Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Nightrider and Lady Sundown: The Bonnie and Clyde of Georgia

Quick Hits

First they took shots at Kenneth Dooleys home and tossed the Molotov cocktail at Linda Adairs residence.   Within days, Judith had grabbed Lisa Millican and kept her captive in two different hotel rooms in Georgia and Alabama for three days.  (While Alvin initially denied being with them, witnesses saw him at both hotels.)  Judith and Alvin had sex with Lisa in front of their children and kept her handcuffed to a bed, which forced her to sleep on the floor. Then at Alvins direction (because, according to Cook, he had learned that this was a way to murder someone without discovery) Judith took Lisa to the remote canyon in Alabama that would become her grave and tried to inject her with drain cleaner products they had purchased for this purpose.  However, Lisa did not die.  Judith kept shoving the needle into her, six times over half an hour in the neck and back, but the deadly procedure did not work.  In the end, she decided just to kill the girl quickly, so she used a .38 pistol to shoot her three times. 

One bullet went through Lisas back and out her left breast, killing her.   When Judith was certain she was dead, she shoved her over the edge of the cliff and watched her fall to the canyon floor.  Judith would later say, writes Frasier, that Alvin had masturbated as he looked down at the battered corpse, far below.  But Cook indicates that Judiths description of this incident to the police indicated that she had been alone.  Alvin, too, denied ever being there, but he had also initially denied raping Lisa before he finally said that he had indeed had sex with herbut only once.  It was difficult to know what the true story was.   He had even tried claiming that Judith had masturbated him into ejaculation and then put the sperm into Lisa herself.  Only when the police refused to buy that did he admit to sexual contact with the girl.

Five days later, Judith went cruising for another victim.   She saw a woman at a pay phone that appeared to be alone, but Judith was unable to get her to go riding around.  That woman would remember later for the police the strange feeling she had when Judith approached her.  Fortunately for her, she had called her husband to come and get her.  Otherwise, she would have needed a ride.

Then one evening, Judith spotted 22-year-old Janice Chatman.   She was with a man, but Judith thought that with Alvins help, that was easily managed.  They could get rid of the guy and take the girl with them.  Judith pulled over and invited the couple to go with her.  Then man hesitated but the woman seemed eager to do it.  They finally agreed to come along with Judith.  As the two got into the car, Judith called the Nightrider on the CB radio and let him know through their secretive codes that she was on her way. 

They rendezvoused on the outskirts of town, put Janice and John into Alvins car and the children into Judiths, and then drove around for a while.   When they stopped, Judith forced Hancock into the woods and shot him.  She simply wanted him out of the way.  She and Alvin then took Janice, who was mentally retarded and unaware of what was happening, to a cheap motel nearby, raped her repeatedly, and then shot her.  They drove her body to a wooded area near a creek and dumped her.  This time they called no one to report the body.

It seemed to them that they had twice gotten away with murder and they were ready for another.  But first they needed money, so they went into Murfreesboro to pass some of their forged money orders.  They did not get very far.  Someone recognized them from a police flyer and they were arrested.  Each began at once to point the finger at the other, but Judiths eventual defense would stagger the police and enrage the town.  Once she was out for herself, she cut all ties to Alvin.  Apparently they both preferred a pirates code: every man (or woman) for himself.  And those who had surmised that Judith was quite bold for such a young woman were about to see how brazen she was.

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