Somewhere Over The Rainbow – Part Three: The Wicked Witch of the West

by Grace4Ayla on November 28, 2012

Well, here it is, folks, Part Three of my newest series Somewhere Over The Rainbow. This is the third and final installment which details my most current theories in the case of missing Maine toddler, Ayla Bell Reynolds.

In parts One and Two we looked at the story of Ayla Reynolds’ brief and tragic life and explored my theories about the roles Ayla’s parents, Trista Reynolds and Justin DiPietro, played in her untimely demise. In this article, I will continue the strange tale of Ayla’s disappearance, paying special attention to the online communications and strategies employed by members of both sides of Ayla’s family.

Which Witch? How Grace Became Involved in the Ayla Reynolds Blogs

After launching her blog in February of 2012, it appeared to the world that Tori Gifford had courageously stepped out in search of Justice for Ayla. Despite living mere blocks away from the DiPietro home, having family that were close friends (roommates) with Justin, and having a criminal record herself, Tori seemingly put it all on the line in order to blog about the fact most people could already see: Justin DiPietro was responsible for the death and disappearance of his daughter, Ayla Bell Reynolds.

At that time, well before the lies and leaked emails that would eventually be her undoing, many people strongly believed that Tori was a true champion for Ayla, and some wanted to help her in any way they could. Including me.

I reached out to Tori early on in her blogging days, and even then I was immediately struck with a sense that something wasn’t quite right. Trista Reynolds’ words and behaviors weren’t matching up with those of an innocent, grieving mother. She wasn’t quite as blatant as Billie Dunn, but decidedly her body language and facial expressions weren’t matching up, and she was changing her stories right and left. Was this the effect of trauma, grief and mental illness, or something more sinister?

Tori accepted my offer, and I was soon on the inside of the blog. Much like Glenda, the Good Witch of the North, had helped Dorothy, I assisted by writing articles and helping Tori with her day to day concerns. By this time, Tori Gifford was aligning herself with Jeff Hanson, step-father of Trista Reynolds, against the anonymous JSTL blogger, who had begun attacking Trista, and anyone else against the DiPietro family. Putting my suspicions about Trista’s guilt aside, I attempted to help the Justice blog by using every resource and detective trick I could think of to find out the JSTL blogger’s true identity and finally put a stop to the online bullying once and for all.

The Great and Powerful Oz or Just a Man Behind a Curtain?

It soon became more than obvious to me that the mysterious JSTL blogger was none other than Justin DiPietro and Courtney Roberts, who were using the blog to torment and control Trista, Jeff and Tori. Yet, for some strange reason, no matter how much I tried to expose their tactics, Tori did not seem to share my opinion. Instead, Tori seemed to be much more interested in all the false information she was being fed from such sketchy sources as self-admitted pedophile Bob Vear, another mysterious anonymous blogger also out to reveal JSTL, and perhaps even the JSTL bloggers themselves. (By the way Justin, I think your moniker suits you perfectly, but then you were never one for thinking ahead were you?)

The reason for all the infighting and public bickering on the Ayla blogs was tension, pure and simple. It is my belief that everyone was on pins and needles waiting for LE to make their discovery. Then, little Ayla could finally be declared deceased, by an unknown assailant and of an unknown cause, and the whole nightmare would be over. Justin wouldn’t go to jail, Trista wouldn’t be revealed, they could cash in on the life insurance policy and be rid of each other forever.

But this was not to be.

On May 31st, 2012, Maine State Police held a press conference in which they stated the likelihood of Ayla being deceased, but they did not close the case. Instead, they put pressure on Justin and announced a time limit on the large reward.

This sent Trista and Jeff into a tailspin. They were expecting to hear that Ayla’s body had been found, but instead MSP contacted both Trista and Justin just before the press conference to explain what they were going to announce. I believe that police told each parent that because of the blood evidence, the time, the “hundreds of pieces of evidence” (including the LIP) and the lack of evidence of an intruder (the same things they named in the presser), Ayla would be declared “likely deceased.” They were also going to make another important announcement that day as well, but did not reveal exactly what it was.

About ten minutes before the press conference, Jeff Hanson leaked this email to his online friends. I believe this shows that Jeff was convinced that police were going to announce the arrest of Justin DiPietro and it unnerved him so much that he inadvertently revealed that he and Trista knew the river evidence pointed to Ayla’s death even though he still didn’t know what it was! I do not believe that LE revealed any new information to Trista that day about the river evidence, or they would have included it in their statement at the presser. (Later it was revealed that the items were blankets, that Trista could not identify.)

What a World, What a World

Shortly after the press conference, Jeff, Justin and Tori decided they had heard enough of my theories about Courtney Roberts being the JSTL blogger and devised a plan to get rid of me. Their plan failed spectacularly, and I managed to finally expose the JSTL blogger‘s IP address as coming from Maine.

Simply by revealing this fact, I had become their sworn enemy and all hell broke loose on the blogs. I was threatened, accused of crimes, and had my good name dragged through the mud. No longer welcome on the deceptive Ayla blogs, I decided to create my own blog here at and have been exposing their lies ever since.

Thinking I had been reduced to a puddle of green goo, the two star-crossed lovers continued their battle over the media and the internet. Trista released a scathing phone interview on June 4, 2012, and Justin retaliated on the JSTL blog by accusing Trista and her sister of kidnapping Ayla and holding her hostage. Tori and Jeff united their individual blogs into United4Ayla, and have fought back as best they can.

Until one of the players realizes that just like Dorothy’s red slippers, they hold the vehicle to ending the nightmare by confessing to the police and taking a plea deal, the stalemate continues, even to this day. Trista Reynolds is desperate to know if Justin is still in on the original plan, as revealed by the latest activities and blog posts on her website. She and her cohorts appeal to the man behind the green curtain, hoping against hope that he has something in his bag to assist them.

First they organized the ‘Hunter’s For Ayla’ awareness campaign, hoping to give Justin the opportunity to finally release Ayla’s body where hunters might find it and end the ordeal. Next, Jeff fashioned the nauseatingly blatant blog post entitled “Eleven Months Justin, When Will The Time Be Right?

In that post we can clearly see an attempt by Trista and Jeff to use Justin’s own words against him, calling out to him for their “pot of gold.” How much more obvious can they get? Does this seem like a grieving mother calling out to the murderer of her child? What would you expect from a woman who was? We might expect a truly grieving mother to appeal to the murderer/kidnapper’s feelings, pride, heart, or soul if they have one…But to refer to your own child as a “Pot of Gold?” It’s almost unthinkable.

Despite what it may read in the byline, that post was no more written by John P., than it was by me. Statement analysis suggests those are Jeff Hanson and/or Tori Gifford’s words, and they are working in collusion with Trista Reynolds, in my opinion. What “rainbow” are they referring to as “shining brightly?” Trista’s little girl is gone!

“It wasn’t a dream. It was a place. And you were there, and you, and you… “

But that isn’t how the story ends does it, dear readers? Dorothy Gale doesn’t end up with a pot of gold. No, my friends, Dorothy wakes up to her gray, dull life and realizes it was all just a pipe dream. She realizes she made a huge mistake and is grateful to have her family and friends around her, even with the difficult future ahead. After all, she has a huge lump on her head, and the tornado all but destroyed the home and farm!

Is that how it will end for the players in our story? Will they all just go their separate ways, to nurse their wounds and rebuild their lives as best they can? I don’t think so. I believe they will all be imprisoned and left to rot, wishing they were back home and it had all just been a dream.

If you have any questions or comments about this series or any of the events I talk about, please feel free to use the contact page.

Thanks for visiting us!

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