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If you have any interest in true crime, you have heard of the Delphi Murder case. Over half a decade since the chilling disappearance of teenage best friends Abby Williams and Libby German, a groundbreaking development emerged in the elusive 2017 Delphi murder case. On October 26th, a 50-year-old local man, Richard Allen, from Delphi, Indiana, found himself entangled in the judicial net, facing charges directly linked to the gruesome incident.

Allen, a married man and now the pivotal character in this harrowing saga, was arrested and detained in the Carroll County Jail on two counts of murder. Amid concerns for his safety, he was relocated to a state facility, adding another layer of intrigue to this complex case.

This sensational breakthrough, marked by Allen’s arrest, triggered shockwaves through Delphi’s intimate, tight-knit community. For over five years, the ominous cloud of this unresolved case had loomed large, casting a persistent, haunting shadow. The arrest of Allen was akin to a cinematic plot twist, reinvigorating the quest for justice that had remained elusive for so long. Despite the mounting accusations, Allen has pleaded not guilty to the charges, further intensifying the suspense in this high-stakes legal drama.

The narrative took yet another unexpected turn on June 15th, when a court revelation sent chills down the spines of all closely following the case. Confined within his prison walls, Allen had allegedly confessed multiple times to committing the 2017 murders, adding a spine-tingling layer to the ever-evolving, real-life crime thriller.

If you are wondering who Allen is, he is being linked as the “bridge guy” from a video that Libby recorded on Snapchat the day she died. This case has been a trendy topic amongst true crime shows, podcasts, and crime TikTokers and this video, or at least the image, has been shown so many times. It is crazy to think that this entire time Abby caught her murderer on camera, and it took this long for the person to be identified. Abby couldn’t have done anything more right by trusting her intuition and taking that footage!

The Delphi Murders

The quiet and unassuming town of Delphi, Indiana, with its historic trails, idyllic parks, and small-town charm, became the epicenter of one of the most haunting unsolved mysteries of the 21st century on February 13th, 2017 – The Delphi Murders. This case, featuring the chilling murder of two young teenagers, Abigail Williams, and Liberty German, bewildered investigators, armchair detectives, and the public alike with its eerie clues and lack of resolution.

The day started innocently enough. Abby, 13, and Libby, 14, two best friends with a shared love for art, sports, and music, decided to spend their unseasonably warm February day hiking the historic Delphi trails. Little did they know their hike would culminate in a dreadful series of events that would plunge the entire community into deep despair and fear. The girls were reported missing that day when they didn’t return from their adventure. Tragically, their bodies were found near the Monon High Bridge, an abandoned railroad bridge over Deer Creek the following day. This shocking event shook Delphi’s small, tight-knit community to its core. The town was not accustomed to such grim realities, and the gruesome crime left a chilling sense of uncertainty, dread, and heartbreak.

The investigation, led by the Indiana State Police and the FBI, took an unnerving turn when it was revealed that Libby had the presence of mind to use her smartphone to record potential evidence. The haunting image of a man walking on the bridge and a chilling audio clip saying, “Down the hill,” believed to be the killer’s voice, turned the case into a surreal nightmare. But even with these clues, the killer remained elusive, and the case grew colder as the years passed.

Despite the thousands of tips that have flooded in, the national media coverage, and the release of a second, revised sketch of the suspect in 2019, the identity of the ‘Bridge Guy’ – as the man on the bridge has been dubbed was arrested In October of 2022 and remained in custody. The courts and media have been extremely tight-lipped post-arrest, and we are still getting the real details months later. The latest is Allen’s alleged confession while in jail.

Digital Forensics Aiding in Arrest

The significance of this case extends beyond the boundaries of Delphi. It speaks volumes about the growing importance of digital forensics in contemporary crime-solving. Libby’s smartphone recording illustrates how everyday technology can aid in investigations. But it also serves as a sobering reminder of how it can still fall short when faced with the complexities of real-world crime. Abby literally got her perpetrated on camera, and he wasn’t identified or arrested until 2022.

Social Media Kept the Delphi Case Alive

Intriguingly, the unsolved nature of the Delphi Murders had led to the proliferation of true crime enthusiasts who were determined to crack the case. Online sleuths, fascinated and horrified by the murders, dissected every lead, every theory, and every potential connection. The case’s omnipresence on social media, podcasts, and blogs kept it alive in the public consciousness, creating a formidable force in the quest for justice. Sometimes cases like these go unsolved because of police negligence and lack of vigilance when a case begins to go cold. In the Delphi case, that photo on Abby’s phone was so blaring evident to everyone that the man in it was a suspect that it was displayed continuously on major social media platforms for years. And now an arrest and possible confession have been made.

Social Media: An Unforeseen Ally in Solving Cold Cases

Over the last decade, the internet, and specifically social media, has begun to play an instrumental role in crime-solving, proving particularly useful in breathing life into cold cases. Social media channels have emerged as an unexpected but powerful force in criminal investigations, keeping cases alive, spreading awareness, and even aiding in uncovering critical evidence.

True crime, a genre previously confined to books and documentaries, has found a new, interactive home on social media. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and Instagram have become hotbeds for discussion, dissection, and, sometimes, resolution of unsolved mysteries. These platforms harbor a robust community of dedicated, amateur sleuths who work doggedly to uncover the truth in unresolved cases.

Social media’s power to keep cases alive lies in its capability to reach large audiences quickly and interactively. Information about cold cases can be shared in real-time and across geographies, keeping public interest piqued and ensuring the cases don’t fade from memory. Cold cases, once confined to dusty file cabinets and local news, are now easily accessible to the general public, keeping them relevant and consistently in the public eye.

Platforms like Twitter and Facebook are tools for immediately disseminating new information or appeals. For instance, law enforcement agencies increasingly use these channels to release details about unsolved crimes, reach potential witnesses, and solicit tips. Facebook groups dedicated to specific cold cases foster discussion, share updates and sustain interest in the case.

Meanwhile, Reddit’s crowd-solving initiative employs collective intelligence to uncover leads. Its subreddit, r/UnresolvedMysteries, harbors over a million ‘armchair detectives’ dedicated to solving cold cases. Users worldwide can scrutinize evidence, debate theories, and even submit tips to law enforcement, turning a passive audience into active participants in the pursuit of justice.

Social media has also seen the rise of citizen-led investigative journalism. For instance, “Crawlspace,” a Twitter-led investigation into the disappearance of Brianna Maitland, amassed significant public engagement and opened up new leads. In another example, the YouTube channel “LordanARTS” helps keep cold cases alive by detailing unsolved mysteries, garnering thousands of views and comments per video.

Social media empowers victims’ families and friends to keep their loved ones’ stories alive. The amplification of these stories through shared posts and hashtags has the potential to reach someone with the information needed to crack a cold case.

Remembering the Victims

Highlighting the victims in true crime narratives transforms the tale from an abstract horror story into a poignant reminder of human lives tragically cut short. By focusing on the victims, we respect their lives, dreams, and aspirations that were unjustly curtailed, thus reclaiming their stories from the shadows of the crime that ended their journey.

In contrast to the morbid fascination often associated with the perpetrators, concentrating on the victims deepens societal empathy and awareness. It’s a stark reminder of the painful ripples of loss and grief that such crimes send through friends, families, and communities.

Honoring the victims fuels the pursuit of justice, bringing us closer to closure and healing. Remembering the victims is not just a homage to their lives but a crucial step in ensuring their experiences are neither overshadowed by the crime nor forgotten over time. It’s about keeping their memory alive in the quest for truth and justice, thus adding a deeper layer of purpose to the narrative.

Honoring Abby and Libby

Families and friends of Abby and Libby have also channeled their grief into making a difference. They established the ‘Abby and Libby Memorial Park’ in Delphi. This park, encompassing sports facilities, amphitheaters, and playgrounds, symbolizes a refusal to let the tragedy define the girls or their town. Instead, it serves as a celebration of their lives and a beacon of hope, resilience, and unity for the community.

The importance of remembering Abby and Libby for the vibrant, talented young girls they were, rather than victims, cannot be understated. Abby, a passionate saxophonist and volleyball player, and Libby, an artistic soul with a knack for photography and science, were more than the tragic end they met. Their memory is a powerful motivator, a reminder that their untimely deaths should not be in vain, and a call to arms to ensure justice is served.

As we reflect on the events, let’s remember the chilling details of the crime and the overwhelming resilience, unity, and enduring hope of a community determined to find justice for two young girls.

May Justice Prevail

In the world of true crime, the Delphi Murders has become a landmark case. It has reshaped our understanding of the power of community, the importance of digital forensics, and the enduring pursuit of justice. Despite the passage of time, the case continues to fascinate, frustrate, and mobilize people globally, underscoring the profound impact it has had, and continues to have, on our society. As we watch this case finally begin to unfold, we remain united in our pursuit of justice and honor the memories of Abigail Williams and Liberty German.

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About The Author

Julie Johansson

Educated in Criminal Justice and a true crime junkie. Former mall cop, fur mom and women's rights advocate. I am trying to engage in more important topics and writing is how I connect with my community and the world.