31 Days of Halloween: Kenneth and Kari Allen
“That was another part of my motivation, to try to make her a better life, so she wouldn’t have to go without…”-Kenneth Lee Allen
When Kenneth Lee Allen talks about his “motivation,” he’s not some pompous Method actor, but an Indiana murderer who “convinced” (i.e. steamrolled) his little sister, Kari Allen, to go along with his disgusting plans to kill their mom and grandparents for family money, so they could “have a better life.” Of course, like most thugs, the so-called better life that Kenneth Allen had in mind revolved around him gambling away his grandparents’ hard-earned savings, not you know, getting a job, or encouraging his sister to stay in school. Ugh. Living clean and working hard may look great on a resume, but in the actuality, in the day-to-day living, it’s tedious as hell.
Kenneth Allen never cared a damn about anyone else’s life, but as coward and a murderer, during his 15 minutes of fame on the black and white interrogation tape, it certainly sounds better to say that you killed to help your little sister, than to admit that you were jealous of your grandparents’ ability to work hard and save money. Kenneth, in his incompetence, was jealous and therefore, his grandparents had to be punished. (When the kids arrived at their grandparents’ home, with two bodies already in the truck, the old man was asleep. Rather than kill him in his sleep, they waited, quietly, for almost an hour, till he woke up and came into the living room and then they were upon him. Think about that: they waited for the old man to wake up. They wanted him to know, to experience, what was being done to him.)
It sounds prettier to talk about how much you loved your little sister, than to admit that you were furious at your mom for divorcing your dad, so killing her came easy. It sounds nicer to talk about saving your little sister than to have the courage to admit that in actuality, you wanted to drag her and your entire family down into your own private hell.
“He explained to me what his plans are…I felt bad for agreeing with it, but I didn’t want to live poorly anymore.”- Kari Allen
…and now for the next 48 years, she’s living rent-free, courtesy of the Rockville Correctional Facility. Her mom and maternal grandparents are dead, her brother’s serving life in prison, without possibility of parole…but hey, she’s not living “poorly,”anymore.
October is the month we live to frighten ourselves with ghost stories, and haunted houses…but what ghost story can compare to the lurid tale of a young man with the “courage” to kill, but the inability to be honest? How does one, with a straight face, seriously tell the police, “Oh I killed to help my little sister.” Right. Note the implication: it’s my sister’s fault I killed. Because of course.
At one point in the interrogation process, the police asked Kenneth Allen, “Do you really care about your sister…more than yourself?” And Kenneth nodded. Perhaps he was tired of speaking lies, because any rational adult watching those tapes knows, in her gut, that Kenneth never cared a damn about anyone, least of all his sister: he took her entire family away from her, brutally killing them before he sloppily, encased them in concrete, under a basement floor. He “convinced” her to have sex with him. Kenneth was a determined, murderous loser, and he wanted company on his lonely descent.
It’s October, and we tell ourselves ghost stories, to raise delicious horror…but the real horror is all around us: banal, cruel and meaningless.