When Homeschoolers Turn Violent: Claude Alexander Allen III

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Series note: “When Homeschoolers Turn Violent” is a joint research project by Homeschoolers Anonymous and Homeschooling’s Invisible Children. Please see the Introduction for detailed information about the purpose and scope of the project.

Trigger warning: If you experience triggers from descriptions of physical and sexual violence, please know that the details in many of the cases are disturbing and graphic.

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Claude Alexander Allen III

20-year-old Claude Alexander Allen III — known by those around him as Alex — murdered a man with a hatchet in May 2013 in his parents’ garage in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

20-year-old Claude Alexander Allen III — known by those around him as Alex — was charged in 2013 for murdering a man with a hatchet in his parents' garage.

20-year-old Claude Alexander Allen III — known by those around him as Alex — was charged in 2013 for murdering a man with a hatchet in his parents’ garage.

On the day of the attack, Alex called 911 around midnight and said he had killed an intruder. It was determined, however, that the so-called intruder was 25-year-old Michael Philip Harvey, a friend of Alex’s and a father of four young children. Alex and Michael were, according to one person, “good friends.” After killing Michael with a hatchet, Alex had allegedly dragged his body to the nearby woods, stuffing it “in a large trash can.”

The altercation and, ultimately, murder resulted from a dispute between the friends over “controlled dangerous substances sales.”

Alex’s father is Claude A. Allen, a former top White House adviser on domestic policy for former President George W. Bush who was arrested in 2006 for theft. The Allen family attended and “were active at” the C.J. Mahaney-founded Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland, which was pastored at the time by Joshua Harris, who is still its pastor today.

Mr. Allen, Alex’s father, was known as “an advocate of home-schooling and abstinence education” and his wife homeschooled their children, including Alex. A neighbor of the Allens said the former homeschool student was a star soccer and rugby player and had just returned home from University of Richmond. Alex’s actions “stunned friends and neighbors.” HSLDA’s Michael Farris himself commented on Alex’s arrest, saying, “It’s one of the saddest shocks I’ve heard.”

In November of 2013, Alex was “indicted on a charge of first-degree murder,” but was “being evaluated to determine whether he is mentally competent to stand trial.”

View the case index here.

2 comments

  • Great series. Thanks for pointing out that violence can happen anywhere.

    I thought I would point out a small error in your story. ” C.J. Mahaney-founded Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Virginia” I believe it should be Gaithersburg, Maryland, not Virginia. It is correct in the first paragraph, but not in the fourth one.

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