As more stories about people living double lives are brought to light, it becomes apparent that these people are never who we thought they’d be. They’re people who look like coworkers, neighbors, and who are as warm and sweet as a close family member or friend.
Simply put: they’re not people who we’d ever think would commit murder. But in the case of the following story, a deacon and family man from Minnesota was fooling everyone. Here we explain how forensic specialists, detectives, and prosecutors untangled his web of lies…
Featured photo credit: www.scoopnest.com
Stephen and Amy Allwine were college sweethearts. They’d been married for 20 years and they had an 8-year-old adopted son who was the center of their world. Amy, 44, was passionate about her dog training business, Active Dog Sports Training LLC, which she ran out of a barn on their property. Her husband Stephen, 44, was an IT professional in the insurance industry and he also worked from home.
Religious Church-Going Family Man
They were leaders in their church in Minnesota, with Stephen being a deacon and church elder. They even made videos of dance moves consistent with their faith, with limited touching. To the outside world, the couple seemed like they were more than happily married. But on November 13, 2016, Stephen arrived home with his son to find his wife dead on the ground. He said in his chilling 911 call…
Unemotional Call To 911
“I think my wife shot herself, there’s blood all over.” The heart-wrenching call came in a few weeks before Thanksgiving. When police arrived at the home that evening, they found Amy in the bedroom with a gunshot wound to her head and a 9mm handgun to her body. Allwine told police Amy wasn’t feeling well when she woke up that morning. He said he spent the morning working in his basement office.
After lunch, Stephen called his father-in-law to take the couple’s son, so he could take Amy to the doctor. But then Amy started feeling better. So around 5 p.m., Allwine picked up his son from his in-laws, got gas and when they returned home, his son walked into the house first and saw his mother lying on the floor…
Son’s Curious Comment
In the background of the 911 call, you could hear the boy ask a startling question to his father, “Are you going to remarry?” To which, Allwine responded, “I don’t know bud.” Allwine’s response to the bizarre question with a chuckle made the call all the more eery.
Then when the 911 dispatcher asked Allwine if his wife still has the weapon, his response was, “I don’t know, we just got home.” The dispatcher then asked, “Did she shoot herself?” to which Allwine responded, “I don’t know. I just saw her and her blood.” So after he concluded his wife shot herself, he said he didn’t see a gun. Something just didn’t make sense. But, there were other clues that made detectives suspicious…
It Appeared To Be A Crime Scene
The gun was found near the left side of Amy’s body, but she was right-handed. It also appeared Amy’s body had been moved. There was blood splatter in the hallway and ultraviolet light showed bloody footprints. Someone had tried to clean up what detectives considered a crime scene.
When Allwine met with police a few days later for an interview, his demeanor seemed flat, showing little emotion. Prosecutors felt it was “creepy.” But in the interview with police, Allwine made a surprising confession. He revealed that months earlier, he had an affair with a woman he met on the cheater’s site, AshleyMadison.com. Detectives then learned of two other women that Allwine had affairs with…
The Dark Web
For detectives, nothing about this case was what it appeared to be. Amy’s death wasn’t a suicide, nor a crime of passion, it was a cold and calculated killing, months in the making. Five months earlier in June 2016, the FBI had contacted the Allwines and Cottage Grove Police. They told the family that they received information that a murder for hire inquiry had been located on the Dark Web, which is a part of the internet that is untraceable.
Hiring A Hitman
Then, they informed the family that Amy Allwine was the “intended target.” The website was called BesaMafia and claimed to be run by Albanian gangsters, contracting with hitmen around the world. Someone had recently hacked the site and posted their private emails for the world to see. This included an email from someone in Minnesota, with the name, Dogdaygod…
The message read, “I am looking to hire you for a hit, but what is the recommended way to convert cash to bitcoin anonymously.” Dogdaygod continued, “This bitch has torn my family apart by sleeping with my husband (who then left me), and is stealing clients from my business.” Over the next two months, there were dozens of emails, as Dogdaygod sent $13,000 in anonymous Bitcoin to BesaMafia.
Web Of Lies
The user asked them to kill Amy while she traveled out of town to Illinois, making it look like an accident. However, that fell through, but there was another plan to kill Amy at home during Spring Break when her husband and son were away. Dogdaygod writes, “How much would it be to kill her at home, and then burn the house so that they cannot tell if anything was stolen or not?” But that falls through too. It was the level of detail that stood out to detectives as this person knew Amy’s every move. They wondered if Amy could have been having an affair as well? Did she have secrets just like her husband?
BesaMafia Was A Scam
It turns out that BesaMafia was a big scam. After the website was exposed for stealing money from people and then giving every reason under the sun why a hitman never showed up to do their job, they left a note on their website. “Besa Mafia has closed for business. After 6 months of scamming criminals for their bitcoins and stealing over 100 BTC, the site has closed. No one was ever beaten up or killed.”
Solving The Jigsaw Puzzle
The website itself may have been fake, but the threat to Amy was very real. The FBI told the Allwine’s about the threat in June 2016 and 5 months later, Amy was dead. During the investigation, FBI investigators interviewed Amy’s friends, but it was unclear if her husband was ever considered a suspect. In the FBI’s defense, they didn’t have probable cause to seize equipment from the home until after Amy’s death…
Finding The Untraceable Evidence
The $13,000 that Dogdaygod sent to BesaMafia is virtually untraceable unless you know the unique 34 character code, known as a Bitcoin wallet. It was discovered that Allwine had written down a Bitcoin code on his iPhone. Seconds later, that exact address was sent to BesaMafia. But the lucky break didn’t come until months later when that deleted note was backed up on Allwine’s laptop when he connected it with his iPhone.
Drugging His Wife
It appeared that Allwine got a little lazy with his online accounts and he continued using the username Dogdaygod. Dogdaygod was also hanging out on Reddit, asking questions about scopolamine, an anti-nausea drug that in high enough doses acts as a truth serum, making someone almost completely incapacitated. The medical examiner found 40x the recommended dose in Amy’s body, which is likely why she was so sick that morning and so easy to kill. Allwine, being an IT guy, thought he had all his bases covered, but he clearly didn’t…
In January 2017, Stephen Allwine was arrested and charged with first-degree premeditated murder. Still, many of the Allwine’s friends from church still didn’t believe that Stephen, a man of God, was a cold-blooded killer. Even though Allwine was charged with murder, many church-goers continued to support him, unwilling to believe that he could be a killer. During the two-week trial, they were present every day, learning about his three extramarital affairs.
All Signs Pointed In One Direction
According to investigators, Allwine was never passionate about his innocence and he never once said anything like, “I didn’t do this. You need to find out who did it.” Many would identify Allwine as a “functional psychopath.” For prosecutors, the case was a jigsaw puzzle they pieced together for the jury. While Allwine never took the stand, it took the jury only 8 hours to reach their decision, that Stephen Allwine was guilty on all counts. At sentencing weeks later, Allwine finally spoke saying…
“No one ever talked bad about our relationship…I never went to sleep, and I never woke up without kissing her, the grief of losing her is tremendous.” He continued, “I’ve never asked for anything, except to work for God.” Then, in a letter to the judge, Amy’s parents called Stephen, “A selfish person,” and said, “forgiveness will take time.”
A Complete Facade
To this day, many believe that Amy never had a clue that the person who was trying to kill her wasn’t a rival in the dog business, but instead her husband sleeping beside her for 20 years. Allwine didn’t want to be married anymore and it’s believed that he didn’t want to lose face in his church and divorce was not condoned. Murder was literally a better option for him than divorce. Allwine plans to minister his fellow inmates and he will have plenty of time, as he will spend the rest of his life in prison.