‘If I could give my life to bring her back, I would.’
These are the words 18 year old Alyssa Bustamante sobbed in court today prior to been sentenced to life with a chance for parole for the murder of Elizabeth Olten, her next door neighbor in October of 2009 in the rural town of St Martins, Missouri.
15 at the time, Alyssa Bustamante confessed to the killing, strangulation and stabbing of her 9 year old neighbor because she was curious to find out what it would be like to murder someone. At the time of the murder she had gone on to write in her diary, that the act although unbelievable at first was now ‘ahmazing,’ ‘pretty enjoyable,’ before ending her diary entry with the following words: ‘I gotta go to church now…lol.’
During testimony, Bustamante’s defense team had sought for a sentence less than life in prison on the basis that years of use of the antidepressant Prozac had made her prone to violence. They then described her bouts of depression, mental disorders and suicide attempts. Prosecutors on the other hand sought a longer sentence, describing Bustamante as a thrill killer with no remorse who had actively conspired in murder given the fact that she had dug two graves several days in advance and had sent her younger sister out to lure the victim.
On a now-defunct YouTube page in her name, one of Bustamante’s hobbies were listed as ‘killing people’.
A few weeks before the murder she tweeted: ‘This is all I want in life; a reason for all this pain.’
Such are the senseless actions of a child who somehow for a brief moment sought to transfer her grief and torment on another individual. As much as she ended up killing a 9 year old child one can wonder if she really ended up killing the child inside herself and perhaps by proxy that was the exercise at hand…