Hobbies and interests are important to have. A study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine journal found that people who have hobbies or interests are 34 percent less stressed than people who don’t. They are also 18 percent sad as well. Many people are interested in true crime for various reasons. Still, they usually don’t act on trying to replicate the crimes that they see on their favorite podcasts, YouTube channels, documentaries, books, and so on. However, there is that exception to the rule. Meet Amanda Taylor became obsessed with serial killers and decided to turn the dreams of murder into reality. I want to give a huge thanks to Instagrammer tat2d_runt for letting me know about this female killer. She is from Virginia, so I am surprised that I never heard of her, so a huge thanks to a fellow Virginian.
Suicide and Blame
24-year old Amanda Taylor met and fell in love with Rex Taylor. One interest that they both shared is their love for serial killers. It started becoming more and more obsessive to the point that the two began writing letters to serial killers in prison. One of them was a rapist and serial killer, Paule Runge. Rex even changed his Facebook username to be “Rex Runge.”
In August 2014, Amanda’s husband Rex committed suicide by hanging. He had been an opioid addict since he was a teenager, and it seems that he didn’t say another way out. Amanda was devastated. The serial killer and rapist Paul Runge that the two were writing in prison sent Amanda $1000. When a loved one passes away, it is normal for their loved ones to try and find someone to blame. For Amanda, it was Rex’s father, Charles. She felt that if it weren’t for Charles introducing drugs to REx when he was around 15 years old, then Rex would still be alive.
In March 2015, Amanda checked herself into a mental hospital after having an episode at the cemetery where Rex was laid to rest. From friends, it seems she was there because it was around the time of their shared birthday. Amanda felt she needed to get help. She was supposed to stay at the mental facility for a 72-hour check. However, she checked herself out on April 1, 2015. This was something that her family and friends were dumbfounded by.
The anger and resentment that Amanda Taylor felt for her father-in-law finally came to a head. On April 4, 2015, Amanda Taylor and Sean Bell drove to Charles Taylor’s home with a knife and a crowbar. Charles must have let them in because Amanda grabbed a knife and stabbed him 29 times while he sat on the couch.
She would say in a 2017 interview, “I continued to stab him, but he kept yelling, and it made me nervous, so Sean took the crowbar, the tire iron or whatever, and hit him in the back of the head.” I continued to stab him, but he kept yelling, and it made me nervous, so Sean took the crowbar, the tire iron or whatever, and hit him in the back of the head.”
Amanda Taylor had taken a selfie with Charle’s body. She contacted a crime writer to post the selfie pic on her blog. The crime writer refused and immediately called the police.
On April 4, 2015, Charles Taylor’s body was found. A bit later, a mysterious Instagram profile, “brunette_bomber,” appeared. The only images were pictures of Amanda’s and Stephen Ball’s mugshots with the caption:
“Everything I did was for the right reasons. I stabbed my father in law to death because he destroyed my husband with drugs ..depression. I wasn’t the perfect wife, but this was one last good thing I could do for rex.”
There was also a message on Facebook with the status:
“I proudly did this for Rex. I love my children, but Charlie killed my husband.”
There was also a picture of a silver revolver on her lap while she sat in her 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee where Amanda said,
“Alright.. it’s about that time. I’m going to go find my husband in Hell & finally be at peace,’ she wrote. ‘I love you mom & my beautiful crazies, i know youll give them the life i just couldnt after Everything. Mariah ill always love you & those monsters. I cant apoligize cause im finally going to be free.”
This is during the time when Amanda Taylor and Sean Ball went on the run to North Carolina. Everyone believed that Amanda was going to commit suicide, but that isn’t what happened.
On Sunday, April 5, 2015, Amanda’s hunt ended when an injured Sean was found by a motorist who was passing by. He was in critical condition when they sent him to the hospital. The police quickly deduced that Amanda had attempted to murder Sean and then left him on the side of the road.
It was later found that they were headed to Tennessee to do mass murder. Sean had second thoughts, and they began arguing. Amanda then shot him in the face. She took a pic of her attempted murder.
Amanda posted on Instagram:
“Everything I did was for the right reasons. I stabbed my father in law to death because he destroyed my husband with drugs ..depression.
‘i wasnt the perfect wife but this was one last good thing i could do for rex i dont care what anyone thinks i loved rex more than the world. This was for you <3 seans dead, but i finally have closure with rex after Charlie.
‘If you keep looking for me more will die. Just let me get to the place rex & i always wanted & ill be free without having to kill more. Till we rot rex, till we f***ing rot<3″
Amanda would reveal during the 2017 interview that she tried to contact the terrorist organization ISIS because she had a fascination with them.
Later that evening, the police stopped Amanda in her 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee, where she was taken into custody. They had to put the strip with the spikes to help prevent the Jeep. In North Carolina, Amanda was charged with second-degree murder for Sean Bell. She was then extradited back to Virginia to face first-degree murder charges for the death of Charles Taylor.
During the pre-trial, Amanda spent the time yelling at the crowd and the police officers. She also laughed when Charles’ injuries were being described.
In the trial, the judge said that Amanda was “evil personified.” She was then sentenced to life in prison. In 2017, she tried appealing, but that was denied.
Sean Bell was given 41 years and 1 month in prison for his part in the murder.
The more I dug into this story, the more shocked I was. I am interested in true crime. Hence, this podcast. However, I get sick thinking about hurting another human being. Amanda and her husband, Rex, took an interest in true crime to another level. I understand her grief when he committed suicide, and it’s horrific that his dad was giving a teenager drugs that would turn him into an addict, but the way she stabbed him 29 times, heading to Tennessee to kill a bunch of people, and then contacting ISIS. This woman is on another level. Amanda does seem to have mental health issues, but that is never an excuse to murder anyone and contact dangerous people and groups the way she did. I am glad that they upheld the life sentence because Amanda is a danger to society.
- Andersen, C. H., & Andersen, C. H. (n.d.). Hobbies Reduce Stress Just as Well as Exercise. Retrieved from https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/hobbies-reduce-stress-just-well-exercise
- Times, C. A. R. (2015, November 12). Trial of woman charged in death of former in-law to begin. Retrieved from https://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/trial-of-woman-charged-in-death-of-former-in-law/article_c5437476-81c2-51df-a46d-7814a7655d02.html
- Warren, S. (2015, April 6). Parkway reopens after fugitive incident. Retrieved from https://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/crime/2015/04/06/asheville-section-parkway-reopens-fugitive-incident/25357067/
- Farberov, S. (2015, April 15). Amanda Taylor’ killed former father-in-law she blamed for husband’s suicide’. Retrieved from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3038622/I-proudly-did-Rex-Chilling-confession-widowed-mother-two-obsessed-serial-killers-stabbed-death-former-father-law-blamed-husband-s-suicide-days-checked-mental-hospital.html
- Amanda Taylor disruptive in court, defense awaits mental health records. (2015, November 5). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bD0zSp7NWM0
- Tyree, E. (2017, March 23). Appeals court upholds life sentence for woman who killed father-in-law. Retrieved from https://wset.com/news/local/appeals-court-upholds-life-sentence-for-woman-who-killed-father-in-law
- Burnip, L. (2017, May 18). Selfie killer, 26, says she hacked her father-in-law to death and took photos next to his corpse ‘because it made me really happy’. Retrieved from https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3590097/selfie-killer-amanda-taylor-killed-father-in-law-photos-corpse-happy/