Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Taylor Behl


By Rachael Bell

On January 17, 2006, amateur photographer Fawley, long suspected for his role in Behl's disappearance, was finally indicted and accused of her premeditated murder, abduction and rape. However, in February 2006, the indictment was amended because it was "flawed" in that it "offered multiple options to how Behl died," citing that Fawley murdered her "while committing another felony, such as rape, sodomy or abduction," the Associated Press reported. The language of the indictment was eventually changed, and Fawley was charged instead with the second-degree murder of Behl. At the tine of his indictment, he was serving time for numerous counts of child pornography.

Ben Fawley
Ben Fawley

Fawley was scheduled to go to trial in May 2006. Yet, On August 9th, he decided to bypass a trial and accept an Alford plea for second-degree murder, a technical maneuver in which the defendant concedes that the state had enough evidence to convict him but refrains from admitting guilt, Jamie Stockwell reported for The Washington Post reported. Fawley repeatedly declared that he accidentally strangled Behl during rough "consensual sex," although Behl's family's lawyers dispute the claim. The autopsy was unable to reveal an exact cause of death because of the decomposition of Behl's body, although her death was ruled a homicide. The facts surrounding her death will likely remain a mystery.

 In the meantime, Fawley will remain behind prison bars until shortly before his 70th birthday, fulfilling his 30-year sentence, which was handed down in February 2006. Even though it is unclear why Fawley committed such a horrific crime, what is known is that the case will forever change the way police investigate crimes. Behl's murder case would likely never have been solved had it not been for cyber sleuthing and good ole' fashioned onsite investigation.

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