Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

`Miracle' Uncovers Clue in Killing Persistence Pays off for Victim's Mother

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

`Miracle' Uncovers Clue in Killing Persistence Pays off for Victim's Mother

Article excerpt

Katherine Allen made the phone call hoping to get out the vote for an East St. Louis City Council candidate. What she got was a suspect in her son's murder.

A year ago, Allen, a nurse, knew there was nothing she could do to prevent her son from dying in her arms after a car thief shot him through the heart. She also knew that she would never give up trying to find his killer.

Her persistence has paid off. While making calls to get out the vote, she also spoke of her son's slaying. The woman on the other end of the line said she knew something about it.

"I talked to her mother-to-mother," Allen said. "I said, `If your child had been murdered, I know you'd want someone to help you find the person who had harmed your child.' I told her, `Get off what's on your mind and relieve yourself of the burden you've been carrying.' "

The next day, the woman called Allen. At 8:15 a.m. Tuesday, the Illinois State Police knocked on the door of a 20-year-old man who had grown up and gone to school in East St. Louis with the victim, 18-year-old Fulton Vincent Allen - known to his family and friends as Vincent.

The suspect, Jamie Gasper, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, said Sgt. Calvin Dye, a detective who has been investigating the case with his partner, Special Agent Joe Bates. Gasper has confessed, Dye said.

Katherine Allen believes a miracle led her to information about her son's killer while making the calls on behalf of the candidate.

"Every time, I'd tell them I was calling on behalf of Debra Powell, and I'd tell them why I'd gotten into politics. I told them my son was murdered April 11 in his bedroom" while looking out his window after the alarm in his car sounded, Allen said.

Last month, a woman on the other end of the line said: "It's like the grace of God you called me. It's like a miracle. I don't see how you connected with me." The woman said she had information about the murder. At first, she was scared to say what it was. But she called back. …

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