Committees of Protection, Correspondence and Safety
of the various States United
under and by the
Constitution for the United States of America

Siege of Shirley Ann Allen, Roby, Illinois, Fall of 1997

The Siege of Shirley Ann Allen

Religion Editor
Vigo Examiner

Excerpt from site down
     "Executive Assistant Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer
      yesterday said he and other police officials are working
      with Mr. Lowell on the details of conducting a lie-detector
      test on Mr. Condit and collecting DNA samples from him."

Ah, yes.  Terrance W. Gainer.  Director of the Illinois State
Police during the infamous Siege of Shirley Ann Allen, Roby,
Illinois, Fall of 1997.  Once again, "No foul deed goes
unrewarded."  Royally screw up one situation, get promoted within
the system -- big time.  Perhaps Mr. Condit should familiarize
himself with Mr. Gainer's past performances.  But, then, Mr.
Condit himself is part and parcel of the corrupt system and,
therefore, of the problem, so the beat merely goes on...

For those who are not familiar with the Siege of Shirley Ann Allen
-- and as a refresher for those who are -- the following are
reprints of earlier items -- Lest We Forget.

(And, NO, Mr. Executive Assistant Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer,
we who were there will NEVER forget!!)

            The Siege of Shirley Ann Allen

                     By Ron Marsh

(WARNING! Trying to understand the siege of Shirley Ann Allen may
be hazardous to your own mental health: You may become more
befuddled than she is alleged to be.)

They say that they are there for her own good -- for her safety
and protection -- yet they have denied her electricity, gas, water
and telephone for over a month.

They say that they are concerned about her mental stability, yet
for the first ten days of the siege they tormented her with
incessant noise: calling out to her over a bullhorn every fifteen
minutes, day and night, and bombarding her with loud music and
gibberish over a PA system at any and all hours.

(Sleep deprivation is a fundamental tool in the science of
brainwashing: disorient the subject; totally break the subject;
reduce the subject to mental and physical putty; re-mold the
subject into your own desired image.)

They say that she might be a danger to others; therefore, they
have denied her access to friends, relatives, legal counsel, even
a minister -- in spite of the fact that they offer no evidence
that she ever has demonstrated unprovoked hostility toward anyone.

They say that she might be a danger to herself, yet they have
subjected her to deprivation and torment that would have driven
many "normal" persons to suicide.

If Shirley Allen were a convicted criminal, she would be afforded
better than that.

If she were a prisoner of war, the Geneva Convention would
guarantee her the necessities of life and humane treatment.

If she were a mongrel dog in the local animal shelter, she would
fare better than she has fared at the hands of the Christian
County Sheriff's Department and the Illinois State Police.

The overriding problem in reporting the siege of Shirley Allen is
the very isolation to which she has been unmercifully subjected.
No one -- no reporter, no relative, no attorney, no minister --
has been permitted to get within half a mile of her. And her phone
has been rendered inoperative.

Because of that imposed isolation, there is so little that we
truly know for sure.

We do know that she has been charged with no crime, yet she is
being hounded like a caged rat.

At the mundane level, we know that for over a month Shirley Allen
has not been able to flush her toilet...or take a bath...or wash
her hair...or wash and dry a load of clothes...or call out for a
pizza (or a minister)...or light her furnace, even in recent
nights when temperatures have dropped to freezing or below.

In spite of the fact that her tormentors "think" that she might
have Sterno or a propane stove, there is reason to believe that
she has not been able to cook a meal in over a month. Even if her
nephew is correct, that Shirley has home-canned food to last for
months, cold green beans from a Mason jar are not very tasty. (And
I do mean "cold" -- she can't use her furnace, so even "room
temperature" takes on a whole new meaning for Shirley Allen!)

Even if she has a reasonable supply of bottled water -- and no one
knows that for sure -- she probably would not "waste" it for non-
essentials; therefore, she may not have brushed her teeth for over
a month.

Some would say, "Well, a person must have something wrong mentally
to endure all that for over a month."

Well, even with that as a given (and it is not a given), is that
the way our society treats persons who are mentally troubled?

Illinois statutes regarding involuntary psychiatric treatment
repeatedly specify that the subject must be demonstrably "mentally
ill and dangerous." (Check it out at 405 ILCS 5/3-701 et

Thus far, no one outside of "law enforcement" has suggested
publicly that Shirley Allen is "dangerous" -- not her friends, not
her family, not her enemies (if she has enemies).

In fact, according to newspaper reports, she never has been
considered suicidal by friends, family or medical professionals,
even during alleged bouts with depression.

As to her being a danger to anyone else, as recently as Thursday,
October 23, Illinois State Police Director Terrance Gainer is
quoted as saying "Mrs. Allen hasn't shown that kind of hostility."

Only the Christian County Sheriff's Department and the Illinois
State Police have made a determination that Shirley Allen is
dangerous. Are we to assume, therefore, that a psychiatric or
psychologic license is now a requisite for becoming a deputy
sheriff or a state trooper? They apparently perceive themselves to
be so credentialed.

Or, as some suggest, is this whole debacle simply a matter of
"Machismo"? Could it possibly be that certain men, the type who
strap on their manhood with their gunbelts, just can't afford to
lose face to a 51-year-old widow woman?

                         * * * * *

Where and how did it all begin?

The siege of Shirley Allen began September 22, 1997; the saga of
Shirley Allen began more than twenty years earlier.

According to newspaper reports, Shirley Ann Dugger met John Allen
in 1974, when Shirley, a registered nurse, was 28 years old. John,
then 53 and a widower for two years, had suffered a heart attack;
Shirley was his nurse.

In 1975, Shirley Dugger and John Allen married -- a marriage that
was to last 14 years until John's death from pancreatic cancer in

In spite of the fact he had four children from his first marriage,
John Allen reportedly left his entire $120,000 estate, including
the house now under siege in Roby, to Shirley Ann. The house and
accompanying 47 acres are now reportedly valued at $146,000.

As is often the case, Shirley reportedly suffered bouts of
depression after John's death. After all, they apparently had been
an exceptionally happy couple, enjoying many of life's experiences
together -- from gardening to touring the country, with Shirley in
the sidecar of John's motorcycle.

The tighter the bond, the greater the loss.

Just how deep were those bouts of depression is a matter of pure
conjecture, but a matter that has been effectively used by
Shirley's tormentors to cloud the fundamental and troublesome
issue: whether Shirley has been accorded due process during -- and
prior to -- the siege.

As to Shirley's mental condition, stories in the (Springfield)
"State Journal-Register" reveal an interesting diversity of

On the one hand, there are the views of Shirley's "non-official"

* 9/25: "I don't think she'd hurt anybody. She's always been
alright with me." (Darel Patrick, neighbor who has known her for
20 years.)

* 9/25: "She always kept a perfect garden, with beautiful flowers,
and her yard was always kept nice." (Mamie Stone, neighbor, who
also described Shirley as friendly, reserved and a self-proclaimed
"recluse, even in school.")

* 9:29: "There was no reason for the injunction at all. If they
would just leave her alone she would be fine. Her behavior may
look strange, she's a little eccentric, but it's not strange in my
eyes. I would guess that she's frightened they're going to take
her away and she's never going to see her home again." (Step-
daughter Betsy Tonias, John's daughter by his first wife. Tonias
reportedly believes that Shirley slipped into depression since
John's death, but doubts that she suffers from more severe mental

* 9/29: "She struck me as being a very loving person who had a lot
of love to give. When she met [John], he just filled her life with
happiness, and I'll guarantee you that she's still mourning his
death." (Lorraine Fleck, counselor and employee of the Sangamon
County circuit court. She has sought, and been denied, police
clearance to approach Shirley during the siege.)

* 10/25: "About 99 percent of the people in here are for Shirley."
(Marilyn Carpenter, owner of the Buckhart Tavern, the nearest
neighborhood restaurant-bar, about 3 miles from Shirley's home.)

On the other hand, there are the "official" opinions:

* 9/25: "She was just a little paranoid; she was never like this.
She was never to the point of being where we thought she should be
committed." (Sheriff Dick Mahan)

(Of course, she never had been set upon by armed men and tear-
gassed before, either.)

* 9/25: "When you have a mentally unstable person, we're not sure
how effective it would be." (State Police Lt. Dennis Sloman,
commenting on the cutting-off of Shirley's utilities.) "And it's
not that I think she would harm somebody, it's just that you can't
take that chance." (Sloman)

* 9/26: "We've got a poor woman suffering a bout of mental
illness." (Gene Marlin, "right-hand-man" to state police director
Terrance Gainer.)

* 9/27: "We intend to stay until we can get Mrs. Allen the medical
treatment she needs." (Terrance Gainer, Director of the State
Police, who also has stated that his men would remain even if the
judge rescinds the order for involuntary psychiatric evaluation.)

* 10/03: "We're trying to withdraw to give her some
space...perhaps she'll then exit the house and we will then be
able to get her to the hospital care she needs." (Gainer)

And both lists of quotes could go on ad nauseam.

To those who know Shirley, she may be a recluse who misses her
husband; she is not "mentally ill" and/or "dangerous" and she
should have been left alone.

In the minds of "law enforcement," she should be committed.

Again it must be asked: Is a psychiatric or psychologic license
now a requisite to becoming a deputy sheriff or a state trooper?

If not, how can these cops be so cocksure that Shirley Allen
conforms to the statutory definition of a person who is mentally
ill and dangerous and in need of involuntary psychiatric
evaluation/treatment -- and be so hell bent to see that she
receives it?

                      * * * * *

The issue at hand is not Shirley Ann Allen's mental stability; the
issue at hand is due process of law.

Article 5 of the Bill of Rights provides, in pertinent part: "No
person shall be...deprived of life, liberty, or property, without
due process of law."

Process for involuntary psychiatric evaluation/committal is
defined by Illinois statute at 405 ILCS 5/3-70, et seq. (It's a
lousy statute, and probably blatantly unconstitutional, but that
is another matter.)

Shirley Allen certainly has been deprived of her liberty. Has she
been accorded due process of law?

The judge has conveniently sealed the court record, so neither the
form nor the substance of the "order" can be known. (This in a
land of a supposedly open judiciary?)

Article 4 of the Bill of Rights provides, in pertinent part: "The
right of the people to be secure in their persons,
houses...against unreasonable...seizures, shall not be violated."

Can "law enforcement" personnel comprehend the difference between
being "secure" and being "secured" (as in "house arrest")? Shirley
Allen's house has become her prison. Does this conform to either
the letter or the spirit of the 4th Amendment?

Article 4 of the Bill of Rights also provides, in pertinent part:
"No warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by
oath or affirmation, and particularly describing be seized."

Apparently, no warrant has issued. By what authority, then, does
the judge issue an "order"...and does "law enforcement" attempt to
execute such an "order"...and does the statute purportedly allow
for such an "order" seize the person of Shirley Allen?

Article 5 of the Bill of Rights provides, in pertinent part: "No
person...shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness
against himself."

Article 6 of the Bill of Rights provides, in pertinent part: "In
all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the
be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be
confronted with the witnesses against him...and to have the
assistance of counsel for his defense."

I promised you that trying to understand the Shirley Allen
travesty of injustice might "befuddle" you.

Well...White water ahead. Hang on!

At recent rallies in support of Shirley, speakers belabored the
point that Illinois' statutes regarding involuntary psychiatric
evaluation/committal are "bad law" because they do not conform to
constitutional guarantees that protect a person from "being
compelled to be a witness against himself"...or that allow him "to
be confronted with the witnesses against him."

The action against Shirley Allen is purported to be merely civil;
these guarantees are for criminal defendants. Are an unkempt yard
and reclusion now "criminal" offenses? "Quasi" criminal?

"Well, shouldn't a defendant in a civil matter be afforded the
same protections as the defendant in a criminal matter?"

Both reason and passion would argue, "Yes."

But the answer goes to the very heart of the differences between
criminal and civil actions. In a civil action, the defendant knows
his accuser; he is the plaintiff. In a criminal action, the state
is the plaintiff, bringing action for and on the behalf of the

We have totally lost this concept as "compelled-compliance
regulation" has insidiously usurped Common Law. The Founders
understood the concept well: hence the constitutional restraints
upon "government as plaintiff."

Finally: if it is a civil action, why is the subject of a
involuntary psychiatric evaluation/committal afforded the right to
a court-appointed attorney (405 ILCS 5/3-805)?

Has Shirley Allen been accorded due process?

Until both the "nature and cause of the accusation" have been
defined (6th Amendment), expect any "official" response to that
question to be mere circumlocution!

For a synopsis of the statutes, see the pertinent statement by Jay
A. Miller, Executive Director, Illinois Civil Liberties Union at

Sorry to leave you in white water. More later?

The questions go on.

As does the Siege of Shirley Allen...

Copyright (c) 1997 by Ron Marsh Permission
granted to reproduce in full or in part, with full attribution,
for non-commercial purposes only.

            Watching The Watchers

               by Ron Marsh

His name is Montgomery.

He keeps a lonely vigil: Watching The Watchers.

It was about 2:30, Sunday, October 19, a bright, warm, autumn
afternoon, when I turned south off County Highway 2 into the
"media staging area," a block or so east of the intersection with
County Highway 23 and just west of The Watchers' checkpoint. I had
been there the previous Tuesday afternoon, between the noon rally
in Taylorville and the 5:00 rally outside the Capitol Building in

The Watchers were still there, as they had been on Tuesday, but
their presence was no longer stifling. On Tuesday, there had been
two dozen or more Watcher vehicles lining the road. This
afternoon, there were only two, at times three -- and no doubt
another two or three at the other checkpoint about a half-mile
farther east.

I left The Watchers behind and entered the media staging area.
(Where I hail from, we would have considered that a mighty high-
falutin' name for half an acre of meadowland, but that was what
The Watchers were calling it.)

Then I saw it, maybe 400 yards straight ahead: A mute symbol of
proud defiance, a bright ray of hope in an otherwise bleak and
oppressive scene.

From the media staging area, the rolling farmland sloped downward,
away from the road and The Watchers, then upward again. And atop
that second hill -- overlooking the media staging area, the road
and The Watchers -- someone had parked a camper, with an American
flag raised heavenward.

I had to meet the owner of that camper.

The two males and two females sitting outside the camper watched
as I parked my car. As I began walking toward them, they stood up
and started toward me. We met in the hollow between the hills.

I introduced myself. The portly, forty-ish man and the two teen-
aged girls said "Good-bye" about as soon as they said "Hello," got
into the only other car in the media staging area, and left.

I offered my hand to the owner of the camper. "I don't believe I
caught your name."

"Oh, it's Montgomery," he replied. "Sorry. I should have told you
before." He shook my hand.

"That's OK," I assured him.

His hand was coarse -- much coarser than mine. He wore fading work
jeans, a red and blue plaid shirt and a "camo" hunting cap. He was
any plumber or electrician or bricklayer that you might see at any
construction site.

"'Montgomery.' Is that first name or last?"


That was OK, too. I could tell he was used to the question; I was
satisfied with the answer.

"Could we sit and talk awhile?" I asked, nodding toward the

"Sure." We climbed the hill and entered Montgomery's "sitting
room" just outside the camper. The plush carpet was trodden meadow
grass. There was one blinding yellow light set firmly in the blue-
sky ceiling. The furnishings were simple: two white molded-plastic
chairs, a bale of straw for a couch.

I settled my 250 pounds gingerly into the flimsy plastic. "Where
ya from, Montgomery?"

"From inside the camper," he said, nodding over his right

"That's about it, these days. I've been pretty much all over the
country in it the last coupla years. Heard about what was
happening here and just thought this would be a good place to call
home for a while."

"OK." I could tell he was used to the question; I was satisfied
with the answer. In these circumstances, prudence demands walls
between strangers.

The camper was vintage Chevy: larger than a pickup, yet lacking
the dignity to be called a motor home. It had seen many seasons
and, no doubt, many miles. In spots, paint had given way to patina
-- if aging aluminum is noble enough to wear patina.

Affixed to the side of the camper, just behind the passenger door,
was a makeshift flagpole. The gentle breeze held the flag at proud
attention -- not the garish, impudent pride of a half-time parade
flag, but the indomitable assurance of a veteran of a thousand Iwo

Its faded reds and blue and dingy whites were dim reminder of a
glory that once was -- and of the pervasive shame that now is
Roby, Illinois.

The presence of both flag and camper, atop the hill and
overlooking The Watchers, seemed to hallow the meadow.

Montgomery removed his cap, smoothed his hair, replaced the cap.
His reddish hair seemed uncomfortably full, as if it had missed a
trim or two.

"So, what's been happening?"

"Well," he said, "I think I've played my psychological game with
them just about as far as I can play it. I was parked over in the
media staging area for a while. Then I moved up here. That really
seemed to make them nervous. They don't seem to like it that I am
up here looking down on them. We just sit here most of the time
and look at each other through binoculars. And I have a video

Hmm. They charge that Shirley Allen is mentally ill...but paranoia
also is a mental illness. I wondered just who should be evaluating

Montgomery continued: "They came up here and asked to search the
camper. I said, 'No.' Finally they told me they were going to
search it anyway. I threw the keys inside and locked the door, so
they would have to break in if they were going to search. Figured
I might get them for something there.

"That just made them mad. One of them grabbed me and pulled my
hands around behind my back, to handcuff me. As he went for his
cuffs, I reminded him of the Bill of Rights and of unlawful
searches and of his oath to the Constitution. I told him that what
he was doing was unconstitutional and a violation of his oath.

"I don't think they liked it much, but they let me go. After they
left, I had to break into my own camper to get my keys.

"Now we just watch each other.

"I'm afraid that they will ask the guy who owns the land to ask me
to leave. If they do, I hope he doesn't cave in."

He removed the cap again, re-sized it and put it back on.

A reporter pulled into the media staging area, got out of his
pickup and walked toward The Watchers.

"It's so silly," Montgomery pondered. "They take down everybody's
license plate number. They don't realize that the people who come
here are decent, law-abiding people who are just concerned about

Yeah. Paranoia, I thought again.

We talked for forty-five minutes or so, about the Bible and the
Constitution and Shirley Allen and The Watchers.

He turned his chair once, away from the setting sun. And there was
that "cap thing" every few minutes. Montgomery was a quiet man,
not a grandstander. But I was certain: in his case at least, still
waters surely did run deep.

Unless unpreventably hindered, or until the camper became too cold
to endure, he would be there for the duration -- watching The

While we had talked, the dark clouds had been rapidly approaching.

The blinding light in Montgomery's sitting-room ceiling was no
more. The warm autumn breeze had abruptly turned chilly.

The man and the girls returned.

"They're back," Montgomery said. "Those are his daughters. They
are home-schoolers from Decatur. He thought this would make a nice
field trip for the girls, to see what was going on over here. They
just went to get something to eat."

As the trio climbed the hill with their bags of Subway sandwiches
and a cooler of soft drinks, I said my farewells to Montgomery.

Then I left them to enjoy their supper.

As I headed back down County Highway 23 toward Taylorville and
home, I looked one last time over my left shoulder at the rolling
meadow, the "media staging area" and the camper.

Mentally, I saluted the flag.

"Good-bye, Montgomery. And God be with you!"

At least The Watchers have no doubt that they, too, are being

Copyright (c) 1997 by Ron Marsh Permission
granted to reproduce in full or in part, with full attribution,
for non-commercial purposes only.

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Committees of Protection, Correspondence and Safety
of the various States United
under and by the
Constitution for the United States of America