People

A LONG ROAD TO JUSTICE

As racial violence erupted on the streets of York, Pa., in July 1969, a young black mother of 2 was murdered. Inside her family’s 33-year fight for answers
Allen’s family: daughter Debra, sister Hattie Dickson and son Michael (after the arrests in 2001).

Every summer, Lillie Belle Allen and her kids Debra and Michael would drive from their home in Aiken, S.C., to York, Pa., to visit her sister before heading to see other relatives in New York. The 27-year-old divorced working mom reveled in the family gatherings—the children playing tag and hopscotch while the adults cooked and sat together on the front porch. “She was 5'2" and full of life,” her daughter Debra Grier recalls.

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