Jeremy Bryan Jones
Vicki Freeman, Jeremy Jones' girlfriend, continues to believe in him. She says that the police have it all wrong. "He's a wonderful man," she said. "He's caring, considerate, loving. Gentle." Freeman, fourteen years Jones' senior, met him in 2003 in the same bar where Tina Mayberry was stabbed. Jones approached her and told her she was beautiful. It was apparently love at first sight.
But love with Jeremy Jones has a dark side, and Freeman admits that he had been physically abusive, but that they always made up. She thinks that the police are piling all their old crimes on her lover, trying to clear their books of unsolved murders "for brownie points."
"He's a low-rent Ted Bundy," ADA John Furman said in Mobile. "Otherwise reasonably smart women somehow find him interesting. He doesn't look like a monster. Obviously, Vicki Freeman is playing with fire."
She only knew him as John Paul Chapman until his arrest. She'd called the police on him at least twice, once when she was afraid for her life, after which she declined to press charges, and another time, after he reportedly shot up two grams of meth and was trying to kill himself.
When he and Freeman moved into an apartment together in September, 2003, Jones chatted up the neighbors, attracted to their eighteen-year-old daughter. The police arrested him for exposing himself to the girl, and repeatedly trying to enter her apartment after her parents had left for the day. Outside the daughter's bedroom window, the girl's parents found a box containing binoculars, rope, and tape.
After Hurricane Ivan, Jones moved to Mobile to find construction work. "I wanted to come down here, live on the beach happily ever after," he said. He phoned Freeman to tell her that he'd found work. She was pleased at the news, told him to get a place for them to live, and she'd be down to join him.
He made that phone call from Lisa Nichols' telephone. The next day, Lisa Nichols was dead raped, shot, and set on fire.