The Chilling Story Of Angela Simpson, The Murderer Who Tortured And Killed A Disabled Man

Published December 20, 2023
Updated December 21, 2023

Over the course of three days in August 2009, Angela Simpson callously tormented Terry Neely because she thought he was a police informant.

One of the most notorious killers in Arizona history, Angela Simpson tortured, strangled, and dismembered a disabled man — all because she suspected that he might be working with law enforcement as a “snitch.”

In August 2009, the brutal murder was uncovered by police in Phoenix. After a residential trash bin was reported to be on fire, authorities discovered burned human remains inside. Fingerprint tests indicated that the remains belonged to Terry Neely, a resident of a local assisted-care facility.

Shortly after the gruesome discovery, Simpson — who was already behind bars for an unrelated charge — admitted to killing Neely. And her remorseless confession was so bone-chilling that it helped inspire the fictional psychopathic hitwoman Villanelle in the thriller series Killing Eve.

An Encounter With A Cold-Blooded Killer

Angela Simpson

Phoenix Police DepartmentAngela Simpson expressed no remorse for murdering Terry Neely, a disabled man who used a wheelchair.

Angela Simpson, born on November 29, 1975, has claimed that she has a long history of mental illness, a struggle that began when she was 10. She also reportedly began abusing drugs early on, and when she got older, she eventually had four children, although she now refuses to talk about them.

Little is known about Simpson’s life, save for the murder she committed.

The crime began on August 2, 2009, shortly after 46-year-old Terry Neely left his assisted-care facility in his wheelchair. Soon afterward, he was lured into an apartment by 33-year-old Angela Simpson, who he apparently knew.

Terry Neely

YouTubeTerry Neely was a 46-year-old disabled man who used a motorized wheelchair and lived in an assisted-care facility.

Simpson claimed to Neely that she would give him “sex and drugs” if he entered the apartment with her. Instead, she began brutally torturing him.

Over the course of three days, Simpson beat Neely with a tire iron, stabbed him at least 50 times with multiple knives, hammered a three-inch nail into his head, and extracted his teeth, according to Phoenix New Times. Simpson also forced her victim to watch his own torture by placing a mirror right in front of him. As she later put it: “He needed to see what he deserved.”

Eventually, Simpson slashed Neely’s throat and strangled him with a television cord, killing him in the same apartment. She then dismembered her victim’s body and tossed the remains into a nearby residential trash bin, which she set on fire in an attempt to cover up the murder.

How Angela Simpson Got Caught

Killer Angela Simpson

MurderpediaAngela Simpson was eventually sentenced to life in prison in 2012 after pleading guilty to first-degree murder.

Unbeknownst to Angela Simpson, the assisted-care facility where Terry Neely lived had filed a missing persons report after they realized that he was gone. And her plan to destroy Neely’s remains failed, as the fire department showed up to the trash bin in time to recover the body parts on August 5th.

Fingerprint tests on the remains confirmed that they belonged to the missing Neely, and police quickly opened an investigation into his murder.

A few days later, Neely’s wheelchair was recovered near the apartment of 36-year-old Edward McFarland, a known associate of Simpson. According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, investigators searched a different apartment that was known to have been frequented by both Simpson and McFarland and discovered blood stains inside that were a match to Neely.

Additionally, a witness reported to police that he had seen smoke coming from that apartment at one point. When he investigated, he saw a City of Phoenix trash can in the kitchen. The same witness also said that Simpson and McFarland asked to borrow his car, and that Simpson confessed to killing Neely — and threatened to kill the witness if he reported her.

By the time that Simpson and McFarland were interviewed by police, both were already in jail on an unrelated armed robbery charge. And on August 18th, Simpson freely admitted to killing Neely. She would then become nationally infamous for her motive — and her apparent lack of remorse.

Angela Simpson’s Remorseless Confession

Angela Simpson's Interview

YouTubeAngela Simpson during a prison interview, where she laughed about killing her victim, Terry Neely.

Angela Simpson claimed that she murdered Terry Neely because he was a “snitch” and justified her actions by claiming that he “told on a righteous person years ago… He told me that.” But the Phoenix police department had no record of Neely ever being an informant, or “telling” on anyone.

Still, Simpson remained insistent that Neely was a snitch and that he got “what he deserved.” She expressed no remorse for the murder, and said she regretted only one thing: not being able to kill any more snitches.

In a 2009 interview with 3TV shortly after her arrest, Simpson defended her horrific actions to the public: “I don’t want my children or the people I consider family to be in a place where there are snitches.” She added, “I believe informants and child molesters should be killed… period.”

Later, Simpson pleaded guilty to first-degree murder on March 22, 2012. She was later sentenced to life in prison, plus 14 additional years on other charges. (Meanwhile, her alleged accomplice McFarland was indicted on felony charges of concealment of a dead body and hindering prosecution.)

An interview with Angela Simpson in jail.

The day of Angela Simpson’s sentencing in 2012, she had another interview with 3TV, in which she said she didn’t mind getting a life sentence: “You know I’ve got a lot of family in prison… I’m okay with that. I’m okay with that. I’ve got many sisters in prison. I can’t wait to see ’em. It’s really not that much of a punishment to be sentenced to spend my life with my family.”

She was also asked whether she would kill again, to which she responded: “If the opportunity arises, I hope so.”

Simpson’s prison interviews were so bone-chilling that they went on to inspire the fictional assassin Villanelle in the thriller series Killing Eve. The show’s creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge said she “fell into a Google hole around female assassins” in an interview with The New York Times. And Waller-Bridge said Simpson immediately stood out among other female killers: “She sounds more like a psycho than anyone has ever sounded.”

Controversially, an audio clip from one of Simpson’s prison interviews also went viral on TikTok in 2021.

According to Newsweek, numerous users lip-synched this quote from Simpson: “He told me he was a snitch, on many occasions. I took him to my house, walked him down the street, I don’t know why the media acts like the mother f**ker couldn’t walk, he walked very well. Walked him upstairs, kicked his a** and killed him.” This audio clip is followed by a man asking, “Do you think he really was a snitch?” and Simpson replying, “Oops if he wasn’t. Yes, I believe he was.”

Simpson has still never shown any remorse for murdering an innocent man and she remains behind bars to this day, serving out her life sentence.

After reading about Angela Simpson, learn about Isabella Guzman, the teen who stabbed her mom 79 times and later went viral on TikTok. Then, read about 33 of history’s most infamous female serial killers.

Rivy Lyon
True crime expert Rivy Lyon holds a Bachelor's degree in criminology, psychology, and sociology. A former private investigator, she has also worked with CrimeStoppers, the Innocence Project, and disaster response agencies across the U.S. She transitioned into investigative journalism in 2020, focusing primarily on unsolved homicides and missing persons.
Kaleena Fraga
A staff writer for All That's Interesting, Kaleena Fraga has also had her work featured in The Washington Post and Gastro Obscura, and she published a book on the Seattle food scene for the Eat Like A Local series. She graduated from Oberlin College, where she earned a dual degree in American History and French.
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Lyon, Rivy. "The Chilling Story Of Angela Simpson, The Murderer Who Tortured And Killed A Disabled Man.", December 20, 2023, Accessed June 25, 2024.