Stephen Allwine allegedly had no moral objection to sleeping with women other than his wife, but he was opposed to divorce—or, at least, his church was. It's for that reason that he tried to arrange his wife's murder through the dark web and finally killed her himself when no other killer appeared, prosecutors allege. At the start of Allwine's murder trial in Minnesota this week, prosecutors claimed the United Church of God elder began having affairs through the Ashley Madison website, which he learned about while counseling married couples at church, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Since his church views marriage as a lifelong commitment, per the Washington Post, prosecutors believe the then-43-year-old Allwine decided his wife should be killed and paid $6,000 in bitcoin to dark web site Besa Mafia, which claimed a link to organized crime.
Though law enforcement officials now suspect Besa Mafia was a scam, they warned the couple that user "Dogdaygod" was plotting Amy Allwine's death. Stephen Allwine then bought a gun, which was found next to his wife's body in the couple's Cottage Grove home three months later on Nov. 13, 2016. Prosecutors say Allwine drugged Amy, 43, with scopolamine, shot her in the head, and staged the scene to look like a suicide—failing to erase gun residue from his hand and traces of blood leading from the scene. A computer search also linked him to "Dogdaygod," prosecutors say. Allwine's defense attorney, on the other hand, says the prosecution has only theories and alleges police contaminated the scene by moving the gun before photos were taken, per the Pioneer Press. "Just because he had an affair doesn't mean he killed his wife," he says of his client, per the Post. (Read more murder trial stories.)