A woman who used MySpace to track down her cousin’s killer revealed how she impersonated her deceased relative and made potential suspects ‘fall in love’ with her before snatching them for information.
Netflix ‘new documentary about true crime’Why did you kill me?describes how the family of 24-year-old Crystal Theobald used social media to find the gang members who shot her in Riverside, California, in February 2006.
The victim’s mother, Belinda Lane, witnessed the murder and vowed in Crystal’s final moments to avenge her death. She hired her niece Jaimie to create a fake profile for Crystal on the now-defunct MySpace platform to investigate the crime.
“Aunt Belinda came up with the idea of turning Crystal into a MySpace,” recalls Jaimie in the trailer for the film, which premieres April 14. ‘I said,’ I can get information for you. ”
Sleuth: Jaimie (pictured) impersonated her murdered cousin Crystal Theobald on MySpace to help find the gang members who shot her
Tragedy: In 2006, 24-year-old Crystal (pictured) was shot in Riverside, California, while driving with her mother Belinda Lane, brother Justin, and boyfriend
They called the persona they created “Angel,” and Jaimie pretended to be her onstage, lulling the guys she talked to into a false sense of security.
‘I was obsessed with it. I knew how to make it look like this girl on MySpace is real, ”she explained. ‘It looked like I belonged. My typing was acting.
Pretending to be her, I think that made it difficult in the end. Letting someone fall in love with someone who is dead is not a good feeling on the inside. ‘
Crystal, a mother of two, was in the car with her mother, brother Justin and friend when their car was sprayed with bullets. Crystal was fatally shot in the head.
“The last thing I had to say to her was I promised her I would get them. They’re going to pay, ”Belinda recalled.
Plan: Belinda (photo with Crystal) got the idea to secretly investigate suspects on social media after family was tipped off that the perpetrators were on MySpace
Fake Profile: They called the persona they created ‘Angel’, and Jaimie pretended to be her on the platform
In the trailer, one of the investigators in the case explained that police were looking for a “particularly violent gang.”
Belinda came up with the idea of secretly investigating suspects on social media after the family was tipped off that the perpetrators were on MySpace.
“I just made them like me, they trusted me before I thought, ‘What kind of car are you driving?”‘ Said Jaimie.
The documentary explores how the line between justice and revenge became blurred for Crystal’s mother, who would do anything to make her daughter’s murderers pay.
“I was going to drive past their houses and take pictures of the vehicles,” Belinda said, adding later, “I wanted him to hurt the way we hurt.”
Hard to handle: ‘Pretending to be her, I think that made it difficult in the end. Letting someone fall in love with someone who is dead isn’t a good feeling on the inside, ”Jaimie said
Purpose: The grieving mother spent a decade trying to find Crystal’s killers, and through the fake MySpace profile, she started dating Jaimie
One person in the trailer commented that Belinda was “ just a bit of a psychopath ” as she tried to bring Crystal’s killers to justice.
Caught: William Sotelo, last suspect arrested in 2016, was one of the gang members Jaimie spoke to on MySpace
Belinda admitted that she wanted to kill the men who took her daughter’s life, even though she urged her family not to get it physical.
“I told them,” Okay, everyone, no violence, “Belinda said,” but in the back of my mind I still knew I was going to kill them. “
The grieving mother spent a decade looking for Crystal’s killers, and through the fake MySpace profile she started with Jaimie, she was able to communicate with William Sotelo, who was involved in the shooting.
Detectives brought submitted him for a voluntary interview in 2006. Sotelo provided information that progressed during the investigation, but the police did not have enough evidence to detain him at the time, and he disappeared almost immediately.
Determined: Belinda spent ten years trying to track down her daughter’s killers
Confession: “I wanted him to hurt the way we hurt,” Belinda said
Focus: The documentary explores how the line between justice and revenge blurred for Crystal’s mother, who would do anything to make her daughter’s killers pay
Belinda continued to search for information about Sotelo’s whereabouts on social media, and in 2014 she received a tip stating that Sotelo was in Mexico.
She forwarded the information to detectives, who worked with the FBI and Mexican authorities to locate him.
Solito, which was the final suspect in the 2006 drive-by shooting, was arrested in Mexico in 2016. He and several others drove around in two vehicles to avenge a shooting from earlier that day.
Investigators said it was possible they thought the car Crystal was in was for a rival gang’s car. The man convicted of pulling the trigger, Julio Heredia, was sentenced to life in prison without parole in 2011.
Ten other defendants pleaded guilty to a range of charges, from witness intimidation to attempted murder to gun and gang charges.