‘I wanted to know what it felt like to kill someone.’

Elizabeth Olten

Elizabeth Olten (Photo: PA Photos)

With her wavy brown hair, angelic smile, and obsession with anything pink, everyone in the small town of Jefferson City, Missouri, knew 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten. She was a sweet, gentle kid, happy to hang out with anyone. Including 15-year-old Alyssa Bustamante and her half-sister, 6, who lived a few doors down.

Those girls couldn’t have been more different to Elizabeth. Alyssa was a teenage goth – all dark clothes and smudged eyeliner. Their father was in jail, their mother had a history of problems. So their gran looked after them.

But they’d been raised well and Elizabeth’s mother, Patty, had no qualms about letting her daughter pop round their house to play.

But on 21 October 2009, Elizabeth skipped the hundred metres down the road but never came home.

Before long, the town swarmed with police, sniffer dogs and helicopters. The next day, Elizabeth’s cold, wet body was finally found. Half-covered by leaves in a shallow grave, in woods behind her house.

She’d been strangled, blood seeped from knife slashes across her neck, wrists and chest. Gruesome.

Days later, police arrested ‘someone of interest’. The following month they revealed who. Alyssa Bustamante. Everyone reeled in shock, repulsion and disgust. People tried to make sense of it.

Alyssa had a history of mental illness. In 2007 she’d suffered a nervous breakdown, and attempted suicide. Been on Prozac ever since.

In January 2012, Alyssa, now 18, appeared in Cole County Court. She’d gone to the police station the day after the murder and led officers to the body. She’d dug a grave in the woods a week before the killing. She’d dug another one too, in case the first wasn’t big enough.

A photo of  Alyssa Bustamante from social media

One of Alyssa’s photos on social media.

Her Facebook page had endless photos of her posing with fake blood and her hands pointing like a gun. She’d made a page on YouTube boasting her hobbies were killing people and cutting. Alyssa was obsessed with murder.

She knew Elizabeth trusted her, so she could lure her into the dark woods on her way home. She knew she was too small to fight back.

But she knew that the trail would lead to her eventually. Her DNA on the body, the fact she was the last person to see Elizabeth alive.

‘I just wanted to know what it felt like to kill someone,’ she shrugged.

She still pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and admitted second-degree murder instead. And the clinching detail – a diary entry she wrote hours after Elizabeth went missing, saying how good it felt to kill someone.

Alyssa Bustamante in court

Alyssa Bustamante in court. (Photo: PA Photos)

Despite being only 15 at the time of the murder, the severity of the crime meant she was tried as an adult, and was convicted of second-degree murder.

She was sentenced to life in prison, with the possibility of parole, and ordered to serve a consecutive 30-year term for armed criminal action.

As the verdict was read out, the teen killer apologised to Elizabeth’s family. Far too little, far too late.

 

By Rachel Tompkins

  • Steve

    Wow, this reporter didnt do any kind of research as he wrote many false informations!

    -”Alyssa was a teenage goth – all dark clothes and smudged eyeliner”

    If you had seen her photos in most of them she isnt even wearing dark clothing

    -”She’d been strangled, blood seeped from knife slashes across her neck, wrists and chest. Gruesome.”

    Strangely
    the death certificate and the police never mentioned wrists slashing,
    guess this is a fabrication to make the story better!

    -”Her Facebook page had endless photos of her posing with fake blood and her hands pointing like a gun.”

    Endless
    photo of her posing with fake blood LMAO so 2 photos taken for a
    Halloween party (along with a friend present at the house) is endless lol! Beside her pages were private so how would you know! Another invention to make this article creepier but
    still without success

    -”Alyssa was obsessed with murder.”

    Totally bullcrap as every friends know she wasn’t and the only violence she was talking about was to her own self! Everybody from school, friends, close friends and schoolmates said she wasn’t talking about murder at all!

    -”She knew she was too small to fight back.”

    Yet,
    another thing you didnt research! Didnt you read the FBI poster when
    they were searching her? It says Elizabeth was 5 feet 2 inches and
    weight 108 pounds while Alyssa was 5 feet 3 inches to 5 feet 3 inches
    and a half and weighted around 117…. not that big of a difference if you ask me unless you were looking for reporter sensationalism!

    -”Her DNA on the body, the fact she was the last person to see Elizabeth alive.”

    Another
    fabrication………. the FBI took all of Alyssa clothes and forensics
    found no trace of Elizabeth DNA on anything and they didnt even find the
    murder weapon! The only blood found was Alyssa’s blood, same with her boxcutter used to cut herself!

    Sorry but your article has lots of fabrication so I would
    say that maybe reporters should consider doing real researches before
    posting anything! Most of what I replied to has been mentioned by police,
    court/police reports and tv interviews with those ppl!