Juan Ignacio Blanco  


  MALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  FEMALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z




Murderpedia has thousands of hours of work behind it. To keep creating new content, we kindly appreciate any donation you can give to help the Murderpedia project stay alive. We have many
plans and enthusiasm to keep expanding and making Murderpedia a better site, but we really
need your help for this. Thank you very much in advance.




Howard Arthur ALLEN





Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Robberies - Arson
Number of victims: 3 +
Date of murders: 1974 / 1987
Date of arrest: August 4, 1987
Date of birth: February 10, 1949
Victims profile: Opal Cooper, 85 / Laverne Hale, 87 / Ernestine Griffin, 73
Method of murder: Beating - Stabbing with knife
Location: Marion County, Indiana, USA
Status: Sentenced to death June 11, 1988

Howard Arthur Allen (b. February 10, 1949) is a serial killer from Indianapolis, Indiana. He is believed to be responsible for the deaths of three elderly people, as well as assault, burglary, and arson.

  • August 1974: Beat to death Opal Cooper, age 85, in her home during a robbery. Sentenced to 2–21 years for manslaughter and paroled in January 1985.

  • May 18, 1987: Assaulted a 73-year-old woman in her home, who survived.

  • May 20, 1987: Assaulted Laverne Hale, age 87, resulting in her death nine days later.

  • June 2, 1987: Burglarized the house of an elderly man, then set it on fire.

  • July 14, 1987: Killed Ernestine Griffin, age 73, with kitchen knives and a toaster in her home while attempting to purchase a car. He stole a camera and $15. He was arrested later that day.

  • August 4, 1987: Arrested. Indicted based on witness testimony of the May 18th attack and charged for the May 18th, June 2nd, and June 14th attacks. Soon linked to the May 20th attack as well as eleven other assaults of elderly persons in Indianapolis.

  • Spring 1988: Sentenced to 88 years in prison for burglary and felony battery.

  • June 11, 1988: Sentenced to death for the murder and robbery of Ernestine Griffin.

  • August 30, 1988: Placed on death row, where as of 2006 he remains awaiting ruling by a U.S. District Court on a petition for writ of habeas corpus.



ON DEATH ROW since 08-30-88

DOB: 02-10-1949
881978 - Black Male

Marion County Superior Court
Judge John R. Barney, Jr.

Prosecutor: Thomas Farlow, Robert Thomas, John Commons

Defense: Alex Voils, David B. Sexton

Date of Murder: July 14, 1987

Victim(s): Ernestine Griffin W/F/73 (No relationship to Allen)

Method of Murder: stabbing with butcher knife

Summary: Ernestine Griffin was an elderly lady who lived alone near 57th and Keystone in Indianapolis. She lived next to the dental office of Dr. Seaman, who knew her quite well. One day Griffin called and advised that a man had stopped by her house inquiring about an old car Dr. Seaman had for sale. Griffin stated that she had the man write down his name and number and she passed it along to Dr. Seaman: "Howard Allen 545-4109." The next morning, Dr. Seaman walked over to her house and discovered Griffin's body lying on the floor with a butcher knife in her chest. Griffin also suffered a blunt force injury to her face. A note with the name and phone number of Allen was found in the kitchen. A handwriting expert would later testify that Allen had indeed written the note. Allen at first denied all knowledge of Griffin or Dr. Seaman. Over several hours of questioning, he finally admitted that he had been in the home asking about the car and had struck her with his fist. He stated that he did so only after Dr. Seaman had insulted him on the phone and Griffin had cussed him. Finally, he said, "I didn't stab the lady, but if I did, I need help." A co-worker at the car wash where Allen worked testified that Allen had given him a camera on the day of the murder to put in a locker. The camera was identified by serial number and the film still in the camera as belonging to Griffin.

Conviction: Murder, Felony-Murder, Robbery (A Felony)

Sentencing: August 30, 1988 (Death Sentence, 50 years - Murder/Felony Murder merged)

Aggravating Circumstances: b (1) Robbery

Mitigating Circumstances: dysfunctional family, education, and social environment, parents separated and divorced, mental retardation, low intelligence, mental instability.


Howard Arthur Allen

A black serial killer with a taste for elderly victims, Howard Allen never strayed far from hometown Indianapolis in his search for prey.

In August 1974, at age 24 years, he invaded the home of 85-year-old Opal Cooper, beating her to death in the course of a petty robbery. Convicted on a reduced charge of manslaughter, Allen received a term of two to twentyone years in state prison. Paroled in January 1985, he returned to Indianapolis and found work at a car wash, biding his time before he resumed the hunt.

On 18 May 1987, a woman 73 years, of Indianápolis narrowly escaped death when she was choked and beaten by a prowler in her home. Two days later, Laverne Hale, 87, was attacked in a similar fashion, dying of her injuries on May 29.

The raids continued, on June 2, when a burglar ransacked the home of an elderly man five blocks from the scene of Laverne Hale's murder. This time, the tenant was absent; the prowler vented his anger by setting the house on fire.

On July 14, Ernestine Griffin, age 73, was murdered in her Indianapolis home, stabbed eight times with a ten-inch butcher knife, a kitchen toaster smashed repeatedly against her skull. Grieving relatives estimated that the killer had escaped with fifteen dollars and a camera belonging to his victim.

The case broke on August 4, 1987, with Howard Allen's arrest on multiple charges. Witnesses linked him with the May 18 attack, leading to Allen's indictment on charges of battery, burglary, and unlawful confinement. He was also charged with arson and burglary (from the June 2 incident), as well as the murder of Ernestine Griffin.

Police were not finished with their suspect, however. As it happened, Laverne Hale had been a neighbor of Allen's, living directly behind his house, and he remains a suspect in her murder, based upon the killer's modus operandi. In early August, detectives announced that Allen was a prime suspect in eleven other cases, each involving robbery or assault of elderly victims in their homes around Indianapolis.

On the spring 1988, Allen was convicted of burglary and felony battery in the May 18 assault, with an additional count of habitual criminal behavior. He was sentenced to 88 years on those charges, but the worst was yet to come. 

On June 11, 1988, he was convicted of murder and robbery in the slaying of Ernestine Griffin, with members of his jury recommending the death penalty.

Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial Killers - Hunting Humans


Howard Arthur Allen

In August of 1974, Howard broke into the home of eighty-four-year-old Opal Cooper. Once inside, Howard robbed Opal and then fervently beat her to death. However, he did not get very far. He was quickly arrested after the crime and convicted on a reduced charge of manslaughter.

In 1985, Howard was released from prison.

In May of 1987, Howard brutally beat and choked a seventy-three-year-old woman. Amazingly, she survived. Obviously, his thirst not yet quenched, two days later, Howard assaulted eighty-seven-year-old Laverne Hale. She later died from the wounds he inflicted upon her.

The elderly community of Indianapolis was electrified with fear....

In June of 1987, Howard ransacked the residence of an elderly man, just blocks away from the scene of the Laverne Hale murder. Luckily for the elderly man, he was not home at the time of the break in. Howard vented his anger by setting fire to the home.

In July of 1987, Howard broke into the home of seventy-three-year-old Ernestine Griffin. Howard robbed her of $15.00 and a brownie. He then stabbed her eight times with a ten-inch butcher blade. As if that was not enough, he then picked up a toaster and crushed it down on her head continuously until he was certain that she was dead.

In August of 1987, police finally caught up to Howard and placed him under arrest. Police announced to the media that Howard was the prime suspect in eleven other hideous crimes committed against elderly residents of the Indianapolis area.

Inevitably, Howard Arthur Allen was found guilty, convicted of the Griffin murder sentenced to death.


Howard Arthur Allen



home last updates contact