DELPHI, Ind. — Attorneys for Richard Allen, the suspect in the Delphi killings of Abby Williams and Libby German, submitted a filing outlining why they believe the girls were "ritualistically sacrificed" and leveled accusations against lead detectives of ignoring or intentionally suppressing that evidence for years.
The filing was made as part of efforts to suppress evidence about a gun found inside Allen's home.
Defense attorneys Andrew Baldwin and Bradley Rozzi claim three members of law enforcement looked into a possible connection to Odinists, which they described as members of a pagan Norse religion which 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 by at least February 2018.
Court documents claimed the crime scene where Williams and German'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 crime scene.
(Editor's Note: 13News is not naming the defense's alleged suspects as they have not been arrested or charged in this case. Additionally, 13News is not posting the entire defense filing because it contains very specific, gruesome details of the crime scene, and details about potential witnesses and potential suspects.)
Additionally, in laying out the crime scene and a timeline for the killings, the defense casts doubt that one man could have acted alone. The defense pointed to the alleged sightings of Allen before and after the killings. In total, the timeline allows for an hour and 17 minutes for the murders to have happened, according to Allen's attorneys.
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 claim several people with direct ties to Odinism were dismissed as potential suspects early on in the investigation without reason.
"Law enforcement’s failure to actively pursue the obvious links between the crime scene and Odinism is confounding," Allen's defense team wrote in the filing.
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.
Allen’s attorneys claimed State Trooper Jerry Holeman said in the months after the girls' murders that the Purdue professor told him it was "not Odinism or any type of cult worshipping or any type of group that would have conducted the crime," and officials abandoned the pagan cult angle.
But the defense attorneys claimed as of Sept. 7, 2023. Leaders of the Delphi investigation team could not identify who this purported professor was, provided no 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 that Allen's defense attorneys do not believe officials ever followed up.
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, Allen's defense claimed. 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.
Upon reading the initial probable cause for Allen's arrest filed on Oct. 13, 2022, his attorneys assert a member of law enforcement sent a letter to Carroll County Prosecutor Nicholas McLeland saying evidence pointing the finger at Allen was “far less compelling” than the Odinist possibility accumulated by at least three investigators.
The defense claims Allen is a "patsy" and his arrest was motivated as coming right before an election.
In their memo asking the judge for a hearing to consider throwing out the search warrant for Allen's home and the evidence collected because of it, Allen's attorney wrote:
"This point can't be emphasized enough: The Odinite angle was abandoned by March 2017, only a few weeks after the girls were murdered. The reason for this abandonment: a Purdue professor had reached a conclusion concerning Odinism and the crime scene."
According to Allen's attorneys, lead investigators on the case indicated different conclusions from the professor to different people.
In one instance, the defense claims lead investigators indicated "the professor concluded that it was no Odinism or any type of cult worshipping or any type of a group that would have conducted the crime."
In another instance, the defense says that same investigator told a trooper on the case, "The results from the Purdue professor were 'kind of inconclusive.'"
The memo goes on to say, "A report may or may not exist that does not rule out Odinism."
According to Allen's attorneys, lead investigators on the case "cannot identify the professor, and therefore can't locate the professor and in the end, may not ever be able to identify this mystery professor."
13News reached out to Purdue University to ask about that professor mentioned in the defense memo. We wanted to know if they were consulted on the Delphi case in relation to the murders being part of a pagan ritual killing.
A spokesperson with Purdue responded with an email, saying, "Regarding your inquiry, we have no knowledge of this."
Additionally, Allen's attorneys claim some of the Department of Correction workers overseeing him at Westville Correctional Facility are Odinists. 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."
The court documents also allege the Carroll County sheriff lied about the timeline of the killings and other details to obtain a search warrant for Allen's home that his attorneys claim was not constitutional.
For reference, the Anti Defamation League defines Odinism in the following way:
Odinism is a term frequently given to a racist variant of the Norse pagan religion known as Asatru. Asatru is a religious sect that attempts to revive ancient Norse religious beliefs and practices of pre-Christian Europe. Asatru is not in itself a racist religion, though some white supremacists consider themselves Asatruists. Odinism is sometimes referred to as Wotanism. It tends to be popular among white supremacist inmates.
Ultimately, Allen's attorneys want a hearing, at which point they will request that the search warrant be deemed illegal and that resulting evidence be ruled inadmissible at trial. The evidence includes a gun located inside Allen’s home that was seized during the search. Investigators say forensic testing on that gun shows it is connected to an unspent bullet found at the murder scene – the most powerful evidence disclosed by prosecutors to allegedly link Allen to the scene of the crimes.
If the defense team is successful in its request, that would be a significant victory for Allen.
“If the suppression was granted in its entirety, then that means any evidence that resulted as a result of that search could be suppressed, which would mean there would be no evidence of a handgun, and that would make it extremely difficult to tie him to the crime scene,” explained Tippecanoe County Deputy Public Defender Shay Hughes, who is not involved with the Delphi murders case. “It would be extremely difficult to tie Richard Allen to these allegations without any type of evidence.”
Defense attorneys also allege the Carroll County sheriff “intentionally concealed evidence … and lied about other evidence” while seeking a warrant to search Allen’s home, claiming that the sheriff falsified information in order to bolster a “bogus timeline” that placed Allen at the scene at a time that would match with witness interviews.
“Incorrect or omitted information can undermine a probably cause affidavit,” longtime defense attorney Stacy Uliana told 13News. “They don’t have to include everything, but if they present information that creates a misleading impression, that would be a problem.”
13News reached to the Carroll County prosecutor for any comment on the recent requests by the defense to suppress evidence and to move Allen out of Westville Correctional Facility.
McLeland responded with a note, saying, "… the State believes that it is constrained from commenting on those things due to the 'gag order' that Judge Gull put in place." He added that any response from the State would be done in a court motion responding to the defense requests.
In June, Allen County Judge Frances C. Gull released 118 court documents in connection to the Delphi murders case.
The documents were part of a motion from Richard Allen's attorneys, who want the judge to throw out evidence seized at Allen's house last October.
The court documents, which argue the search warrant was valid and warranted, share how investigators believe Libby German and Abby Williams died, and why Allen was charged with their February 2017 murders.
One of those documents examined by 13News revealed prosecutors alleged Allen admitted to his wife over the phone that he killed German and Williams in 2017. He reportedly also confessed killing the girls to his mother.
That alleged confession phone call happened during a recorded call made to Allen's wife from inside Westville Correctional Facility on April 3.
"He admits several times within the phone call that he committed the offenses as charged. His wife ended the call abruptly," according to court documents.
In their recent filing, defense attorneys claim Allen made the confession because he was threatened inside the Westville Correctional Facility by prison guards who are members of the Odinist group that, they believe, were responsible for the murders.
The defense attorneys claim in their early visits with Allen the guards wore patches with symbols on them, one of those patches had interlocking triangles.
According to the defense, interlocking triangles "is a common symbol for those involved in the pagan Odinite religion."
Another document showed investigators believed a knife was used in the murders of German and Williams. An autopsy revealed the girls had been killed by a "sharp object," court documents revealed.
The bodies of German and Williams were found Feb. 14, 2017, about 0.2 miles northeast of the Monon High Bridge in Carroll County, on the north side of Deer Creek, according to the documents.
German and Williams were reportedly dropped off across from Mears Farm at 1:49 p.m. by German's sister. At 2:13 p.m., a video taken from German's phone shows the girls encountered a male subject on the southeast portion of the Monon High Bridge, according to court documents.
That video reportedly showed Williams walking down the Monon High Bridge and a man in a dark jacket and jeans walking behind her. As he approaches, one of the girls can be heard saying "gun."
Near the end of the video, the man was reportedly seen and heard on video telling the girls, "Guys, down the hill." The girls could be seen proceeding down the hill, and the video reportedly ends.
A still photograph from the video and audio was then released to the public.
German and Williams' clothes were also reportedly found in Deer Creek, just south of where their bodies were found. The girls' clothes were found separate from their bodies, and some articles of clothing were missing from the scene, including underwear and a sock.
There was an unspent .40 caliber round less than 2 feet away from German's body, between the girls. That round also had extraction marks on it.
The documents also reiterated previously reported information on what led detectives to arrest Allen, including information given to them by witnesses on Feb. 13, the testing done on a Sig Sauer Model P226 that investigators said they confirmed cycled through a gun belonging to Allen, and why police believed Allen was in the woods with German and Williams after 2:13 p.m.
Police also reportedly seized nearly 15 hunting and utility knives — some foldable and some with sheaths — from Allen's home.
Investigators also took carpet samples and swabs from the seatbelts from Allen's Ford Focus they believe was seen near the trail that day.
Allen admitted in two different interviews that he was at the bridge the afternoon the girls were killed. He said he went out on the bridge to "watch the fish."
The court documents also demonstrated how prosecutors believed Allen committed the kidnappings which resulted in the death of German and Williams, that he was the man in the video ordering the girls "down the hill," and that they believed they could hear the Sig Sauer Model P226 gun being cycled in audio taken from German's phone.
Investigators also believed German and Williams were removed from the bridge by Allen to the location where their murders occurred, according to the court documents.
Charges were filed against Allen on Oct. 28, 2022, for two counts of murder.