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The Boston Phoenix murder.com

Was the Web really to blame for the death of Amy Boyer?

By Chris Wright

AUGUST 14, 2000:  NASHUA, NEW HAMPSHIRE -- A little more than 10 years ago, this city was looking like one of history's castoffs. Husks of factories stood crumbling into the Nashua River. Surrounding farmland had given way to shabby strip malls and mismatched suburbs. Main Street slumped into a trough of recession. Pick-up trucks sighed through the streets like tumbleweeds. Like so many New England mill towns, Nashua was chronically, clinically depressed.

No longer. These days Nashua has shaken off its dusty Industrial Revolution heritage. Techno-giants Digital and Lockheed are the city's largest employers. Its regiments of red-brick mills are rapidly being turned into swank condos. Main Street hums with commerce. "Money magazine recognizes Nashua as one of the Best Places To Live in America," chimes the Greater Nashua Center for Economic Development. "People are writing about it, talking about it, and reading about it."

But on the afternoon of October 15, 1999, on a tiny street that the NCED wouldn't even put on a town map, an incident occurred that would put a blot on Nashua's big-little-city status. It would make people write, talk, and read about Nashua for all the wrong reasons.

It was 4:30 p.m., a Wednesday, an unseasonably warm fall day. Rush hour was already in full swing, and at the busy junction of Lowell, Amherst, Concord, and Main Streets, traffic had built to a maddening staccato. The city's landmarks are clustered here: the First Congregational Church, the Hunt Memorial Building, the Civil War monument with its little cannon-flanked garden. The drivers stuck in their cars would have been oblivious to them, and to the unremarkable strip of nearby businesses: Collins Flowers, La Legion barbershop, and the offices of orthodontist John Bednar. All except one driver, that is -- a man in a silver Nissan Sentra who was watching the building very closely.

He watched as Amy Lynn Boyer, a 20-year-old dental assistant and college student, left Dr. Bednar's office. He watched as she strolled with a couple of co-workers through the parking lot. He had, in fact, been watching Amy for years, and as he saw her climb into her red Honda, as he gunned his engine and fiddled with his Glock 9mm, he must have been thinking something along the lines of This is it.

As Amy readied herself for the drive home -- positioned her pocketbook on the passenger seat, maybe checked herself out in the rear-view mirror -- the Sentra flew up the street and screeched to a halt inches from where she sat, trapping her in her car. The Sentra's driver called her name: "Amy!" She would have looked up, seen the gun inches from her face. She raised her left hand in self-defense, and the sound of stop-start traffic was joined by the pop-pop-pop of automatic gunfire.

There was a few seconds' peace -- enough time to load another clip. Then Liam Youens, 21, pushed the gun into his own mouth. A single action, a simple twitch: pop!

Operator: New Hampshire 911. What's your emergency?

Caller: Yes, there's been a shooting on Auburn Street.

Operator: Thank you, sir. Do you know if the assailant is still nearby? Sir?

Caller: Yes, I'm sorry.

Operator: Do you know if the assailant is still nearby?

Caller: No. It looked like he just drove [up] and shot her and then fucken [sic] shot himself.

I. The sad assassin

There were five other homicides in Nashua last year. None, though, shook the city as much as the shooting of Amy Boyer. It would soon become known as the Internet murder, but for now it looked like a low-end city homicide. A seamy, we-should-have-seen-it-coming kind of death. By the time Liam was done with her, Amy was riddled with 11 hollow-point bullets. People like Amy didn't die like this. They just didn't.

Amy Boyer didn't associate with the shadier elements of Nashua society. She wasn't involved in an abusive relationship. She was a decent, industrious young woman, given to taking part in charity events, to tutoring students less capable than she was. Though her family paid her college expenses, Amy opted to work a couple of part-time jobs, at a local Dairy Queen and at Dr. Bednar's office. She was hoping to launch a career in dentistry. As the Nashua PD's Detective Sergeant Frank Paison says, "She was well-adjusted, very well-liked, a caring young woman."

As a criminal case, the killing of Amy Boyer was open-and-shut. The police knew the who, what, where, when, and how. The only thing left was the why. This would prove trickier to unravel. Nothing in Amy's background provided a single clue as to why she would look up to find herself staring into the barrel of a gun, and at first the detectives investigating the case were at a complete loss.

As Paison and his squad delved into Youens's past, they turned up a couple of links. Like Amy, Liam had lived in a local suburb, and they had both attended the same school: Nashua High. It was hard to find out much more, because although plenty of people knew Amy, no one seemed to know Liam at all.

In police interviews, Liam's fellow students described him as a kind of ghost, drifting through the school's corridors, sitting alone in a corner of the cafeteria eating French fries. "He was one of those people you don't even know he is there at all," said one classmate.

"Who am I?" Liam once wrote. "Well if I had 20 people buried in my back yard my neighbors would have described me as 'Quiet, basically kept to himself.' "

Even those closest to him did not have much to say. His sister Trish described Liam as "reclusive" and "very depressed" but had little else to add. His mother, Clarissa, told the police that to her knowledge, Liam had "no friends or contacts whatsoever outside of this house." And that was about it from her.

Liam's home life was as isolated as his school life. The youngest of six children -- four girls, two boys -- Liam stayed rent-free with his mother, his aunt, his niece, and whichever of his siblings happened to be living at home. He avoided contact with the family, spending his time locked in his bedroom, tinkering with his computer and playing video games, subsisting on a diet of frozen pizza and soda.

"I can't find one friend," says Paison. "Not one person can tell me that this kid had one friend in the whole world.

"Someone who has no human contact, this is contrary to the human psyche. This kid was a bomb ready to go off."

The police did find a couple of people who remembered Liam. He had worked for a while at a local Burger King, and then at a 7-Eleven. In interviews with police, a 7-Eleven co-worker recalled a less-than-ideal employee who would ignore customers in favor of his Game Boy. The owner of the store was more damning, telling police he "felt that something was going on inside of Liam Youens that was not right."

Liam's mother and siblings declined to be interviewed for this article, but his estranged father, Leonard Youens, did talk briefly, his voice a faltering singsong of moans and sighs as he discussed the son he was said to have "doted" on.

"I tried to persuade him to stop smoking," Youens says, recalling Liam's pack-and-a-half-a-day habit. "He just didn't want to talk about it. I didn't know what his problems were. I am sort of at a loss as to why I never asked him more questions." He pauses, sighs. "In hindsight, I should have."

When asked to characterize his son, Youens says, "I would describe him as a gentle man."

Why am I killing her?
Why am I killing her?
Why am I killing her?

The night of the killing, Paison and another detective gained entry to Liam's bedroom, and the puzzle started to resolve itself.

In a report, Paison described the room: "[It was] very dirty, disheveled, and disorganized. . . . We observed five various types of firearms propped up against the wall and what appeared to be well over 100 rounds of ammunition strewn on the floor." In all, the Nashua police recovered six firearms from Liam -- all recently, and legally, purchased from Wal-Marts, at gun shows, and through want ads.

In many parts of the world, such a shopping spree might have aroused suspicion. Not in New Hampshire. "Unfortunately," Paison says, "this is not unusual."

What was unusual was the Web site the Nashua PD discovered on Liam's computer: amyboyer.com.

On the site -- a chronologically skewed, grammatically tortured My Secret Diary-type affair -- he chronicled his deepening obsession with Amy and his own descent into frustration and rage. In a photograph he posted of himself, Liam is wearing a pair of John Lennon shades, sporting a dribble of hair on his chin, and clutching an assault rifle.

The site traced Liam's obsession back to high school. He had first noticed the pretty, brown-haired girl on a bus, and had immediately thought, "God, I love her." At first, Liam contented himself with staring at Amy in the school corridors, agonizing over her potential suitors, and resenting her friendships with other popular kids. By all accounts, the two had never even had a conversation, let alone a relationship. But this fact did nothing to dampen Liam's ardor, and by graduation his obsession had festered into a full-fledged mania.

"I have always lusted for the death of Amy," he wrote, before going on to describe exactly how he would kill her. "I'll lay in wait across the street further down at 4 p.m. . . . When she gets in I'll drive up to her car blocking her in, window to window I'll shoot her with my glock." The site was up for more than two years.

For Amy's family, discovering Liam's site was like a thumb pressed into an open wound. "Two and a half years this site was out there," says Amy's stepfather, Tim Remsberg. "I mean, it's bad enough to get the phone call, then you get to the hospital and find out she's gone, then you find out that this information was out there for two and a half years and no one said anything to anybody?" He shakes his head, falls silent.

Remsberg is a stocky man with a thicket of facial hair and a raspy, sonorous voice. When he speaks of his stepdaughter's death he assumes a frightening intensity. He will lean across the table, his hands folding and unfolding. The more he talks, the madder he gets.

Shortly after they discovered Liam's site, detectives found that the Internet actually played an even bigger role in Amy's death. Using the services of online sleuths -- notably the Florida-based company Docusearch.com -- Liam had been able to trace Amy's Social Security number and her workplace address. The whole thing cost him a little more than $150. "It's accually obsene what you can find out about a person on the internet," he wrote.

This statement might smack of smarmy bravado, but there's also a hint of bemusement in it, as if Liam cannot believe what he's getting away with. As Remsberg says, "Do we create Web sites so that no one will see them? Of course not. I don't think for a minute that for two and a half years he thought no one was going to see this. He was screaming for help, and we failed miserably."

For all the high-tech aspects of the case, Liam did a lot of good old-fashioned legwork in his stalking of Amy Boyer. As his aunt told the police, "He was in his room, then he'd go outside and ride, ride around in his car, and we didn't know where he went. He'd ride, he'd ride around in his car." His mother would ask, "Where's he going in the middle of the night?"

Where Liam was going was over to Amy's street, to sit and smoke and gaze at the lights in the Remsbergs' windows. Liam's Web site includes a stalker's journal, a blow-by-blow account of his nighttime excursions. When his quarry wasn't around, he would simply resort to stalking her parents. Tim Remsberg recalls several occasions when, lying in bed at night, he heard the sound of heavy breathing outside his window. At the time he wrote it off as neighborhood kids. Now he thinks it must have been Liam.

By his own account, Liam was as timid and edgy as a stalker as he was in every other aspect of his life. Indeed, the reason he felt the need to hire Docusearch.com to find Amy's workplace was that he was spooked by Tim Remsberg -- though Remsberg himself says he was totally unaware of Liam. "It's like, I don't even know you exist, you little dirtbag!"

On his site, Liam recalled an early foray into stalkerdom. "I drove down Amy's street for the first time around 2:30am and parked my car and sat. After about 10mins a car pulled down the street passed me. I though oh god what the fuck am I doing here. I was about to leave but the car wouldn't start! oh FUCK."

Says Paison: "If you read his stuff, you understand this is not a tremendously brave individual."

Eventually, the panicky predator found a pay phone. "I call a tow truck at 3:00am to get my car from my first attempt at stalking," he wrote. "And you know what? Turns out I was so scared that I forgot to put the car in park to start it."

"Heck," Liam wrote, "reading this, even 'I' feel sorry for Liam (admit it, if you knew me, at some point you did too)."

Sorry for him? The question is, why weren't people terrified of him?

Actually, they were. After high school, Liam had attended the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, but flunked out after a year. In a police interview, Liam's aunt recalled that period: "When he came back he was acting crazy. . . . He was talking about wanting to have a gun, said he wanted to target practice . . . we were kind of afraid of him."

Liam wrote that "something odd happened at RIT" but added, "I don't want to talk about it." Rumors that he was expelled for starting a fire could not be corroborated by the Nashua PD.

In 1997, shortly after his return to Nashua, Liam was arrested for domestic violence. The incident occurred after he told his mother he wanted to get plastic surgery for a sunken chest. This was a recurring obsession of Liam's. As a detective wrote in his report, the six-foot, 125-pound Liam "constantly complained about his being skinny."

When his mother chided him for being "silly," Liam threw a fit, hurling a china cabinet down a flight of stairs and threatening to blow her head off. He was ordered to take anger-management classes and given six months' probation.

"There is no history of him being treated for mental illness," says Paison, "but most certainly there were a lot of issues that were apparent, not diagnosed, not treated." He continues: "I don't point the finger at anybody, but there were people who could have helped. This kid gave out signs, he had them all. Somebody should have recognized this is not normal behavior."

Ironically, had he been given the chance, Amy's brother Brian Boyer, 28, might have been just the person to recognize Liam's warning signs. As a social worker in the Nashua area, Brian specializes in boys like Liam. "My concern is with kids that are isolated and alienated," he says. "The kid that killed my sister was both alienated and isolated. For me, that sends a flag -- that tells me something was wrong. I'd like to reach out to kids like him."

You wouldn't blame Brian Boyer for wanting to reach out to kids like Liam with a baseball bat. Tim Remsberg says that if Liam weren't already dead, he would have to kill him. Brian, though, seems uninterested in revenge.

"This is something I've thought about a lot since my sister got killed," he says. "I don't blame Youens as much as I blame other things -- his situation, his inability to cope with everyday stresses. God knows what his life was like."

untitled no 2
One day fadeds into another
People I used to know go on together
But I stay where I was, were I am
Alone and forgotten, I stay

There was at least one person in whom Liam could confide, a teenager named Pieter. A resident of Greece, Pieter would goad Liam via e-mail messages, telling him not to stop at a single killing. "Pieter recommends I go on a rampage," Liam wrote, "but I don't know."

If Liam did in fact feel "persicuted" by his peers -- "God I hate being made fun of. I can't wait to get out of school" -- why didn't he take Pieter's advice and go on a rampage? Why eradicate Amy rather than his despised classmates? The answer his Web site suggests is that Liam harbored tyrannical, toddler-like envy.

"I think [Amy] may be taking the whole 'I love life' thing a bit too far," Liam wrote. He also seemed to allude to some shadowy effort to hamper her progress. "Now she's finally happy, but she could have been happy with a good career."

Then his confidence drooped: "Maybe she really will be a dentist. . . . Oh shit."

Liam's thoughts of killing Amy dovetailed perfectly with thoughts of killing himself. Amy was everything he wasn't. She had everything he didn't. Ending her life was like smashing the toy he couldn't play with.

On October 15 -- fifteen minutes before the murder -- Liam left a message on his site: "Pieter see if I did it," and supplied a link to WMUR-TV.

Operator: Take a deep breath, ma'am. Deep breath. . . .
Caller: Oh my God. Oh my God.

II. The avenger

Extremes of grief and joy have a way of crystallizing experience. So it is that Tim Remsberg can rattle off the specifics of October 15 as if he were reading from a sheet of paper, or watching the events on a screen.

Tim was filling his car with gas when Helen -- Amy's mother -- got the call: "Get down to the hospital now!" It was Dr. Bednar. He couldn't bring himself to say what had happened, only that there had been an "accident" as Amy was leaving the office and that there was a "criminal investigation." Helen called Tim, who headed over to Bednar's office.

"I thought she was in an accident, you know, so I'm not driving real fast on the way," he recalls. "Then I find the further I go, the faster I start driving, because -- a criminal investigation? Does that mean she was getting in her car and a drunk driver swung into the lot in a big old Caddy and just wiped her out? The more I thought about it, the faster I drove, until next thing you know I'm going like a nut through downtown Nashua." And then an ambulance hurtled by in the opposite direction, driving even faster than Tim. "I knew," he says. "I knew."

In the few minutes it took the ambulance to get to the hospital, Amy had died. When Tim arrived, police and paramedics wouldn't let him see her. Meanwhile, they couldn't confirm that it was his daughter who was lying in the trauma room. Her injuries were such that identifying features like hair color and the condition of her teeth were useless.

"I'm like, 'How can you be sitting here telling me my daughter's gone?' " Tim says. " 'You can't recognize her, you can't prove it to me.' " Eventually, he learned that it was indeed Amy who had been brought in, that she had been shot, and that the perpetrator was in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the head. (Liam was to outlive Amy by half an hour.)

Then something else occurred to Tim. "I thought, Oh my God, my wife's on her way down here. I've got to tell her this. This wasn't your typical mother-daughter relationship. These two were best friends. I knew what Helen was going to be like."

Just as distressing, Tim says, was telling his 10-year-old daughter, Jenna. "She just sat there, pounded on my chest, and said, 'Why, Daddy?' And how do you answer that? I always told the kids that I would never let something like that happen to them."

The Remsberg home is ill-suited to its role as the epicenter of a nightmare. The ranch house is tucked away on a quiet cul-de-sac -- a faux wishing well in the yard, a WELCOME sign hanging near the door. It is the picture of suburban serenity. Yet it doesn't take too long to feel the anxiety below the surface.

I arrive for an interview with Tim Remsberg on an oppressively hot morning, already the kind of day that lulls the birds into silence. At first I have trouble finding the Remsbergs' house, and neighbors call them to warn of a "strange car" prowling the area. When I finally pull up outside, I am met by Helen.

Helen is dark-haired, with a friendly face that has been etched with lines of grief, bewilderment, and sleepless nights. She shows me the "Garden of Love" that she and Tim created in Amy's honor -- a
flower-filled memorial to the lost daughter. We stand looking at the garden for a few minutes, making small talk. Occasionally Helen will say something like "Ever since I lost Amy . . . " or "Since Amy died. . . . " There is an awkward commonplace quality to the words, as if she were struggling to fit Amy's murder into the family chronology.

"It's a tough situation over there, I know that," says a family friend, describing the mood at the Remsberg home. "Amy was the spitting image of her mother. Helen has the biggest heart. If anyone needs help, she will be there for them. Her daughter was becoming that woman. This thing has ripped Helen's heart right out."

Everyone deals with grief differently. Helen, for one, seems intent on piecing her life back together. As Tim and I talk, she busies herself with domestic chores, finding solace in the ordinary. And yet she moves about the house in a mechanical way, deliberate as a drunk. It's as if she were recovering from a kind of paralysis, as if her body were re-learning the motions of daily life.

Tim, meanwhile, has emerged from his grief swinging. "Someone has to be responsible," he says. "If the Internet did not play a part in this, no one would have heard from us. We would've stayed in our home and grieved for our daughter. But that's not how it happened."

Remsberg, a salesman for a building-supplies firm, spends most of his free time these days as a sort of anti-Internet crusader. In the months after Amy's death, he hired a lawyer and began writing letters to congressmen, calling state representatives, and just, as he puts it, "banging on people's doors and making noise."

And now this blue-collar man who barely knew how to turn a computer on a year ago finds himself debating Internet lawyers on CNN, meeting with Vice-President Gore. Besides CNN's Burden of Proof, Remsberg has taken his story to 20/20, 48 Hours, and Court TV. He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. While I am talking to him, he takes a call from a French TV station.

In March, Remsberg stood before a Senate subcommittee: "We must show Amy that we care about what happened to her and that we are going to act to see it doesn't happen to another. . . . Remember, Amy Boyer is listening! The time for action is now!"

Within days of the speech, New Hampshire senator Judd Gregg announced he was co-sponsoring legislation that would outlaw the sale of Social Security numbers online. With the Social Security Administration and the White House on board, the Amy Boyer Bill is expected to pass.

But the Remsbergs weren't content with don't do it again. In April they filed a wrongful-death suit against Docusearch.com, claiming negligence and invasion of privacy.

Remsberg is also taking on Geocities and Tripod, which hosted Liam's site. What got him seething, he says, was when Geocities representatives went on CNN after the murder and tried to wriggle their way out of culpability. "These guys say, 'Gee, we didn't notice the author's intent to do harm' -- well, he said he was going to kill her!"

If Tim Remsberg has his way -- and he may -- service providers like Tripod and Geocities will be compelled to police themselves. "They should be monitoring sites where the word 'kill' is used," he says. "Bring up every site that has the word 'murder,' the word 'rape,' the word 'bondage.' " They should, he says, have someone "sitting in front of a computer all day, doing nothing but hunting for the people who're hunting for us."

Finally, he has entered into battle with the domain-name company Register.com, which refused to free up amyboyer.com after the murder. To this day, Liam Youens owns the name, and he will until June 2001. "Even in his death," Remsberg says, "he still has a hold on Amy."

Shortly after the murder, Tim and Helen Remsberg paid Liam's family a visit.

"We hadn't heard from them," Tim says, "and this was just eating at my wife, big-time." So, one Friday afternoon, they went over to the Youens house and knocked on the door. Liam's brother answered.

"My wife says, 'Hi, is your mother home?' " Tim remembers. "He says, 'No, she's not,' and just closes the door. So Helen puts her foot in the door, puts her shoulder on it, and he starts pushing. And I just said, 'I don't think you're squishing my wife in the door, pal.' So I opened the door, he goes back and he's just standing there.

"I said, 'Do you know who we are?' He says, 'No.' So I say, 'We're Amy Boyer's parents.' Then he started back and I said, 'Son, we're not here to hurt you. Believe me, you have nothing to fear from us.' "

You can't blame Liam's brother for being afraid. At the best of times, Tim Remsberg cuts an imposing figure, and these days you can practically smell the anger on him. But he didn't want trouble, he says, just answers. "We want to know where this kid came from. What kind of existence did he have? Maybe we can get a sliver of that, and we can go home and make some peace with it. I don't know. We're looking for a way through this. We don't know.

"To be honest, our basis for going over there was to find out, are you mourning the death of your son, of your brother? Or are you rejoicing in the fact that this crazy son of a bitch is gone from your lives? I'm sure you're sorry that he took Amy, who was a totally innocent bystander. But are you sitting there going, 'Phew! I knew it was going to happen, I just hoped it wasn't going to be my ass!' I mean, I really wanted to know."

In a calmer moment, Remsberg says he doesn't hold the Youenses responsible for Amy's death. "I don't want to believe that anyone in this family knew," he says. "And I don't want to take away from the fact that they may be mourning his death."

III. The irrational rationale

Amy was by no means the first person to be stalked on the Internet. A recent report from the US Attorney General's Office noted that "there may be potentially tens or even hundreds of thousands of victims of recent cyberstalking incidents in the United States." None, though, touched the kind of nerve, or sparked the kind of controversy, that the Amy Boyer case has.

Since their daughter's murder, Tim and Helen Remsberg have searched for the answers to a series of questions. Could this have been avoided? Would this murder have happened without the Internet? What keeps them up at night is that they'll never know. These are questions without answers.

Nashua is relatively small, and Liam could have found Amy's workplace address through other means than an online detective agency in Florida. At the same time, he was pathologically averse to face-to-face interaction, and if Docusearch.com hadn't led Liam to Amy's workplace, perhaps the timid, vacillating killer would have simply taken his own life.

For the cops, this is less an Internet murder than another Glock murder. "It comes back to the gun issue," says Paison. "The easy accessibility to weapons. This man had two AR-15s, which have no other purpose than to kill a human being." In other words, to paraphrase the NRA, modems don't kill people, guns kill people.

Still, it's easy to understand Remsberg's anger at Tripod and Geocities, which posted the killer's manifesto. As Jayne Hitchcock, president of the cyberstalking advocacy group Woman Halting Online Abuse, says: "It seemed like [Liam] needed to build his ego up, to build up his courage. The Web site showed he had power." The longer the site was up, she says, the more Liam's sense of power grew. "He became more and more confident until -- boom!"

But in another sense, the Internet provided a unique opportunity to head off this horrific event -- not just because Liam posted a Web site, but because he put so much detail on it about his thoughts and feelings. Amyboyer.com is a perfect anatomy of the gun-toting loner.

Clinical psychologist William Pollack, author of Real Boys, says that clear signs point to the potential for explosive violence in young men: obsessive behavior, irritability, poor judgment, death threats, withdrawal. His words read like a psychological profile of Liam Youens. Says Pollack: "How much more of a message do you need?"

And Liam did us the favor of distributing the message himself. Look what I'm planning, he was saying. What are you going to do about it? Sadly, no one read it -- or anyone who did just kept clicking. But if any case can tell us how to prevent something like this from happening in the future, the Amy Boyer murder might be it.

Yet maybe it's a mistake even to try to make any sense out of all this. Perhaps there really are no answers. In the end, the murder of Amy Boyer was a matter of biology rather than technology. It was simply a feral, animal act of rage.

"This is an irrational case," says Paison. "When people say 'Why? Why?' I tell them you're trying to rationalize an irrational mind. Unfortunately, a case like this, you don't develop a lot of closure."

Tim Remsberg sometimes discusses his daughter's murder in terms of the lottery, and this seems appropriate. The incident was so unlikely, so random, so contingent. So ridiculous. Amy and her family were just extraordinarily, excruciatingly unlucky.

Following the interview, as I drive through Nashua's spruced-up neighborhoods, I pass a florist and, on impulse, pull in to buy a bunch of flowers. I drive back and hand them to Helen. "Oh," she says, "I love flowers," and there are tears in her eyes. I am so sorry for her that I can hardly breathe.

But then Liam's mother, too, deserves sympathy. The Remsbergs have memories of a bright, exuberant young woman. They have their Garden of Love. The only memorial to Liam is his grim Web site.

And maybe you can even feel sorry for Liam. When you learn the contents of the suicide's pockets -- six dollars and change, a piece of chewing gum -- you can almost pity him. But then you remember Amy, who looked up on that glorious October afternoon and saw the barrel of a gun, who died a few months shy of her 21st birthday.

Amy Boyer had her funeral Mass on a Tuesday, at the Church of the Good Shepherd in downtown Nashua. There were crowds of mourners, hordes of media, a police detail. It seemed the whole town had turned out to honor her.

Liam's funeral was held the following afternoon. On that day, Nashua felt more like a ghost town. The Youens family, says Tim Remsberg, "were the only ones there."

Amyboyer.com, Liam Youens's Web site, was posted for two and a half years, providing a detailed -- and apparently unread -- record of a growing obsession. The domain name amyboyer.com is now inactive (and technically still owned by Youens); to read the contents of the original site, you need to visit www.amyboyer.org, which is maintained by Amy's parents.

"I wish I could have killed her in High school. I need to kill her so I can transport myself back into high school. I need to stop her from having a life. If I had a life myself, I really wouldn't care even if I was in love with her."

"As I passed her from Physics class I saw a rose, 'No, God No!' but it was true. At lunch time I saw her with that guy."

"Oh great, now I'm really depressed, hmmm . . . looks like it's suicide for me. Car accident? Wrists? A few days later I think, 'hey, why don't I kill her too?' That was the basic plan for the next half decade, I work fast don't I?"

"When I saw that car and looked at that house and realized Amy was asleep in there, Endorphines flew, it was like crack cocaine, I have never felt that kind of rush in my life, before or since."

"Well I got accepted to and attended RIT college, but I was always thinking of the plan to kill Amy. When I would come home from college during break I would mildly stalk Amy."

"For some reason I chose this point to fuck with school. I tried to buy a bus ticket go back home, but found myself sobbing uncontrolably, because I didn't want to leave the people I knew."

"I got in the car and said I will either have the means to kill Amy or Die tonight, by commiting suicide with the gun before the police grabbed me. But silly me forgot to bring the shells to load the gun."

"One time when I got pulled over the cop said that there are people that care about me. That was very sweet and nice and I am receptive to it, But that still doesn't change anything. **notice how my mood has changed here from my perivous rant, that's me Mr. Moody."

"So you believe I'm just a copycat? Damn right. One of my favorite things in life is watching CNN and have those words come on, 'CNN BREAKING NEWS' those heliocopter shots of people running, the SWAT team converging on the scene guns drawn. Admit-it you love it too, you think its horrible but you still watch it don't you?" -- Chris Wright

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