Delphi murders suspect Richard Allen has made the bombshell claim that teenage best friends Libby German and Abby Williams were killed as part of a “ritualistic sacrifice” at the hands of a white nationalist cult.
In sensational court documents, filed on Monday, attorneys for the 50-year-old accused killer claim that the brutal 2017 murders were carried out by members of a pagan Norse religion and white nationalist group called Odinists.
“Members of a pagan Norse religion, called Odinism, hijacked by white nationalists,ritualistically sacrificed Abigail Williams and Liberty German,” state the documents, seen by The Independent.
The nature of the crime scene pointed to the work of a cult from the get-go, according to the bombshell 135-page document.
Libby and Abby’s bodies had both been staged with tree branches and sticks across their bodies in the shape of pagan symbols, the documents state – which “resembled possible Odinism signatures left behind at the crime scene”.
While his defence attorneys claim Mr Allen has no connection to any pagan cult, the bombshell documents take the extraordinary step of naming four apparent Odinites as potential suspects in the killings.
The Independent is not naming these individuals – none of whom have ever been named by law enforcement as suspects or persons of interest in the case.
According to Mr Allen’s attorneys, law enforcement officials had explored possible links between the killings early on in the investigation – but then quickly “abandoned” the theory after speaking to an unidentified professor who refuted any possible link.
But despite this, at least three law enforcement officers – former Rushville assistant police chief Todd Click and detectives Kevin Murphy and Greg Ferency – continued to investigate a possible connection.
By February 2018, Mr Allen’s attorneys say that “the evidence establishing the names of the likely murdering members of this Odinite cult became known to the Delphi investigative leadership”.
The possible link between the murders that rocked the close-knit community of Delphi and Odinism have never been publicly revealed before now.
On 13 February 2017, Libby and Abby set off on a hike along the Monon High Bridge Trail in their hometown of Delphi.
During the walk, Libby posted a photo of her best friend on Snapchat as they walked along the Monon High Bridge.
Minutes later, Libby captured a video of a man – known as “bridge guy” – dressed in blue jeans, a blue jacket and a cap walking along the abandoned railroad bridge. In the footage – found on Libby’s phone following their murders – the man tells the two girls: “Guys, down the hill.”
Later that day, the teenagers were reported missing when they failed to return to a spot where a family member was picking them up.
The next day – Valentine’s Day 2017 – their bodies were discovered in a wooded area less than half a mile off the trail along the side of Deer Creek.
In the new court documents, Mr Allen’s attorneys claim that there were “possible Odinism signatures left behind at the crime scene” including the staging of the bodies and branches displayed on the victims to create pagan symbols and shapes.
Describing the scene as “ghoulish”, the documents also reveal never-before-known details about how Libby and Abby died.
The teenage best friends both had their necks slashed, the documents reveal.
Libby was found at the base of a tree with “four tree branches of varying sizes intentionally placed in a very specific and arranged pattern on her naked body” and blood spots and drippings all over her body.
Abby meanwhile was fully clothed, including in Libby’s sweatshirt and jeans, the documents state.
There was no blood on her clothing, indicating that she was likely murdered while naked and then dressed after she was killed. Tree branches and sticks had also been arranged on her body, the documents state.
Both victims appeared to have been moved and positioned after they were murdered.
Libby’s blood had also been used as paint to mark a tree with a rune that looks similar to the letter “F” – a rune known to be associated with the pagan religious cult Odinism.
During the initial investigation, authorities had connected two separate groups of men who practiced Odinism – one in Delphi and the other in Rushville – to each other and “then connected both groups of men to the murders”, the new court documents state.
According to Mr Allen’s attorneys, the teenage son of one of these Odinites was dating Abby at the time of her murder.
As well as openly showcasing his beliefs in Odinism on social media, in the days and weeks after the murders the man had posted images which mimicked the runes found at the crime scene, the documents state.
One of the images allegedly shows “two women either dead, or posed as if they were dead, on the ground in what appeared to be a forest” with “tree limbs and sticks arranged on their bodies”, the documents state.
Other images on his social media are said to show runes matching the “F” symbol drawn in Libby’s blood on the tree at the crime scene.
But, according to the defence, this individual was interviewed on 17 February 2017 and cleared by that March – even as more tips continued to come in from the public naming him as a potential suspect.
This man was also linked to at least four other Odinites named by the defence as suspects – one of whom lived a seven-minute drive from the crime scene and another who allegedly confessed to his two sisters that he was involved in the murders.
This man allegedly told one sister that he “was on a trail and a bridge with two girls that were killed and that he was going away for a long time”.
He was interviewed by police in early 2018 and asked officers if they would be able to trace him if he had spat on one of the victims, the defence states.
As well as the claims that Odinism could be linked to the killings, Mr Allen’s attorneys have accused the prosecution of withholding this information from the defence – and that the possible ties only came to light because former police chief Mr Click reached out to the state in the wake of Mr Allen’s arrest.
The documents state that Mr Click was concerned that the probable cause affidavit laying out the case against Mr Allen was “far less compelling than the totality of the information” that they had gathered about the Odinism angle.
He decided to send a letter to prosecutor Nick McCleland in May to ensure he was aware of that information, the documents state.
The state did not hand over this information or the letter until September, the defence states.
The defence is also claiming that Odinites are working as corrections officers at Westville Correctional Facility where Mr Allen is being held awaiting trial – and where they claim he has suffered ill-treatment.
Now, the defence is seeking a Franks hearing in the case and to have Mr Allen moved to another facility – as they claim that he is innocent of any involvement in the murders.
“Richard Allen has zero connections to any pagan cult or pagan cultists, and furthermoreno forensic evidence (such as DNA) or electronic evidence links Richard Allen to the girls or to the crime scene – i.e., he is a completely innocent man,” the defence attorneys write.
The bombshell claims laid out in the new court documents mark the latest twist to the tragic case which began when the two teenage best friends set off on a walk together one spring day in 2017.
For more than five years, the girls’ devastated families waited for answers in the case as no arrests were made.
Then, in late October 2022, Mr Allen – a local man who served the victims’ families in his job at the Delphi CVS store – was finally arrested and charged with their murders.
According to investigators, Mr Allen is the so-called “bridge guy” captured on camera by the victims.
The suspect forced the two victims down the hill and led them to the location where they were murdered, according to his probable cause affidavit.
The criminal affidavit, which was partially redacted and released in November, previously revealed that the local man was finally tied to the February 2017 murders through a bullet found at the bloody crime scene.
Ballistics confirmed that an unspent .40 caliber round found close to the bodies of the teenage victims came from Mr Allen’s Sig Sauer Model P226.
The firearm – which he owned since 2011 – was found during a search of his home last October and both he and his wife Kathy told police he was the only person with access to it, the documents state.
The documents also revealed that, in Libby’s cellphone footage, one of the victims mentions the word “gun” – suggesting that their attacker was armed with a firearm and was using it to coerce the victims.
In a police interview on 13 October, Mr Allen told investigators he had “no explanation” as to how the spent bullet ended up near the bodies of the two teenage victims, the document states.
The accused killer said he had “not been on the property where the unspent round was found, that he did not know the property owner, and that he had no explanation as to why a round cycled through his firearm would be at that location,” it says. The property owner – Ron Logan – was also previously tied to the case. He died in 2020.
As well as the ballistics evidence, Mr Allen was also tied to the killings after his vehicle was spotted parked close to the trail in “an odd manner” as if to “conceal the license plate”, the affidavit previously revealed.
Several witnesses also reported seeing a “creepy” man matching the description of “bridge guy” around the time of the murders while one person said they saw a “muddy and bloody” man leaving the trail around two hours after Libby and Abby were last seen alive. The witnesses did not see anyone other than “bridge guy” on the trail at the time, the affidavit reads.
The married father to a daughter had been on law enforcement’s radar back in 2017 after he admitted to being on the trail the day the girls were killed.
During a 2017 interview with police, Mr Allen confessed to being on the Monon High Bridge Trail that afternoon but denied any involvement in the murders and insisted he had never seen the two girls that day.
Despite placing himself at the scene of the crime at the time of the murders, he slipped through the net due to a “clerical error”.
Since his arrest, Mr Allen has confessed to the 2017 murders multiple times behind bars – including in a jailhouse phone call with his wife, dramatic court documents revealed back in June.
While prosecutors say that the accused killer admitted “several times” that he carried out the brutal murders, Mr Allen’s attorneys claim that his confession cannot be believed due to his current mental state.
The sudden arrest of the local man almost six years on from the murders marked a major break in the case.
But the investigation is far from over with officials saying that they believe Mr Allen may not have acted alone.
Prior to Mr Allen’s arrest, investigators had been searching for information about a catfishing account which was in contact with Libby on the day she was killed.
The man behind the account – Kegan Anthony Kline – was tied to the 2017 murders in December 2021 when investigators urged the public to come forward with information about a bogus online profile named @anthony_shots.
Kline, 28, confessed to using the fake profile to groom underage girls, get them to send him nude photos and their addresses, and try to get them to meet him in person.
In a 2020 police interview, a transcript of which has been seen by The Independent, Kline admitted that he had communicated with 14-year-old Libby on Instagram and Snapchat through the catfishing profile before she died.
The transcript revealed that he had exchanged photos with the teenage girl and that Libby had communicated with the fake profile on the very day that she and Abby were murdered.
On 25 February 2017 - less than two weeks after the two girls were brutally killed – police carried out a search of Kline’s home in Peru.
Kline has never been charged in connection to the murders.
However, he told “The Murder Sheet” podcast in a jailhouse interview that he has information about the murders but that police “don’t want to hear anything I have to say”.
In July, he was sentenced to more than four decades in prison on a string of child sexual abuse and child exploitation charges.