NY HEIDI ALLEN: Missing from New Haven, NY - 3 April 1994 - Age 18


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Gary Thibodeau dies in prison at age 64​

by CNYCentral Monday, August 13th 2018

COXSACKIE, N.Y. — Gary Thibodeau, the man convicted for the disappearance of Heid Allen 23 years ago, has died.

Thibodeau's attorney confirmed to CNYCentral that Thibodeau passed away Sunday evening in hospice care at the Coxsackie Correctional Facility, in eastern New York.

Thibodeau was serving 25 years to life behind bars for the kidnapping of Heidi Allen, who has not been seen since her disappearance in 1994. Thibodeau is the only man to be convicted in the disappearance of Allen. He was found guilty in August of 1995. His brother Richard was acquitted of the same charges at trial.


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Heidi Allen's sister: What if Gary Thibodeau took her whereabouts to the grave?​

Updated Jan 29, 2019; Posted Aug 13, 2018


New Haven, NY -- Lisa Buske didn't celebrate the death Sunday of her sister's convicted kidnapper.

Heidi Allen's older sister said Gary Thibodeau's death in prison may have left the ultimate question unanswered forever. 'Where is Heidi? Heidi Allen was 18 years old when she disappeared from a New Haven convenience store on Easter morning 1994. She hasn't been seen since.

"The thought that Gary took her whereabouts to the grave with him, that's a lot to carry today," Buske said in an interview with Syracuse.com | The Post-Standard.

She said she is grateful that there will be no more hearings, no more court cases to bring her pain back to the surface. Thibodeau's case had been appealed at the time of his conviction and again in the past several years, when new evidence led to a probe against three other people.

"That I am thankful," she said in the podcast. "Because that's very stressful for the victim's family."

Buske called it a "sad day" for both her family and for Gary's family. She would never celebrate the death of another person, she said.

"I don't see it as cause for celebration," Buske told Syracuse.com | The Post-Standard. "I feel for his family. He's convicted of kidnapping and killing my sister. That's a fact. The jury found the evidence was there. But he still has a family."

Buske also thinks of her family: the fact her mother died without knowing what happened to her youngest daughter. Her father, in bad health, may never know, either.

"That's hard," Buske said. "My mom passed away without knowing where she is. My father is aging. If we have to say goodbye to another parent without knowing..."

Her voice trailed off.

The case is not closed, she repeated. "The convicted kidnapper and killer has died. But the case is still open. We still don't know where she is."


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Guilty until proven innocent, the lesson of Gary Thibodeau's case: Matt's Memo

by Matt Mulcahy
Monday, August 13th 2018

Guilty until proven innocent. That’s how the justice system works. That’s how the public perceives the accused. That’s how jurors view a man accused in the kidnapping of an 18 year old girl.

It is our nature to see the person led into court in handcuffs as the one who did it. The police said he did. The prosecutor said he did. And our gut says he did. That is why judges sitting on the bench, prosecutors at televised news conferences and law enforcement sending out news releases of arrests always add some element that reminds us to pause. Our system goes against the grain of what our eyes may tell us. It actually presumes innocence until guilt is proven.

After nearly a quarter century in prison, Thibodeau died Sunday night, maintaining his innocence right up until the end.

Let the story of Gary Thibodeau offer this as inspiration. When you’re the journalists covering the story, ask questions until your satisfied. When you’re the juror called to duty, be the one who stands up to say 'let’s slow down.' When you’re the detective in the police station, be the one to say what about those other guys. When you’re the prosecutor before a grand jury, be the one immune to the public pressure in the streets. When you’re the judge hearing an appeal, be the one who thoroughly reads the briefs and sees all the evidence. Be the one with the open mind and remember it is not guilty until proven innocent. It is the other way around.


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Here you can watch the Dateline episode which featured Heidi's case in 2016. It's a good summary of a very complicated and convoluted case.



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A 2019 documentary into Heidi's case by investigative journalist Matt Mulcahy. Illegally hidden files and evidence were unearthed in this documentary.
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Here are links to the ''Peebles for the People'' podcast. It is a 19 episode investigative podcast and is probably one of the most in-depth and excellently researched podcasts I've ever listened to. Which makes sense since the host is Alex Peebles, the son of Gary Thibodeau's fierce and relentless public defender. Alex was able to obtain all the court documents from the originals trials and the numerous hearings and investigations from over the years. And of course, the exhaustive amount of evidence that surfaced in recent years that implicated three other men in Heidi's abduction.

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