In a case that shocked audiences throughout the nation, judges finally came to a conclusion and sentenced teenager Alyssa Bustamante to life for the murder of a child.
Perhaps the aspect that shocked more was Alyssa Bustamante’s own diary. She wrote in it after killing nine year old in the chest, strangled her, sliced her throat and left her covered with some leaves in a shallow grave. Investigators ruled it was a thrill killing and Alyssa’s own diary confirms it.
Originally she wrote: “I just f***ing killed someone. I strangled them and slit their throat and stabbed them now they’re dead. I don’t know how to feel atm”. But later she added in a whole different tone: “It was ahmazing. As soon as you get over the ‘ohmygawd I can’t do this feeling, it’s pretty enjoyable. I’m kinda nervous and shaky though right now. Kay, I gotta go to church now…lol”.
In October 2009, Bustamante was 15 years old, a time when for teenagers today reasoning isn’t their best strength. Her lawyers argued Bustamante was suffering from a depression and based that on an earlier suicide attempt to reduce the sentence.
However, even after expressing remorse for killing her younger neighbor, the prosecutors proposed for life sentence and the court agreed. Prosecutor Mark Richardson made his argument for life in prison plus another 71 years, which should account for those the nine year old victim had lost.
Richardson said: “These sentences are appropriate and fit what happened to Elizabeth at the hands of a truly evil individual who strangled and stabbed an innocent child simply for the thrill of it”.
During the time of the murder, Bustamante’s social networking profiles were talking about killing people, addiction and terrors. One of her messages read “all I want in life is a reason for all this pain”.
Although the victim’s mother called Alyssa “an evil monster” and both the media and prosecutors easily juggled with the term evil in referring to a child with issues, perhaps cases such as these should draw more attention on child care.
At the moment depression ranks high in teen problems and so do addiction problems and suicide attempts. Plus, as big as such problems are, such kids are still having a hard time finding help.