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Q&A: Kelsi German, Libby’s sister, on new murder charges in Delphi
‘I think all of us … thought we would be jumping with joy.’ Why Kelsi German says Monday’s news about the 2017 Abby and Libby case is more complicated than that
Thanks to Purdue University and the podcast, “This is Purdue,” for sponsoring today’s edition. In this episode of “This Is Purdue,” the official Purdue University podcast, we’re talking to chemistry teacher and TikTok superstar Phil Cook (BS chemistry education '00). Join the podcast team for a firsthand look at Phil’s viral Halloween experiments, including an exploding pumpkin, liquid nitrogen marshmallows and flaming candy corn. Subscribe here to never miss an episode.
‘I THINK ALL OF US … THOUGHT WE WOULD BE JUMPING WITH JOY’
Kelsi German has positioned herself in the past 5½ years to be the lead advocate for keeping the story of her sister, Libby German, and her friend Abby Williams alive.
On Monday, after Indiana State Police investigators announced murder charges against Richard Allen, a 50-year-old Delphi man, in the 2017 deaths of Abby and Libby, Kelsi German said she was still trying to get her head around who Allen was and what was coming next.
“It’s been a crazy day, for sure,” German said.
A sealed probable cause leaves open why investigators believe Allen – once an employee at Delphi’s CVS store – was tied to the murders along the town’s High Bridge Trail. And Carroll County Prosecutor Nick McLeland’s call for additional tips about Allen or anyone else leaves the case very much open.
More from Monday: ‘Just eerie:’ Abby and Libby’s suspected killer found living in Delphi
With that backdrop, German met Monday afternoon to talk it through.
Question: Investigators gave you and the rest of the families a preview in a back room of what they were going to say in the news conference. Did you learn more or something different than what you heard in the church sanctuary with everyone else?
Kelsi German: Not really. Basically just a rundown of everything that was going to happen. We’ve grown a connection with these people. We're all living in this moment. And I think it's a relief for all of us, in some ways, but they know that we have a lot more work to do. They just reiterated that for us and made sure that we knew that every step of the way, they're here for us. … There's a lot of things we need to protect going into the trial. So, the less we know, the better. As much as we want to know absolutely everything, we don't need to at this point. It'll just ensure that we're doing everything properly.
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Question: There were questions about investigators not releasing more about the suspect and asking the court to seal the probable cause affidavit. That doesn’t bother you?
Kelsi German: Obviously, we know a little bit more. Those other things, I'm OK not knowing, just because I do all of these interviews, and I don't want there ever to be a chance where I say something that gives the defense attorney a reason to question me or create any sense of doubt. We want to make sure that this goes forward, so we have an answer at the end of the day.
Question: Given that there was so much information floating out there since Friday, did you learn anything today? Or was it all confirmation of what you knew?
Kelsi German: It was all confirmation.
Question: About Richard Allen – do you know him at all? Have you ever run into him in any way?
Kelsi German: I’m sure there were times where I was in CVS and he was there. As much as I’ve always said I'm watching every single person around me, I don't think I ever looked at him and thought that he was the guy or even really paid attention to what he looked like. Maybe even when I say I'm looking at the people around me, I'm still not looking hard enough. I had no idea who he was. I had no idea he existed until Friday.
Question: Have you learned anything else on your own about him? Have people checked in with you, saying they know this or know that about him?
Kelsi German: I probably can't comment too much on that. I've been doing nonstop research for the last few days. But I don't want to give my opinions or, really, thoughts about him.
Question: What do you want to say to him? Or have you thought that far ahead, yet?
Kelsi German: No. In the past, I had written him letters of all of the things that I thought I wanted to say. And throughout different phases of grief, they've always changed. And right now, I don't quite know where I am with that. But I know someday I'm going to say something to him – hopefully, in the form of a victim impact statement at the end of the trial. I don't know what those words are going to be it, but I'm looking forward to figuring that out.
Question: Your grandma mentioned to reporters today that she didn’t feel the way she thought she would. She talked about thinking she would be shouting this from the rooftops. Instead it was way more reserved today. How did that go for you?
Kelsi German: That’s pretty accurate to our whole family, I would say. I think all of us, even law enforcement, thought we would be jumping with joy and so excited for them to share with us that information and for us to have an answer. But I don't think we will get back there until this is completely over. So, we weren't elated, we weren't jumping with joy and excited. It reopened old wounds. It made us have to go back to that day and remember different things that happened. And it's just a reminder of what happened that day. So it wasn't exciting, although it makes you have a little bit more peace and relief. We shouldn't have to be here. And we shouldn't have to be going through this. So, it's definitely hard. As glad as we are that this day is here, it's a hard thing to get through.
Question: Do you feel your role is going to change from the role you’ve taken on in the past five-plus years?
Kelsi German: I don't know yet. … But I will always be out there sharing our girls’ story and continuing to make sure people know that they're at the forefront. And they will be the ones that are on my page every day, not this monster that we have a face for now. He doesn't deserve that. I will be out there making sure that people know that the girls are still real people, and they still deserve their story told every day. That would be my job.
Question: Do you have any kind of message you want to get out, as your social media feed goes nuts right about now?
Kelsi German: Absolutely. As I say, just always have faith. Our guys know what they're doing. They're doing all of the hard work. Just keep turning tips in. They're going to keep going through them. Whether you think it's important or not, it might be important to them. We're going to get to the end of this at some point, and we're going to be tremendously grateful for any help we can get in getting there.
TIP LINE: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 765-822-3535.
FOR MORE ON THE INVESTIGATION: The Indiana State Police maintains a site with composite sketches, audio and video files, along with reward information, in the 2017 murders of Abby Williams and Libby German. Go to: https://www.in.gov/isp/delphi.htm
Thanks, again, to Purdue University for its support of today’s edition. Catch the latest episode of the “This is Purdue” podcast, featuring Purdue alum, chemistry teacher and TikTok superstar Phil Cook, with a look at his viral, Halloween-themed experiments.
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