OSWEGO, NY – Richard Thibodeau said today (Aug. 4) that he wants justice for his brother and for Heidi Allen’s family.
Gary Thibodeau was convicted of kidnapping the New Haven teen on Easter Sunday 1994. Her body has never been found.
In 1995, he was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. Richard Thibodeau was acquitted in a separate jury trial.
“We need to have justice; not just for my brother, but for the Allen family. They need justice, they need to put the right people behind bars,” Richard Thibodeau said. “I’d love to tell them where their daughter is. But I don’t have a clue.”
The rally in Oswego’s East Park comes on the heels of recent searches at the site of a collapsed cabin in a wooded area in the town of Mexico.
A came forward and told authorities that a friend told her he and two other men buried Allen’s remains there.
Following a lengthy search, it was concluded that no human remains were ever there, according to District Attorney Greg Oakes.
That news did little to dampen the spirits of Gary Thibodeau’s supporters.
The “Gary the Innocent” rally was held to spread the word that his kidnapping conviction should be overturned, Amanda Crawford, Richard’s step-daughter, told Oswego County Today.
“He was railroaded. We want to bring awareness that Gary is innocent. In light of the new evidence, we had to do something,” she said.
They were expecting more people to show up as the event was scheduled until 4 p.m.
“It’s a come and go kind of thing. We understand it’s a busy day, a busy Monday. So we have people stopping by to help out as they can,” she explained. “We’ve had a good response; a lot of people are driving by and honking their horns. We’ve gotten some beeps and we’re getting more people out here.”
One reason the event was held was to show support for Gary, Crawford said.
“We want him to know that there are people that support him,” she said. “Another reason is to let the Oswego County Sheriff’s Department to know that we seek the truth. We want the truth to come out. We want them to search every avenue for it. They haven’t been so hopefully, they will now.”
Hopefully, the people who know the truth will have the strength to come forward, she added.
“We want them to understand that there are people that support them coming forward. We appreciate the ones that have and look forward to more,” she said. “And, most importantly, we want the judge to thoroughly look through the paperwork that’s been presented to him – if he does than he’ll see that there is no way he should let Gary sit another day in prison.”
His lawyer has filed court papers seeking to overturn his conviction.
Crawford said the rally made her excited and sad.
Sad because the real kidnappers haven’t been brought to justice and may have committed other serious crimes. But, exciting because of the support being shown for Gary which may lead to a break in the two-decades-old case.
“We don’t mean to point fingers at somebody that is innocent. We know what that’s like. We’ve lived it for 20 years. With this new evidence that’s coming out … we feel excited and scared, it’s emotional,” she said.
Richard said he hopes his brother is aware of what is going on.
“He has some hope now of getting out,” he said. “Hopefully, it ends for us and it ends for the Allen family. I hope they find her. That’s my hope; that they really find her so that it will exonerate him. These people are going through a lot … I feel bad for them. But there’s nothing I can do for them. I can’t tell them where their daughter is because I have no clue.”