Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Alyssa Bustamante and the Murder of Elizabeth Olten

A Dark and Troubled Mind Revealed

Alyssa Bustamante
Alyssa Bustamante

Bustamante had reveled in her bad girl image. Her Facebook page bore images of her with red smeared lipstick, designed to look ominously bloody paired with black kabuki-style makeup over her eyes. She gritted her teeth, and made faces when she wasn't pouting like a sexpot. She was known around town as a bit of a bully.

Like many teens, she was deeply involved with social media and had pages on Myspace, Twitter, and Facebook.

She had a YouTube account under the name OkamiKage (Japanese for "WolfShadow") and filled out her profile. Under her hobbies, she listed "killing people, cutting."

Alyssa Bustamante
Alyssa Bustamante

She had been treated for severe depression and had tried to commit suicide. Her Twitter account stated that she was "somewhere I don't want to be." On the photo of her with smeared lipstick, she is pointing a finger at her head like a gun; many little red cuts are visible on her inner wrist.

A Tweet a few weeks before the murder read: "This is all I want in life; a reason for all this pain."

Her YouTube account featured several videos of her and her brothers, mostly just engaging in horseplay or mimicking Jackass stunts, but one in particular was disturbing, Idiots Getting Electrocuted by Elecrtric Fence. In it, Bustamante and her two younger brothers are standing in front of an electric fence. She gives the camera a grin and grabs the fence as she grimaces. Well aware of the pain it causes, she nonetheless convinces her younger twin brothers, 9, do the same. The screen reads: "this is where it gets goodthis is where we see my brothers get hurt."

They dutifully follow, ending on the floor, half laughing, half-shuddering.

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