AN unspent bullet found between the bodies of the girls slain in the Delphi murders may have been ejected from their killer’s gun after he racked the weapon to scare them, a former investigator on the case believes.
Ex-FBI Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan, who oversaw the bureau’s investigation into the murders of Libby German and Abigail Wiliams for two years, spoke with The U.S. Sun following the release of an affidavit pertaining to the arrest of lead suspect Richard Allen.
Allen, 50, was arrested on October 26 and charged with the murders of best friends Libby and Abby, two eighth graders found dead in a Delphi, Indiana woods on Valentine’s Day in 2017.
An affidavit unsealed by a judge earlier this week revealed that an unspent .40 bullet found between the bodies of the two girls appeared to have been cycled through a pistol owned by Allen, a Sig Sauer Model P226.
According to the document, Allen told police he had never allowed anyone else to use or borrow the firearm in the past. When quizzed about the unspent round, he reportedly did “not have an explanation” for why it was found there.
Theorizing how the unfired bullet came to be, Keenan believes the round may have been discharged from the chamber after the girls’ killer racked the gun in an effort to scare them.
He said: “What I think happened is he was giving the girls orders to do something, whether it was getting on the ground or whatever; he was giving them orders to do something and they weren’t following them.
“Maybe they decided they wanted to fight or run, and in order to intimidate them, the attacker wracked a round or recycled a round through the gun.
“He may not have realized there was a round in the chamber when he cycled it, it may have just popped out and landed on the ground.
“He either didn’t know it happened or he couldn’t find it after the murders. That’s my guess.
“Racking a gun to scare someone is something that’s done in the movies, it’s not really done in real life, but I assume it would be enough to scare girls of that age,” he added.
“I think it would scare anyone, actually.”
Keenan suggests the gun may have also accidentally misfired or malfunctioned when the operator attempted to pull the trigger.
Richard Allen has pleaded not guilty to the murders of Libby and Abby.
He is facing two charges of felony murder, with prosecutors alleging he committed the killings while kidnapping the girls, though no kidnapping charges have yet been filed.
The affidavit relating to his arrest spans eight pages and includes a host of circumstantial evidence placing Allen at the scene of the murders on the day and at the time the girls were killed.
In two separate interviews – one in 2017, and the other in October this year – Richard Allen admitted to being on the Monon High Bridge between 1.30pm and 3.30pm on February 13, 2017.
His reason, he told police on both occasions, was that he had gone to the bridge to “watch the fish” in the river 63 feet below.
An infamous video shot by Libby of the girl’s attacker – known for years as “Bridge Guy” – was captured on the bridge at 2.13pm.
What I think happened is he was giving the girls orders to do something, whether it was getting on the ground or whatever; he was giving them orders to do something and they weren’t following them.
The attacker was seen in the grainy footage wearing a blue jacket, blue jeans, and a baseball cap, telling the girls “down the hill.”
Allen described wearing a similar outfit the the “Bridge Guy” during his second interview with cops.
He told them he’d been wearing blue jeans and a blue or black Carhartt jacket that day. His wife, Kathy Allen, told investigators that he still owns a blue Carharrt jacket.
But Allen denied ever seeing Libby or Abby on the trail. He admitted to seeing a group of three juvenile girls, who also told police they’d seen a “creepy” man matching the description Allen offered of himself.
One of the three witnesses said they said “hi” to the man, but he ignored the greeting and glared at them.
The affidavit states: “Investigators believe that after the victims were murdered, Richard Allen returned to his vehicle by walking down (Carroll) County Road 300 North.”
Later that afternoon, another witness reported seeing a man – again wearing a blue jacket and blue jeans – walking away from the bridge.
That witness described the man as “muddy and bloody”, appearing as though “he had gotten into a fight.”
A ‘SOLID’ CASE
Allen’s legal team has called the evidence in the affidavit “flimsy”, insisting Indiana investigators have “the wrong guy.”
But Keenan disagrees, insisting the circumstantial evidence placing him at the scene, in addition to the unfired round believed to have been cycled through Allen’s gun, builds a compelling case against the married CVS worker.
While conceding he’s “not a firearms expert”, Keenan said: “The chances of that bullet not having been fired from Allen’s gun is one in a great number, rather than a 50/50 chance of it being not.
“And he admits to being there, you’ve got witnesses who seen a man matching his description there … I certainly wouldn’t call it ‘flimsy’.”
Keenan was in charge of the Indianapolis branch of the FBI from 2020 until his retirement from the bureau in November 2021.
Though he joined the branch long after the investigation into the deaths of Libby and Abby had begun, solving the case was always a top priority for his colleagues, he said.
“The FBI is made up of human beings, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, and we all felt that, for the grace of God, it could’ve been one of our kids or loved ones.
“So, everybody takes it just that little bit more to heart when it’s children involved. And I would say that’s true for all the law enforcement that we’re working with.”
From early in the investigation, Keenan said the bureau “kept an open mind” at the fact that more than one person may have been culpable for the murders of Libby and Abby.
That’s an avenue of possibility investigators are still exploring almost six years on.
During a court hearing last month to decide whether Allen’s probable cause affidavit should remain sealed, prosecutors pleaded that it should, telling the judge “we believe Richard Allen is not the only actor involved in this.”
If investigators have a solid lead that another suspect was involved in the killings, Keenan said the affidavit should’ve remained sealed to protect the integrity of the investigation, even though the document makes no mention of a second culprit.
He explained: “It could be one person, it could be two people, it could be three – we don’t know.
“But if they have any concrete leads that others played a part, you don’t want to give that person or those people an opportunity to destroy evidence or flee.
“They clearly didn’t want somebody reading that affidavit. There’s no mention of another suspect, but it still doesn’t mean they don’t have evidence of another suspect, because not all evidence needs to be shared in a probable cause affidavit.
“So there could be other evidence that somebody else is involved. And maybe this gave him or her a clue as to what they’re looking at or who they’re looking for.
“I can’t say for certain as I’m not privy to that information anymore, but it’s certainly a possibility.”
Also omitted from Allen’s probable cause affidavit was how Libby and Abby were killed.
While specifying a bullet was found at the scene, nowhere in the document does it suggest that either of the two girls were shot.
All that is known is that Libby and Abby both lost a lot of blood and their bodies appeared to have been posed by their killer. That information came from case files leaked by the Murder Sheet podcast earlier this year.
Keenan says that information will likely stay under wraps until trial, unless another arrest is made.
SLIPPING THROUGH THE NET
When Richard Allen was arrested in October, Keenan said the licensed pharmacy technician’s name didn’t ring any bells from the two years he spent overseeing the case.
Calling an inquiry as to how Allen managed to avoid scrutiny for so long despite admitting to being at the scene and wearing the same outfit as the suspect in the aftermath of the murders a “good question”, Keenan believes the mishap was likely due to a miscommunication between law enforcement agencies.
“It was a hectic time, as you can imagine,” Keenan said of the early days of the investigation, for which he was not present.
“There were six or seven agencies out there covering hundreds of leads in a short amount of time.
“I’m exaggerating a little here but I think they interviewed just about every adult in the Delphi area.”
The chances of that bullet not having been fired from Allen’s gun is one in a great number, rather than a 50/50 chance of it being not.
Law enforcement sources told Fox59 and Murder Sheet that it appears Allen slipped through the net due to a “clerical error.”
A civilian FBI employee apparently mislabeled or misfiled Allen’s tip information in the system, which means it didn’t show up in the correct location during a data search.
As the case stalled, police went back to the very beginning of the investigation.
That’s when they discovered the interview with Allen that prompted them to take a closer look at him, according to the outlet and podcast.
Allen’s probable cause affidavit was unsealed by a judge on Tuesday just hours after his attorney’s filed a motion for a change of venue for his trial, citing concerns over a biased jury.
In the motion, attorneys Andrew Baldwin and Brad Rozzi cited “the extensive media attention” of the case and stated that it “could be argued that the amount of publicity that this particular case has received in the past 5+ years will make it difficult to find a jury that has not heard of this case.”
However, they claimed to have obtained statistical data “that would strongly indicate that moving the case/trial just 150 miles away would significantly reduce the likelihood of obtaining a tainted jury pool.”
The lawyers also argue that “the likelihood for a tainted jury pool is excessive” due to the small number of residents in Carroll County when compared with the high percentage of locals who have been involved in some aspect of the case.
A decision on the motion has not yet been reached.
Allen is set to return to court on Feb. 17 for a bond hearing and pretrial hearing.
Police still ask anyone with information about the case to submit a tip at email@example.com or 765-822-3535.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6814865/delphi-murders-mystery-bullet-richard-allen-scared-gun/ Delphi murders cop’s chilling theory that bullet between bodies got there when ‘Richard Allen racked gun to scare girls’