Bessemer, AL

Man Shocks Police by Confessing to a 21-Year-Old Murder They Didn't Know Happened

A.W. Naves
Janet Jones Luxford(Photo: Doe Network)

In 2001, 40-year-old Janet Jones Luxford disappeared. She was not reported missing until over a year later when her daughter filed a report with the Napa Police Department in California on September 22, 2002. 

Luxford was last seen leaving her home in Jacksonville, Florida, and was later spotted leaving a Bessemer hotel with an unidentified truck driver.

Twenty-one years later, a man has come forward to confess to murdering her, according to the Bessemer Police Department in Bessemer, Alabama.

62-year-old Brian Edward Jones boarded a Greyhound Bus and made his way from South Carolina to Alabama in late March with suitcases carrying all of his possessions in hand. Once he arrived at the downtown Birmingham bus station terminal, he made a call to the Bessemer Police Department and made a bewildering confession.

According to Jones, he killed his girlfriend, Janet Jones Luxford, on February 18, 2001. He then stuffed her body into a suitcase and dumped it in a wooded area of Brighton. Needless to say, police were caught off-guard by the admission of a crime they had no evidence had happened.

“We were in disbelief that somebody had come to us to confess to murder much less than one that is 21 years old. We consider it a once-in-a-career type case. On top of that, it was a murder we didn’t even know happened in Bessemer.” — Lt. Christian Clemons, Bessemer Police Department

Police began investigating Jones’ claim immediately. After confirming that Luxford was listed as a missing person, detectives began questioning Jones further. Jones told them that he had been a truck driver and Luxford was his girlfriend at the time. He claimed that the two of them had gotten into a fight while staying at a hotel in Bessemer. The argument had gotten heated and then escalated to murder.

On March 29, Jones took the police to a wooded area near Harmer Street and Valley Creek where he had abandoned Luxford’s remains. Jones was willing to show detectives where to find her so she could receive a proper burial but didn’t have much more to say about the situation. The remains located by police were still secured in a decayed green suitcase.

According to Lt. Clemons, the human skeletal remains that were recovered were then sent to the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office for confirmation as belonging to Luxford. The authorities are currently seeking medical and dental records and using DNA to identify the remains conclusively. This could take up to nine months.

Per the arrest warrant for murder filed in the case, Jones said he intentionally caused Luxford’s death on February 18, 2001, by striking her in the throat with a golf club hard enough to kill her. A separate warrant for abuse of a corpse was issued based on his admission that he stuffed her lifeless body into a suitcase and dumped it.

“Jones told investigators he remembered the day he killed Luxford because it was the same day Dale Earnhardt was killed in a final-lap collision in the Daytona 500.” —

According to Jones, he hadn’t come forward earlier because he didn’t want to disappoint his parents. He told detectives that the murder and the way he had discarded Luxford’s body had weighed heavily on his mind for years and after his parents were gone, he decided it was time to come clean.

Lt. Clemons said that Jones seemed “enormously remorseful” and that he appeared to have been carrying the weight of his crime around for all these years. He said Jones seemed to be relieved that it was over.

Jones is currently awaiting trial behind bars at the Jefferson County Jail on a $765,000 bond.

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Freelance Writer. Author. Alabamian. I write about true crimes, unsolved cases, and macabre mysteries.

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