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Crime News Unspeakable Crime: The Killing of Jessica Chambers

'Somebody Off ‘The Walking Dead’': First Responders Remember Jessica Chambers The Night Of Her Tragic Murder

Jessica Chambers was alive when first responders found her severely burned at the crime scene — and her injuries were nothing like they had seen before.

By Aditi Kini
"Eric" or "Derrick"?: First Responders' Accounts of the Jessica Chambers Case

As the Jessica Chambers retrial is set to start in a few days, “Unspeakable Crime: The Killing Of Jessica Chambers,” which airs on Oxygen Saturdays at 7/6c, delves into the highly complex and disturbing case of the former 19-year-old cheerleader who was burned to death in her hometown of Courtland, Mississippi.

Jessica, whose burns covered more than 90 percent of her body, is remembered as a beautiful young woman with blonde hair and blue eyes.

No photos of her injuries have been made public, but at the first trial, firefighters recalled Jessica’s appearance, among other vital details about the crime scene.

Cole Haley, a former volunteer firefighter, testified to seeing Jessica Chambers the night he responded to a call. He knew her from high school — but didn’t recognize her.

“She had her arms out and she was coming towards me, saying, help me, help me,” recalled a visibly emotional Haley, who soon had tears running down his cheeks. 

The prosecutor asked him to describe what Jessica Chambers looked like.

“Her hair was fried out, like she had stuck [her finger] in a light socket,” he remembered. “She had black all over her face, her body was severely burned.” He wrapped a blanket around her, because she was only wearing her underwear. He held her hand. “Inside her mouth was all charred black.”

Cole Haley said he had never seen anything like that in all his years as a firefighter.

Jody Morris, a volunteer firefighter, describes what he saw that fateful night.

“We seen a passenger sized car with heavy flames coming out,” said Morris about arriving on the scene. “I seen a figure like somebody coming out of the woods.”

“It appeared to be a zombie coming out…I know it’s a bit harsh, but it’s what it looked like.”

Volunteer firefighter Shane Mills remembered something similar.

“One of the worst things you could imagine. Her hair was beautiful blonde…her hair’s just fried.”

Will Turner, also a first responder, gesticulated with both arms raised up, palms open and fingers splayed.

“Her arms were out…she looked like a zombie. Somebody off ‘The Walking Dead’ is what I would picture it as…her body was charred. It was just black skin hanging off burnt skin.”

He too had never seen anything like this before. 

Watch “Unspeakable Crime: The Killing Of Jessica Chambers” on Oxygen on Saturdays 7/ 6c. 

[Photo: Provided by the Chambers Family]