On Sept. 15, Oxygen's limited five-part series Unspeakable Crime: The Killing of Jessica Chambers will begin its deep dive into the brutal murder that upended a small Southern town. Here, we break down everything you need to know before tuning in.
1. Jessica Chambers' story begins and ends in Courtland, Mississippi, a small Southern town with a population of roughly 500 people.
2. Chambers was 19 years old when her life abruptly came to an end.
3. The story was both grim and confounding: Why was an innocuous cheerleader from a small town at the center of such an appalling story?
4. Many testified to Jessica's kind, gentle, and harmless nature — markedly different from the gruesome crime that ended her life.
5. Things became even more baffling after it was unearthed that, in her last moments, Jessica appeared to utter the name of her killer.
6. With its dark narrative and captivating ambiguity, Jessica's murder became a national headline in little time.
7. Jessica’s story started making headlines across the country, and people became enraptured in the case. Internet users even began to take it upon themselves to help solve the sensational case.
8. Soon, authorities charged local resident Quinton Tellis with Jessica’s murder.
9. But after Tellis's arrest, the once-placid southern town devolved into a state of chaos, its quiet racial tensions erupting at full volume.
10. As more and more speculation arose, many asked: If, in her final moments, Jessica claimed her murderer to be someone named "Eric" or "Derrick," why was Quinton Tellis standing trial?
11. To further complicate the matter, Tellis maintained his innocence throughout the entire trial.
12. And to this day, the questions surrounding Jessica Chambers's murder continue to bewilder and captivate a nation.
All imagery courtesy of Oxygen.