A book about Clarence Ray Allen

When I was in the library today I saw this in the new books display: Hands Through Stone: How Clarence Ray Allen Masterminded Murder from Behind Folsom’s Prison Walls by James A. Ardaiz. I wrote about Allen on Executed Today, but the book might be of interest to Charley Project people because, when he ordered the murders that lead to his death sentence, Allen was doing life for the MWAB case of Mary Sue Kitts. She disappeared in 1974, back when most prosecutors operated under a “no body, no murder” policy. Whoever prosecuted her case took a big risk, and won.

The other murders Allen was convicted of were actually related to Mary’s case. He ordered hits on the witnesses who’d testified against him in the Kitts trial. I am against the death penalty, as I’ve said before. But I will say that Clarence Ray Allen is the kind of person the death penalty is designed for: an incredibly dangerous individual whose violence cannot be stopped even if you lock them up forever.

I didn’t check out the book, but I thought I’d mention it here in case any of y’all want to read it. It’s probably very interesting, but I have to prioritize my reading right now.

Next summer, Mary will have been missing for forty years.

More ET entries

January 15, 1999: The Re├žak Massacre, wherein some 40 to 45 Kosovo Albanians were shot to death. This was a very controversial event and remains so to this day, with some people claiming it was the merciless slaughter of unarmed civilians and others saying it was a military action against guerrillas. Because of the conflicting statements it was pretty hard for me to research and write. Regardless, it was what finally got NATO to get involved in the conflict in Yugoslavia.

January 17, 2006: Clarence Ray Allen, who was ultimately responsible for four murders, although he didn’t commit any of them himself. One of the homicides is a Charley Project case: 17-year-old Mary Sue Kitts, who disappeared in 1974. Allen was 76 by the time of his execution and in very poor health, and his attorneys said it would be cruel and unusual to execute a sick old man. The court of appeals rejected this argument and pointed out that it was Allen’s own fault that he was a sick old man on death row; he’d been 50 years old when he ordered the murders that would lead to his death sentence, and spent the next quarter-century trying to prolong his life with endless appeals.