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,
- His body language and walking seemed unnatural and awkward. The unsub might not have the social skills to approach the girls with a confidence trick or light conversation. Killers like Ted Bundy were incredibly good at this.
- It looks as if he’s already walking with a purpose — fully intent on what he’s about to do. Which could also mean that he suffers from some type of compulsive behavior.
- May participate in other risky behaviors such as playing the lottery or gambling.
- Explosive temper and anxiety.
- Poor diet and eating habits.
Identity & Opportunity
(1) I believe this was not a crime of opportunity. The unsub somehow knew that the girls would be there and alone.
- As he’s walking up to the girls it does not appear he discovers them. It seemed that he knew that they were going to be there.
- It is very possible that the suspect was a parent of one of the girls classmates. The victims may have tried to invite another friend who perhaps knew the perpetrator. The classmate may have asked permission to go from an older brother or father figure but was denied. But upon hearing of this opportunity went himself.
- Another possibility is that the unsub is a coworker of one of the victims parents. The parents may have unknowingly told the unsub were their children were. They may have said it in a conversation that was overheard or a possible Freudian-slip.
- Another possibility is that the sister who dropped off the two girls. She may have unknowingly revealed where she was going or doing that day. The unsub somehow found out and saw it as a sinister opportunity.
- Lastly, he may have been just a passerby that saw the girls being dropped off. Perhaps he works in transportation. His purpose there may have been to rest or stretch his legs before he noticed the girls.
(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 black 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 in his 40-50’s Gen X/Boomer.
- An organized killer that plans his crimes. He likely holds down a full or part time job.
- His light blue jeans and fitted jacket looks more like the typical style fitting a Union laborer. He may possibly work as a labor hand in an industrial manufacturing business. And since most modern industrial manufacturers run on computers it’s also a possibility he works as a computer administrator.
- It is more likely that the unsub works in transportation.
- Truckers usually carry guns because of the risk of robbery during transport.
- Cleanly look. His clothes don’t look dirty or unkempt.
- He’s overweight probably doesn’t have a regular healthy diet. Could frequently snack on gas station foods. Also, doesn’t get regular exercise because he’s mostly sitting.
- Wouldn’t drink much alcohol given his occupation. Perhaps consumes more energy drinks, sugar, and coffee than a regular person.
- Fitting occupation for a person who is socially awkward and doesn’t require much social interaction.
- 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 one on one but avoids 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.
- 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.