When 27-year-old Crystal Dejuanna Taylor lost her life in one of the worst ways conceivable, no one ever imagined her ex-boyfriend would be involved, but alas, both he as well as a hitman were. After all, as chronicled in NBC’s ‘Dateline: One Moment,’ Derek Paul Smyer was the one to have orchestrated an entire plan to get rid of her just so he wouldn’t have to support their unborn child. Yet for now, if you simply wish to learn more about the loudest voices to have fought to attain her some much-needed justice — her loving sisters, Michelle and Monica — we’ve got you covered.
Who Are Michelle and Monica Taylor?
Although the entire Taylor family has admittedly always been a tight-knit group as a sort of tradition, the relationship between Crystal, her sisters, and their mother honestly went way beyond. In fact, according to their own narrative in the episode, the four of them were best friends in every sense of the term, with the only difference being the former getting a little extra love as the youngest. “I am the oldest,” Monica conceded at one point without a shred of envy in her voice. “Michelle is the middle, and Crystie was the baby. And she was every bit the baby. She’s my mom’s baby.”
That’s why when Crystal decided to go through with each of her pregnancies at 16 and then at 27 as a single mother, she wasn’t too afraid because she had a sound support system by her side. She thus happily welcomed her son Javonte Taylor into this world the very day she turned 17 before graduating high school a short while later, yet things definitely didn’t pan out as smoothly in 2001. That’s because the 22-week pregnant mother was shot to death inside her own apartment complex on the morning of September 25, shattering the hearts of her loved ones into pieces.
“[Crystal] wasn’t flashy,” her niece said in the NBC original. “She wasn’t someone who, like, shopped a lot. She was just a really down-to-earth, simple, just happy to be at home watching movies. I know she wanted love. I know that she – she wanted – a fairy tale life. I know she always talked about it, but, you know, she was happy with the life that she had.” Continuously working hard, being with her adoring family, and raising her young son, all the while preparing to give birth to another (named Jeremiah Johnson Taylor) was the life she had, but it was brutally stolen from her.
Therefore, Michelle and Monica soon made it their life’s mission to find her killer if the authorities couldn’t, driving them to investigate both her personal as well as professional life all on their own. Plus, the former even remembered seeing a strange Black male lurking around her sister’s home just the day prior, so she told the detectives about the same prior to looking into it as well. However, unfortunately, it wasn’t until the late fall of 2011 that a concrete lead came to light when convicted felon Skyler Moore confessed to being the triggerman, leading to both his and Derek’s arrest.
Where Are Michelle and Monica Taylor Now?
When Derek eventually made his way to court in 2017, Michelle admitted that it gave her “great pride” to see him in jail clothes because he essentially destroyed her family without thinking twice. As for Monica, she directly addressed him in court, stating, “You killed my sister for nothing … She didn’t want anything from you [even when it came to your child] … What kind of a monster are you?” They were hence glad when he was sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars, allowing them to have the closure to finally move on with their lives, all the while keeping Crystal alive in their hearts.
Coming to their current standing, from what we can tell, Monica and Michelle continue to reside in Los Angeles, California, where they’re surrounded by small, happy families of their own. Their professional experiences are unfortunately a bit unclear at the moment, but it does appear as if they are leading a good, stable life thanks to their own hard work.