Two brothers involved in an unthinkable killing more than two decades ago will remain behind bars, at least for the next five years.
“Today was a very, very anxious day,” described Janie Criswell. She and her daughter Marsha and other family members went to Montgomery and spoke before the Alabama Parole Board.
“I didn’t cry,” she said. “I held it together. Sometimes you get a little shaky but you have to be strong.”
She was strong for her sister Kathy Hall Barlow and her niece Angel Hall. The two were murdered in 1993, inside their home in Nokomis, Alabama, near Atmore. The 12-year-old Angel was also raped.
Angel’s step-brothers Shannon and Franklin Barlow were two of the three people responsible. Tuesday, for the third time in the last 11 years, they were up for parole.
“When you stop and think about what kind of a person would do what they did to my aunt and my cousin, they would be classified as a monster or an animal or something that’s not humane,” said family member Marsha Maher.
“They don’t belong out in the general public,” added Criswell. “If they would do this to their stepmother, and their stepsister, what would they do to a stranger?”
The family visits the grave site often where the mother and daughter are buried together. They say having to go before the Parole Board every five years re-opens the wounds, wounds that have never fully healed. But the family stands determined that the Barlow brothers never get out.
“We need family support to be there in the next generations coming up,” said Maher. “When my mom passes on, it’s up to me, and after me, the next ones coming up. As long as those boys live we have to be there to step up.”
Whatever it takes, as long as it takes, Criswell says.
“They need to stay right where they’re at, until they’re taken out in a coffin.”
The Barlow brothers pleaded guilty and are serving time at the Limestone Correctional Facility near Huntsville. Their family members told the Parole Board the pair were too young to iknow what they were doing in 1993. Shannon was 15 years old. Franklin was 20 years old.
A third person was also a part of the killings. Rocky Beasley was found guilty and was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. He is housed at Holman Prison near Atmore.