Delphi defense team believes state has reopened investigation into Odinism theory

DELPHI, Ind. — In a new court filing, the defense team for Delphi murder suspect Richard Allen says it believes investigators have reopened their investigation into the theory that Abby Williams and Libby German were killed in a ritualistic sacrifice.

Allen’s attorney laid out their reasoning in a motion filed on Monday asking Judge Fran Gull to set a deadline for the prosecution to turn over all of the evidence it has against their client.

The defense team says it has recently received several audio files of interviews conducted by Indiana State Police this past August with numerous people who they say are members of an Odinist cult.

Lawyers for Richard Allen first floated the Odinism theory in a more than 130-page memo filed in mid-September. Odinism itself is an ancient Nordic religion sometimes known as Asatru.

While often peaceful, some adherents practice animal sacrifice and ritualistic killings. And in recent years, some white supremacist groups have coopted the religion, making it an overtly racist ideology.

Allen’s attorneys believe followers of the religion “ritualistically sacrificed Abigail Williams and Liberty German.” They point to the crime scene itself, in which the girls’ bodies were posed and tree branches were “intentionally placed in a very specific and arranged pattern” on and around their bodies.

Among the recent evidence related to Odinism the defense said it has received is search warrants signed by judges in Marion County for phone and internet records of at least one unknown person who admitted to killing the girls.

The attorneys said this person provided details about the crime scene that were unknown to the general public at the time.

“Such as the fact that he used knife in way consistent with the manner of death and also claiming that he used gun but never fired it,” Allen’s team wrote.

Just last month, Allen’s lawyers also say investigators re-interviewed a Purdue University professor who they believe is the same expert that had ruled out Odinism as a theory early on in the investigation.

The defense said this “missing Odinite evidence” was only turned over to them after the first round of depositions. The attorneys said it was during those depositions that investigators became aware that the defense knew about the “lack of investigation” into the Odinism theory.

“While Defendant Allen takes no exception with the State reopening its investigation, directing its focus on other suspects in this case, Defendant Allen desires that there be some end to the offering up of new information,” Allen’s attorneys wrote in Monday’s filing.

In their motion on Monday, Allen’s defense team is asking Judge Gull to set a deadline of no later than Nov. 1 for the prosecution to turn over its evidence against Allen.

The defense lawyers said without that deadline it would be “difficult, if not impossible” for them to continue to conduct depositions and be prepared for trial.

“The Defense is concerned that there will be continual drip, drip, drip of evidence (much which could be exculpatory in nature) unless discovery deadline is set by the Court,” Allen’s attorneys wrote.

Allen’s trial is scheduled to begin in January 2024.

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