DELPHI — The attorneys representing the man accused of murdering two teenage girls in Delphi more than six years ago submitted a filing outlining why they believe Abby Williams and Libby German were “ritualistically sacrificed” by members of a pagan Norse religion and white nationalist group called Odinism.
They also leveled accusations against lead detectives of ignoring or intentionally suppressing that evidence for years as part of new court documents filed Monday.
Richard Allen was arrested last October and charged with the February 2017 murders of Williams and German. The case has garnered national attention since their bodies were found near the Delphi Monon High Bridge on Feb. 14, 2017 — one day after they went missing.
According to our sister station WTHR, defense attorneys Andrew Baldwin and Bradley Rozzi claim three members of law enforcement investigated a possible connection to Odinists, which they described as members of a pagan Norse religion that has been hijacked by white nationalists, as being involved in the murders. They also claimed investigators became familiar with the names of those that might be behind the killings no later than February 2018.
Court documents claim the crime scene where Abby and Libby’s bodies were found had pagan symbols formed with sticks, with tree branches, and on a tree. The attorneys also claimed Allen had zero connection to any pagan cult, and no forensic or electronic evidence connected Allen to the girls or the crime scene.
Meanwhile, the defense is casting doubt that one man could have acted alone in the murders. Specifically, the defense points out the time it would take to get the girls to the crime scene, kill them, position their bodies — including dressing Williams in her clothes and some of German’s — place the alleged pagan symbols and leave the scene.
In the court documents, Allen’s attorneys claimed several people with direct ties to Odinism were dismissed as potential suspects early in the investigation without reason. They also claimed officials abandoned the pagan cult angle after State Trooper Jerry Holeman said in the months after the girls’ murders that it was “not Odinism or any type of cult worshiping or any type of group that would have conducted the crime.”
Allen’s defense team claimed lead investigators involved in the Delphi murder investigation consulted with a Purdue professor concerning what resembled, according to them, pagan symbols possibly Odinist in nature that were left behind at the crime scene, no later than February 2018. But Allen’s attorneys claim as of Sept. 7, 2023, leaders of the Delphi investigation team could not identify who this purported Purdue professor was, didn’t provide any reports from the professor, and indicated they may never figure out who the professor was.
The defense claimed one of the people, allegedly cleared by investigators early in the investigation, had social media posts with imagery that matched what the defense claims were pagan symbols at the crime scene. Upon seeing the images, an Indiana State Police investigator allegedly requested another interview be done with the potential suspect, but Allen’s defense attorneys do not believe officials ever followed up.
Allen’s defense claimed another person with ties to Odinism also confessed to a relative that he had been involved in the murders and even spat on one of the girls at the crime scene. That person’s alibi allegedly did not hold up, and the relative later passed a polygraph test when questioned about what he had told her about his involvement, according to the filing. That person was also cleared.
Allen’s attorneys claim he’s being used as a scapegoat, as his arrest came right before an election.
Additionally, Allen’s attorneys claim some of the Department of Correction workers overseeing him at Westville Correctional Facility are members of Odinism. The attorneys claim the correctional officers have “monitored, intimidated, and mentally abused” Allen. His attorneys also claim Allen “mumbled in a somewhat incoherent fashion that Odinites were threatening him.”
In turn, the defense is requesting that Allen be transferred from Westville Correctional Facility. The motion comes after special judge Fran Gull ordered Allen to remain at Westville back in July.
Meanwhile, Allen’s attorneys also want a hearing, at which point they will request that the search warrant served on Allen’s property be deemed illegal and its contents tossed out.
Allen is set to go to trial in January 2024.