Social media is often an optical illusion in which people post, share, and like to boost their own self-esteem and make themselves appear in ways that aren’t always true to their real lives.
On the other hand, some people use platforms like Facebook and Instagram to reveal way too much. In 2014, 24-year-old Amanda did exactly this, but thankfully it gave police exactly what they needed to know…
When Rex Taylor first met Amanda Barbara Nichole at school, she seemed like any other typical teen from Virginia. She had a few piercings, tattoos and loved to update her “status” on social media.
High School Sweethearts
The high school sweethearts certainly both liked to live on the edge and quickly became inseparable. Before long, Amanda became pregnant with Rex’s child and decided to drop out of school and become a mother…
Match Made In Hell
The couple settled down in their hometown of Christiansburg, Virginia in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and soon got married and had a second child. The young lovers were now bonded by their little family, but they also shared a disturbing fetish.
“They were the type of people that liked serial killers,” the couple’s friend Johnny Roebuck said. “It’s a hobby for some people, I guess.” However, Amanda and Rex didn’t just love a good true crime story, they were completely obsessed with murderers…
Lust For Blood
It seemed Amanda, in particular, had a real lust for blood. She would even write letters to serial killers in jail and tell friends how she aspired to be one. The young mom was clearly deranged but it soon became apparent that her husband was even sicker.
Both Amanda and Rex could bond over their difficult upbringings and felt slighted by life. Growing up, both Amanda’s father and mother spent time in prison and Rex’s mother was no longer in the picture. Rex’s dad abused pills and was no model father for his son or two grandchildren…
Before Rex could help his wife fulfill any of her disturbing fantasies, tragedy struck their marriage. Rex Taylor was battling a severe opioid addiction and wasn’t getting the help he so desperately needed.
He had no one in his life to try and help him get clean, and it seemed there was no way out. In April 2014, the burden of Rex’s pill addiction and the stress of a toxic marriage became too much and the pair separated…
Rex moved back home with his father while Amanda stayed with their poor children, who were caught living in a nightmarish situation. The young mom was heartbroken but unfortunately, the worst was yet to come.
No Way Out
Three months later, Rex was found dead at his father’s home. Plagued by the seemingly never-ending heartache of addiction and pain, he hung himself, taking his own life. However, a grief-stricken Amanda believed that her husband’s death was no choice of his own and that someone else was to blame…
Amanda claimed Rex’s dad had been feeding his addiction since he was just 15 and was the reason he was dead. “I know it was Rex’s choice to take the medicine and abuse it, but without a steady supply from his father things could have been different,” their friend Roebuck agreed.
Her husband’s suicide pushed Amanda over the edge. Born on the exact same day, Amanda believed Rex was her soulmate and on their shared 24th birthday, March 27th, 2015, the widow went to his gravesite hoping to join him for eternity and tried to take her own life…
Amanda survived the suicide attempt and willfully checked into a hospital, hoping to get the help she so desperately needed. Yet despite protests from both she and her mother, Amanda was released less than a week later on April 1st.
Taste For Revenge
However, it would seem that in the months since Rex’s death, Amanda would take comfort in a new “soul mate”. Her new friend Sean Ball impressed Amanda with stories of killing many people as an ex-Special Forces man in the Navy. He was the exact partner she was looking to help fulfill her need for revenge…
A Sinister Plan
Just a few days after she was released from the hospital, Amanda enlisted Sean to go with her over to Charlie Taylor’s home to collect money he promised her for the children. However, once the duo got there, it was clear they had other, more sinister plans.
I Killed You
At exactly 3:27 p.m., Rex and Amanda’s special date, they went to Charlie Taylor’s home and Sean crushed him over the head with a tire iron. Amanda then went in for the kill, stabbing him 31 times in the chest. “She wanted him to know that she killed him and she wanted to feel him take his last breath,” said Montgomery County Sheriff’s Capt. Robert New.
“She wanted his death to be personal. She wanted to stab him,” New continued. “The two were in possession of weapons, firearms, those had been stolen from a relative’s house and they had already purchased ammunition and magazines for those same weapons.” The murder was premeditated in military-like precision, only little did Amanda know her ex-Special Forces killing partner was actually just a disturbed recluse who created a wild background story to gain her trust.
“We knew what the brutality was from the crime scene we had had and we had a great deal of concern that they were going to continue this killing spree,” said Capt. New. Yet before they moved onto their next victim, Amanda did something even more disturbing: She took a photo of herself next to the body, holding a knife still dripping with blood and posted it on Instagram.
Calling herself the “Brunette Bomber”, Amanda then reached out to an unidentified crime writer asking her to post the disturbing photo to her blog. “When I saw that selfie and the smirk on her face I just felt sick to my stomach,” the woman said. “She looked so proud of what she had done and I just couldn’t believe it.”
Instead, the writer immediately called the police, fearing Amanda was going to kill more innocent people. She and Sean had already stolen money and gas and escaped to Tennessee, where Amanda tried to lure two girls to Sean to be murdered. Only her accomplice finally turned on her and she shot Sean Ball in the face but failed to kill him. Police finally tracked Amanda down in North Carolina before she was able to murder again. She asked for the death penalty but instead, she will die in prison, receiving a lifetime sentence for the murder of her father in law. Ball received a 60-year sentenced for his compliance.