The Delphi murders refers to a homicide cold-case which involved two young teenagers Abigail Williams and Liberty German. In February, 2017 both girls were kidnapped and murdered while playing near the Monon High Bridge trail in Delphi, Indiana. The case grew in popularity after a video surfaced of a suspicious unidentified male walking towards them. A partial recording of his voice was also released. A few sketch’s were released by the police department that provided some leads. No arrests have been made, and the unidentified subject (unsub) still remains at large.
I became interested in this case when it was initially reported given all of the available evidence shared online. Using my skills with deductive reasoning I want to suggest a few working theories I’ve developed studying this case. I will continue to update this page with more information as it becomes available. It is my hope that this project can provide some suggestive leads to help solve this tragic case and bring the perpetrator to justice.
Body Language & Type of Weapon
(1) Let’s start with the assumption that the unsub used a gun.
- A fair assumption given it’s two different girls. It’s an open public space during broad daylight. The unsub needed to control them quickly in order to abduct them.
- The fact that he doesn’t initially threaten them is telling. He makes a simple calming request “Guys, get down the hill!” This calm request suggests that he didn’t need to raise his voice, which must have meant that he showed them something that made the girls immediately submit and unable to get away (gun).
- The girls bodies were found 0.5 miles from the bridge where they were last seen playing. If they were killed elsewhere then this would have meant that they were escorted there. But being escorted through the thick woods would present several opportunities to run away. Yet, the girls still did not or could not run away. Therefore, it was highly likely that running wasn’t an option for them because they were being held at ‘gunpoint‘.
- The police in Delphi, Indiana have not officially released the cause of death for the victims, but police have already likened similarities between other cases involving a gun.
- There is no visible holster for a weapon. The unsub is wearing thick clothes that probably helped to conceal it. Likely, a small revolver or pistol something he can conceal in his car or on his person.
(2) Given the fact that one of the girls filmed the unsub meant that they must have felt uncomfortable and guarded from the beginning. This tells us a few things about his character,
- His intention were not well hidden. His body language seemed awkward and nefarious. It looks as if he’s walking with a purpose — fully intent on what he’s about to do.
- Unlike serial murders like Ted Bundy and Bela Kiss. The unsub might not have the social skills to approach these girls with a confidence trick or light conversation.
Crime & Opportunity
(1) I believe the Unsub was using social media to track the girls location.
- The girls age makes them part of the Generation-Z or Gen Z. This generation typically use newer social media platforms like Snapchat and Tiktok.
- Since we do know the girls were using Snapchat then it is extremely likely the unsub used this to track them.
- It is likely the unsub used a fake account to follow them.
- His online personality may be artificial and contrary to his actual persona.
- Snapchat uses a group-chat feature that posts onto a board that users can follow. If the girls were posting about their hike then this would explain how the unsub knew their location and that they would be vulnerable.
(2) The unsub seemed familiar with the area and may have originally grew up there.
- The fact that the unsub took measures to conceal his identity may hint to the fact that the unsub is from that area and didn’t want to be recognized.
- The fact that he abducted the girls 0.5 miles from there last known location and disappeared into the woods. This is suggestive of knowledge of the terrain.
- Reports were given of an unidentified vehicle that was seen parked near the site where the two girls were later found.
- Having knowledge of the terrain would have likely meant the unsub may have frequented that park-trail as a hiker or jogger. It’s also very possible that the unsub frequented this area as a hunting ground to scope potential victims. It’s very possible that someone may have seen him before while walking/jogging and felt uncomfortable with his presence.
(3) What can be deduced from his clothing may hint towards his occupation and validate some of his behavioral tendencies.
- He wore thick clothes and hiking sneakers. His jeans were fitted, probably held up by a belt. A brown fanny-pack can be seen around his waist. And the flat cap he wears is unusual for a millennial style. This suggest at the time of the murder the unsub was likely in his 40 to early 50’s (Gen X).
- An organized killer that plans his crimes. He likely holds down a full or part time job.
- Working off of the assumption that the unsub lacks social skills suggests that he does not work in a field or position that requires much verbal commitment.
- Likely, socially awkward and introverted. May seem friendly to talk to but will avoid larger group interactions.
- Sexually deviant. Has a fantasy world he regularly escapes to that involves sadomasochism & child pornography.
- His perverse online activities merits secrecy. He likely has some computer skills to access restricted content on the dark-web. It‘s likely he uses an open-source UI, like Linux OS or Onion.
- He’s ashamed of what he is. He won’t talk about himself much, he’ll usually speak mostly about mundane daily activities while using superficial language.
Conclusions: I would deduce from the available information that the unsub more than likely works in a computer related field. He is socially awkward and mostly self-absorbed. He is either self-employed or works in a computer related field.
- The fact the unsub has a gun is no surprise given that Indiana is one of the few states with open carry laws and concealed gun permits (source link).
- Cleanly look. His clothes don’t appear dirty or unkempt so that makes a laborer unlikely.
- The fact that he’s overweight probably means he doesn’t get much regular exercise because most jobs in tech involve being situated. Also, may have a poor diet snacking on chips and fast food.
- People in tech work a lot of odd hours. Perhaps lacking a regular sleep pattern would mean he consumes more caffeinated drinks than a regular person.
- Again, an occupation that would compliment a person who is socially awkward and self absorbed.
What the police should do is obtain a federal warrant for the social media platform Snapchat to access the girls account information. Investigate the user-accounts of each of the people that follow the girls. Look for sex offenders who live near and around the area that have a background in technology or a computer related field. This person is compulsive and sexually deviant. He will not stop consuming child-pornography. If arrested police will find an abundance of evidence on his personal computer.