Minneapolisi, Minnesota. Stephen Carl Allwine worked as an IT specialist and was a deacon at the United Church of God. His wife Amy had a dog training business at their Cottage Grove home. They had been married for 20 years and had an adopted nine-year-old son.
On November 13, 2016, around 7:00 pm, Stephen Allwine made the following 911 call from his home:
Operator: 911, what’s the address of the emergency?
Stephen Allwine: I… think… I think my wife… I think my wife shot herself. There is blood all over.
We note the stuttering “I think” especially because Allwine doesn’t ask for help for his wife.
Note that he doesn’t introduces his wife Amy as expected. The social introductionis a key to understand a relationship. We always note the incomplete social introduction, usually a signal of a poor relationship. We assume that during an emergency call the reason for an incomplete social introduction could be the urgency.
Boy: Shot herself with a gun?
Stephen Allwine: It looks like it.
Operator: Does she still have the weapon?
Stephen Allwine: I don’t know. We just got home.
Note that Allwine doesn’t just answer the question but adds “We just got home”.
Note the use of “just”. “just” is a dependent word used to comparison. Its communication is found in dependence upon another thought and as other dependent words reveals withheld information.
We always note sentence like “We just got home”. This could be “alibi building” and the use of “We” could show a desire to hide in a crowd.
Operator: Where did she shoot herself?
Stephen Allwine: I don’t know. I just saw her and… and blood.
Allwine is referring the operator that he doesn’t know if his wife shot herself, so why his first words were “I… think… I think my wife… I think my wife shot herself”? This is a discrepancy.
Operator: Okay, do you see her right now?
Stephen Allwine: No. I’m with my son.
Operator: Sir, do you know if she was breathing at all?
Stephen Allwine: I don’t. We just got back from dinner.
Allwine didn’t check on his wife, this is suspect.
Note that “We just got back from dinner” is repeated.
Operator: Okay, would do you like to check on her and see if she is or do you believe she is behind help?
Stephen Allwine: Stay there for just a second, they want me to go check on her. Hang on.
“They want me to go check on her” is unexpected.
Stephen Allwine: She is not breathing, I… I can’t tell where she’s shot, I don’t know.
Note the stuttering “I”, a signal of increase in anxiety.
(Son: Why did she shoot herself?
Stephen Allwine: I don’t know, I don’t know, bud.
Son: Are you gonna remarry?
Stephen Allwine: (laugh) I don’t know, bud).
Operator: Are there any other weapons in the residence, sir?
Stephen Allwine: Yes, there is a shotgun in the room and… uh… two rifles downstairs.
Operator: Ok, is the shotgun the one she has?
Stephen Allwine: No, she had a handgun.
Operator: Is it just you and your son home right now?
Stephen Allwine: Yes.
Operator: Okay, Stephen, are you able to just step out of the… step out of the home with your son, so my officers can see you when they pull up?
Stephen Allwine: Yeah.
Allwine never asked for help for his wife Amy, nor he showed any linguistic concern for her, nor he showed any urgency.
He tried to establish an alibi for himself twice and tried to hide in a crowd twice.
He never introduces his wife Amy as expected. The social introduction is a key to understand a relationship. His linguistic disposition towards his wife tells us that they had a poor relationship at the time of the call.
Stephen Carl Allwine has guilty knowledge of what happened to his wife Amy.
According with the investigation, Amy was killed by a gunshot wound in the right ear and the crime scene looked like it had been staged because many inconsistencies:
- Amy was right-handed and the gun was found lying next to and against her left forearm/elbow area.
- The gunshot wound was on her right side of the head.
- Amy’s hands revealed no soot, no gunpowder stippling, no unburned gunpowder stippling and no blood.
- Amy’s body had been moved and someone had cleaned up the scene.
- Nine bloodstains were found in the hallway floor and lower north wall outs the master bedroom where the victim was found. A large area on the hardwood floor had blood on it but had been cleaned. Nine bloody footprints that appeared to have been cleaned up were enhanced using Luminol on the floor between the master bedroom and the laundry room.
- The autopsy revealed that Amy had scopolamine, in large quantity in her system. Scopolamine is an anti-nausea drug that she was never prescribed.
- Local law enforcement noted no force entry into the home.
According with the prosecutors Stephen Allwine’s had tried to hire a hitman to murder his wife but when his plan failed he drugged Amy to incapacitate her, then killed her with a single gunshot wound to the head and made her murder look like a suicide.
On January 31, 2017, Stephen Carl Allwine, 43, was convicted by a Washington County jury of first-degree premeditated murder in the killing of Amy Allwine on Nov. 13, 2016. On February 2, 2018, he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The Washington County prosecutors argued that Stephen’s motive was to collect his wife’s $700,000 life insurance policy, of which he was the sole benefactor.
Stephen Allwine is serving his term at the St. Cloud Prison.