In October of 2009, fifteen year-old Alyssa Bustamante, allegedly lured nine year-old Elizabeth Olten into the woods and killed her.
Olten trusted the older teen because they had played together many times and they were neighbors. Elizabeth’s trust in human beings ended when she was brutally slashed on the neck and fatally stabbed. Elizabeth’s body was found in a grave that police say Bustamante admitted to digging a week before the murder. Interestingly, police say that Alyssa had not dug one grave, but two. Authorities feel she had dug two graves because she had originally intended to murder her twin brothers.
Police base their feeling on Alyssa’s YouTube account which featured a video with herself and her younger brothers standing in front of an electric fence. Alyssa then smiles at the camera, grabs the fence, grimaces in pain and convinces her nine-year-old brothers to do the same. The screen reads, “this is where it gets good—this is where we see my brothers get hurt.”
Alyssa’s Twitter, YouTube, MySpace, and Facebook accounts all screamed for help. Her YouTube account listed her hobbies as “killing people, cutting.” Her Twitter account had a status posting which read that she was “somewhere I don’t want to be.” It is reported that Alyssa was treated for severe depression and tried to commit suicide long before she allegedly murdered Elizabeth Olten. A few weeks before Elizabeth’s murder, a Tweet post by Alyssa read, “This is all I want in life; a reason for all this pain.”
The alleged killer Alyssa Bustamante
So why didn’t anyone help this child? What was done for her? Obviously, very little, and nothing effective. If the teen was suicidal, potentially homicidal, violent, depressed and angry, she wanted nothing more than a reason for her internal conflict and suffering. No one listened and Elizabeth Olten is dead. In my opinion, any adult who knew Alyssa and who read her psychologically disturbed posts and who watched her violent YouTube video, and still chose to do nothing, are partially responsible for Elizabeth’s death. Alyssa screamed for someone to save her and thus, to save Elizabeth.
Evident by the photos of Alyssa’s now-defunct Facebook page, and given her childhood, Bustamante was destined to have psychological and behavioral problems. She was born to a teenage mother, who had been convicted of petty crimes involving drug possession. Her mother had also been arrested for driving while intoxicated. Alyssa’s father was in jail, serving a 10-year sentence for assault. Bustamante was placed in the care of relatives where she grew up in a religious household.
Many people have had the discussion of why some children, who endure a difficult upbringing, eventually turn to violence and why other children -with the same type of childhood- will not harm anyone when they get older. People who were severely abused or abandoned, will usually do one of two things. They will either become victm-like, or they will become victimizers. While men usually become the victimizer, and women usually end up psychologically being a victim –some women do turn to violence in order to work out their troubled childhood. Some women end up physically, psychologically or even sexually abusing their children as an unhealthy cathartic release for their pain. In this case, I think Alyssa is a teen who turned her pain into violence and eventually found that harming others made her feel good.
Around the Internet, blogs, Facebook, and MySpace posters have already decided that Alyssa needs to “be hanged” for the crime. Even people who live in the town where the murder occurred, have condemned Alyssa to death in their mind. One person said, “Either deport her or send her to the gas chamber. One less sicko wasting our tax dollars.” These vengeful, hate-filled ideas help no one. Another person writes, “What is a shame is that the murderer did not die when she tried commit suicide when she tried to in 2007.” If we are truthful with ourselves, Alyssa was not getting the help she needed so, had her suicide attempt been successful, the only victim of her inner torment would have been herself.
But the shameful thing is that no one helped a teenage girl who was crying out for help and for the attention she needed. I know many teens whose parents, or other adult relatives, are part of the the teen’s social network and read the teen’s posting and status reports on their social networking sites. Someone in Alyssa’s life must have seen the warning signs.
Society doesn’t listen to these kids, and even perpetuates the violence and sex being pushed on children. People go about their day and ignore the violence and abuse of children taking place every day in TV shows, films, music, and even in commercials. Parents often send their kids off to see movies on a Friday night that depict horror, vampires and murder. The only thing of importance to the parents is getting the kid out of the house so they can have their adult friends over or to get out on the town.
Parents buy the Harry Potter books for their kids and wonder why children are harming one another. The person who feels Alyssa ought to be put to death probably themselves enjoy violent films and most likely has turned their head to the psychological corruption of children and teens being inflicted by media and filmmakers, and by corporations selling products.
If the authorities are correct, Alyssa turned to murder to finally be heard and Alyssa Bustamante now has the attention of the entire world. In my opinion, if Alyssa dug two graves, they were not for her brothers. Subconsciously one was for her victim, and one was for herself. I feel that society helped dig those two graves.
Source: True Crime Library