Darknet, Bitcoin, and Murder for Hire

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Stephen Allwine was found guilty 31 January, 2018 for the Darknet related murder of his wife and staging her death as a suicide. Traditional investigation may have been enough to ensure the delivery of a guilty verdict however the use of digital evidence played a very large roll in landing the guilty verdict.

The physical evidence showed that Amy Allwine, 42, was shot in her hallway in the right ear. Her body was found in the bedroom with the 9mm pistol on her left elbow. There was no evidence of gunpowder residue on Amy’s left hand. The CSI(s) did not find any blood spatter in the bedroom. Investigators found out that Amy was right handed which called into question why the pistol was the side of her body. Evidence was found that Amy had been drugged with a life-threatening dose of scopolamine. The investigators knew that the scene had been staged due to the lack of blood around the victim when she was discovered by the police and that there had been a large amount of blood cleaned up prior to the officers arrived. Prosecutors also found that Stephen, despite being a prominent figure in the local church, had been involved with two affairs while married to Amy. Stephen was the sole benefactor to Amy’s $700,000 life insurance policy.

Nine months prior to the murder, the FBI discovered an online handle “DogdayGod” had attempted to hire an assassin to murder Amy Allwine from a Darknet site called Besa Mafia. The FBI notified the Allwines of this in February 2016. The major break in the investigation was found by Mark Lanterman, a computer forensics expert. Mark discovered a unique Bitcoin address on Stephen’s phone and MacBook that matched the code that user DogdayGod had posted to Besa Mafia.

This case is evident of two things; every investigation may have digital evidence and just because you think you have found all of the evidence does not mean you should stop looking. At a crime scene every desktop, laptop, cellphone, tablet, flash drive, external hard drive, internal hard drive, and potentially pieces of paper could be evidence. A suspect might have used a cryptographic key to obfuscate their Bitcoin private key which was listed on random pieces of paper. There is evidence everywhere and in the case of Stephen Allwine you just need to know where to look.

About McCann Investigations:

In today’s complex legal cases, evidence is rarely singularly digital or traditional, but begins in one realm and quickly cross over into the other. The days of an investigation involving merely taking statements and photocopying documents are all but things of the past. Modern evidence gathering requires the agility to go where the evidence leads, no matter the source.

This not only means overcoming the challenge of understanding the ever-evolving web of digital evidence, but owning the entire evidentiary space; The nexus of both the digital and the non-digital.

McCann runs the table in this space. We either have the digital or traditional expert you need on staff, or we know that expert…. personally. McCann operates its own dedicated state of the art digital forensics lab, staffed with certified technicians, supplemented with a former cyber prosecutor, veteran law enforcement investigators, government cybersecurity experts, and certified fraud examiners. McCann is the only turnkey solution for the gathering, processing, analyzing, and reporting all types of evidence, no matter the source. Our team, drawn from both government service and private industry, has the resources, knowledge, and experience to provide expert testimony ensuring the evidence is both relevant and defensible in all proceedings.

McCann Investigations IS that nexus.

contact@mccanninvestigations.com

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