In plain sight: Police arrest suspect in 2017 murders of two Indiana girls – National & International News – MON 31Oct2022

Richard Allen, 50, has been charged with the 2017 murders of Abby Williams, 13, and Liberty German, 14, in Delphi, IN. Here, a photo posted by Allen's wife on social media shows Allen posing at a local bar, with a police sketch of the prime suspect in the case on a wall in the background.

 

Indiana police arrest suspect in 2017 murders of two girls. Supreme Court may strike down race-based university admissions. Brazil votes for leftist Lula as President, ousting Bolsonaro.

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Best friends Libby German, 14, and Abby Williams, 13.

On February 13, 2014, at 1:35pm Abby Williams, 13, and her friend Liberty “Libby” German, 14, were dropped off in a wooded area by German’s older sister. The two girls were to enjoy a few hours of hiking in the natural beauty spot near their homes in Delphi, IN. When the two girls failed to turn up at 3:15pm to be picked up by Libby’s father, the girls’ families initially searched the trails themselves before reporting them missing around 5:30pm. It wasn’t until the next day that searchers found the bodies of Abby and Libby. The girls had been murdered, though police have never said how.

It soon came to light that German had uploaded a Snapchat of Abby walking on the Monon High Bridge trail at 2:07. German then captured an image of a stocky man with a blue jacket and beige cap walking towards them on the bridge. Police immediately suspected that the man in the photo was somehow involved in the girls’ deaths. Police later released a haunting snippet of audio German captured on her phone with a man’s voice saying “Down the hill.” 

The case quickly garnered national and international attention as the “Delphi murders”. The man in the photo, the prime suspect in the case, was soon dubbed “Bridge Guy”. 

The investigation

The 2017 sketch of “Bridge Guy” and the updated 2019 sketch at right,

As the community mourned, the hunt for Bridge Guy was on. The investigating team included not only local law enforcement but the Indiana State Police, with assistance from the FBI. Investigators sought help from members of the public and the community, opening tip lines and following leads. Law enforcement initially released a sketch of Bridge Guy, which appeared to show a middle-aged man. This sketch was based on eye witness descriptions. Eventually in 2019, police issued a revised sketch of a much younger-looking man.

In the years since, Investigators have been under heavy scrutiny from the press and members of the public. Doug Carter, Superintendent of the Indiana State Police, became the public face of the investigation and reassured that the team were still following up leads and investigating tips. He explained investigators couldn’t share everything they knew publicly to preserve the integrity of the investigation. 

In a 2019 press conference, Carter shared the chilling revelation that investigators believed the suspect was a local. During the conference, Carter also issued a message, “directly to the killer, who may be in this room. We believe you are hiding in plain sight. For more than two years, you never thought we would shift gears to a different investigative strategy. But we have. We likely have interviewed you, or someone close to you. We know that this about power to you. And you wanna know what we know. And one day, you will”. 

A major development

A still image of “Bridge Guy” captured on Libby German’s phone.

In March of 2022, investigators linked a social media accounted called anthony_shots to a man named Kegan Kline, 29. Libby had apparently communicated with the anthony_shots profile shortly before the murders. Kline used the profile, featuring photos of a male model, to communicate with underage girls and solicit photos from them. Kline is already facing dozens of charges related to child pornography. After much delay, Kline appeared in court for a pre-trial hearing in his child porn case. It’s not clear if there’s any connection, but a stunning breakthrough in the case came only days later.

Last Friday, media outlets reported police had at last made an arrest in the Delphi murders case. Richard Allen, 50, a pharmacy technician in Delphi was in police custody. Allen was indeed hiding in plain sight. He lived only a few miles from the girls’ homes and from the state park where the murders took place. He reportedly is married with two children. A social media image shared by Allen’s wife shows Allen sitting in a Delphi bar with a police sketch of the murder suspect visible over his shoulder (see feature image).

In a press conference today, a visibly emotional Superintendent Carter and other representatives of local law enforcement announced Allen had been charged with the murders of Abby Williams and Libby German. However, the evidence remains under seal by the court as the investigation remains ongoing. Investigators encouraged the public to continue calling in with tips, whether they pertain to Allen or anyone else who might be linked to the case. 

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Supreme Court may strike down race-based university admissions

Today, the Supreme Court is hearing two cases which may unwind decades of affirmative action for racial minorities in university admissions. The plaintiff in both cases is the group Students for Fair Admissions (SFA). Contrary to the name, the plaintiffs aren’t students, but a conservative activist legal group led by Edward Blum. Notably, Blum also brought the Shelby County v. Holder case in 2013, resulting in a decision that gutted the Voting Rights Act.

SFA is suing Harvard University, alleging that Harvard’s process for race-conscious admissions has wrongfully discriminated against Asians. In a separate but linked case, SFA is also suing the University of North Carolina, there alleging that their admissions has wrongfully discriminated against white students. In the Harvard case, Blum argues the university has violated the Civil Rights act, while he argues UNC has violated the 14th Amendment.

What’s at stake in both cases is a policy of creating a racially diverse student body in America’s universities. These policies are meant to ameliorate decades of exclusion of black and brown students from prestigious universities. The Supreme Court has previously upheld these policies. But with the might of their 6-3 majority on the court, conservative Justices have decided to revisit the issue.

Most observers believe that the court is likely to overturn years of precedent upholding affirmative action in university admissions. They also believe such a decision could open the door to overturning affirmative action in employment decisions.

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Brazil votes for leftist Lula as President, ousting Bolsonaro

Brazil’s presidential contest has been called for leftist former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. With just under 51% of the vote (still a difference of about 2 million votes), Lula ousted far-right sitting President Jair Bolsonaro. In his four years in office, Bolsonaro’s governance and rhetoric have been controversial to say the least. Courting far-right nationalist groups, fundamentalist Christians, Bolsonaro has frequently drawn comparisons with Donald Trump. International environmental groups have also called out Bolsonaro for a stunning increase in deforestation in the Brazilian rainforest. His economic policies have also heavily favored large corporations and increased already high rates of poverty in Brazil.

Following his victory, Lula vowed to end hunger in Brazil and to adopt a zero-tolerance policy against rainforest destruction. However, Lula still faces numerous challenges to bringing his vision about. Firstly, Bolsonaro has not conceded the election. During campaigning, Bolsonaro point blank refused to accept the outcome of the vote if it didn’t go his way. Given the fact he also has the support of many militant groups in the country, the succession process may be rocky.

Even if Bolsonaro eventually decides to step aside gracefully, his far-right party still holds considerable sway in Brazil’s congress. In fact, despite Lula’s victory, Bolsonaro’s allies increased their congressional presence from 240 to 249 seats, just under half the body’s total of 513. Left-oriented parties that are natural allies of Lula hold only 141. This means that in order to govern, Lula will have to make concessions to the remaining centrists in congress.

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