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November 30th, 2009 by Dr. Phil

Violent Teen Girls

Alyssa Bustamante (AP Photo)

Alyssa Bustamante (AP Photo)

Girl-on-girl bullying is spiraling out of control. I’ve blogged about this before, and I just can’t believe how more and more young ladies are becoming aggressors and victims. But what happens when this aggression escalates to murder?

By now I’m sure you’ve heard the tragic story of 15-year-old Alyssa Bustamante who allegedly strangled and slit the throat of her 9-year-old neighbor, Elizabeth Olten. According to reports, the teen dug a grave before the murder, and she tweeted: “all I want in life is a reason for all this pain.”

I can’t even wrap my mind around such a vicious killing — and of a child, no less — and my heart goes out to both families. What in the world is going on with some of our young people that they feel the urge to take their anger out by harming or killing others? What would influence a teen girl to allegedly act in such a brutal way? Were there psychological issues that were overlooked by parents, teachers or other professionals?

What are your thoughts on this senseless act? Let me hear from you.

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60 Responses to “Violent Teen Girls”

  1. Psychiatric, prescription drugs are the cause of homicides and suicides. The root cause of what “appears” to be mental illness, depression, hyperactivity, etc is the mass vaccination of generations.

    Most, if not virtually all, school shootings, homicides and suicides amongst young people are due to the following chain: Mass vaccinations: (up to 36 vaccine by 6 years old); neurological damage caused by the contents of the vaccines including Thimerosal, aluminum or other adjuvants and pathogens of which 15 of the vaccines had contained Thimerosal (mercury) for the last 25 years before it was reduced or removed; Misdiagnosis as ADD, ADHD, Autism as opposed to “vaccine injury”;the resultant medications such as adderall, ritalin given to young people mislabeled: CDC reports 1 of 6 children have neurological dammage. Subsequent prescriptions of SSRIs such as Zoloft, Prozac, Lexpro, Concerta, Wellbutin, etc are given to this demographics. Suicide warnings are now labeled on the SSRIs. But psychiatrists are off labeling these drugs to children and youth.

  2. Fleur says:

    Its rather funny how everyone here is blaming the media, lack of parents, child courts, or saying that she came from a loveless home.

    First of all she probably really does have phycological problems that are part of her genes. It doesn’t need to be blamed on a lack of a mother or even father. Heck, maybe her mom was abusive and she was indeed better off without her. Mom doesn’t always know best. And nothing is an excuse for killing someone who couldn’t defend themselves.

  3. Fleur says:

    Also I would like to say something to Kelli Holloran (though she probably isn’t checking this anymore). Excuse me, but more violence comes out of kids who have never been in a joint custody situation or never even had a father around. I’m not saying a father is the answer always. But believe me I’ve known many people who grew up in single mother families and they were awful kids. They even abused their mothers physically and emotionally they were that bad.

    And not all the fathers in that 70% divorce rate are abusive deadbeat dads. Lets not forget the women who try to punish men or keep kids away from dad (these women are so disgusting, especially since they tend to be controlling and selfish anyways) or in our economy men who seriously can’t afford child support (I wonder how many women could afford it if the role were reversed?). I’m not trying to make excuses for fathers who really don’t care. But sometimes I’m left to wonder if mothers simply want their kids around just to control them or if mom is always the answer.

    Maybe its time we also wonder why so many women get and put up with abusive men (like KH). Do you realize any kids you have with him he probably won’t care about and they’ll grow up without dad? Think before you get it on, please. It really does the world and your life good.

    And where did it state that the girl was caught in the middle of a custody battle for 10 years? I didn’t see that one.

  4. Anna says:

    OK so this is what I think. I feel she does have some kind of phycological disorder. But there is not telling what other things of happened in her life that have not been told to put her in this type of thinking. My guess would be that she was for sure in some type of unhealthy family up bringing whether it be something small or big. Not saying that is making it ok because it doesnt. She is for sure old enough to know right from wrong. I am just wondering is this a first time of such thoughts of murder??? And what exactly was it that she had out for this nine year old child???

  5. Tracy says:

    My daughter is 18. She was diagnosed bipolar when she was 7. She has 2 younger sisters, one who is 15 and one who is 9.
    Her diganosis was no surprise to me. She never slept as a toddler and hated her sister since birth. Whatever she could do to hurt her she did. She was a brute.
    I constantly had to watch every move she made. When she was 4 she continuosly kicked walls and slammed doors over and over. We lived in an apartment and a police officer told us to stop her before he would. How do you stop a 4 year old without restraining her?
    She constantly attacked her dad. She Was charged with 3 counts of felonious assault at 11, against an 8 year old. It didn’t stop her behavior. She spent 9 months in a residential home and 6 months in jail. She followed that up with 3 more months at a group home.
    Nothing was ever her fault. We were always her problem or her sister or the school or someone else.
    She was put on medication. When she got old enough she refused to take it.
    She was arrested again at 15 for shoplifting. She would have been in jail until she was 25 but her dad and I hired a good attorney who got the charges dismissed.
    I thought that was a good thing but it made things worse.
    She was good for a while. I noticed her sister started gaining a ton of weight. When I asked her why she said so she could defend herself against her sister. That broke my heart.
    How do you chose between your children?
    I protected them the best I could. She just moved out a few days ago a month after turning 18. She is still in high school. She has reaked havoc on everyone who ever knew us.My father, my brother, my friends. I am alone. Its a small price to pay for peace.
    I am worried about her by herself but we are sleeping now. We aren’t locking our doors or waiting for her next mood swing.
    I don’t know what I would have said to this mother had my daughter done this. I couldn’t control her when she was in my home. How could I ever apologize fro seomething like that? Stop blaming the parents! We are at a loss too!
    I went to every social agency! I took her to councilor after councilor! I taughter her about God and about right and wrong. It didnt stop her !
    The law tied our hands and often turned the tables. I believe the system fails the parents more than you think!

  6. Kelli Holloran says:

    Dear Fleur,

    I don’t know what statistical or factual data you have to base anything you said on. I have now seen the advertisements from Dr. Phil about “parental alienation syndrome” which is under a great deal of scrutiny because it is not an actual syndrome but was invented by the Father’s Rights Movement, which was the result of mothers always getting custody — clearly not a good thing and biased but it was a “reaction” to something, not a psychological disorder that has been tested and proven to be an actual disorder. It is amazing to me that “primarily mothers” are accused of having this syndrome, and there is ample evidence it is mostly abusive fathers who are making these accusations.

    I agree there are controlling, domineering and abusive mothers but 97% of all domestic violence cases are men as the primary aggressor. There is a lot of HYPE out there but most of it is not based on any actual facts but emotions and opinions. The bulk of humans do not base anything on the scientific method but on hype. Dr. Phil clearly picks emotionally charged topics that of course will bring his ratings up. I will not even watch the PAS mockup B.S. because I will probably throw my TV in the dumpster being so angry to listen to that crap.

    As for your “accusations” about abusive men *LAUGH OUT LOUD*. Really? Are you blaming women who had children with abusive men? First of all, like 30% of them are abusive or something (or 30% of women have been involved in DV cases) so its a little hard to discern WHICH men are abusive or not since they are all socialized to be violent anyway.

    I have a Masters degree in sociology, I’ve read a LOOOOOT of studies, and everything you put in your email has about 1000 articles by real psychologists, sociologists, etc., who have done real RESEARCH using the scientific method to PROVE. For example: many of the divorce “problems” and male dominance issues is about how we have all been socialized by gender for centuries — women in the home “nurturing and supportive of men” and men out in the public world getting the bread, and also controlling all of the women and children in their families. Women pushed into the work force has upset this a great deal as men try to “assert” themselves as their roles are changing but attitudes about gender roles are not changing as fast. Further — families no longer look like the “idealized” nuclear family — yet society is not really changing to accommodate that.

    I never married my child’s father (who is on his third restraining order in 10 years and second DV case) I merely dated him and was “with” him for maybe a total of 6 months spanned out from my pregnancy until my child was 2 and he beat me severely. Under 2 months if I wasn’t pregnant but I tried to make it work for the “child’s sake” and wanted her to have a father. It wasn’t “me staying with him” that caused the problems — it was the COURT. He hardly ever saw her until she was 4 years old — when I sued him for child support and he fought me for custody. It is common that men fight for custody to avoid paying child support.

    Do your research before posting an off the cuff response or some kind of accusation.

    There seem to be a deep trench of hatred between genders and its unfortunate for ALL children (girls boys or otherwise) but here is my own “opinion” of why…

    Only in the last 100 years have women been able to assert themselves to have any rights as citizens at all. And, men resent this. Before that, women were technically classified as children, could not even vote and pretty much had to do what their husband said. Divorce was rare. Women fought against this and established the law that they are equal citizens. But, gender roles still seem to supercede this “law” and a lot of people (whether men or women) fall into the historial idea, even if women end up working. Just watch the Dr. Phil shows this is confirmed daily — like the “controlling men” texting their wives 5000 times a day if they work, and “fear” of the women cheating. Men may prefer that women stay in the home where they can better control them.

    Maybe the underlying cause of this is some kind of biological thing — after all, apes act the same damn way.

    I’m sorry you’re so angry that I point out the facts of actual research and that pisses you off — it obviously doesn’t support your morality or personal beliefs. That however isn’t “me” really but science and if science upsets you, I’m real sorry.

    People either need to evolve to realize we are all equal entities (men and women) and that we need to respect one another in order to raise healthy children. I don’t know if this is going to occur — ever. The hostility between genders seems to be getting FAR WORSE rather than any better. A lot of times I think that men resent that the woman chose to leave him FAR MORE than they have a desire to be a father or have custody, for most of these situations where the man is throwing such a huge fit (besides the cases where the woman is clearly a domineering and controlling parent and the man is just trying to be a good person to his kids) — you will find that the man WANTS BADLY to control the woman, have the woman, own the woman (and the children) and that her choosing to leave is a FAR more important factor to his newfound desire to be the primary caregiver of his kids than his REAL desire to be that primary caregiver.

    In many of these cases, the man will have little to do with the children, be abusive, be many things that aren’t a nurturing parent — UNTIL the woman decides to get divorced, then all of a sudden he climbs on the “PAS” scapegoat and gets a lawyer.

    And just an FYI — the gender difference in finance is a WHOLE OTHER ISSUE ENTIRELY. Women do not make close to what men make, their typical jobs are very undervalued compared to the common employment men have, childbearing and childrearing cuts deeply into a woman’s ability to work as much as a man can work — and there is still rampant sexism in most high paying jobs. I’ve done statistical analysis and proven these off of data sets that are blind — being female is a primary factor in getting less money or a lower paying job.

    So — your statement “could women afford to pay child support” blah blah is not even a valid argument at all, until women are paid equally in the work force. Another thing that many men will rampantly oppose at every crossroad.

    What is your personal answer? Find a man who “isn’t” abusive, get a part time job as a school teacher or a nurse, stay home and take care of my kid(s) while the guy makes 10 X more than me, controls most of the finances, the house, the cars, and can threaten me to file a custody suit if I choose to leave (because inevitably I will make less money than he does and he can hire a better lawyer).

    No thank you I will stay single, unless I meet a guy that values EQUALITY in everything. Not that everything is always “equal,” but that either gender is JUST AS IMPORTANT and has JUST AS MUCH SAY in the running of society, a home, a business – whatever. Until I meet that person single is what I choose to be.

    Best wishes,

    Kelli Holloran, M.A.

  7. suzanne hayes says:

    I am very upset about the comment about your heart going out to both familys! How do you think that makes the dead child’s parents feel? Its wrong! If you were only to put yourself in their position! Actually I am very tired of people feeling sorry for the criminals & their family’s as much as the victim’s and theirs!! I was carjacked, kidnapped, threatened with my life and I thought I was without a doubt going to be left for dead in the woods where my parents would never find me! At the final moment before I thought I was to be shot in the back as I was running for my life down a steep wooded and thick ravine while being yelled obscenities and being told I was going to die with a sawed off shot gun pointed at me my final thought was they will never find my body here and my mother will be mentally tortured because of it for the rest of her life! My mother was the most loving person ever!! I was lucky to have survived! The people who did it to me got more help and protection from the government then I did, it’s a cruel joke. They flew them home, asked them what things were theirs and of course they kept my jewelry, nice cloths, etc… They even housed & feed the youngest one of them that was just as involved in the crime as the others, I don’t even think she was a minor! She probably gave them some sob story, but nobody was interested in what I had to say! They just felt sorry for those poor victimized criminals! I lost a car and a job, one of those jerks told me they couldn’t get a job, and I listed off about 5 places in that county that I knew were hiring, they just didn’t want to work!!! I wasn’t able to find out anything about them later because they were under protection, what a joke! After they had all my personal belongings, credit cards, Id’s, drivers license, registration to to my new car and my personnel mail, camping gear and cloths, etc… and did they offer me any personal protection after they released the two men from jail accidentally??? THAT WOULD BE A NO!!! Even though they would know right where to come to seek retribution! Never saw my car again lost a great job I had planned for because I didn’t have a car and had to fight my insurance for 6 months while they lied to me only to find out I didn’t even get to have my day in court because two lousy lawyers made a deal! Nobody even asked me about that either, I don’t even know what they got and they were only being prosecuted for one thing, carjacking! Not kidnapping, not assault with a deadly weapon, and something about an altered weapon, which is a big one, because it was a sawed off shot gun! Most are felonys too! It is all about liberals, lawyers and deals and nobody cares until something happens to them!!!
    Well back to the bully thing. Something was wrong with that family, unless that girl was just completely mental and then something was wrong with that family again for not seeing the signs and seeking help!!!! Parents are lazy, don’t want to take responsibility to discipline or don’t have the balls. That is what is wrong with America today kids don’t have the fear of discipline, and I will tell you that was what kept me out of trouble and made me a good kid and probably kept me off drugs and possibly saved my life, you never know! Well that and not being stupid but all kids do stupid things sometimes just how many and how bad is the question! LOL I always remember thinking if I was to do something what would be my Dad’s reaction, tough love works!! All the way to adult hood was my fear and respect for my father! I come from a upper middle class family, very educated, my father was a West Point Grad, no yelling, never saw my parents argue, we got guidance but we didn’t get time outs or a good talking to. My kids could care less about that too, I take their favorite toys & computer time away, no pool time etc… that only works so far. My dad just quietly came into the room, and we already knew what it was for because we had asked for it by knowing we weren’t supposed to do it, it’s that simple! All this junk today about kids not knowing right from wrong, who is fooling who, that’s just some way for parents to wienie out! If dad is gone mom has to take the bull by the horns!! Especially these single moms!!! Spoiled kids make rotten adults, rotten co-workers, rotten employees, rotten spouses, great criminals, etc… Don’t these parents get it!!! Don’t they want their kids to be happy, accountable, responsible adults! Not to mention it is ruining America!!!

  8. Paul says:

    There are a lot of things that probably went wrong with her that eventually led her into the position she is in today, but I believe she is a sociopath and that the world will be a better place with her dead. How she got there is imaterial.

  9. GoodParent says:

    I am horrified – not only for the act but the root cause of her action “…all I want is a reason for this pain”. All she really needed was guidance… or maybe just someone to hear her out… Neglected needs of children by society and parents… Where are we when these things happen?

  10. Trudie says:

    I spent 3 months in county with Alyssa and came to be very close to the child. Now I’m not saying that I condone what she done, because it was beyond wrong. But I can say that she’s an awesome kid .. funny, outgoing, very talented in poetry. She expresses so many of her feelings of what she’s done through writing. It saddens me so much just knowing that she’s going to spend most of her life locked up. She’s lost the rest of her childhoood due to her bad decisions.

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