true crime

The Delphi murders were shrouded in mystery. A podcast has now helped reveal the truth behind the case.

In 2017, the murders of two teenage girls, Liberty German and Abigail Williams in Delphi, Indiana, gripped the world.

But while investigators arrested a man back in October 2022 for the crime, very little has been known publicly about the case – until now.

As local Delphi man Richard Allen awaits trial in custody, the hosts of a popular true-crime podcast have brought to light a mishandling of investigation documents – and revealed incredible details of the case, including the alleged killer's apparent taped confession.

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It was February 13, 2017, and it started out as an ordinary day like any other for best friends Libby and Abby.

At around 1:45pm, the girls set off for a walk along the popular Monon High Bridge Trail, near their hometown of Delphi, Indiana. Smartphones in hand, the pair were ready to document their innocent day out.

Libby, 14, and Abby, 13, were supposed to be picked up by family a short time later, but they never met their deadline. Less than 24 hours later, their bodies were found almost two kilometres off the trail.


The story sent shockwaves around the globe the world and internet sleuths got to work trying to solve the crime, but there seemed to be very little to go on. One thing they did have, however, was a chilling Snapchat clip and audio of the suspected killer, recorded and posted by Libby before her death. 

Libby had hit record on her device and uploaded a clip of a man wearing a blue jacket directing them to "go down the hill".

The clip subsequently went viral, and the unidentified man in the video became known online as the 'Snapchat killer'.

Police pursued several suspects over the years, including a man who was arrested for participating in the US Capitol Riots on January 6, 2021. But no arrests were made for five years. 

Then, in October 2022, they took 50-year-old Richard Allen into custody.

He pled not guilty to two charges of murder.

At the time of his arrest, relatively few details had been made public about the case, which journalist Áine Cain and attorney Kevin Greenlee had been following closely on their podcast, The Murder Sheet. Allen's was not a name they'd heard in their own investigations and reporting before that point.

In fact, it seemed there was much information about the case that wasn't a matter of public record. 

"Any time anything was filed in the case, whether it was routine or not, it was always sealed. It was always kept from the public," Greenlee told Fox News Digital


"Other reporters would tell us, 'This is so strange. This has not happened in any other case. Why isn't someone doing something about this?'"

So Greenlee and Cain decided they would do just that.

Image: Indiana State Police.

The pair learned that anything filed about the case since 2017 had been mistakenly sealed, potentially due to confusion over the meaning of a 'gag order'. And so, working with an attorney, Cain and Greenlee set about to have the documents unsealed and, in June 2023, filed a motion into the case asking for the release of documents that had been kept from the public "in violation of customary procedure".


The motion passed and on June 29, and more than 100 documents were released.

What the documents revealed.

With the unsealing of case filings, two major revelations were made, both around how the girls died and Richard Allen's alleged involvement.

The documents said that Libby and Abby were murdered with a "sharp object", like a knife, and that there was a pair of underpants and a sock missing from the scene.

The documents also stated that a "large amount of blood was lost by the victims at the crime scene" and that "because of the nature of the victim's wounds, it is nearly certain the perpetrator of the crime would have gotten blood on his person/clothing".

They also found that the killer had moved and staged their bodies.

And then there's the alleged admission Allen made to his wife during a recorded phone call during his time in prison.

"Investigators had the phone call transcribed and the transcription confirms that Richard M. Allen admits that he committed the murders of Abigail Williams and Liberty German," read documents.


In the phone call, Allen allegedly admitted "several times" that he carried out the brutal murders. Prosecutors now believe this confession could be his undoing in the upcoming trial, set to take place in January 2024.

How Richard Allen was linked to the murders.

Prosecutors initially tied Allen to a bullet found at the scene of the murder – an unspent .40 calibre round that had come from a Sig Sauer Model P226 belonging to the suspect.

The gun was recovered from the home Allen shares with his wife Kathy during a police search of the property in October 2022. Allen has said he can't explain why his bullet was found alongside the girls' bodies.

A witness mentioned a vehicle seen around the area, investigators later saying the witness' description of the vehicle matched one Allen owned in 2017.

Allen also spoke to investigators twice over the years about the girls’ deaths. The Independent UK said Allen confirmed during a 2017 interview with police that he was on the nearby Monon High Bridge Trail the day Libby and Abby were killed.  

Allen also told authorities he had worn "jeans and a black or blue jacket" that day and had gone to the bridge to "watch fish".

Image: Indiana State Police.


For Libby and Abby's families, the opening up of the previously sealed documents hasn't made things easier, as they continue to pick up the pieces of the tragedy.

"It's still as tough. It doesn't get any easier. I'm just trying to recognise it’s not just us. Everybody is feeling what we're feeling as a group," Abby's mum recently said.  

As Libby's grandmother added, "This is our real lives. There are real people living a real nightmare. It's disheartening that someone can do this to someone in their own community, or even do this period. I don't understand and I probably never will."

Feature Image: Indiana State Police.

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