Conservative Christian Preacher Stephen Allwine Thinks Murdering His Wife Better Than Divorcing Her
I watched a true-crime program about a guy named Stephen Allwine.
Stephen Allwine, and his wife, Amy, belonged to a conservative Christian church. I believe the show said they attended the Church of God.
The narrator doing the voice over on this show explained that the Allwine’s denomination strongly disapproved of divorce, so rather than divorce his wife, Stephen murdered her.
You know we have one messed up interpretation of the Bible, and some very messed up theology, when churches and some Christians make divorce out to be so bad that it looks worse than murder.
Murder becomes preferable to divorce to some. That is where some Christian attitudes and legalism leads.
This is my second post like this on this blog – I did another one just like it awhile ago about another married Christian couple, where the husband hired men to kill his wife, because he belonged to a church that felt that divorce was almost an unforgivable sin.
This Allwine guy also had affairs on his wife. Prior to killing his wife, he was on the website for married cheaters: “Ashley Madison.”
Here are some links to news reports about Allwine’s murder of his wife:
A Minnesota preacher in a failing marriage, who failed in his attempt to hire a hitman using bitcoin on the dark web, also failed to convincingly stage his wife’s murder as a suicide — a final misstep that ultimately led to his arrest, officials said.
…The couple, who met at a Christian college and were active members of their church together also adopted a son.
Stephen Allwine, a religious man who served as a church elder and deacon at a United Church of God congregation also offered marriage counseling to couples having trouble.
Allwine allegedly learned of Ashley Madison, a website where consumers were encouraged to have a secret extramarital affair, while counseling, prosecutors alleged.
The preacher allegedly had affairs with at least two women. Allwine reportedly wanted out of his marriage but the United Church of God encouraged couples to stay together.
This headline is via the Washington Post (I am not linking to it):
“A church elder’s Ashley Madison affairs led him to the dark Web”
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…
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.
…. 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…
STILLWATER, Minn. (KMSP) – Stephen Allwine told a Washington County courtroom he always loved his wife, Amy, and did not kill her.
“I’ve never asked for anything, except to work for God,” said Allwine, 44, who was a deacon and elder in his church.
Judge B. William Ekstrum, clearly annoyed, did not buy it. “You are an incredible actor, a hypocrite, and a cold and calculating killer,” said Ekstrum, as he sentenced Allwine to life in prison without parole.
On Wednesday, it took a jury only eight hours of deliberation to find Allwine guilty of first-degree premeditated murder.
Amy Allwine, 43, was found shot to death on November 13, 2016, inside the couple’s Cottage Grove home on 110th St. Stephen Allwine told police that he and his 10-year old son discovered the body when they came home. He said earlier in the day, Amy was sick and he had asked his father-in-law to take his son so he could take Amy to the doctor.
In the 911 call to police by Stephen made it sound like a suicide. “I think my wife shot herself,” he told the 911 dispatcher. “There’s blood all over.” In the background, the couple’s son can be heard saying to his father, “Are you going to remarry?”
To Cottage Grove Police it appeared the crime scene had been staged. The gun was near her left hand, and she was right handed. It appeared her body had been moved. It also appeared as though someone had attempted to clean the crime scene.
And then there was the issue of the hit man.
THE ‘BESA MAFIA’ SCAM
Nine months before Amy was killed, in February of 2016, the FBI had contacted the Allwines and Cottage Grove Police to tell them agents had shut down a phony murder-for-hire operation on the so-called Dark Net called Besa Mafia.
Someone with the name “DogDayGod” had transferred $12,000 in untraceable Bitcoin in an attempt to hire a hit man. The person represented themselves as a competitor of Amy Allwine’s dog training business.
But the FBI apparently never considered Stephen Allwine a suspect. The break in the case would come when a computer forensic expert, Mark Lanterman, discovered a 34-digit Bitcoin address on Allwine’s computer. It matched the same address obtained when FBI agents shut down Besa Mafia. Prosecutors say Besa Mafia was a scam to begin with and there were never any hit men.
Cottage Grove Detective Randy McAlister discovered “DogDayGod” also attempted to buy the anti-nausea drug Scopolamine on a Dark Net site called “Dream Market.” In heavy doses, the drug can make people disoriented and extremely compliant. The autopsy revealed Amy had been given 20 times the therapeutic dose of Scopolamine.
TAKING HIS BIBLE TO PRISON
Allwine did not take the stand in his own defense during the trial. His defense attorney said they spoke exhaustively about the decision. Allwine’s rambling and disjointed eight-minute statement before sentencing represents his only public comments.
“I never went to sleep, and I never woke up without kissing her,” Allwine told the court before he was sentenced. “The grief of losing her is tremendous.”
“No one ever talked bad about our relationship,” said Allwine. He said they never even argued.
Allwine said he has met drug addicts, child molestors, and kidnappers while in the Washington County Jail, and he’s been conducting Bible study.
“I’m going to take my Bible to St. Cloud (Prison), and see what happens,” Allwine said.
….HIS CHURCH RESPONDS
The Council of Elders at Allwine’s church, the United Church of God, removed him from ministry in 2017 after he was charged with first-degree murder. This week the church responded to the sentencing.