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Louisa-Lawrence Co, KY

In God We Trust - Established 2008


September 11, 2017 



A Story from the Other Side

My name is Bob Allen and I am a high school Math teacher.  I am in my 33rd year of service.  Most of my career was spent at Sheldon Clark High School but I have been teaching at Lawrence County High School for the past 2 years. My story is somewhat unique.  I have never abused drugs but drug abuse definitely changed my life.

In August 2004, my parents were murdered by two drug addicts during a home invasion.

August 9th 2004 is the day my life changed forever.  It was the first day of school.  I was the Volleyball Coach so I had a two-hour practice after school.  Needless to say, I was tired.  But, before I could go home, I had to go see my mom. She was battling cancer and I knew she didn't have long to live.

It was a warm August evening. My parents were sitting in TV room, which used to be my room.  My mom was happy to see me and asked about my day.  Actually, most of her questions were about her only granddaughter, Betsy.

My heart was filled with joy as I drove home. My parents had been together for over 60 years and except for the time my Dad was fighting for our country in WWII, they had not spent more than a couple of nights away from each other. Even with the struggles of battling cancer they were still so happy to just be together.

The joy in my heart disappeared the following morning. At 4:20 AM.  I received a call from 911 dispatch informing me my parents’ house was on fire. I made the 15-minute trip to Tomahawk in about 7 minutes. As I rounded the last curve I saw the dull glow of embers. I pulled up in the driveway hoping I could see my parents.  When I saw the burnt frames of my mom’s car, still in the garage, and my Dad’s truck, which was being sprayed down by the fire department, I knew they were gone.

At first, we thought the fire was accidental but by Wednesday of the same week, we were given the horrible news.  The fire was not accidental and while my Dad had died of smoke inhalation, my Mom was dead before the fire started. They both had injuries that could not be attributed to a fire.

The news spread throughout Martin County.  We were amazed at the number of people who started working on this case.  While a State Police Detective was assigned to do the investigation, several others volunteered to help.  By Friday of the same week, two suspects were in custody.

The suspects were known drug addicts.  Each had a rap-sheet a mile long.  Evidently, they had watched the house for several weeks.  They knew exactly when I would visit. They knew exactly when hospice would visit. They assumed strong pain medication, OxyContin, would be in the house.  What they didn't know is my Mom could not take strong pain medication.  She was on an intravenous morphine pump.

Around 9:00 PM on August 9th, this couple knocked on the front door of my parents’ house.  They told my Dad their car had broken down and asked to use the phone.  When my dad turned to get the phone they forced their way into the house, knocking my dad unconscious.  They stole the morphine out of my mom’s pump, took all of her jewelry and other items they thought they could pawn.  After taking what they stole back to their apartment, which was about a mile from my home place, the man came back and set my childhood home on fire.

Friday, August 13th turned out to be a lucky day for us.

The guy had checked himself into Paul B. Hall hospital in Paintsville KY, complaining of stomach pain.  A friend of the couple drove his girlfriend/accomplice to Paintsville. While sitting in the hospital room, the guy offered the friend a sip of morphine. He had the medicine in a Mylanta bottle.  He had been drinking intravenous morphine all week.

She became very suspicions at his offer, along with the fact they seemed to have money, which they never had.  Fortunately for us, she was a lady of good conscious and reported this to the police.  The man and woman were arrested at the hospital.

Several months of hearings followed.  We accepted their plea-deal. The guy accepted life without parole, while his girlfriend received life with a chance of parole after 25 years. Somehow giving them the death penalty seemed like the easy way out for them.

We were able to recover my Mom’s jewelry, which now belongs to my daughter.   Even though this was a terrible and horrific time for us, we did have assurance that our parents were together in heaven.

I will never forget that day; the day drug addicts looking for a high killed my parents.  I hope that one day I will be able to forgive them.  I also pray that God forgives me for not being forgiving.

Why did you choose your path?

In this instance, the path chose me.  Being an educator, I see first-hand what drug addiction can do to a person. I always thought that drugs would never affect my life because I would not let myself become addicted.  Little did I know I didn't have to take a drug in order for my life to be changed.

How does addiction still affect you today?

Not a day goes by that I do not see a person who is under the influence.  It is heartbreaking, especially when I see former students, who had such a promising future, succumb to grip drugs can have on a person.

What would you like to say to those fighting addiction?

The best advice is simple; get professional and divine help.  People who have been trained in drug counseling can help you fight the good fight. Naturally, the Great Counselor, God will guide you on your journey.  I cannot stress enough, please seek help before it is too late.  I’m sure the couple who murdered my parents never thought they would resort to murder to get high.  But, without counseling and support, this will be the path you will go down.


Advice to those who have loved ones struggling with addiction?

Do whatever it takes to get them into an accredited rehab facility. Give them the love and support they need to combat this illness. Addiction is not something one can beat on their own. The couple that did this were in their mid-30’s.  They will spend the rest of their lives in prison.

Closing thoughts

Get help before it is too late. Do not ruin your life with the false promise that a high will give you.  Without help you will eventually go down a path from which there is no return.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please call Addiction Recovery Care at 606.638.0938 or visit them on the web at


There is hope. There is help.



+2 #2 Wanda Mills Cassady 2017-09-11 22:57
I cannot imagine what you and Mary Jo went through ! I will never forget when I first heard about your parents. It didn't seem real that could happen in Martin County! When Mary Jo and I were in school, I had never heard of drugs.

I hope some one addicted gets help because of what you wrote! God bless you!
+3 #1 Brittney Muncy 2017-09-11 22:34
I was one of your students. Class of 2008. I had you in my junior year, I was pregnant with my first daughter. You and Mrs. Allen gave me one of the best gitfs for her a basket of stuff for her! I never knew this about your parents, I am so sorry. I am a former drug addict. I was on pills for many years but I knew my 4 daughters needed me more than I needed that stuff. I got clean, no rehab or substitute drugs, I did it cold turkey by moving to Ohio for a month and 5 days. I then came back to my mother's in Mingo county. I have been clean since September 19, 2014. I always pray that addicts find help, but you can't help someone that doesn't want to help themselves. You and Mrs. Allen were amazing teachers to me and many more students. Thank you!!

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