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nytimes – The death of a follower of QAnon on the Capitol leaves a trail of pain

But his growing absorption into the QAnon community was pushing back some of his closest friends by this time.

“I care about you, but I think it would be better if we didn’t talk for a while,” Sydney Vinson texted her from childhood on October 3 after Ms Boyland sent her a long text and screenshots of alleged government manipulation of news media. “Please don’t send me political stuff anymore. “

Ms. Boyland was the middle of three sisters, having grown up in Kennesaw, Georgia, a city of 34,000 people about 25 miles northwest of Atlanta. She and her sisters were close when they were children, and her younger sister said she was inspired by Ms Boyland’s self-confidence and confidence. Even then, she had a penchant for conspiracy theories, her sisters said, but harmless, like the existence of aliens or Bigfoot.

But when she was around 16, her life took a turn when she started dating an abusive boyfriend, her sisters said. She blamed the black eyes on playing football and came home with an unexplained shoulder injury. Around this time, she also became addicted to opioids.

She eventually dropped out of high school and her relationship with her family grew strained. In 2009, when she was 23, she was charged with drug possession. Several more cases would follow, the most recent in April 2013, after which she was sentenced to five years of probation. It wasn’t until July 2014, when she learned of the pregnancy from her older sister, Ms Cave, that she pledged to be a better role model for her niece, her sisters said – and from this time, with a few brief relapses. , she was largely sober.

“She always said she couldn’t wait to be the aunt who was the cool aunt,” said Ms. Cave, who gave birth to her first daughter in March 2015. She now has two daughters, 5 and 6 years old.

Ms Boyland grew closer to the two of them, often picking them up from school and documenting milestones in their lives. She spent much of her time attending group meetings and counseling others who were dealing with drugs. At one point, she hoped to become a counselor herself.

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