TThe infamous Delphi murder case has taken another shocking turn as accused murderer Richard Allen made a bombshell claim about the murders of teenagers Libby German and Abby Williams.
In court documents released Monday, the 50-year-old local man maintained his innocence in the 2017 killings, claiming instead that the killings were carried out by a pagan cult hijacked by white nationalists.
“Members of a pagan Nordic religion called Odinism, kidnapped by white nationalists, ritually sacrificed Abigail Williams and Liberty German,” his lawyers wrote in the documents he viewed The Independent.
Mr Allen’s lawyers said the killers left “possible signatures of Odinism” at the crime scene, with the victims’ bodies highlighted by trees with branches and sticks in the shape of pagan symbols placed on their bodies.
While Mr. Allen has no known connection to a pagan cult, his defense attorneys have also taken the extraordinary step of naming four people they say are involved in Odinism as potential suspects.
None of these individuals have ever been named by law enforcement as suspects or persons of interest in the case.
What is Odinism?
Odinism is a pagan Nordic religion with origins in ancient Viking and Nordic beliefs as well as pre-Christian European culture.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, it is sometimes referred to as Wotanism and is considered a “racist variant” of the pagan religious sect Asatru.
Although Asatru himself is not racist, Odinism has become increasingly linked to the beliefs of white supremacists and neo-Nazis in the United States over the years.
There are now said to be many followers known as Odinites among the white supremacist prison population.
“The religion, which revives a pre-Christian pantheon of Norse gods, is attractive to white supremacists because it mythologizes the virtues of early northern European whites – as wandering barbarians deeply enmeshed in a mystical relationship with nature and fighting heroically against the elements.” explains the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“It sings about the virtues of the tribe, right People, strong emphasis on genetic closeness. And it credits whites with building a civilization and an ethic of individual responsibility even as they courageously killed wild boars, fought for their tribes, and explored the far corners of the known world.”
Were Libby and Abby killed by Odinites?
The murders of Libby and Abby have never been publicly linked to Odinism.
However, according to Mr Allen’s lawyers, law enforcement investigated possible cult involvement early in the investigation – as early as February 2018.
On February 13, 2017, Libby and Abby disappeared after going for a walk along the Monon High Bridge Trail in their hometown of Delphi.
During the walk, Libby posted a photo on Snapchat of her best friend walking along the Monon High Bridge.
Minutes later, Libby recorded a video of a man – known as “Bridge Guy” – walking across the abandoned railway bridge wearing blue jeans, a blue jacket and a cap. In the recordings found on Libby’s phone after her murders, the man tells the two girls: “Guys, down the hill.”
The next day – Valentine’s Day 2017 – the girls’ bodies were discovered in a wooded area less than half a mile off the trail on the banks of Deer Creek.
In the court documents, Mr. Allen’s lawyers claim that “Odinism signatures may have been left at the crime scene,” including staging the bodies and branches displayed on the victims to create pagan symbols and shapes.
The documents describe the scene as “grisly” and also reveal never-before-known details about how Libby and Abby died.
According to the documents, both teenage best friends had their necks slashed.
Libby was found at the base of a tree with “four branches of different sizes intentionally placed in a very specific and ordered pattern on her naked body” and blood stains and drips all over her body.
According to the documents, Abby was now fully clothed, including Libby’s sweatshirt and jeans.
There was no blood on her clothing, suggesting she was likely murdered naked and then dressed again. Branches and sticks were also placed on her body, the documents say.
Both victims appeared to have been moved after being murdered and positioned.
According to Mr. Allen’s lawyers, police investigated a connection to Odinism in the case, but after speaking to an expert the theory was quickly “abandoned.”
Several officials continued to believe that an Odinist cult was behind the killings, but that information was withheld from the defense, his lawyers claim.
Now the defense is requesting a hearing for the Franks in the case and that Mr. Allen be transferred to another facility.