Howard Allen

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Not to be confused with William Howard Allen.
Howard Allen
Howard Arthur Allen.jpg
Born Howard Arthur Allen
(1949-02-10) February 10, 1949 (age 67)
Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Criminal penalty 148 years in prison
Victims 3
Span of killings
Country United States
State(s) Indiana
Date apprehended
August 4, 1987

Howard Arthur Allen (born February 10, 1949) is a serial killer from Indianapolis, Indiana. He murdered three elderly people and also committed assault, burglary, and arson.


In August 1974, Allen beat Opal Cooper, age 85, to death in her home during a robbery. He was sentenced to 2–21 years for manslaughter and paroled in January 1985.

On May 18, 1987, he choked and beat a 73-year-old woman in her home, who survived.

On May 20, 1987, later, he assaulted Laverne Hale, age 87, resulting in her death nine days later.

On June 2, 1987, he burglarized the house of an elderly man just five blocks from the scene of Laverne Hale's murder. This time the tenant was absent; Allen vented his anger by setting the house on fire.

On July 14, 1987, he killed Ernestine Griffin, age 73, with a ten-inch butcher knife and repeatedly struck her on the head with a toaster. He stole a camera and $15. He was arrested later that day.


At Allen's trial, witnesses linked him with the May 18, 1987, attack, leading to his indictment on charges of battery, burglary, and unlawful confinement. He was also charged with arson and burglary (from the June 2 incident) and the murder of Ernestine Griffin.

As it happened, Lavern Hale had been a neighbor of Allen's, living directly behind Allen's house. Allen remains a suspect in Hale's murder, based upon the killer's modus operandi. He is also a suspect in 11 other cases involving the robbery or assault of elderly victims in their homes around Indianapolis.

He was found guilty of burglary and felony battery in the May 18 assault and was sentenced to 88 years in prison for those two charges.

On June 11, 1988, he was sentenced to death by lethal injection for the murder of Ernestine Griffin. On August 30, 1988, he was placed on death row where he spent the next 25 years awaiting a ruling by a U.S. District Court on a petition for a writ of habeas corpus.[1][2]

On June 4 2013 the First District Court found Allen ineligible for execution by reason of mental retardation and he was therefore sentenced to 60 years. Allen was later transferred to the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility. As of 2016, his earliest possible release date is April 23, 2035, when he will be 86 years old.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ALLEN, HOWARD A. # 56". Indiana Death Row. Prosecuting Attorney Clark County Indiana. 1 July 2006. Retrieved 23 January 2007. 
  2. ^ Newton, Michael (2006). The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers (2nd ed.). Checkmark Books. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-8160-6196-9. 

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