A Meth Addict's Unlikely Savior: a Teen Killer

The 'WSJ' has the story of Lauren St. Pierre
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2022 3:30 PM CST
Meth Took Hold of a Military Wife, Nearly Didn't Let Go
Stock photo of a meth lab.   (Getty Images / Darwin Brandis)

Lauren St. Pierre's descent into meth was fast and hard. The Missouri military wife and mother of one was introduced to the drug at age 24 by a fellow military wife in July 2010. It gave her boundless energy. "At 4am, Lauren cleaned the baseboards of her house and imagined her next hit," writes Michael M. Phillips in a lengthy piece for the Wall Street Journal. By October, she had left her husband and young son and hooked up with local dealers in the city of Columbia. She became a driver for one of them, traveling to Kansas City at midnight a couple times a week to pick up meth in exchange for an eighth of an ounce. That was the upper portion of the descent. Then came a rape (she was used to settle a drug debt) and a progression to injecting the drug.

In March 2011 she coupled up with "the best methamphetamine cook in Boone County," and the two cooked and sold the drug. In February 2012, she was arrested on suspicion of manufacturing drugs near a school. She received a 10-year sentence on that charge, though she could have been released on probation if she made it through a 120-day prison drug program; she only made it 33 days. But the end of her story is, improbably, a successful one: She got clean in prison shortly thereafter, something attributed in part to the "emphatic acceptance" she found in an unlikely way: through the romantic relationship she formed with Alyssa Bustamante, an 18-year-old serving life for killing a 9-year-old. Lauren was released in 2014, started a new family, and remains clean. (Read the full story to learn how Alyssa remains a part of her life.)

Stories to sink your teeth into.
Get our roundup of longform stories every Saturday.
Sign up
We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.