Convicted murderer Judith Ann Neelley is currently in Alabama State Prison for the murder of Lisa Ann Millican.
On Wednesday morning, she is getting a chance at parole.
But Neelley also had victims in Georgia, like John Hancock.
“I live in the twilight zone, reliving the same moment over and over in time, every single day I think about Janice Kay, I think about what has happened in my life,” shares John Hancock.
The tragedy that has caused so much pain in John Hancock’s life was caused by Judith Ann Neelley.
“Everybody needs to know what kind of a monster that woman really is. If I compared her to anyone, she would be Alabama’s version of Charlie Manson,” says Hancock.
Judith Neelley is currently in Alabama State Prison for the 1982 murder of 13-year-old Lisa Ann Millican. But a week after Lisa was murdered, John and his fiance Janice Kay Chatman also a deadly encounter with Judith. The encounter started when Judith asked for directions near Rome, Georgia.
“She called off a name of a road, I think Barker Road,” remembers Hancock. He says this road was out in the county.
Judith pretended to not understand the directions they gave her, so John and Janice Kay got in the car with Judith and ended up meeting up with her husband Alvin Neelley.
“Alvin Neelley decided that he wanted me to go with him and Kay to go with Judith Ann Neelley because the twins, their children, were with them,” says Hancock of the reason they got split into two cars.
After they drove for a while, they pulled over on a dirt road for John to go to the bathroom, but then Judith followed him with a gun.
“The last thing she told me when she stood behind me was that she was going to take care of my girlfriend too.”
That is when Judith shot him.
“So I took a half step to the left , which repositioned my body, about a half an inch, which I think saved my life,” says Hancock of this move he learned in the military.
He was eventually picked up by a trucker and taken to the hospital where the bullet was removed. The next day he was at the Rome Police Station sitting on a bench when he heard a recording of Judith Neelley’s voice coming from a room where police were investigating the Lisa Ann Millican murder.
“I stepped into that office and I told Kenneth Kyes [the investigator] and he says you got to leave, I have an interview, and I said yes I know that, but the woman on that tape, is the woman who abducted me.”
John described the Neelley’s vehicles to police which led to their arrest 12 days later in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The next day – they revealed where Janice Kay’s body was.
“She had been raped, battered, tortured, injected with Drain-o. Everything they did to Lisa Ann Millican they had done to Janice Kay.”
But there was one exception.
“When Judith Ann Neelley shot Janice Kay in the back, it did not kill her. Alvin Neelley grabbed up Janice Kay and put her against a tree, and Judith Ann walked right up and point blank to her chest, shot her again, and ended her life,” describes Hancock of the way his fiance was killed.
But now, 35 years later, the nightmare continues. Judith Neelley was given the death sentence in Alabama for the murder of Lisa Ann Millican. But in 1999 Governor Fob James commuted her sentence to life, and now after some legal proceedings, Judith has been granted a parole hearing for this Wednesday, May 23rd.
“The first thing I said to all of my friends is you have got to be kidding,” says Hancock of the moment he found out Neelley had gotten a parole hearing. “How can a convicted murderer be commuted to life, and then be allowed parole? That’s like giving someone a loaded gun and telling them go out and kill as many people as you want.”
If Neelley was to be granted parole in Alabama, she would then be sent to Georgia prison for the murder of Janice Kay. But John Hancock says he wants Neelley to stay right where she is.
“I would rather her serve that term in Alabama, seeing that Lisa Ann Millican was taken first and that she was the minor of the bunch.”
John Hancock now lives in Texas and cannot attend the parole hearing, but this is what he would say to the parole board about the woman who murdered his fiance and forever impacted his life.
“I would tell them that they would be out of their minds if they ever even thought to let that woman out of prison for as long as she lives. They would be setting free the most evil-minded person since Charlie Manson, that she is the female version of that man, and she should never be set free.”
We reached out to Judith Ann Neelley and did not get a response.
Her parole hearing is this Wednesday, May 23rd in Montgomery.
WZDX will be there as we continue to follow this case.
Photos Courtesy of Times-Journal and Rome News Tribune