There was a time not too long ago in investigative journalism when learning about a person required extensive conversations with the individual's friends, associates, family, etc. The Internet has dramatically shortened that process. People have their own Web sites and communicate to others on bulletin boards and in chat rooms — creating an interesting paper trail of publicly available insight — providing you know the person's various Internet identities.
The people in the Taylor Behl case are part of the generation that communicates intensively through the Internet. There is a fascinating and insightful record available on two of the key individuals: Taylor herself and Ben W. Fawley, the photographer, who has been named a "person-of-interest." This chapter will take a look at Taylor's own site on myspace.com, what she says about herself and what her friends and well-wishers have said.
17 years old
Last Login: 09/04/2005
Taylor then writes:
Who I'd like to meet:
Some things are worthy of note. She calls herself "Bitter," but we don't know why. The photo of herself that she put on the site is in stark contrast to the vibrant, happy teenager that has been spread all over the press. This photo she chose of herself fits with "Bitter:" a young woman worried, pensive, and unsure. One of her friends, Sim Sim, alludes to this when he posts:
When I was visiting you today you weren't seeming to be having the best day, so here I am to cheer you up, come with me and my cousin Kamal to go dancing at this club we were at, it was awesome, well here's a picture just to illustrate the kinda fun we had:
The message is accompanied by a cute amateur photograph of man dancing with a 5 or 6-year-old boy.
The site shows that the last time she logged in was Sept 4, 2005, the day before she disappeared.
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Aug 3, 2005 06:05 AM
After Taylor's disappearance, there are many messages of concern, love, pleas to come home safely, and prayers.
Another chapter will take a look at the relationship between photographer Ben W. Fauley and Taylor Behl as viewed through the Internet written record.
Taylor Behl's Web site is http://www.myspace.com/doowop/