Oxygen’s famous true crime series Snapped covered the 2000 brutal murder of Billy Ray Brown and his friend Ronnie McDowell, bringing out the hidden secret of a close-knit family.

On 21st June 2000, Ronnie McDowell was staying at his friend Billy’s house at 1280 Olive Drive in Green Sea, South Carolina. McDowell had been forced out of his house due to a domestic violence dispute and decided to spend the night at Brown’s house.

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That same night, McDowell and Brown would be found bludgeoned and stabbed to death. Police came to the scene when Brown’s wife, Connie, rushed to her father’s trailer with her three children in the middle of the night. 

Connie reported to the Horry County police that two masked intruders had broken into their home and began beating up her husband. When McDowell stepped in to save him, he faced the same fate as Brown. Surprisingly, Connie also told the police that the intruders were her brother Andy Neely and his unnamed friend. 

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However, police found numerous loopholes in Connie’s story, starting with the fact that Andy was good friends with her husband and that Connie’s children never saw the masked men enter their house. 

It would be soon revealed by Connie’s mother, Melba Nealy, that Andy Nealy, Connie’s brother, and Jodis Washington, Melba’s boyfriend, had carried out the murder on 21st June. Connie’s sister Renee Young was also a part of it. 

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Although the Brown family started as a happy one, it soon came to Melba Nealy’s ears from Connie that Billy had begun to be physically abusive towards her and the children. According to Renee, Connie had asked them for their help in murdering their husband, and she was responsible for planning the entire murder. 

The plan was to attack Billy Ray. However, McDowell was not supposed to be there that night. Andy mentioned to the police that keeping McDowell alive meant leaving behind a witness. Therefore, after killing Billy Ray, Andy took after his friend, who then met the same fate.

For the murders of Billy Ray Brown and Ronnie McDowell, Connie and her family were sentenced to prison, with Connie being served with a life sentence. Jodis Washington was declared not guilty by the jury.