Finally, some news on Marc Allen

A lot of people know that two boys named Johnny Gosch (age twelve) and Eugene Martin (age thirteen) disappeared from Des Moines, Iowa in the 1980s and were never found. But there was a third boy, thirteen-year-old Marc James-Warren Allen, who also vanished mysteriously from Des Moines during that time period, and for whatever reason he never got any media attention.

Well, I have finally, finally, finally found an article about his case. It doesn’t say much, though there doesn’t seem to be much to say. Marc was just gone. Nobody saw or heard anything. No evidence that he ran away. The police refused to investigate for two days — you’d think that from the previous two disappearances they would have learned that time is of the essence, but no.

Marc, if he is still alive, would be 38 years old today.

14 thoughts on “Finally, some news on Marc Allen

  1. J.A. Scrambles-Ashmole, Bart. November 27, 2010 / 10:00 am

    Good find there on the Allen lad, though the headline used (“COLD CASE: The story of a teen boy who disappeared is told yet again”) is a bit underwhelming, like, “Okay, here we go, one more time with this neverending teen boy tale of woe. Yawn. Play it yet again, Sam.”

    • Meaghan November 27, 2010 / 10:15 am

      Especially seeing as how it was never really told in the first place.

      • J.A. Scrambles-Ashmole, Bart. November 27, 2010 / 10:59 am

        Police evidently contrasted poor Marc with the two missing industrious paperboys and perhaps decided, “Ah, this pint-sized little troublemaker, who cares?”

  2. Michael November 28, 2010 / 5:35 pm

    Well, I think there are two possible outcomes of this case. First, I think he was approached by a male neighbor and was raped and killed in that neighbor’s house. It would make sense as he was walking down the street only a few houses. As Mark was a loner and disenchanted, this is a possible scenario…no father, looking for male role model, etc. It is very improbable that he even got to the corner where the major intersection is.

    Secondly, he may be a victim of the same group that kidnapped the other two boys. This was a ring that used the boys for sex with government officials, and were often kidnapped by youths as well, which made them less suspicious and conspicuous. This may have also happened close to his home.

    Either way, it is improbable we’ll hear from him, but perhaps Johnny Gosch’s resurfacing years later may also hold hope for Mark as well.

  3. Kat November 28, 2010 / 10:02 pm

    If you buy that one story…sorry, I just can’t get into Mom’s version. Just can’t. That is me, though.

  4. Mary E Johnson February 28, 2015 / 2:50 am

    Why didn’t this event make the newspaper? That’s two boys on the South Side in the same time period, JUST DISAPPEAR! My daughter went to school w/him at Wright Elem. on S.W. 14th, just two houses south of McKInley Ave. She didn’t see him at Brody so lost track of him. Then a year or less ago, looking up Johnny Gosch, found out about Marc’s disappearance.

  5. Mary E Johnson February 28, 2015 / 2:54 am

    My daughter went to Wright Elementary School in the ’80s. She didn’t see Marc after graduating from Wright and going to Brody Middle School. A year or less ago she was looking up Johnny Gosch and ran across Marc Allen’s disappearance, had no idea this had happen to him. I, also, ask, why wasn’t this made news. That’s two from the South Side in the same neighborhood who disappeared w/in the same time frame.

  6. andrea December 16, 2015 / 11:26 am

    Roger Dean Matice (now serving a lengthy sentence in the federal pen for child porn) should be a suspect. He was born in 1941, grew up in Cedar Rapids, and according to various old newspaper articles would visit various relatives in other areas in Iowa including less than an hour West of Des Moines.

    Matice looks uncannily like the guy in the sketch composite associated with the Johnny Gosch abduction. He has dark brown eyes and when he was younger had black hair even though it is white and grey now.

    Have a look at Matice’s booking photo here and compare it to the sketch of the suspect in the Johnny Gosch abduction:

    Matice had a history of previously sexually assaulting a 12YO paper boy in Cedar Rapids in 1966, when Matice was a 24YO university student. Matice then stayed off of law enforcement’s radar until he was busted for child porn 2 years ago. He’s now doing time in the federal pen for distributing child porn.

    Matice was in his 40’s when Gosch, Martin and Allen disappeared, and that was the estimated age of the perp in the Gosch disappearance.

    Moreover, Matice is, according to his booking information, 5 feet 8 inches, only 1 inch shorter than the witnesses estimated Johnny Gosch’s abductor to be.

    Although Matice appears to have lived in Chicago at the time of the Gosch, Martin and Allen abductions, Matice’s parents still lived in Cedar Rapids and according to old news articles he had grandparents and other relatives less than an hour to the West of Des Moines. It isn’t unconceivable that he could have borrowed a relative’s car when visiting in-state, or that he could have put fake plates on his own car.

    When Matice was busted for child porn 3 years ago in Texas, the county prosecutor said to local media (before the case was transferred to the feds) that Matice had never been in trouble with the law before. I called the prosecutor up to disabuse him of this notion and also emailed him a scanned article in PDF format from Matice’s 1966 assault on the 12YO paperboy in Cedar Rapids. Somehow that was not in *any* computer system anywhere.

    It seems to me that Roger Matice probably therefore was not on anyone’s radar during the Gosch, Martin and Allen investigations.

    But given his physical appearance, ties to Iowa, and his prior assault on a 12YO newspaper boy (plus thte fact that Matice himself had been a newspaper boy when a kid) he needs to be looked at in the Gosch, Martin and Allen cases.

    What sort of car did Matice drive back then? What sort of cars did his relatives own?

    The Allen, Gosch, and Martin disappearances all occurred on a weekend, indicating that the perp probably had a weekday job, he would have had to do his abducting on a weekend. What sort of job did Matice have back then?

    Could the witnesses in the Gosch and Martin abductions who gave physical descriptions maybe look at photos of Roger Matice?

    • George K September 24, 2018 / 5:50 pm

      Hi Andrea. I find it very interesting that you came up with Roger Matice as a suspect for the primary kidnapper (often nicknamed “Emilio”). A couple months back, I happened to find a suspect for the other kidnapper (often nicknamed “Tony”), and they were also living in Chicago at the time. Could there be some kind of connection between the two men? I would be very interested in discussing this with you further. My email is george.t.klees AT

  7. janewalker June 18, 2017 / 12:05 pm

    I can’t get to the article sadly.

  8. JJ January 11, 2018 / 11:07 am

    I have to say that looks exactly like the drawing of the suspect if you put the images side by side they should interview him about the missing boys!

  9. Diane McLellan December 1, 2019 / 2:57 pm

    When I did a mapquest of the addresses of the three boys (Marc Allen, Johnny Gosch and Gene Martin) they all lived within 14 minutes of each other. Different directions but none the less within
    13-14 minute drive. Seeing as all three boys were most likely abducted by someone in a car, 14 minute drive radius is pretty close. I wonder if they did DNA testing on Gene Martin’s paper sack and the several rolled newspapers yet or John Gosch’s wagon? Not sure about Marc Allen at this point due to lack of coverage, but I feel John and Gene were abducted by the same person or people and knew him or them on a personal level. Someone with authority? Teacher, Newspaper empolyee?

  10. Chris Allen October 3, 2022 / 9:26 pm

    Marc Allen is my brother. I’m desperately trying to find answers. My family deserves some answers, some closure.

    • Chris, I head your interview on Unfound. I’m wondering if you have access to phone/address directories from that time period that would reveal who lived in and around the neighborhood? I realize the police probably have checked that, but at this point, I’d say start all over with the basics. It’s entirely possible they missed something. If you’d like a research partner, I’m willing to talk. I’m not an investigator or a psychic or a weirdo stalker or anything. Just an English teacher who follows missing persons stories and tries to figure them out. I wish you peace.

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