|Born||Howard Arthur Allen
February 10, 1949
Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
|Criminal penalty||148 years in prison|
Span of killings
|August 4, 1987|
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.
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.