Text Version:

(Introduction to show begins)

TODD MATTHEWS (Missing Pieces Host):  I’m Todd Matthews and this is Missing Pieces.  Tonight’s guest is Janet Pelasara, mother of murdered Taylor Behl.  Welcome Janet.

JANET PELASARA (Guest):  Hi, Todd.  How are you?

TODD:  I am doing great.

JANET:  Thanks for having me.

TODD:  And you’re having a vacation right now, I think, maybe?

JANET:  Yes, I am.  My girlfriend and I are in Ocean City, Maryland.

TODD:  I hope you’re having a good time.

JANET:  It’s relaxing.

TODD:  Try to relax a little bit because you’ve had a difficult past year, it looks.

JANET:  Yes, the past 18 months have been very long, very trying, and I’m just trying to get through each day the best I can.

TODD:  And we’re calling the episode ‘Love You More, The Taylor Behl Story - A true story of devastating loss, a mother’s love, and the search for justice in the face of heartbreak.’  It was just after Labor Day 2005 when Janet received the news that every parent dreads: her beautiful daughter, and she is very beautiful, Taylor Behl, she was missing at that point in time.  Can you pick up at that point?  What happened?  How do you take that phone call?

JANET:  You’re breaking up a little bit, but if you can hear me, I would like to continue.

TODD:  Okay, go ahead.  We’re great.

JANET:  Oh, okay.  Yes, they called on September 7th, at 3:30 in the morning; Officer Bill Fedders of the Virginia Commonwealth University Campus Police…

TODD:  uh huh

JANET:  …and said that Taylor’s roommate had reported that she had not seen Taylor since Monday night, and this was Wednesday morning.  And he didn’t want me to be alarmed, but they wanted to let me know that they had done the preliminary check on the campus and contacted the friends that they knew she had, and looked for her car and they couldn’t locate Taylor or her car.

TODD:  At this point, how old was Taylor?

JANET:  Taylor was 17.

TODD:  Wow, so she was pretty young for going to college.

JANET:  Yes.  It was her…she had been at college for about 10 days.  She was a young freshman, yes, a college freshman.  She would have been 18 on October 13th, the day that we held her funeral.

TODD:  So how often…so she was obviously at college just for 10 days, so 2 days might not have been an alarming period of time that you yourself had not heard from her.

JANET:  Oh no, not at all, because she didn’t call me every day.  I mean, you know, we talked.  She had just left Monday and she called me when she got to school, which was like 6:30 in the evening, and then, I did not to hear from her Tuesday, and then it was Wednesday morning, so it was not more than 48 hours.

TODD:  Now, when you got the phone call, what was your immediate reaction to that phone call?

JANET:  I immediately thought that Taylor was dead, and that her hands were cut off.

TODD:  Why?

JANET:  She was in fact dead, but her hands were not cut off, however they were bound with duct tape.

TODD:  So this is the immediate thing that popped into your mind?

JANET:  Yes.

TODD:  Have you ever been able to explain that?

JANET:  Police do not call you in the middle of the night…

TODD:  uh huh

JANET:  …and that was just, I mean they don’t call with good news, and that was my first gut reaction.  And it wasn’t until they found her car…

TODD:  uh huh

JANET:  …that I really got rid of that feeling for an instant, and then when nothing became of them watching the car for 24 hours or 12 hours, however long it was, then I felt that she wasn’t coming home…alive.

TODD:  Was Taylor your only child?

JANET:  Yes, she is.  Was.  That’s so hard to say.

TODD:  Getting to that point…I know you’re still going through it, obviously you’re still transitioning into that, I mean, understanding that.  But it was 4 weeks before you found out anything else.  Now, during this 4 weeks, this search for Taylor, you found out a lot of things during that 4 weeks.

JANET:  Yes.

TODD:  What all did you begin to find out?  Did you find a side of Taylor that you did not know existed?  Something that might have surprised you?


TODD:  Because you’re dealing with somebody’s private life and you’re having to go into their private life, which many of us that have children, if we were fully exposed to their conversations, we might all be surprised.

JANET:  Of course, and Taylor was a regular kid.  She didn’t tell me everything; she told me a lot but not everything. I found out that she was obviously attracted to older guys…

TODD:  uh huh

JANET:  …and her best friend told me that, yes, she had had sex once with Ben Fawley, her murderer, and but that she said it was a mistake, and that, you know, it was a mistake.  But other than that, I don’t think that there were any surprises.

TODD:  uh huh

JANET:  She wasn’t wild.  She wasn’t into drugs.  So, other than, you know, the sex, there weren’t that many surprises.

TODD:  Did you feel like you were prying?  How did that make you feel, you know, not what you were finding, but the fact that you were having to do that?  I’ve heard other people speak of this before, having to actually go and look through possessions of their children or loved ones when they’re trying to uncover a potential crime.

JANET:  You were breaking up…

TODD:  Yeah, I think you have a little bit of an electrical problem, but that’s okay, I think we can go with this.  Did you feel like you were prying into her personal life too much?

JANET:  No, not too much, because I mean I am her mother…

TODD:  uh huh

JANET:  …and obviously I was willing to do whatever it took to find her.  You know I was out with the media and every chance I could get them to put her picture up, you know, I begged them.  When I first got to Richmond, I knew not a soul there, and going to the radio stations, the journalists, the TV stations just to get her information and her picture out there.  Someone had to have seen her.

TODD:  How were you treated in trying to get that information out, you know, during this 4 weeks?

JANET:  The media were absolutely terrific to me.  I think I was absolutely very fortunate.  I know some people they aren’t as lucky as I was.  The media covered the story just about every single day.  It became national news.  I was on several of the national cable channels getting the information out that she was missing, and it was incredible the response, and I was just lucky.  And if I have any advice to give parent with a newly-missing or still-missing child, just to keep going after the media, and if you’re doing any kind of community work to get the message out, let them know what you’re doing.  And sometimes they’ll respond and will announce what you’re doing, so that not only helps find your child, but makes more people aware of how many children are missing.

TODD:  Now, aside from the campus police, which obviously those were the first people that you were in contact with, what about the final law enforcement agency, who took over?

JANET:  Thank goodness, after 10 days, I believe, the Richmond Police took over and that made all the difference in the world.  I was not impressed with the campus police or the campus administration; they wanted to sweep all of this under the rug.  We had one of their publicists tell me in a meeting that they were glad that the second wave of Katrina was coming so that the news would switch to that and not stay on Taylor.  It was bad publicity.

TODD:  Wow, how do you that message, when somebody’s that, obviously unknowing, to tell you something like that?  What was your reply to that?

JANET:  I thanked her and told her that I would get back to her by 4 o’clock in the afternoon, and I basically fired them and wouldn’t have anything else to do with or say to them.  That was incredible for them to say that.  I was totally floored.

TODD:  Now 10 days is a long time for campus police to be dealing with the case before actual law enforcement gets involved in it.

JANET:  Well, they say that the campus police at VCU are regular police…

TODD:  uh huh

JANET:  …and, okay, but they didn’t have the resources and they were still treating Taylor’s case as a runaway.  And I said, “She didn’t run away and she didn’t just wander off. ”  But they weren’t acknowledging that and it was very difficult and so, finally, they handed it over to the Richmond Police and they had a huge resource pool to draw from and they brought in the FBI and they brought in the Virginia State Police.

TODD:  How do you feel…do you think the campus police, it was, more or less, not knowing how to deal with the situation, or more or less, not wanting to deal with it?  How do you attribute their lack of ability to, you know, they don’t have the resources obviously, did it just dawn on them finally?

JANET:  I think it was that they dealt mostly with runaways…

TODD:  uh huh

JANET:  …or kids that just go off for a couple days and then come back.  They didn’t want bad publicity for the school.

TODD:  So, it more or less had to be her fault, basically?

JANET:  Oh, yeah.  Yeah.  And it was just hugely frustrating and when I asked, “Does the Richmond Police know?  Do other law enforcement agencies know?” they said, “Yes.”  I called the Richmond Police on Thursday evening and spoke to a detective, and I even still have her name, and she said, “No, we don’t know anything about it.”

TODD:  Well, they might have gotten a report, “Hey, we’ve got a runaway, just be advised.”

JANET:  They didn’t even have that.

TODD:  Wow.

JANET:  They didn’t.  They knew nothing about it.

TODD:  Were you angry at that point?

JANET:  Yes, and disappointed that I’d been lied to and so, you know, it just made me that much more focused and determined to get it transferred to the Richmond Police, and when Chief Monroe held his press conference and said he was taking over, I think that was the first time I cried.  And some people thought it was sad crying, but they were tears of happiness knowing that more experts with more resources were now going to be dealing with this.

TODD:  So now we get to the next stage.  It had been 4 weeks and Ben Fawley, you’ve mentioned Ben Fawley, 38 years old; she seemed to like men a little older and that’s not uncommon…how did he become a suspect?  Did you know Ben Fawley?

JANET:  I had…Taylor had said that she had met him, and that he was the roommate of a friend from Indiana that Taylor was staying with; him and his girlfriend and Ben Fawley lived with them as well, and that he was a 38-year-old man who had 2 kids.  To me, it sounded as though he was a student at VCU and he was just there taking some classes, and then I thought that he was going to go back home.  I didn’t know he was as stalker, and whatever else he was.

TODD:  Did he have a criminal background?

JANET:  I’m sorry.

TODD:  Did he have a criminal background that you have found?

JANET:  Yes.  We later discovered that he was a convicted felon and had served time in jail, and he actually worked for VCU dealing directly with students.  Did they not do a background check?  Do they not do a background check on all their employees?  I found that to be incredible as well.

TODD:  Well you would think they should, you know, he was dealing with a 17-year-old, who in my opinion, Taylor was a child.

JANET:  Pardon, you were breaking up again.

TODD:  You know, in my opinion, Taylor was a 17-year-old child.  Could you hear me?

JANET:  Still couldn’t hear you, I’m sorry.

TODD:  Can you hear me?

JANET:  (inaudible)

TODD:  Yes, I can hear you.  There’s obviously some kind of electronic disturbance between us.  I think you were having trouble in your building.

JANET:  Right.  I could hear you that time.

TODD:  Okay, and we can edit that out so that’s not a problem.

JANET:  Okay.

TODD:  Okay.  So…

JANET:  So what was your question?

TODD:  You know, in my opinion, Taylor was a 17-year-old child and this guy was actually placed with these kids, young people.

JANET:  Yes, and he had a past of violence, of stalking, and a problem of rejection from women.  He was stalking a girlfriend that he had dated, Erin Crabill; he went after her with a hammer, a screwdriver and all the weird things they found in his apartment.  I mean he was definitely a nut job.

TODD:  And you found out a lot about him in her online diary.  What did Taylor know about Fawley?

JANET:  No, I didn’t, Todd.  I don’t know anything about that part.

TODD:  Okay, but you did discover that your daughter’s online diaries, so she did mention him in these diaries.

JANET:  I can’t say that.  Do you know that for sure?

TODD:  No, I’m asking you, did you discover anything about him in the online diaries?

JANET:  No, I don’t think she…the police said they had a computer expert go through Taylor’s computer and 10 of his (Ben Fawley’s) computers, and their communication via the Internet was close to zero.

TODD:  Hmmm.  Wow.  Now, when did you first learn that Taylor’s body had been found?

JANET:  My cousin, Anne, who had been with me in Richmond for the 3 weeks that I stayed there looking for Taylor, she called me in the middle of the afternoon and said that she was in my neighborhood and wanted to stop by.  Well, I knew that this was a lie because she had a fulltime job and it wasn’t in my neighborhood, so I thought something was amiss.  So I went up, took a shower, came down and I just felt like I knew what was coming.  And the police, two Richmond Police were there and they said that they had found a body and they thought it was Taylor.  And I asked them, “Did you see the diamond studs or her nose piercing?” and that was so incredibly naïve because she had been in the elements for a month.

TODD:  uh huh

JANET:  And, you know, they said, “No, but her black hoodie was there,” which was what she was wearing when she left our house, my house, on Labor Day when she went back to school.  And they needed her dental records to identify her.  So then the next day, they came back and said, “Yes, it was Taylor.”

TODD:  Where did they find her?

JANET:  They found her beside a dirt road, in a shallow ravine, covered in sticks and leaves.  And this property is adjacent to Erin Crabill’s parents’ house, and Erin Crabill is his ex-girlfriend, the one he stalked, and also the one that the police used to go through his online photographs and try to tell them anything about any of the photos that they had.  And she went with the VCU Police actually, and that’s when they found Taylor; she was with them.

TODD:  How did you…you said you knew what was coming you felt, how do you prepare yourself for that?

JANET:  It was devastating.  I was crying so hard when I was in the shower, and I was in the shower until the water ran cold because I was just crying and crying and crying, and just felt like I knew what was coming and I didn’t want to get out of the shower, I didn’t want to face Anne knowing that she had bad news, but you make yourself do these things.  You just kind of go robotic.  And I was robotic an entire year.

TODD:  Had you been preparing for this as far as…did you have the dental records already, you know you immediately felt like something had happened to her when you first found she was missing, was this something you were planning for?

JANET:  No, I…even though that was my initial reaction, I still, of course, had hope that she would be found alive, that someone had just taken her but then, you know, those thoughts can drive you crazy.  So, no, I didn’t have her dental records.  I called her dentist, I’ve known him for 25 years, I worked for him when I was young, and when I told him that we needed the dental records, he cried.  I mean she just…she touched everyone.  He was her dentist, you know, her orthodontist, but everyone she came in contact with, you know, she had that something special about her.

TODD:  Well, she was certainly a beautiful girl.  Very pretty.  So you knew basically what you were getting from the dentist; you knew what the dental records would look like.  Were these faxed to you or was it just a report?

JANET:  Was it faxed…?

TODD:  Like a dental chart, or how did you receive it?

JANET:  Oh, I didn’t receive the dental chart.  The police went to his office and picked them up the day that they came to me, the first day that they thought it was Taylor, so they went directly to his office and picked them up themselves.

TODD:   Okay.  And you said that he cried.  He obviously had some idea then that this was bad news.

JANET:  Right.

TODD:  So, when did you finally know the name Ben Fawley?  That you knew that he did this?

JANET:  Probably everyone suspected him before this because he said that he had been kidnapped the night that Taylor…that he killed Taylor, and that he had been thrown out on some dirt road that they had put a bag over his head.  So it sounded like he was actually saying what he had done to Taylor.

TODD:  Putting himself in her place, basically?

JANET:  Exactly, and he told this to the Richmond Police.  Now, going back to the VCU Police, if the VCU Police had contacted the Richmond Police, would they have put 2 and 2 together sooner?  I had one VCU police say, “Ben Fawley, he’s weird, but he’s okay,” and so that’s kind of odd, but Ben Fawley was the last one to see Taylor alive.  And the video that’s in her dorm where she would have to check in and out, we see her coming in, as happy as she can be, and then going back out after she told her roommate, Emma, that she would be back in 3 hours.  When she’s in her dorm room, we see him come in and he’s kind of like stalking around the lobby, and it’s really creepy.  And then we see him leave, and then we see her, a minute later, come through, but there was no contact, no cell phone contact, so did she know he was there?  They didn’t walk in together.

TODD:  Do you know how long from the time that she went missing, how much time passed from the time that she went missing to the day that she actually died?

JANET:  They think, the police think that is was the 5th or 6th, you know, that Monday night or early Tuesday morning, because the medical examiner couldn’t…what she told me when I talked to her is that there was basically nothing left but a little soft tissue and liquid brain matter.  And she told me, so matter of factly, that they had put an insect on what was left, to test the insect after it ate whatever it could, to test it to see how, you know, I guess, what forensic evidence they find.  But we don’t know how she died or really when she died, but they’re pretty sure that it was the 5th or 6th (of September 2005.)

TODD:  So, basically, just almost immediately.  He didn’t…

JANET:  Well, it couldn’t have been immediately because the drive down was an hour and a half…

TODD:  uh huh

JANET:  …and they have mapped out where the scent dogs followed her scent…    

TODD:  Cadaver dogs?

JANET:  …pardon?

TODD:  The cadaver dogs?

JANET:  No, these were scent dogs.  They weren’t looking for a cadaver, they were looking for…smelling for emotions, and they following ‘a fear,’ this was a fear-sensing dog.  I didn’t know they had those, but they mapped it out, and so I do know that Taylor was in fear for a quarter of a mile, and then the scent just ended.  But this was done after they had found her.

TODD:  Wow.

JANET:  So that’s another hard…you know when you think, “What did she go through?” and listening to Ben Fawley’s lies and how he tried to put the blame on her when, you know, there was no proof of what he was saying.  It’s physically impossible, you know, what he said happened in her car; it couldn’t have happened.  And the FBI that held the car for over a year, you know, ran every test they could and said that, no, it wasn’t in the car like he had said.

TODD:  So his story changed, obviously, with a little investigation?

JANET:  Yes, his story changed like the wind, so we’ll never know the truth.

TODD:  What was his latest version?  What did he say exactly happened?

JANET:  That…how did he put it…they were in Taylor’s car, and her head was bent back and…no, he said that she starting saying, you know, yelling at him that he was a wimp and other less-masculine names and that she was going to tell the police that he raped her, and she was going to tell me that he had raped her, and he said that that’s when he snapped.  And he said that she kind of went still, and he said that she peed in the car…

TODD:  uh huh

JANET:  …he said that…but that didn’t happen.  He said he put her in the trunk, that didn’t happen, and so that’s what he said.

TODD:  Well, it’s kind of like a child that’s done something wrong and you try to think up stories to cover what you’ve done.

JANET:  uh huh

TODD:  Okay, since then, you’ve tried to change things.

JANET:  I wrote the book, ‘Love You More, The Taylor Behl Story’ to keep her memory alive and to let anyone that’s interested in knowing more about how this could happen to their child, their regular everyday child.  This doesn’t happen, you know, murdered children that go missing, don’t just happen to kids that are in trouble.  She was just a normal kid.  I have been giving speeches.  I have been working with parents of murdered children and the National Organization for Missing and Exploited Children, and hopefully I will be doing more with them soon, and [I’ve been] talking to college freshmen’s parents at the orientations.  ’48 Hours’ on CBS, did a documentary on Taylor and it aired in January and then again, just this past July.  ‘Court TV’ has done a pilot program using Taylor’s story, which they’re trying to show the positive aspects of the Internet, and how information can be invaluable to the investigators, prosecutors and that’s more in line with Taylor’s case than the negative aspects.  It was what was online that helped find Taylor.  And also the child pornography, that Fawley, that sub-human, had on his computer that got him behind bars initially.

TODD:  So he had quite a history then?

JANET:  Yes, he did.

TODD:  So this is how you feel that you are continuing to be a mother; Taylor was your only child…you have to continue to be her mother.  You don’t just turn that off, is this how you do it?

JANET:  I don’t know if I am continuing to be a mother to Taylor because I don’t even know if I really believe she’s not going to walk through that door again.  I don’t know that, you know, I don’t know that I’ve really, truly processed that.

TODD:  uh huh

JANET:  But, just to get her story out there to make parents more aware of the dangers of the Internet.  They need to be aware of where their children are, what their children are doing, and talk to their children about, you know, how to think smart and to be safe and, you know, safety in numbers and so…I don’t know, I’ve never thought of it as being a mother still, but I’m hoping it helps.  The positive feedback that I’ve gotten from most of the speeches has been very positive, and I have a website and ‘Court TV’ has their message board, which over 16,000 views have been counted, so that’s pretty incredible.  So, Taylor’s story is getting out there and, hopefully, some young person will learn something valuable, or their parents, so that it doesn’t happen to them.

TODD:  You feel that you’re helping make sure that this is not an empty death.

JANET:  Exactly, Todd.  That’s exactly right.

TODD:  Because it has to mean something, I mean with such loss, what do you do?  You know you don’t just throw it all away.  You have to learn something from it.  It has to have some value, some prevention.

JANET:  Right.

TODD:  Do you feel like you’re getting to do that?

JANET:  I absolutely get to feel like I’m doing it, and with you interviewing me, with PBS interviewing me, I have…a few weeks ago, a UK magazine ‘Woman,’ they want me to do an interview for their magazine.  So this isn’t just a nationwide problem, this is a worldwide issue, and if I can make more people aware, then I think that’s a positive thing to do, you know, a good way to spend my time.

TODD:  Well, I think you’re still being a very good mother.  No doubt about it.  No doubt about it.  Of course you’re going to have a permanent archive on our website for you, for Taylor’s story.  Anything you want to do to update it, we’d love to add that updated information there, at any time.

JANET:  Oh, excellent.  Well, thank you.

TODD:  And we want to…if you have excerpts from your book, you know, I know you’ve written a book and anything that would like to see put there to help make this a more important piece of information.  What do you think about that?  In writing your book, what do you think is in your book that would be a good quote to put here?  If you could tell us now, what’s an important quote out of that book?  What were you really proud of when you were writing it?

JANET:  That’s a tough question.

TODD:  I know that you probably went through several profound moments in writing that book, but…

JANET:  I think it would have to be when she left that last…on Labor Day, when I gave her the $40 for the gas that she had just bought, and she stuck it in her pocket, patted her pocket and, you know, and her last words to me were, “Love you more.”

TODD:  Ah, that’s where you got your title.

JANET:  And that’s what’s on my license plate on my car too.

TODD:  You’re definitely still a Mom, and I think you will be forever.

JANET:  Yeah.

TODD:  But to more, to more people, and maybe the people that you’ve inspired to be a little more nosy into their child’s life to maybe prevent something this, maybe one more phone call, something to this awareness so that the people might be spared this.  The people that you’ll never know are so important.

JANET:  I hope so.  I mean if this…giving those speeches, and telling Taylor’s story, and the questions that follow and you can see the people’s reaction, I mean, they’re crying and afterwards they come and talk and they want to hug me, they want to touch me and, you know, you can see their raw emotions and you know that they are going to go back and talk to their child.  And I even ask them in the speech to do me a favor and, if I can find it, I would like to read it to you…not the whole speech, but when I ask about…may I read?

TODD:  You sure can.

JANET:  The paragraph?

TODD:  You sure can.

JANET:  It says, “I believe that parents need to keep reminding their children to think before they act, whether it is in a social situation, or posting words or photos online like MySpace or Facebook, which the entire world can see and makes their first impression of you, even if everything you’ve posted is just how you felt on that particular day.  Maybe parents will drill into their heads to make good decisions.  Think smart and be safe.  My prayer for parents and young adults is you will learn that this horrific tragedy could happen to you.  Taylor was a regular kid.  These kinds of things don’t just happen to kids that are constantly in trouble, and I think most importantly, is to follow your gut.  If a friend or acquaintance makes you feel uncomfortable for any reason, then stay away.  You don’t need to put yourself in that situation ever, and you never have to explain.  Make a new friend.”  I’ve a favor to ask.

TODD:  Okay.

JANET:  When you next see your child or children, give them a tight hug and take their face in your hands and kiss them on their cheek, and tell them you love them and want them to be safe.  They will listen.  I promise.  And that’s just the ending part of my speech that I’ve given.

TODD:  Now, the book, did that help you reach a degree of closure?

JANET:  A degree of…?

TODD:  Closure in this case.

JANET:  No, closure…the book was written when I was emotionally numb, when I was still in my robotic stage.  It helped me remember things about Taylor, special things about Taylor, about…it made me relive and tell her entire story, you know, our entire life together, and the special memory that came out when she was about a month old and at about 5 o’clock in the morning it was snowing on Veteran’s Day, which was odd, but I was feeding her in a rocking chair and looking out the window watching it snow.  You know, how special is that?  And, you know, you remember just great things, and you know, some of the tougher times; I mean she wasn’t perfect.  So, it was good therapy at the time.

TODD:  Very good.  Very good.

JANET:  I mean it’s not going to be a best seller.  It’s not going to make money; I’ll never see a royalty cheque, but I think there’s a message in it.

TODD:  Well, I think it was something that you had to do.  You definitely had to do that, I think.  Now what about Benjamin (Fawley)?  What’s his future now?

JANET:  I hope it’s death.  I hope that he will be…he was sentenced to 40 years in prison…

TODD:  uh huh

JANET:  …without parole, with 10 suspended, so that’s 30 years.  He is in the Keen Mountain Correction Facility, which is a Level 4, which is almost the highest level, and hopefully he will be in with the ‘general public’ and they will do to him what he did to Taylor.  And I know that’s vengeful and unforgiving, but I haven’t gotten to that stage yet.

TODD:  Well, you still have a lot left to go through, I have a feeling.

JANET:  And I was told…the most comforting words I was told when after Taylor died was, and this was from XXXXX, he said that God didn’t take Taylor’s life, but that Ben Fawley took Taylor’s life, so that helped me with my faith in God, and I guess makes me even more angry with him, with her murderer.  And I don’t know if I’ll ever get to the point where I can forgive him.  And they said that closure would come after the sentencing, and that’s not true, there’s no closure.  He could have got 5 years, he could have gotten life, he could have gotten the capital punishment, and it wouldn’t have made me feel any better.  It didn’t change what he took from Taylor.  He took every dream, every hope, every success, every heartbreak, every love, every breath that she should have had; he took all that away from her.  And so how do you forgive someone for that?  And how do you find closure?  I don’t know that I ever will.

TODD:  Well, I have to agree with you on that.  I don’t know if I ever could myself.  You’ve done an incredible amount of work.  I don’t know how you found the strength to do it, but you were being a Mom.  You were being a Mom.  We’re going to have a lot of information on your case that’s going to remain on our website and, hopefully, it will help somebody else.  With updates as things change, as you change, we like to keep adding them to the site.

JANET:  Well, thank you, and I can’t wait to read what you put on.

TODD:  And we’ll have it transcribed and we’ll have it there, and I’m going to make you send me an autographed copy of your book so that I can share it with others because I talk to a lot of people.  So I’m going to twist your arm for that if at all possible and, hopefully, we can help carry your message, if possible, to somebody else.

JANET:  I’d love that.  That’s excellent.  Yes, I’d love to send you an autographed copy of my book.

TODD:  And I’ll treasure that.

JANET:  That is online for $7.00.

TODD:  That’s not the same.

JANET:  And it’s still hardback.

TODD:  It’s not the same unless I get it from you.

JANET:  Oh, no, no, no, I didn’t mean for you.

TODD:  Oh, I know.  I know.  I was teasing you a little bit.  We like to try to end everything on a positive note, and that’s what I can say about you, you’re positive.

JANET:  I try to be.  And this is a very good day.  I’m having a good day now.

TODD:  Even with our electronic problems, this has turned out really well, and I’m really happy.  So, we’ll say goodnight to the audience, and you and I will talk just a little longer, but I think we turned out really well and hopefully we’ll take your message out and spare somebody the grief that you’ve gone through.

JANET:  Well, I cannot thank you enough, Todd, and I hope it does reach someone and I look forward to reading your site, Missing Persons, and updating you when more good things come from Taylor’s tragedy.

TODD:  Well, we’ll definitely work to help you carry that message out.

JANET:  Thank you.

TODD:  All right.  Goodnight everybody.

JANET:  Goodnight.


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Love You More, The Taylor Behl Story
Guest: Janet Pelasara
Mother of murdered "Taylor Behl" and
Author of "Love You More,
The Taylor Behl Story"
Missing Pieces would like to thank the following for their support:
Pastor Wayne Fitzpatrick and Eric Meadows with
WCAN Radio.com
Aired: July 17, 2007
Special Thanks to
with www.whokilledtheresa.blogspot.com
for transcribing this episode!
A true story of a devastating loss, a mother's love, and the search for justice in the face of heartbreak.

It was just after Labor Day 2005 when Janet Pelasara received the news every parent dreads: her beautiful daughter, Taylor Behl, who had just started her freshman year at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, was reported missing from campus. The ensuing search for Behl eventually uncovered a secret life kept hidden from the people who knew her best. Under the screen name "tiabliaj"–jailbait spelled backward–Behl posted her private thoughts on a blog, or online journal. While Behl's family knew her as outgoing and thrilled with college life, Behl wrote that she had drifted far away from her friends, "...and I don't think anyone noticed I was gone."

Behl's body was discovered in a rural area four weeks after her disappearance. Police soon identified the key suspect as Benjamin Fawley, a 38–year–old amateur photographer who had been involved in a sexual relationship with Behl. The pair met briefly through a mutual friend and then communicated via the Internet, often posting comments on each other's blogs. While Behl was flattered that an older man took interest in her, it seems unlikely that she knew much about Fawley's past. On disability because of bipolar disorder, Fawley had a lengthy criminal record that included charges of domestic assault against women. Fawley was indicted for the crime and later claimed that he had accidentally strangled Behl during rough but consensual sex. In August 2006, although still claiming his innocence, Fawley agreed to a plea bargain of 30 years for second–degree murder.

Shocked and devastated that a predator like Fawley had access to her daughter through the Internet, Pelasara is on a crusade to prevent what happened to her child from happening to anyone else. In this compelling cautionary memoir, she reflects on her life since Behl's disappearance, describing in intimate detail how she coped with the discovery of her daughter's online diaries, how she learned of her daughter's killer, and how she endured the investigation that finally put a sexual predator behind bars.

Love you More is a story that will resonate for parents everywhere. Each year, thousands of mothers and fathers leave their children at unfamiliar college campuses, where they are expected to begin the first phase of their journey into adulthood. And each year, on the drive home, already missing them, these same parents hope and pray that their children will adapt and thrive.

It is also a story that will resonate for students everywhere. In this day and age, where cyberspace has become the place to stay in touch with friends and meet new people, we seldom stop to think that we may be saying too much, and to too many. Before you type that revealing entry, it's wise to ask, Who's watching?