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The Disturbing Case of the Teen Thrill Killer | Documentary

The Disturbing Case of the Teen Thrill Killer | Documentary
the following interrogation footage has never been seen before what would make a grandmother emotionally break down like that for karen brooke it was the murder her fif

teen

-year-old granddaughter elissa bustamante just confessed to if you had to describe melissa bustamante's childhood with a single word it would undoubtedly be tragic according to

case

documents alyssa confided in a mental health professional that she had been subjected to severe mistreatment at a young age the resulting trauma led to alissa being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and the doctor stated she developed an abhorrence for violence she'd been the result of a

teen

age pregnancy as her mother michelle was only 15 years old when she was born though her grandparents were excited to have grandchildren alyssa's parents michelle and caesar weren't prepared for parenthood it wasn't long before alyssa was joined by three younger siblings twin brothers and a sister named emma the children grew up in a turbulent household cesar bustamante was eventually charged with three counts of assault and was sentenced to serve three concurrent prison terms there was no stability for alyssa her brothers and sister and they were often evicted forcing them to constantly pack up and move michelle's parents karen and gary brooke stepped in to help take care of the children however they soon found that many of their efforts such as sending food to the family and visiting were all in vain eventually they realized that there was only one thing they could do that would truly make a difference in the children's lives the grandparents decided to campaign for full custody of alyssa and their siblings when they gained full custody of the children alyssa was about 8 years old living with her grandparents offered her stability for the first time in her life but alyssa had already been exposed to far too much seeking a new start alyssa's grandparents moved the family to the small town of saint martins missouri where they bought a nice home on a large piece of land right away the twin boys and emma flourished in their new location but alyssa seemed to have difficulty adjusting it was in this small town of just over a thousand people where everyone knows everyone that alyssa's gruesome crime would devastate all who live there it was wednesday october 21st when alyssa's younger sister emma bustamante now six years old knocked on the olton's front door she wanted nine-year-old elizabeth olton to come out and play the bustamantes and oltons only lived four houses down from each other and the two young girls would often play at each other's houses but on this particular day elizabeth would never make it home elizabeth olton was a typical girly girl before emma showed up at elizabeth's house she'd been excitedly practicing her lines at the dining room table for an upcoming musical noteworthy elizabeth's mother patti said she couldn't go play at first dinner would be ready soon but the girls begged her enough for her to finally give in paddy gave her daughter clear instructions to be home by 6 p.m when the sun would nearly be set in late october and paddy trusted that elizabeth would come home since the fourth grader was terrified of the dark and elizabeth played board games in hopscotch in the bustamante driveway eventually elizabeth told emma that she needed to go home emma stood on the big rock by her driveway and watched her friend begin her walk home however she didn't stay to see if elizabeth made it all the way home safely emma was later asked by investigators if elizabeth might have walked through the woods to get home but she was adamant that they never went in the woods emma continued playing outside though she didn't know for how long at some point she lost a hair tie in the thorns by her driveway and when she tried to retrieve it she scratched her hand and her foot got stuck emma said she yelled until alyssa came to help her claiming alyssa had been in the house and heard her through an open window as alyssa helped her out of the thorns emma noticed a spot of blood on the thigh of alyssa's pants she asked her sister about it who explained it away by saying she had her period alyssa made her little sister promise not to tell anyone about the blood when 6 pm passed elizabeth hadn't returned home worried patty called elizabeth's cell phone over and over but there was no answer patty then called emma's grandmother karen to ask if elizabeth was still at their house karen told her that elizabeth had never even been to the home and wasn't even aware that the girls had been playing she hung up and immediately called the police authorities began their investigation by interviewing the last known person elizabeth was with emma bustamante emma described playing with elizabeth from approximately 5 to 6 p.m before elizabeth left for home grandma karen sat in the room during this questioning emma continually glancing at her as she answered the investigator's questions there was one detail emma gave that struck investigators as odd the blood stain she spotted on alyssa's pants karen seemed removed from the interview but toward the end she stated we just want the truth to come out whatever it is by 10 pm word of the missing nine-year-old spread through this small town and hundreds of residents came out in support of the olton family to search for little elizabeth when they had searched the whole neighborhood as well as the woods and turned up nothing law enforcement decided to ping elizabeth's cell phone and found that it led back to the 60 acres of woods behind her home volunteers then made a strange discovery a hole in the woods in the shape of a grave as the forensics team began to process the scene the fbi began interviewing alyssa for reasons that are still unknown they brought her to the hole where alyssa admitted something odd she dug the hole when questioned why exactly she dug it she said she just likes digging holes and would bury dead animals when she found them strangely the hole ended up being empty but investigators knew something was very off with alyssa they then conducted a search of a room and discovered a shocking key piece of evidence one that they would wait to confront elissa with until her videotaped interrogation this led to the most dramatic meltdown in any interrogation we've analyzed yet it's important to note that when a person is brought in for interrogation law enforcement have likely developed a reasonable suspicion that the person is involved in the crime karen accompanied alyssa in the interrogation room going in she fully believed alyssa was innocent she was in for the shock of her life as the truth began to unfold right before her eyes walk me through exactly what happened we didn't go to seminary that day right okay so i woke up and i got ready and i went out to go get the bus i'm gonna miss the bus because it doesn't usually pick me up okay so i went back to the house and my grandpa got me right to school so i went to school okay and i was there all day and then i came home on the bus and i got home around three no four three thirty three thirty four i'm gonna get home around then and i just hung out my room for a little while and then i went for a walk around 5 4 35 something like that she is feigning ignorance commonly referred to as playing dumb i was just walking around in florence for a while and i was supposed to take my little sister with me but i ditched her because she's annoying okay and i was just walking around in the forest and then for about an hour i came back five thirty six inch and i went up in my room and i heard like yelling so i went outside and i like she was down in the like ditch area and she was stuck in four bushes so i went down there and i helped her out and she asked me why i was waiting because you know i fell out on my period they're like yeah don't tell me about that and so we went out there and my brother and they were asking about because they spoke she was supposed to be at home or something okay and i didn't really think much of it so we just went back to the house alyssa nonchalantly shrugs her right shoulder shrugging only one shoulder is considered a modified shrug or a variant of a natural shoulder shrug abnormal movements like this often suggest uncertainty in what the person is conveying she leans to her left an additional non-verbal display of discomfort the interrogator is in the position of power blocking the only exit although she initially appeared comfortable bustamante is now attempting to regain her power in a position of powerlessness and then started to get ready to go to church because we have wednesday night activities okay and came and he's like he fell on the door and he was like do you know where it is because he couldn't find her she begins to nod her head as she speaks this does not align with her baseline pattern of nonverbal behavior something is off although we can only speculate this may serve as a self-pacifying behavior bustamante is assuring herself that what she says is believable alternatively bustamante's head movements could be a conscious or subconscious manipulative non-verbal meant to spur agreement and empathy in the interrogator and that's when things started to get you know people were like oh what's going on like where is she continue to observe all the non-verbal indicators of discomfort that we mentioned previously but take note of contrasts we ended up going to church and a lot of stuff happened while we were there because it's from 7 to 8 15 ish and when we came back it was three shared cars in our property when those people out searching everywhere yeah and um that's pretty much it i'll just leave that guy okay bustamante says um here she does not use this consistently throughout the interrogation it is not one of her baseline tendencies because she does not regularly say um this moment is worth noting it's also interesting to note that alyssa uses what is known as an exclusion qualifier when she states that's pretty much it according to the retired cia interrogator philip houston an exclusion qualifier is defined as being a tactic that enables people who want to withhold certain information to answer your question truthfully without releasing that information examples of exclusion qualifiers include statements such as not really fundamentally for the most part probably and so on that's pretty much it by stating that's pretty much it she's technically being truthful but only by leaving out key details and withholding information specifically the murder of elizabeth olton when the cia is interrogating an individual they conduct both body language and statement analysis they look for clusters of three or more indicators that occur in either quick succession or all at once this exact moment is the perfect example of what a cia officer looks for during an interrogation to determine if someone is being deceitful that's pretty much it when alyssa states that's pretty much it there are four indicators that occur within just a few seconds the aforementioned um a half shrug of the shoulder shaking of the head and then nodding the head note how she shakes her head no as she states that's pretty much it that's pretty much it this is known as incongruent body language though of course you always want to look for clusters this particular moment is significant as it's paired with other indicators including statement analysis alyssa employs the exclusion qualifier multiple times throughout the interrogation see if you can spot the other moments where she employs this tactic and post the timestamps in the comments alyssa gives officer david rice the outline of her movements on wednesday the 21st but two things become clear during this retelling of events alyssa had come into contact with elizabeth olton on the day she went missing and alyssa unwittingly places herself in the woods where elizabeth's cell phone last pained and where eventually they'll find elizabeth this confirms opportunity and the place for the crime to take place but alyssa's demeanor comes across as calm and confident you have a boyfriend i do okay what's his name yes okay do you know has anybody talked to him about any of this or i'm pretty sure he's been interviewed okay alyssa's boyfriend had been interviewed by law enforcement and when the interview opens we see him biting his nails and looking nervous according to the

case

files there had been an eyewitness who claimed to see a teen allegedly resembling him near the location of elizabeth's disappearance this interview took place after alyssa's own interrogation though he was also interviewed previously as well and as the interview begins he had just taken a polygraph test and was about to be confronted with the results you're not you're not being truthful about everything that's going on here you know and we need to get we need to come to we need to get come to we need to get the truth that's what we're here for you know we know a lot more stuff than we're leading on to believe we've talked to several people the interrogator sits closely to bustamante's boyfriend dustin and speaks with authority he states that they know dustin has more information this is a direct confrontation approach to interrogation we thought so were your friends we talked to several friends and they've told us some stuff they've told us some phone conversations they've had and everything so what do you know i don't know what do you know exactly all i know is what the fbi told me why is the polygraph telling me different why is your body telling me differently why is your heart telling me different so nervous nervous has nothing to do with it we've talked about that the interrogator is looking for a reason why dustin is nervous the polygraph test is all about psychophysiological detection of deception pdd or the use of physiological measures to detect lying it measures certain autonomic physiological markers such as heart rate perspiration and blood pressure examiners measure these markers at suspect's baselines before they're interrogated then they measure how these markers change from question to question these markers are associated with anxiety which is often present when one lies the interrogator knows that dustin is nervous however the polygraph cannot show exactly why he is nervous when he is nervous an adrenaline spike to a question could indicate lying or some other form of emotional arousal not directly related to the topic of the question the interviewer isn't outright saying if he failed the lie detector test later case documents revealed the polygraph's results alyssa's boyfriend was asked three questions during this polygraph all concerning elizabeth did you physically cause her death did you physically take her life did you do anything physical that ended her life he answered no to all three yet according to the case files it was determined that he was being deceptive in some way with his answers to all three questions nervousness has nothing to do with nothing at all your heart rebels against a lie when you normally tell a lie and there's nothing you can do to control you can try to control your breathing all you want you can think of other things all you want but your heart that right there is going to tell the truth the heart is the first autonomic physiological baseline measurement collected some studies suggest that both heart rate and respiration rate show no significant increase or decrease depending on whether the subject told the truth but research has produced mixed results regardless of these inconsistencies what is most telling is how suspects respond when under the impression that they were caught and a lie let us see how dustin reacts when the interrogator implements this technique a technique we will explain in just a moment what if i told you that we did a neighborhood canvas out there and talk to all the neighbors who live out there even the neighbors live in the subdivision behind behind where it was and they're living in a subdivision behind also talk to all those neighbors we did a call we did a spot check out there with cars now all the cars that came off and came through there we stopped and talked to them what if i told you somebody saw a kid about your size and a black hoodie with a black t-shirt and blue jeans on standing there on the side of the road next to the guardrail from that point on we see the interview begin to use what is called the read technique the read technique is an interrogation type used in the accusatory process an interviewer tells the suspect that the results of the investigation clearly indicate they committed the crime in question it's a three-phase process beginning with fact analysis then a behavioral analysis interview this phase is designed to be non-accusatory to develop investigative and behavioral information the third phase follows when appropriate the nine steps of interrogation during the initial neighborhood police canvas the eyewitness said that they had seen a strange boy in a dark t-shirt and baggy pants standing alone at a guardrail near where elizabeth went missing the eyewitness had been shown a copy of alyssa's boyfriend's driver's license photo and they claimed that the picture resembled the person they had seen we know that eyewitness testimony is notoriously inaccurate though admissible in court witnesses rely on autobiographical memory specifically episodic memory which is a type of recall involving events with contextual details such as where and when something occurred this type of memory is sensitive to memory bias a witness might recall a suspect wearing a blue shirt a day after the occurrence but state that the shirt was red a week later i wasn't there alyssa's boyfriend comes across pretty confident borderline defiant when he looks the interviewer directly in the eyes it's interesting to see him be combative with the interviewer at the mention of law enforcement having already done a photo lineup contrary to popular belief anger is a more common reaction in individuals accused of something that is not true if law enforcement had completed a photo lineup and it led to a positive identification he would have already been arrested and charged the constant accusation becomes exhausting and suspects just want the process to end they assume that admitting something will end the interrogation and most suspects think that invoking the rights of silence and counsel will label them as guilty alyssa's boyfriend is strong-willed throughout the entire interrogation and didn't take any of the bait the interviewer dangled in front of him after he is questioned by the interrogator in the video he's then questioned by sergeant rice it was then that he confirmed the investigator's suspicions all along he had been hiding something exactly what did she tell you okay i told you that she killed her she told you that she strangled her you know what else cut her that's she getting into detail with that she just said strangled her and cut her on october 22nd alyssa had gone to his house and told him about the crime she'd committed just the day before he denied having ever been involved in the crime and said he wasn't present when it happened so why had he lied that i gave away information that got her locked up when she like i have a family and she comes she finds out where i live because she's obsessed about it and kills everybody what if she get there on bail and she finds out a way how to get take off her ankle bracelet and she comes and kills me in my sleep and my mom and then finds out where my sister lives and killed her scared of what if i'm gonna have any more girlfriends like this you poor guys well i guess they're not all crazy i guess that's understandable dustin was never implicated in the murder of elizabeth olton back in alyssa's interrogation sergeant david rice pulls a map of the surrounding woods and neighborhood there's like a tree line do you want to like now the thing about this this map i don't think it has where you're actually houses so the way i understand the new house would be right back here is that right okay let's say the new houses ballpark here and then there's a trail that goes out here and it's like right drop form if you're noticed um i'm not exactly sure how far back it goes it's like past all the clearings and then when it starts to get to like a smaller trail and whatnot there's a little side thing it's like a side channel i go off on it's something we always do is we'll walk walk a person through their day and we make a timeline just so we go through everything so what time did you go for your walk the interrogator is using the ted technique or the tell explain describe technique he is making it clear to bustamande that he wants her to recount the day of events as a narrative by recounting the day of events as a narrative bustamante is more likely to reveal other telling personal or contextual details i went through a walk around 4 30 or 5. okay so how long when you got home about 3 30 how long were you at home messing around before you went on your walk do you think i was home at least an hour okay so it's about 4 30 or 5 years right well there's there's a i believe that this little line here is the trail or something did you go out all this way over here and then where'd you go from here i just kept following the uh where does it go from here the interrogator speaks more rapidly and presses bustamante for an answer during this portion of the interrogation bustamante has displayed many disruptions in speech frequently saying um and like and altering her vocal intonation um goes like it does some turns and whatnot but it's a pretty easy path to follow it's like a road pack well i mean show me what does it look back around no no it doesn't move it like goes this way i think okay and then what'd you do and then there was a pastor i just hung out at the creek and then then what'd you do i came back then you walk back yes and then what you do i went home she draws out the eye and ends by saying home with an upward inflection this is what linguists would say one upward inflections are used when asking questions bustamante lacks confidence 2. drawing out words conveys a double meaning but the statement is not implicative or not meant to convey a double meaning put together her underlying communication is i'm not confident in what i am saying and what i'm saying is in conflict with what i am thinking as we move forward listen for these subtle cues sometimes it is not just one word but a combination of words that tell the true story how long did that take you to do um well it takes about a long were you on your walk it's kind of amazing walk so or 20 minutes i believe right grandma it's the first half posture we went to when we took princess with us it's been a long day how long were you gone i was gone for about an hour okay so you're going about an hour when you walked out there the cow pasture what were you doing up there um i was just you know enjoying nature alyssa happily draws the path she took on her walk for sgt rice which confirms her knowledge of the surrounding woods she recounts her day again suspects are typically asked to repeat their story several times so that law enforcement can look for inconsistencies or for information that only the perpetrator of a crime would know we went to church we just did the activities till eight came back everything was crazy so you got back at eight and then i mean what what did they tell you what well they were like yeah there's three shares here people are out searching for her they can't find her they're just saying yeah they were like questioning me about the day they didn't actually question me that day though because i went up to take a shower and then early just left or something and i would do that so i just told you it was missing my grandfather yes how did that make you feel or i was just i didn't think it would like you know happen the interrogator asks how it made bustamante feel and she responds cognitively explaining what she thought instead of how she felt it is easier to describe thoughts than emotions for individuals who struggle to identify emotions it could be reasonably assumed that bustamante is emotionally stunted and certain but not always like things like this even though she says that she didn't think something like this a little girl going missing could happen in saint martin's missouri she doesn't seem too concerned or shocked or surprised the investigator then asks what alyssa knows about elizabeth tell me about um well she's nine okay i don't really know that much about her either um i mean tell me what you do know about her okay she'd come over and swim she's kind of girly like not like naturistic i guess i said she can be annoying okay okay well you know there's been uh there were some folks out there uh out the force i guess digging some holes or looking at some holes um yeah and i guess you know they had said that you like to go out there and dig holes so you know i'm gonna have to ask you some stuff about yourself okay um because you know obviously that plays in there if they were looking holes and you're out there in the force and that sort of thing so i guess just tell tell me a little bit about yourself so i understand where all this is coming from um i really like nature animals being outside it's it's just you know make sure you sleep like that and i get bored really easily and i'm entertained really easily so you know digging holes just something to do alyssa keeps this explanation casual and surface level it sounds like digging holes is genuinely a hobby for her which doesn't seem too odd given the fact she's a teenage girl in a small town with probably not a lot to do but at the same time it's still interesting to note she mentions that her brothers and her dig holes all the time sometimes near their home sometimes out in the woods okay you just like to dig holes and i like to climb trees okay oh and i'm very um dead animals that i find it's respectable to them okay okay it almost seems like alyssa is beginning to understand where the direction of questioning is starting to head yet her behavior remains calm david rice as the main interviewer is playing everything very casual he makes it seem like he's on her side and doesn't believe she has anything to do with elizabeth olton going missing um what kind of holes do you get tell me about these holes you dig you think i'm a certain way every time or just just dig a hole just dig a hole very much okay just wherever they're at i mean you dig a certain spot or what whether digging holes is a hobby of alyssa's or not she makes it seem like the most normal thing in the world for a 15 year old to do in the woods i'm such a non-dirt kind of girl that's amazing i don't do worms and i don't do dirt i'm in rugby oh and so like we do a lot of contact physical in the mud and whatnot and yeah several reasons that's kind of the thing right now isn't it yeah the interrogation turns into a friendly conversation between the juvenile councilor ms toby mayer the woman sat next to alyssa and told the rest of the room about how girls rugby is a new sport to the area high school girl rugby and they get after it oh i'm sure they do they do the school that isn't too dangerous but there's a team and jeff's i know there's at least two teams in jeff city yes i'm i'm not sure about the island and you love it i do and you love the mud and you have dirt under your fingernails do you mind worms sergeant rice gets right back to business steering the conversation back to the holes this hole that you dug when did you dig that hole i because sunday i was born you don't really do much on sunday can't watch tv play video games you know so sad to go outside there's something in her voice that tells you she's not being entirely truthful she's also beginning to nod her head a lot which could be her way of trying to convince sergeant rice that her story is true i think my grandpa would have the exact time this statement is odd it's unclear how or why alyssa's grandpa would know the exact time the hole was dug especially considering what is revealed later don't remember what were you doing sunday tell me about sunday night her non-verbal indicators are more obvious look for the self-pacifying behaviors mentioned earlier in addition to new behaviors like lip licking and interlocking fingers we didn't go to church someday right because we were at mom's house i believe i was at my mom's house for the weekend she lives at the lake and we came back around five and i know i've done it before dark so it was sometime in between wait what time did we come home till six well it must have been in between like 6 30 7 i guess you picked her up where um eugene you picked her up at 6 pm at eugene and it's uh how long did you drive so you got back home 6 30 6 45 ish friday 6 30 6 30 5 minutes let's get dark by then yeah so so you got home at 6 30. yeah and how did you dig a hole with what so what did you do on sunday well i'm not asking what your grandfather when you got home at 6 30 sunday what did you do then oh i think i took a shower and went to sleep so i don't think i did i think it was saturday actually no someone in here saturday bustamante is digging herself deeper and deeper into her own hole you weren't here saturday nope on sunday monday i think it was friday then because i was here friday it wouldn't seem possible right right and you weren't here saturday great and you didn't do it during the week because there's only monday tuesday right so then you're thinking ahead and then friday yes these weaknesses in her story will later be exploited in the interrogation but for now david is playing it close to his chest he's aware her story is changing and it seems like alyssa is also realizing that her story is starting to fall apart okay so tell me about friday do you remember friday did you go to school on friday we didn't have school friday no school so i got up around like noon okay so uh grandma and grandpa home on friday did you work on friday you were half day so would you been home at noon okay so was she asleep when you got home i just did not recall okay so then friday what you do think back to friday after getting up i hung out for a while at the house and it was a nice day friday she is deflecting or attempting to redirect focus elsewhere in certain contexts hair stroking is a pacifying behavior hair stroking is not one of bustamante's baseline behaviors and is occurring in a high pressure context this is likely a pacifying behavior bustamante is uncomfortable relatively nice so i decided to go outside just do whatever and another hole alyssa's bouncing around more than she was at the beginning of the interrogation she's rocking back and forth nodding her head it seems that as her story is unraveling so are her nerves of steel why did you dig that hole because i was bored and i felt like doing something tell me about that hole though as a very specific hole i mean very there's a very unique hole i should say are all of your holes like that no okay but why you dug the whole so you know you know what i'm talking about yes rice is describing the hole in a vague way to see if alyssa might add anything that would explain why she dug it she doesn't really have an answer or a reason to give as to why she dug that particular hole that was a very very unique hole i guess i was digging i mean whatever shape comes to mind i was just entertaining myself i the reason i'm asking i just it just seems like a and you can understand why as uh if people were out in the woods looking for looking for a person if they were lost or god forbid looking for if they thought it was a you know god forbid a body why they would be alarmed by that hole because they're you know come along a hole a freshly dug hole that was and so i think a perfect rectangle about three feet by about four and a half five foot straight shovel marks down about as you describe when i talk to you out there about that deep um interrogators probe for specific answers after asking broad open-ended questions this is again part of the ted interrogative technique or the tell explain describe technique imagine the flow of interrogation as a funnel alyssa's interrogation has become more focused narrower rice is asking a very specific probing question not only does he ask a very specific probing question but he illustrates with his hands the exact size and shape of the hole straight down the first few inches of dirt uh you know up until you get to that real hard packed dirt almost as if somebody were digging down got to a point where you got to those roots in that hard dirt and realize it's too hard to dig do you see what i mean yeah rice relays details and speculation surrounding the crime scene but does so from alyssa's perspective alyssa is likely to identify with the story he tells liars tend to distance themselves from their lies but rice has psychologically repositioned her into a self-identifying mindset her non-verbal indicators become increasingly prominent most people if they were just going to bury a bunny or something out there you know they dig i'm digging a hole by god just dead whole but for a 15 year old girl to dig a perfectly rectangle three by four or five square rectangle hole it just caught a lot of people as very odd that makes sense the whole alyssa doug is the perfect size and shape for a small grave it's a perfect three foot by five foot rectangle shallow and is alarming to come across during a search for a missing child when sergeant rice asks what do you think about that to alyssa he's using the theory of the crime development where the investigator knows there was a crime but doesn't understand all the steps involved and doesn't fully comprehend the motive this is where interrogators will use deceptively innocent questions to get the suspect to fill in the gaps and create a plausible working understanding of the events well i guess you know the timing for digging that hall was definitely not good have you ever dug a hole like that before i have there's an entire discussion about other holes of similar shape and size that she's dug before these holes are where she buries animals but there's no clear indication if alyssa happened upon these animals bodies or killed them herself it doesn't matter if it's a year old they can't they have sonar they can run right over it and they can tell you the shape the depth the whole thing these we're talking about guys that have the fbi they have instruments that can do just just about everything this is subtle intimidation meant to imply that alyssa need not lie have you dug a hole like this before then or is it the first time it's not completely like this but it's like kind of like that okay so this is a very shoebox okay but this is the first time of that size yes yes okay but what about the big round ones i keep kept falling in and i mean they're cheap did you guys quit doing this because they're dangerous and we just ride our horses up there and i could really shut it i mean they're huge okay there's like three or four of them yeah now this is on our property it was entertaining okay and we like to make traps just occasionally you know put some sticks over it and some leaves yeah okay um did uh ever go on a walk with you in the woods the questions asked here are entrapment questions and if any inconsistencies are found the suspect's statements would be treated as lies this type of questioning places additional pressure on the suspect as the interrogation continues i know you said she was a girly girl i've never seen her in the woods okay i mean did you ever take her on walks in the woods or anything like that or any more books okay here we see a clear inconsistency in what alyssa is saying and what her body is saying when asked if she has ever gone on walks with elizabeth in the woods alyssa states nope her head movement transitions from side to side to up and down alyssa's body tells a different story what do you know about all this so far obviously unfortunately your poor family's been thrown in the middle of this his additional comments such as your poor family has been thrown into the middle of this relay that he feels sympathy for alyssa and her family however false that sympathy might be what do you know about this whole investigation or mess she's still missing they're out looking for her they don't want more volunteers because they don't have volunteers so far it's this is really big they've had helicopters searching as well and i don't know that's pretty much what i know as noted previously she responds cognitively rather than from a place of feeling she doesn't have much to say about her family when toby and sergeant rye start empathizing with what elizabeth's family must be feeling and interestingly her face falls into a neutral expression and she stays silent i mean that's why they're making such what do you think happened to elizabeth sergeant rice moves into opinion questions now many interrogation questions are closed meaning they warrant a yes or no response or elicit a single fact or piece of information opinion questions are open-ended interrogation studies have shown that open-ended questions will get all suspects to talk longer and to be more likely to divulge incriminating evidence without even realizing it i really don't think she would run away because she's not and quit they've been searching for two days never got any sign of her so i i think that maybe someone kidnapped her or something it's a terrible thing but i don't know what else to assume innocent individuals might be more likely to mention that they don't know guilty individuals might feel more compelled to provide an explanation that doesn't fit with the crime they committed we see this as alyssa evades the topic of murder would she have easily been lured into a car and was she that kind of girl i don't i i don't know anything about her when she i mean would she have been like a with a kitten i mean maybe um you'd have to ask her well without sure sure do you i mean do you think somebody did something to her is that that seems most like because i don't think she'd be the kind of person that would like hide or stay out all night or anything like that okay is there anybody in that area you can think of that would i mean that comes to mind that you would think that that would that would do that is there anybody that knowing your neighbors that you would rice baits alyssa to place blame guilty suspects commonly deflect and offer helpful explanations as alyssa does here there is a lot of cars to drive down the highway okay a couple just a few opinion questions i'm just asking your opinion because what follows are loaded questions here is the first one broken down what type of person do you think would do this sort of thing to a nine-year-old girl one it's assumptive it assumes that someone did something to elizabeth two it's vague it assumes that someone did something but doesn't specify what that something is three use of this versus that this is used as a definite article in grammar the function of a definite article is to imply but not state what is being referred to in other words this is used in such a way that the speaker is assuming that the listener knows what this is further this implies that something is closer to the listener whereas that implies that something is further away for use of nine-year-old girl this is distancing language or language that creates psychological distance from the main topic of discussion i.e use of that versus my up until this point they've referred to elizabeth by name it also calls attention to elizabeth's vulnerability 5. it's a mirror guilty parties are forced to analyze themselves and resultingly come face to face with who they are and why they did what they did this can produce observable signs of cognitive dissonance a subjective experience of discomfort when two or more ways of thinking feeling or otherwise experiencing clash the dissonance may include discordant ideas beliefs behavior etc what type of person do you think would do this sort of thing to a nine-year-old girl um a sick person like someone that i don't know can put down all their morals and just take a nine-year-old girl alyssa pauses stutters and struggles to get the words out she's looking in the mirror she parrots rice nine-year-old girl using a parallel tone and inflection sociopaths and psychopaths hide in plain sight by observing and mimicking the mannerisms and behaviors of those around them the word this served as a placeholder whatever alyssa said would represent what she knew this to be but alyssa evaded this trap she could have filled that placeholder with kill but she filled it with take on the other hand this could be seen as a slip up as alyssa did technically take elizabeth into the woods whenever we find out what happened to her if somebody did something to her what do you think should happen to them i think they should um convicted well yeah because all the trouble that they're causing so far okay alyssa is faced with her fate we can see and hear her cognitive dissonance in her ums pauses and non-verbals which all indicate discomfort there are many areas in which alyssa could slip up and incriminate herself for instance she could use possessive language say i instead of they she may be aware of this suggestive from her halting breaks in speech the next questions that follow are direct and straight to the point even though he prefaces that he asks everybody these questions i'm gonna ask you because i ask everybody did you do anything to no did you cause her disappearance no did you kill her yeah do you know where she's at right now no okay alyssa's responses may seem convincing she says no with conviction appearing to shake her head back and forth in tandem we covered that inconsistencies between verbal and non-verbal behaviors imply lying so why do alyssa's verbal and non-verbal behaviors appear consistent with one another a closer look reveals that alyssa ever so slightly nods her head up and down after each no response incongruent head movements are more often subtle as we see with alyssa than exaggerated directly following the big question did you kill elizabeth alyssa says no and begins to shake her head back and forth but stops halfway she's not committed to what she's saying i i may have i may have i i'm new to this um so was playing with that's my understanding and when was that oh they were sometime after i had gone into forest because i guess i just decided to go over to elizabeth oh after you ran away and she went to find somebody new to play with can i go yeah go ahead do i need to stop yes yes after a break in the interrogations alyssa sits quietly in the room alone rocking back and forth as with other repetitive body movements is a self-pacifying non-verbal behavior toby takes advantage of down time to build rapport with alyssa it's not through the school because it's too dangerous rashes as soon as detective rice re-enters the room alyssa begins to immediately display the self-pacifying behavior of hair stroking something she didn't do right until the moment rice reappeared all right we i'm good okay everybody good i'm pretty good on drinks and everything alissa sits expressionless as rice and toby exchange lighthearted small talk you know he's talked to my parents you know they said you know i grew up listening we didn't have a tv we had a radio and like god that's you didn't have a television you didn't have the internet sergeant rice asks about elizabeth olton's cell phone and tells alyssa that law enforcement knows elizabeth had her phone at the time of her disappearance she's told that with the software available to law enforcement they can find any cell phone anywhere on the planet it's a simple scare tactic but it's a way to say that any lies will be found out is there any reason at all that your fingerprints will be on this cell phone nope okay so if that self-hold process your fingerprints would not be on it right can you think of any reason why if have you ever touched that cell phone have you ever held that cell phone i mean in the past anytime at all now it's my understanding that uh did the fbi do a search or something of the house where you guys lived tell me about that what was that all they about our house i guess through any signs and they found something murdering but not like advanced like that they have like marijuana seeds and you understand i don't care about marijuana seeds or any of that and they found my medication yeah don't care about that yeah that's not what we're here about has ever been in the house i mean she's coming over yeah i assume she's a neighbor girl she's probably been over there so uh not a big deal there so um you said they searched your room yes other marijuana seats and that sort of stuff did they did they find anything nope okay did they take anything um they took my sheet and dropped a pillowcase did they take anything else um i don't think so i haven't really surveyed anything okay okay i think you'll close so when they took competitive hands in a diary i mean they gave us the list it's not all coming to me what was on the list but those long lists this moment is incredibly significant up until this point alyssa had no idea her diary was collected as evidence they gave us the list it's not all coming to me what was on the list but those long lists good diary okay have you ever gone through the diary i've i've looked at some of it yes okay did you know that no okay does it make you angry yeah it's kind of your private private personal thoughts isn't it melissa's bedroom was anything but ordinary of what you would expect for a 15 year old girl the room was messy with clothes thrown on the floor but it was the bizarre writings all over her walls that caught investigators attention and a drawn figure with slash marks to their head and arms with the name emma alyssa's younger sister written next to it some of these writings including dark poems were written in pen and marker but others looked like they'd been written in blood letters and cards were taped up onto the walls from her father who was still in prison at the time and on alyssa's bed hidden under a blanket was her journal she wrote down her thoughts and feelings like any normal teenage girl but nothing could prepare the investigators for what else they would find inside the journal was filled with

disturbing

thoughts including alyssa's desire to burn a house down with a family inside she wrote another entry which stated if i don't talk about it i bottle it up and when i explode someone is going to die her last entry dated wednesday october 21st was the same day patty olten reported elizabeth's disappearance to the police alyssa had scribbled the words out in blue ink thinking no one would ever figure out how to read them despite her efforts to cover up the entry investigators were able to read the

disturbing

original writing i just killed someone i strangled them and slit their throat and stabbed them now they're dead i don't know how to feel at the moment it was amazing as soon as you get over the oh my god i can't do this feeling it's pretty enjoyable i'm kind of nervous and shaky though right now okay i gotta go to church now lol this entire time detective rice was well aware of the sickening confession alyssa had written inside and was waiting up until this moment to confront her and take her completely off guard from this point onward there will be a massive shift in alyssa's demeanor as she realizes the games are over do you think they went through your diary he remained silent for 13 seconds and you can see how uncomfortable alyssa becomes he will continue to use long moments of silence to make alyssa uncomfortable and eventually draw out a confession the most important aspect of reading body language is analyzing clusters rather than individual indicators in the following clip you'll see a cluster of indicators that alyssa exhibits suggesting she is experiencing high levels of stress she smacks her lips swallows flips her hair she'll then exhibit what is known as the freeze response which is a limbic system response to danger she gets so still she almost appears to be a statue we talked a little bit earlier about technology even if you write something down yeah it doesn't matter let's say you write it down in pencil and then you take a pen and try real hard to scratch it out that doesn't make it go away okay it's still there and forensically and actually you don't even need a lot of friends it's if you hold it up to a y you can see what was written and then when that's processed forensically every word every stroke is still there what we want to do is find out what happened to the little girl it's okay melissa's face though a bit grainy in the footage is almost frowning she's struggling to keep it together giving only short answers to rice's questions then rice drops another bombshell i need to know what the truth is okay we have your diary we've read your diary including the last entry he goes silent for a full 70 seconds just over a minute it may not seem like a very long time but when you're in an interrogation and under pressure this silence must have felt like the longest silence alyssa ever endured and you can see her face start to falter maybe her eyes are watering up but it's hard to tell some argue that the first person who breaks silence in an interrogative setting loses the round alyssa indulges the silence which might be more telling than if she objected to rice's implication alyssa could be brainstorming she could be terrified it looks like there was a moment when alyssa might break but then she seems to reset her emotions and remain quiet staring back at sergeant rice we both know what we're talking about here where's she at oh what we do with kids all the time we deal with kids all the time that's all i've done for 12 years just dealing with kids you're not going to say anything in this room that's going to catch us off guard okay we need you to be honest just be honest if you know something and say it right toby is making a serious error here by involving herself in the questioning she is a juvenile officer and in taking this role she's supposed to be acting as alyssa's advocate not as an interrogator she is limited to observing the interrogation and protecting alyssa's rights she is crossing the line here and due to this mistake the confession was later ruled inadmissible in court citing deceptive tactics being used to draw a confession out of alyssa please continue you need to tell us the truth you need to tell us what happened if this was an accident that's fine but we need the truth with rice saying it's fine if it meaning the death of elizabeth was an accident this is the minimization part of the reed technique that's been used throughout this entire interrogation minimization is an interrogator's attempt to decrease a suspect's resistance to confessing by downplaying the seriousness of the crime we can tell alyssa is teetering on the precipice of confessing toying with the idea cornered by two questioners she tightly compresses her lips as she builds the courage to confess we have to know the truth that's all i'm asking for is whatever happened i have to know the truth this is not gonna go away all i'm asking for is the truth i don't know what's in the diary i got another chance that's what i'm asking tell us what happened the lip pool is a micro expression that signals intense displeasure dislike or disagreement in sports players will often exhibit the lip pull after a loss they are resistantly admitting defeat alyssa exhibits the lip pull here this may speak to alyssa's mindset is this remorse or regret or is it defeat the interrogator will now begin to reiterate the accident theory and at this point i think alyssa's grandmother is losing her mind in a very quiet and composed way if this isn't if this was an accident that's fine we can deal with that but i have to know what happened i have to know what the truth is i have to know how this happened and the most important thing is we have to know where she's at we have to give this family some closure just like if this was your little sister you would want closure this family needs closure okay let's start at the beginning is this something that was planned out or was this just an accident it was an accident it's okay interrogators often offer a chance for suspects to admit that the crime was an accident even if all evidence suggests otherwise this is a method for interrogators to get a foot in the dorm the suspect admits to the crime thinking they will be perceived as being less culpable a form of minimization it's telling that there was a pause between the words it and was accidents she's quickly thinking about her options and whether she can lie her way out of this situation well that's this this is a starting point that's kind of what i thought why don't we start with why don't we start with what happened did you get home from school at 3 30. you got home at 3 30. and then what happened from there i'm in the forest like i said is it there was she alone okay we decided to go hang out because it was all right she died i didn't know what to do so is alyssa struggles to inhale her windpipe is constricting which indicates the presence of severe stress this biological marker of stress suggests alyssa is legitimately affected it could likewise be that alyssa is effectively intentionally activating a stress response for the sake of believability alyssa goes from sobbing to attempting to pull herself together she abruptly and flatly states the burnt elizabeth's body the time it took her to pull herself together is probably how long it took for her to come up with that lie in reality she didn't burn elizabeth as we'll soon find out what alyssa actually did to her who helped you rice asks another assumptive question when interrogators assume answers suspects with answers are more likely to share them we're out in the forest i still didn't drink that at the creek bed yes how did you burn the only reason it seemed she said she burned the body without knowing how difficult it is to actually burn a body is because burning would presumably get rid of evidence and the body of the missing girl everyone is looking for why did you get that hole was that good was that for her when i when did you dig down you gotta get ahead of time didn't you first she states she dug the hole the day of the murder to continue pushing the narrative that it was all just an accident then she slips up without even realizing it stating the truth the hole was dug on friday five days prior to the murder at this point alyssa can't even follow her own story alyssa admitting to digging the hole before she and elizabeth hung out establishes premeditation it doesn't matter whether the body's burned or not they'll go through and do an autopsy okay and they will discover every injury on her body and the cause of death and you know i understand you said she fell and that's why she died however they will know from the autopsy if she was shot if she was hit in the head if her throat was cut they will know all of that from the autopsy so we need to know the truth because at the end of the autopsy they will know exactly how she died so we need to know now the full truth full disclosure right now so it doesn't come out later that well i wasn't telling the full truth again then he calls her bluff how did she kill her i didn't she died how did she die nine-year-old girls don't just die we were messing around then she fell back and hit her head what's her throat cut alyssa sharply exhales as she responds we see alyssa's emotional appeal to her grandmother her emotional stuntedness appears to have limits individuals with psychopathic and sociopathic personality traits or tendencies while removed from feeling in a multitude of ways may experience normal feelings of love for family and others closest to them any questions right now until we get oh oh alyssa finally admits to cutting elizabeth olton's throat alyssa's grandmother cries out in utter anguish and disbelief her entire world was just destroyed her granddaughter the one she rescued from a horrible living situation just admitted to killing a nine-year-old girl but why did alyssa kill her i think i think you got the hole ahead of time because you knew you were killed i think you tried to dig the hole like i said you realized it was too hard to dig down in the they knew you were farm kill her and then you cut her throat is that what happened yes we hear alyssa exhale heavily possibly a sign of relief as she runs through her actions she does kitchen knife kitchen where is that kitchen right now in the sink of your house did you stab her afterwards stab her body or where yes okay how many times did you stab him alyssa leans on words such as i believe and i think these phrases often function as hedges in some instances hedges serve to soften statements or make them seem more cautious imagine how alyssa would sound when responding to questions without these hedge phrases her response may seem overly cold and blunt suggesting emotional detachment and even premeditation given alyssa has displayed socio and or psychopathic tendencies thus far it would be reasonable to conclude that she is consciously employing a social adaptive mechanism or a learned regularity in human social behavior to mimic the normal flow of human conversation did you hit her with anything first or did she just cut her neck or what you tell me what happened she died premeditation has been established because she dug a grave prior to elizabeth's murder and alyssa finally tells rice what the murder weapon was a black-handled kitchen knife that she took from her house and hid on her person it's confirmed that alyssa slid elizabeth's throat and then stabbed her alyssa only recalls stabbing her twice but the autopsy later revealed that elizabeth was stabbed eight times when she was finished she just put the knife in the sink and washed it as if nothing had happened when you got home from school about 3 30 what happened from then walk me through step by step i don't know went in my room i still went around the floors for about three years but i walked over and it was outside did you when did you dig the hole so did you dig that after you killed her yes okay so at about 5 30 you went out did you go to her house to get her i went over there and she was outside so i was like yeah you're gonna do it then okay so you went over there about 5 30 and got her uh was with you she was was the part of the way what's that stir yeah did you have the knife hidden on you or where was it at i had it in your hand no okay so you went did you walk all the way over to her house yeah okay show me what route you went through what did you tell you were going to do were just hanging out at first he had the knife with you did you had you made up your decision you were going to kill her at what point did you make the decision that you were going to kill but we have been at the creek why serial

killer

s murder victims who are readily available easily accessible vulnerable isolated or weak and desirable uniquely appealing elizabeth was a neighbor easily accessible she was a nine-year-old girl vulnerable one can only speculate how elizabeth might have uniquely appealed to alyssa either way alyssa cannot identify why she did what she did just as she seems to struggle to identify her emotions was fifteen-year-old alyssa a premature fledgling serial

killer

you just decided was she facing you was she turned around what what happened she came up behind her and cut her throat and then stabbed her twice okay and is it true you said then you burn her body okay is that part true so is your body should still be in there i burned it and i like scattered it into the creek yeah it's a creek full of water yes okay because generally it's pretty hard to burn a body all the way so it wasn't burned up all the way but no because it's hard to burn a body right so you kind of pushed what was left of the body into the water was the water moving pretty fast okay clothes still you can still see her clothes where they burned off however iron okay and you took the knife back home okay and then what did you do from there you had the knife and then show me what happened from there i just walked back and came inside did you walk back this path that you showed me ah yes the conversation turns back to the hole we're about to hold though it was just there no it wasn't just there i know yeah when did you dig it oh that's right i was looking for something to do with their body when it was before no bryce asks her if her grandfather helped her since he was home at the time the murder took place you didn't dig that hole with a knife you did not i was out there for five hours you didn't dig that hole with a knife your grandpa loves you very much doesn't he grandpa do anything for you i know you don't want to tell me i know you want to protect him but we have got to give you the truth in this you came back you told him what had happened and he wanted to help you you wanted to try to make this right sort of the wednesday this is a very common tactic and interrogations once the suspect is open about events they'll try to get more and more information out of them the investigators will treat this crime as if it involves accomplices until other parties can be eliminated the whole becomes the topic of discussion yet again you're not telling the truth on this part why does it even matter now it does matter because we have got to find out the truth oh you already know it we have got to know the full truth tell us the truth you didn't have a shovel you're telling the truth about how you killed her and believe that because that matches your diet you've done the hard part toby assumes a critical role in facilitating alyssa's confession i knock it friday was the day that wasn't normal was it was your grandpa no one helped me i did it by myself it's interesting to see how alyssa goes from trying to lie and pretend she had nothing to do with the missing little girl to finally admitting she dug a grave and killed her but sergeant rice and toby can't believe that she committed the crime herself or dug the hole they think her grandfather had something to do with it too they are almost giving alyssa a way to continue her lie but she's probably the most truthful when they try to implicate her grandfather probably out of love for him because if there were ill feelings between them there's no doubt she would attempt to throw him under the bus did you do anything else to her body no did anyone help you who have you told about this number one you know what no you should tell your brother just tell your friend no did you tell anyone no there's a good reason that the investigators think alyssa didn't act alone even her boyfriend said that he doesn't think she could have carried out the crime by herself quite literally i think she did this alone i don't think she did anymore i think she could very well barely lift me right now who would be the person that would help the only good friend that i know of that she always came out with in the back was a girl named that's about it she's right toby's right you've done the hard part on this one i can assure i can you you from working a lot of homicides for the last 13 years i do have a crummy job the truth is going to come out every one of these that i work where you're sitting here right now going through the agonizing part of not wanting to come this last portion and tell on someone else truth the truth the truth is the full truth on whatever happened here is going to come out okay they didn't do it then tell me the full truth of all this why aren't you why aren't you telling everything i did i switched up the whole things accident but then i wasn't it really was on friday that i did the whole this i i know that okay i know this wasn't an accident it just spurred the moment i know that from the hole i know you intended on killing her brought her out there for that purpose but the problem is your deception is causing us other issues here okay so i'm past the point of thinking is this an accident did she hit her head did did you just change your mind at the last second for some reason decide to kill her i know you brought her out there okay why i do well that's not an issue but i know that happened but we're still having a problem here with this whole and the rest of it because you've been lying to us on that you see i mean none of your time's made any sense you didn't dig it with a knife we know that didn't happen those friday with the shuffle when on friday i'm not sure exactly this is where we see the shift from the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter a crime of passion to that of a premeditated murder it's clear alyssa planned her crime from beginning to end she planned to lure elizabeth into the woods to play and to dig a grave a few days before she killed her there were signs leading up to the murder that either people didn't pay attention to wrote off as someone just seeking attention or it was entirely possible that they didn't think anything was wrong alyssa seemed to live a double life at school she had friends and pulled good grades never letting them fall below a b average her teacher said she was a smart kid and never had any behavioral issues in school her social media presence showed an entirely different alyssa her youtube bio listed her hobbies as cutting and killing people her twitter page gave an insight into some of alyssa's more concerning thoughts as she often wrote about depression addiction and terror in particular one tweet read all i want in life is a reason for all this pain these types of comments weren't at all unusual for alyssa case documents show that one of elissa's friends was interviewed by police they said that over the last couple of years alyssa had said to them i wonder what it would feel like to kill someone according to her friend alyssa would even talk about what would happen if she did kill someone speculating about whether or not she would get caught and how exactly she would kill someone the friend thought she was joking she'd even said something similar to her boyfriend um would you say no what else you say that was it that was it we just started watching that movie i didn't think anything about this that wasn't what i was did anything to think about when somebody asked you do you know what it feels like to kill somebody you don't think if uh that's just something you have normal conversation with somebody that that gets brought up in this normal conversation that's happened to you oh she she's emo and almost think about that kind of she's what she's emo so the emails think about that kind of stuff we'll see people who like to cut themselves and stuff like that and think dark things okay now you know i chose actually but then on either wednesday october 21st or thursday october 22nd alyssa called her friend depending on which day it actually was it was either the day she killed elizabeth or the following day alyssa told the friend that she had done something really bad the friend asked her if she knew about the little girl that was missing and alyssa told her yes but asked why she was asking alyssa repeated over and over to the friend that it was all supposed to be a game there were videos on her youtube channel that involved doing dangerous things like touching a live electric fence around her grandparents horse paddock she forced her twin brothers to touch it and edited the video to say right before the boys touched the fence this is where it gets good where my brothers get hurt experts say that all of this along with her other behaviors indicate that alyssa had a sadistic need to hurt others and got a lot of pleasure from it even experiencing a release of all the painful emotions she held deep inside her alyssa didn't just try to hurt others as she often directed the need to inflict pain on herself at a young age alyssa had started hurting herself all of this came to a head when at 13 she attempted to take her own life she fully recovered and spent time in a mental health facility where she was prescribed the antidepressant prozac she began to see several counselors during her time at the facility and once she was released she underwent intensive outpatient treatment so while she ended up getting help it didn't really help her back in the interrogation room sergeant rice is trying to get alyssa to empathize or at the very least sympathize with the olton family about how they need help recovering elizabeth's body so they can have closure while that may be the first priority for the victim's family it's law enforcement's priority to recover the body so a forensic autopsy can be performed to corroborate the suspect's statements and generate additional evidence for the prosecution toby begins to explain to alyssa that the judicial system treats people who tell the truth differently than those that lie this is when alyssa finally drops the story about burning the body and tells them what she really did to elizabeth olton we're gonna have to talk some more about this obviously but for right now i need to get a larger map don't make sense they don't make sense because i am your advocate and i am here to protect you i i'm not going to ask any questions but there's statements that you're making it doesn't make sense it's everything that you're lying and we treat people who can't be honest completely different than we treat people who can be on us you can be honest if you can tell us what happened even if you aren't protecting people you feel obligated to project we at least know we can help you okay so he's going to walk out and like he said he can't come back and talk but don't you want to have told him the truth right from the beginning if this is your opportunity it's your opportunity okay good splitter throw that straight yes okay did you have a knife on you yes did you cut her throat at any time yes try to throw it afterwards okay so you strangled her first until she was unconscious dead and then you slit her throat and did you actually did you stab her then did you do anything else to him okay and then what happened after that your body's still out there i think so it's unclear why alyssa seems so unsure that elizabeth's body will be in the same location the implication by detective rice is that alyssa may have had help and it's interesting to note how uncertain she is that elizabeth will still be there still out there finally the truth she strangled her stabbed her slit her throat and then buried the body in the hole she dug on friday interestingly the specific hole that has been in question the entire interrogation was never used as the gravesite of elizabeth olton did the hole that i saw that she pointed out what was that about that was she's in it's not that deep okay will you be able to point out on the map or take us to where she's at you didn't burn her did you bring the shovel with you you dug the hole on friday and had it all ready did you leave the shuttle out there so the hole was already done on a friday and then you brought her out there one step killed her there and one state strangled her then cut her throat stabbed her twice put her in the hole and then how'd she feel the dirt right here with your hands toby takes this opportunity to push for any last pieces of information that alyssa could be concealing i can tell alyssa had dug two holes that friday the first hole that had been discussed at length in the interrogation ended up being the one law enforcement found early on but alyssa says that she couldn't dig too deep in that area so she moved to another area where she could and that's where they would find nine-year-old elizabeth olton's body as the interviewer has noted the two holes are interesting but not everyone buys alyssa's explanation there is a theory that alyssa may have dug two holes because she had originally planned to kill her two younger brothers however this theory hasn't been corroborated and so we may never know exactly why alyssa chose to dig two holes now that the story is clearly laid out they've established how the murder was done and where the body is sergeant rice moves on to the motive the reason alyssa did it why did you make her is there something about her did you just want to did you just want to know what it was like to kill someone alyssa appears to cry but her response carries a tone of indifference

thrill

killing it is the act of killing someone for sheer excitement alyssa killed elizabeth because she wanted to know what it would feel like to kill someone

thrill

killing stems from a place of powerlessness these killers are empowered by their murders she just someone nearby or was it yeah she straddles the fence between emotional upset and removedness she lowers her head holding her face in her hands psychopaths and sociopaths are not incapable of experiencing guilt and remorse particularly if they have comorbid conditions like borderline personality disorder or bipolar disorder she could regret killing elizabeth out of remorse but she could also regret killing her for a more selfish reason she knows the repercussions she breaks down once rice leaves to retrieve a larger map toby attempts to reassure alyssa again we see her emotional instability she struggles to self-regulate yes prozac is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor ssri an antidepressant medication primarily used to treat major depressive disorder if alyssa has an underlying mood disorder like bipolar disorder she might experience increased psychotic symptoms as disorders like these are sensitive to imbalanced levels of serotonin serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in modulating mood sleep and cognition specifically antidepressants prevent the breakdown of serotonin which may lead to an overabundance in individual systems psychosis looks different from individual to individual but it can involve increased aggression hallucinations delusions mania and other psychotic symptoms psychosis characterized by paranoid hallucinations delusions and aggression may lead to violent behaviors said yes childhood maltreatment and or neglect is a strong predictor of suicidal ideation pathological aggression and criminality all of which are present in alyssa dissociation is the separation of one's self from one's identity memories thoughts and or feelings it's associated with childhood trauma particularly that of an emotionally abusive or neglectful nature dissociation is linked to post-traumatic stress disorder dissociative disorder mood disorders borderline personality disorder and more toby is walking elissa through the process of grounding grounding is a technique often used in therapy in crisis situations that pulls individuals away from flashbacks or disturbing emotions into the present she encourages alyssa to use her breath as an anchor a sensory tool to call attention to physical rather than emotional sensations don't have any sharp objects in your shoes or anything like that okay what we're going to do right now is kind of get some things lined up to go out there and have you point out uh that side where she's at would you be able to do that ugh once alone alyssa almost immediately regulates her breathing her head hangs low the reality is that your grandmother loves you and love doesn't stop okay i want you to think nobody nobody loves you your grandparents love you love is unconditional absolutely she loves you unconditionally now she's not going to understand why this happened and are there going to be some you guys have you know i have a sugar coat this year you guys have some rough times to handle you but she's not going to stop blooming and when you came back home what did you do with that nun did you clean it yeah describe the knife okay does it have is it just straight edge does it have those serrations in it straight edge because alyssa's a juvenile sergeant rice explains what's going to happen next in the investigation how they must speak to everyone that could be involved to get to the truth especially since alyssa lied at the beginning of the interrogation alyssa is then prepped to go out with sergeant rice they're going back to the woods so that she can recount the crime and show them where she buried elizabeth here's the audio from that excursion it is uh days october 23rd 2009 2 o'clock sergeant david rice from missouri state highway patrol and it is michael couti with the cole county juvenile office and we're here in coal county at the site where you say this occurred where you've been can you walk me through i want you to walk me through step by step um when you got up here what actually occurred what happened here strangled her and then cut her throat and stabbed her okay when you strangled her was she was she facing you yeah okay so she was facing you looking towards you you strangled her one hand two two hands okay and what happened did she stand up fall to the ground what happened she'd fall into the ground okay was she moving at that point no okay um so she was lying on the ground was she face down on her back okay and where was you said earlier you had a knife where was your knife at that point um i put it back here alyssa doesn't even remember where she placed her knife during the attack it's unclear if she's even telling the truth still at this point since every detail seems so muddled which which pocket was it in front it was like a waste yeah like okay okay that was the knife that you told me about with the black handle you told me earlier okay what did you do with the knife i put it in the sink no no when you were here once you said she was on the ground not moving you said after that point what did you do i cut her throat and then stabbed her you cut her throat and stabbed her where did you stab her in her chest area yeah in the front or in the back right the front okay how many times twice i believe alyssa's story still doesn't add up although continually claiming she stabbed elizabeth twice the autopsy report revealed she was stabbed a total of eight times in the chest twice okay and then what happened after that dragged her into the hole dragged her into this hole over here okay and when did you dig that hole friday okay how did you cover her up did you have a shovel or something here i just used my hands used your hands okay and this is the hole over here she's under how deep is that hole it's not very deep okay all right okay and i think we've talked about everything else back at the office i just wanted to go over is there anything else this all happened right about here he's pretty sure that yeah okay um did you leave anything out here that you can think of um why don't you drop a piece of gum somewhere you did she did she dropped a piece of gum where do you think that was oh i'm that it's probably under some leaves now but what happened to her phone i'm pretty sure it was in her pocket at the entire time in her pocket yes so do you think her phone is in her pocket in that hole yes okay did you ever hear it go off alyssa claimed she never heard elizabeth's phone ring contradicting elizabeth's mother who claimed she called her phone over and over again okay okay i'm gonna go ahead and shut the tape off then she used her hands to cover elizabeth's body with leaves dirt and twigs once the body was recovered and autopsied elizabeth olton was laid to rest on wednesday october 28 2009. she was buried in a pink coffin and carried to the cemetery by a horse-drawn carriage mourners wore pink and released balloons elizabeth ant described her as the morning sun that pops out over the mountain she was sunshine and you couldn't help but love her in the end it seems some details just don't add up and it's clear that investigators believed alyssa had some sort of help and along with all the inconsistencies dustin's explanation behind how he discovered alyssa killed elizabeth was strange to say the least on thursday october 22nd the day after elizabeth's murder dustin stayed home sick and claimed alyssa skipp's school to spend the day with him at his residence his mother unexpectedly arrived home at approximately 12 30 or 1 pm he ushered alyssa into a closet to hide giving her clothes to change into for unknown reasons and continued to check on her repeatedly while she was hiding while dustin's mother was getting into the shower he claimed alyssa suddenly confessed that she strangled cut and killed the girl he then claimed he told her she had to leave guiding her to go out the front door while his mother was in the shower this was his last alleged communication with alyssa and the day after this happened you skipped school and you're smoking pot with right you tell them about this why not you guys are that you're close don't you feel like you need to tell somebody no that's not really the kind of thing that you tell people investigators also picked up on what they believed was a slip up at the beginning of his interrogation all i know is what the fbi told me what did they tell you they told me that she buried him and then slur throat and stabbed her she already had him hooked up and buried her she wasn't big enough so then they buried her they buried her again i mean you're not in trouble here okay you're not in a lot of trouble here what do you mean i'm not in a lot of trouble here bud it's just what i've been saying for the past couple of days because i just couldn't see doing that by yourself but obviously you just told me that there was another person involved that i could believe no you told me that alyssa was charged with first first-degree murder yet even though she had confessed and even led law enforcement to the very site where she killed and buried elizabeth she entered a not guilty plea she was certified as an adult on november 18 2009 due to the adult nature of her crime the coal county circuit judge assigned to the trial ruled that her crime was vicious and that the missouri state juvenile facilities were unequipped to deal with someone who could commit such a crime for over a year alyssa stuck to her plea of not guilty the day before her trial january 9 2012 she withdrew her not guilty plea and agreed to plead guilty to the lesser charge of second-degree murder since she took the plea deal that had been presented to her she waived her right to a jury trial but as a condition of the deal she needed to get up in front of the courtroom until the events of that fateful day the courtroom was filled with both her family and elizabeth's family along with most of the saint martin's community alyssa told the court what she'd done speaking in a clear emotionless voice she'd strangled elizabeth with her hands and used the kitchen knife for the rest of the attack nearly everyone in the courtroom already knew the details of the murder since it was well publicized in the media however this was the first time hearing it straight from the murderer herself elizabeth's mother paddy sobbed while alyssa retold her daughter's murder there were several reasons that the courts probably reduced the charges at the time it was a gray area whether it was legal to sentence a teenager to life without parole the united states supreme court was getting ready to hear another case about two teenage murderers and they needed to decide if life without parole was cruel and unusual punishment for people so young the defense said that alyssa was diagnosed with major depression anxiety disorder post-traumatic stress disorder from her difficult upbringing borderline personality disorder and showed early signs of bipolar disorder and more importantly that all of these diagnoses were the reasons behind her killing of elizabeth olton case documents reveal a police interview with a mental health professional who had worked with alyssa for two years they shared that during an annual assessment of alyssa only one month before the interview and elizabeth's disappearance the mental health professional had become concerned that her depression was spiraling and her delinquent behavior was increasing alyssa had actually called this mental health professional soon after elizabeth went missing during the call alyssa said she was distressed about the police being in her house and searching for clues about what happened to elizabeth one of the most interesting pieces from the case document is that the mental health professional initially said they had no concern about alyssa being involved in the little girl's disappearance because in their experience alyssa never expressed a desire to harm anyone else but herself another doctor even agreed with this same belief however they also conceded that they could be wrong this interview took place two days after alyssa killed elizabeth alyssa's defense tried to prove she didn't know that murdering someone was wrong in contrast to this the mental health professional was asked during the police interview about whether or not alyssa understood the difference between right and wrong to which they replied absolutely her defense also pointed out that alyssa's dose of prozac was increased only a short time before she killed elizabeth they claimed that this increase may have played a role in making her behavior unpredictable and even could have made her more prone to violence one question that everyone comes back to is why alyssa had done it her grandfather said that the night alyssa killed elizabeth she seemed to be in an unusually good mood her mood along with her journal entry showed that alyssa was likely a thrill killer thrill killers receive a rush of euphoric adrenaline from the act of killing their victims which would explain why alyssa was so happy after the gruesome murder on february 8 2012 elissa addressed the court and apologized saying i really am extremely sorry for everything i know words can never be enough to describe how horribly i feel for all of this if i could give my life to get her back i would i'm sorry alyssa was sentenced to life in prison but this story doesn't end there due to the publicized nature of the crime and the lead-up to the trial alyssa became something of an underground celebrity there's an online fan club and facebook groups in support of alyssa some displaying artwork of her and even profiles using her picture pretending to be her alyssa would have been eligible for parole for the first time in 2044 but since the senate bill 26 passed someone convicted as a minor can ask for parole after 15 years this means there is a chance alyssa could be up for parole as early as 2027
the disturbing case of the teen thrill killer documentary

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