Society Dug Two Graves: One for Elizabeth Olten and One for Alyssa Bustamante

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.”

Alyssa Bustamante

The alleged killer Alyssa Bustamante

Elizabeth Olten

The victim Elizabeth Olten
Alyssa Bustamante

Alyssa Bustamante (Facebook Photo)

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

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16 Responses to Society Dug Two Graves: One for Elizabeth Olten and One for Alyssa Bustamante

  1. Nick says:

    I tend to agree with your original post in most ever way. Too many people in this world are so quick to judge (most of them religious who don’t follow their own god’s teachings “Judge not lest ye be judged” or “let he who is without sin, cast the first stone”) but instead you looked for the root of why this happened. After all, its not like a 15 year old killing a 9 year old is so common that we can just wrap it up in a nice little bow as Alyssa is evil, deserves to die, shes a monster. Children are not born murderer’s their own personal events through life warp them into becoming one. I agree that with all these warning signs someone had to have seen something. The fact that this child was not getting the help she needed is completely her guardians fault, and her medical care takers. The writing was on the wall, and because mental illness has such a negative connotation in society we try to ignore it or sweep it under the rug, and what happens when we do that, is people lose control and kill themselves, or in this case, kill another. The proof is in her own statement that she had no idea what she was doing. “I wanted to know what killing feels like” she didn’t know there was something wrong with it, which is clear by the above statement. This poor little girl was damaged. I’m not excusing her killing, it is obviously wrong, and obviously abhorrent. But what is worse, is why did she? How could it have been prevented? What turned a girl into the monster everyone claims her to be? That same monster that killed a poor little girl. How do we stop it from happening to others? This happened in 2009, and more and more children under 18 are resulting to suicide and violence because of emotional trauma stunting development. The first step in fixing a problem is realizing there is one. World…We have a problem.

    • Alethea says:

      Dear Nick,

      I agree with everything you wrote, with the exception of Alyssa not knowing it was wrong.

      If she did not know it was wrong, she would not have lured Elizabeth, killed her in secret, and would not have killed her when no one was around. It’s the same argument people try to use for Andrea Yates. Andrea knew that what she was doing was wrong because she purposely did it after her husband left the house. Andrea systematically murdered her little boys one by one in a horrific terror-filled event –horror for her boys.


  2. Rosie says:

    Teens and homocide ? See I’m a teen myself, I have attempted to commit suicide before. I’ve had a very troubled childhood, and felt the only way out was to kill myself, but found that it was very selfish. I would have never been able to hurt myself or anyone else for that matter. I feel that if a teen or child has the strength to kill another human being is because they’ve been in need of help psycologicaly. I would blame the parents. If your teen is showing signs of homocide, suicide, or any violent actions, YOU NEED TO GET THEM HELP IMEDIATELY !!! It doesn’t mean to be nosey or sufficating, but please be involved with your mom wasn’t involved, that’s what made me try to commit suicide.

  3. nephellia says:

    joe and anonymous,

    Alyssa didn’t do it because she wanted to. She needed to do it – don’t you see, pain has to go somewhere. You can’t expect a girl her age to go through the pain she experiences in her every waking minute, absorbing it all and trying to understand it all, without having someone to share it or some way to let it out. She didn’t choose to kill – she tried to kill herself first, she cuts herself… she has done everything else that she knows to deal with her problems and none of them has worked. The pain that Alyssa feels, building up every day, is more than the momentary horror and pain that Elizabeth felt before she died. Alyssa didn’t torture Elizabeth – she killed her fast, in that way she is merciful. She chose Elizabeth to share her pain because nobody else would.

    She killed out of desperation.

    • Alethea says:


      It sounds like you have the same Satanic forces inside you that Alyssa does.

      Better watch out about defending those who murder innocent children. You give people with serious psychological problems, and spiritual void, an excuse to murder in order to make themselves feel better for a moment.

      “The pain that Alyssa feels, building up every day, is more than the momentary horror and pain that Elizabeth felt before she died. Alyssa didn’t torture Elizabeth – she killed her fast, in that way she is merciful.”

      Pretty sick comment. Maybe your screen name should be “necrophilia.”

      • nephellia says:


        Sorry if I freaked you out.

        I’m not defending her or trying to say that what she did wasn’t absolutely abhorrent, just expressing how she was probably justifying it to herself when she did it. I study psychology, I was trying to put myself in her shoes.

        I would never harm a fly I swear. Sorry if I gave the wrong impression, and please don’t call me Satanic. or necrophilia.

        • Alethea says:

          Okay, I think I understand where you were originally coming from. But you do have to take responsibility for the way it read. I won’t apply that to you, as long as you know that it is NEVER okay for human beings to take their inner rage, shame, fear, and lack of an inner Divine guide…..out on innocent children.

          Alyssa’s subconscious mind drove her to do what she did, but it was helped with her own ego, lack of spirituality, the selfishness of teens these days, and Satanic forces.

          • Alethea says:

            In addition, remember that she dug TWO graves in the weeks prior to the murder. This was planned, plotted with joy, and with a drive to see what it felt like to kill. She had plenty of time to take her pain out on herself, but she CHOSE, with thought, to take it out on innocent Elizabeth.

            Also, never minimize how much terror one would go through if they were tricked into a situation where their death was imminent, and then had to endure being stabbed, and having their throat slashed. Whatever pain Alyssa will feel throughout her life is debatable, and it does not compare to what Elizabeth went through in those last moments of her life.

            If it did compare, Alyssa will kill herself from the pain of her guilt.

            • nephellia says:

              Okay fair point. she was motivated to murder for sport and perverse pleasure, but biology/stressful life circumstances/poor moral teaching/violent influences/whatever caused her to think in such an inhuman way is what we’re trying to determine because it will help us understand what to do with her/other children before they become like her. hopefully we’re on the same page now…

              and either way, ur pretty persuasive in your responses, not just to mine… consider me a fan. 🙂

              • Alethea says:

                Well Nephellia, you might not always like what I say, but I am happy that you are reading something that rings true to you.

                I always look for a root cause, and appreciate that you do too. I am just always careful to not combine root cause with sympathy or compassion, or with excusing the inexcusable.


  4. Anonymous says:

    Oh come on..Idiots always blaiming society for not taking care of people who need help..Reality is your neighbors are not responsible for you, you are. Stop looking for excuses not to blame this physco. OMG my daddy wasn’t there or my mommy was a druggy or my puppy got runned over by a car ..who cares! Killing and trying to kill other kids for attention because she wanted attention? Her relatives should have had her committed to a mental hospital. Then she can live there for the rest of her life and get lots of attention…better then she deserved..Stop looking for reasons and excuses to make peoples actions make sence. her’s made non and some people just need to get got!

    • Alethea says:

      Anonymous, it’s not about blame. It is about the responsibility that each human being has to another. You cannot merely blame the murderer. You also have to look for the root cause. No one helped Alyssa Bustamante, even when she subconsciously cried out for it. So those who ignored her, have a part in the death of Elizabeth.

      Society perpetuates the violence, selfishness, lack of morals, and lack of love pushed onto children and teens.

      If you don’t get that Anonymous, then you are a part of the problem.

  5. JJ says:

    Does anyone know where new information can be obtained? Has Ely Lilly contacted the mother of Elizabeth Olten for an out of court settlement since this is probably the product of psych med temporary insanity?

    • aletheamarinanova says:

      Nothing as far as I know. Good point about psych meds. They are deadly for those who take them and sometimes they can be deadly for anyone in the path of those who take them. Those meds don’t cure or truly help. They only suppress the rage and mask the problem until one day the problem says, “Hey, I’m still here!!! Deal with me!!!”

  6. Joe Schmo says:

    When do we, as a society in general, start blaming THE PERPETRATORS of violent crimes, for the violence they commit on others???

    I realize Little Miss Bustamante is still a ‘child’ in the eyes of the law, because she is under 18 years of age. But, although, I agree that children who’ve witnessed/experienced violence as a child, often (not always) become violent themselves, what evidence do we have that this girl, (who is in my opinion) was not old enough to know…

    Unfortunately, Ms Bustamante is not eligible for the Death Penalty, b/c she is under 18 years of age. We can all thank the wonderful, bleeding-heart Liberals who now infest the U.S. Appellate Court System, for that wonderful ‘victim-of-violent-crime-advocates’ (rolling my eyes) Case Law.

    Funny how Ms Bustamante was old enough to sentence & carry-out her own child-victim to Death, but yet the wonderful Case Law, I described above, DOES NOT believe that the Murderous Perpetrator of this crime is not old enough to receive it!

    That’s why Liberalism & its Judges/Advocates, ESPECIALLY in our U.S. Legal System…SUCK!


    • aletheamarinanova says:

      Joe, I place responsibility on society, film and TV producers, video game makers, parents, the parents of Alyssa, and on Alyssa herself. It is not a black and white issue. One has to look at all the aspects of these crimes. You also have to realize that the part of Alyssa’s brain that understands consequences is not physiologically developed yet. It is not so cut and dry Joe.

      Combine her lack of brain development with all of her childhood history, and the conditioning her mind has gone through by media, “entertainment” and books, and you have a recipe for a child who doesn’t fully understand that it is wrong to
      murder someone, in cold blood, lie in wait, and to hack that person to death.

      Joe, you really ought to inform yourself about who and what has infiltrated the U.S. Appellate Court System. You are labeling it “Liberalism” but there are darker forces behind our Government and court system –forces that are neither “liberal” nor “conservative.”

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