Amanda Taylor had been grief-stricken when her husband Rex spiraled into drug addiction, leading to his subsequent suicide. But that grief would quickly turn deadly, when in April of 2015, Taylor and her accomplice Sean Ball stabbed her father-in-law Charles Taylor 31 times.
Taylor believed that her father-in-law had been responsible for her former husband’s death. At exactly 3:27 pm – a time chosen in order to commemorate the birthday she and her former husband shared – Taylor and Ball went to the home of Charles Taylor. There, Ball hit Charles with a tire iron and Taylor began stabbing Charles. Taylor then posed with a photo of Charles’ body, holding up the bloody knife and smiling. Taylor sent this photo to a friend who posted the photo online to what was described as “a serial killer website.”
Taylor later bragged about the murder on her various social media websites, including a public Instagram account she maintained. When police placed Taylor under arrest she showed no remorse. Smiling ear-to-ear, she posed for her mugshot. During the trial, Taylor laughed as the prosecutor described the 31 stab wounds Charles sustained in the attack – 11 of which being fatal.
While still on the run, Amanda told WDBJ7, “I just wanted him to know, like, it was me and I wanted to watch him die. So, you know, I stabbed him to death.” According to Amanda, it was Charles who had led her late husband down the path of prescription pill addiction, which she attributed to her husband’s suicide. In her WDBJ7 interview Amanda told Chris Hurst that she isn’t evil, “I didn’t go and like go and kill random people…you know I killed somebody who deserved it.” But according to Taylor, she wanted to kill more.
Prior to her husband’s suicide, Taylor told Hurst that they had often daydreamed about someday going on a killing spree. When she and Ball pulled over into a rest stop after stabbing Charles Taylor to death, she claimed that she wanted to live out that fantasy with him when they realized they were alone in the parking lot with two other female travelers. Ball had second thoughts stating, “’‘I can’t disappoint my mom any more.’”
Ball’s reluctance to carry out Taylor’s plans caused Taylor to instead turn on him. He was found clinging for life on the side of the highway after Taylor shot him and left him for dead. Ball was taken to the hospital and charged with second-degree murder as he received treatment for his near-fatal injuries.
Taylor was picked up later and charged with first-degree murder. In spite of her numerous confessions, including to reporters, she still pled not guilty. It took a jury only 25 minutes to find her guilty as charged. She was sentenced to life in prison.
As for Taylor’s remorseful accomplice, Sean Ball, he pleaded guilty to all charges. He received a sentence of 41-years plus one month, in addition to 10-years probation for his hand in the murder of Charles Taylor.