still alive. Okay, shoot her. Finally she’s dead.

You think that’s some Hollywood horror film? Science fiction? That’s what Judith Ann Adams Neelley did to Lisa Ann Millican in the motel room where she and her husband Alvin Neelley were staying. She and Alvin had abducted Lisa Ann on September 25, 1982, reportedly from a mall. Did no one see something suspicious when that happened? I guess not.

There were several TV shows about the case later, and several written reports that said Lisa Ann Millican for three days was subjected to rape by both Alvin and Judith Ann, and torture beyond the Drano and whatever other caustics before she was killed.

They simply threw her body over a cliff into the Little River Canyon near Fort Payne, Alabama, and Judith Ann called the authorities to tell them where her body was. The call was from a pay phone which excluded the authorities being able to determine who Judith Ann was.

Then Alvin and Judith Ann went out and abducted a young couple who were to be married, John Hancock and Janice Kay Chatman. This was on 10/4/82.  Some reports credit Judith Ann as the lone person kidnapping them. I find that a little difficult to believe, even if Judith Ann had a gun.

Somewhere in the process, John Hancock was shot and left for dead. Janice Kay Chatman was taken back to the Neelleys motel room and tortured. The torture was never revealed in any reports I read, but I can well imagine.

Turns out John Hancock was not dead, and identified the Neelleys as those involved in his abduction and subsequent shooting. Unfortunately the authorities were not able to reach the Neelleys before they killed Janice Kay Chatman.

Alvin was tried in Georgia for the kidnapping and murder of Janice Kay Chatman. He dodged the death sentence by admitting his guilt. He was never tried for the murder of Lisa Ann Millican. He died in prison in Georgia in 2005. The cause of death has not been specified in any reports I’ve seen on TV or read.

Judith Ann Neelley was tried for the murder of Lisa Ann Millican in Fort Payne, Alabama because the murder was within the jurisdiction of Fort Payne. Little River Canyon is just outside of Fort Payne where they dumped Lisa Ann’s body.

I’ve been in Fort Payne. Met some of the people there. Nice country people, but I am perplexed that they chose to give Judith Ann Neelley life in prison instead of the death sentence. I assume the judge in the case was outraged by all of this, because he ignored the jury’s decision and sentenced Judith Ann Neelley to death. At 18, she became the youngest woman on death row in the entire country.

So Judith Ann Neelley is sitting on death row awaiting execution, and on 1/16/99 has her sentence commuted to life by outgoing governor Fob James. He gave a thin excuse that the jury only wanted her to be sentenced to life and not executed.

At least Governor Fob James could have called the families of Lisa Ann Millican and Janice Kay Chatman to Montgomery, and faced them while he told them he was taking the death sentence off the table. I think he deserved some kind of punishment for what he did.

It’s a good thing I did not know Governor Fob James, I would have taken a can of Drano and sat it on his desk with a syringe, the type used by Judith Ann Neelley when she injected Lisa Ann Millican.

How did Alvin and Judith Ann sustain themselves during their murder sprees? By committing robberies in various locations. Judith Ann was even pregnant during some of that time.

She is the mother of three children, all born in prison. I’m not a deeply religious person, but I sure hope God saved their souls. With them being well into adulthood now, He must have, because we have heard nothing of the repeat of what Judith Ann Neelley did. I wonder if her children, now adults, visit her in prison?

So now Judith Ann Neelley is confined in the Julia Tutwiler Prison for women. She’s 52 years old, and the taxpayers of Alabama provide her with food, shelter, clothing, medical care, dental care, and eyeglasses if she needs them, among all the other amenities.

I doubt they provide her with Drano, which now comes in bottles instead of cans. On the other hand Drano might be a good thing, because I’m sure her fellow inmates are much tougher than 13-year old Lisa Ann Millican was. Her fellow inmates would probably turn the tables, and bearing in mind what Judith Ann Neelley did to Lisa Ann Millican, pour the bottle of Drano down Judith Ann’s throat. That wouldn’t be quite the same as injecting the Drano with a syringe, but close enough.

Then they would slap a piece of duct tape across her mouth to keep her from screaming in agonizing pain, while she died slowly and very painfully. Her fellow inmates would report that they had no idea why she would pour a bottle of Drano down her throat, perhaps because of the guilt she had after all these years.

Then life would resume as normal in Julia Tutwiler Prison.


  • Does anybody know what happened to Judith’s children? I just watched an Investigation Discovery and I am horrified; but mostly with her children who witnessed the awful Drano murder. Are her children normal(?) Where are they today? I think I am more appalled by the fact that her children watched their parents do these horrendous acts of sadism.

    • Often children (their legal guardian) in these circumstances will change their last name to hopefully have any trace of their past removed.

      If a crime was committed by anyone related to Judith, even if the children had a different last name, you can bet a reporter would have found that out, and the city editor would have plastered that across the newspaper. And it would not have ended with one newspaper, probably even making national TV news.

      That has not happened to my knowledge, so perhaps they are living in an environment that showed them the difference between right and wrong and they have gone on to live normal lives.

      Let us wish that were so.

    • Judith’s children all turned out exceptionally well. The twins Jeremy and April are educated, employed and married with children. Jason was adopted by her grandmother but was quickly adopted out I’m not sure why but he’s married with children as well. Unfortunately they all drank the Judith drano they believe she’s totally innocent and that she became a serial killer to save their lives! They claim Alvin put guns to their heads and told Judy ” the kids or her” very sad situation.