Psychologist examines signs of betrayal leading up to the murder of Alexis Crawford
ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- From the outside looking in they were seen as best friends. Alexis Crawford and Jordyn Jones were seniors at Clark Atlanta University, living in an off-campus apartment together looking toward graduation.
Crawford’s family even invited Jones into their home for several holidays.
Yet today, so many are questioning what led Jones to turn from a trusted friend to the ultimate foe, accused of killing Crawford, her roommate.
Through the pain of mourning her brutal murder, friends and family are remembering Crawford for her warm and welcoming spirit.
People who knew the young ladies tell CBS46 that their personalities were different and that some warning signs may have been overlooked that there was a bed of anger and hatred underneath the smiles.
Licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake has looked into the murder case and does not believe Jones was a true friend to Crawford.
“A lot of times what we see as a psychologist is what I call a love-hate relationship,” Dr. Blake said. “They may love the person on the surface. They may care about them on the surface, but there is a lot of resentment. There is a lot of anger. There is a lot of stuff underneath that many people never see, and I think that is what is happening in this case,” she added.
Jones’ immediate family and friends did not want to provide comment for this story, but, family friends who live in Atlanta tell CBS46′s Hayley Mason that Jones’ parents are “completely devastated.”
Jones was raised by parents who were high school sweethearts, married for 30 years. Jones’ father is a church deacon and also a law enforcement officer the family friend said.
“This is their worst nightmare” and they “had no indication” their daughter could be involved in anything like this, the family friend said.
So what led then 21-year-old college student to allegedly help her boyfriend Barron Brantley choke Crawford to death, dump her body in a plastic bin and then dump it in a park?
There is no clear motive, but police say after a party, days before her murder, Crawford reported that Brantley sodomized her inside her apartment while she was intoxicated and unconscious.
“She was accusing Mr. Brantley of sexual assault,” said Atlanta Police Detective Mike Young.
The incident and accusation could shed light on what may have led to Brantley and Jones’ betrayal and murder.
Detectives say Jones and Crawford got into a fight inside their apartment during the early morning hours of Halloween. During the fight, police say Brantley emerged from Jones’ bedroom and began choking Crawford.
Brantley told police that while he was choking Crawford, Jones placed a plastic bag over Crawford’s head.
Afterwards the couple dumped Crawford’s body in Exchange Park in Decatur, the couple told police that they went back to the apartment, went to sleep and went to a Halloween party together that afternoon.
“For most of us, this is too much for us to comprehend, but for people who have no conscious, they have no sense of guilt,” Blake said. “They have no sense of compassion. When they do an act, it’s just an event for them and they move on. And this is what we are seeing here. No sense of conscious. No sense of remorse.”
Dr. Blake says she believes there is an emotional disconnect in Jones and Brantley and no moral compass or empathy. She says Jones became willing to do anything to protect and defend Brantley, perhaps to help him avoid a rape charge.
“There is no indication of remorse that I can see,” Dr. Blake said. “No indication of any empathy...What it suggests to me is there is a lot of anger. There is a lot of stuff that we may not [have] even considered what’s going on with Jordyn,” she continued.
Were there signs along the way? What clues were overlooked that betrayal and possibly murder was on the horizon?
One of Alexis’ close friends wrote on Facebook:
“Alexis trusted you even after I’ve told her for 3 years straight not to. She stuck by your side through everything you’ve put her through...”You gave her so many red flags of why you could not be trusted.”
“Alexis probably felt she was a close friend of Jordyn’s,” Dr. Sherry said. “She may have even viewed Jordyn as a sister and trusted her. But that doesn’t mean Jordyn felt the same way about Alexis, obviously.”
For now, the hope is for healing and lessons learned as a family fights for justice.
“I think this case is going to be very painful but I think it is going to be a rude lesson and an eye-opener for young college students, young females everywhere,” Blake said.
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