Shirley Allen Stays Put


Fifty-one year old Shirley Allen lived in her home in Roby, Illinois and was quite determined to stay there. Even when her brother showed up to her door on September 22, 1997 with a group of sheriff’s deputies and a court order for a psychological evaluation she felt no compulsion to leave. She lived on a 47 acre farm that also contained two oil wells. By all accounts Shirley was a pretty out there, but the oil money might have been a motivating factor in her family members getting the evaluation order. Now the cops were at her door and Shirley was going to prove that she was not a nut.

She came out of her house with a shotgun and let one round go into the air. After the deputies found cover they deployed tear gas into the house. Shirley took that in stride, deploying a makeshift mask of wet cloths and Vaseline. The standoff had begun. It lasted into October. The police shut off utilities to the house including water. They set up surveillance cameras and deployed bean bag guns. Police blasted Barry Manilow music at all hours. Anti-police demonstrations started. Pro-Shirley fundraisers generated money to pay property tax and utility bills. One woman was arrested for attempting to bring her food and water. A complete three ring circus.

On October 30, 1997 the standoff finally ended. Shirley came out onto her back porch to cut wires to a camera that the police had installed. She was wearing a camouflage outfit stuffed with pillows to counter the beanbag rounds that had previously been fired at her. An officer in the back yard, fired rubber bullets at Shirley, knocking her to the ground. She was in cuffs in seconds and off to her long-delayed psych eval. After six weeks in a mental hospital she was released. Doctors determined that most of the damage was due to the Barry Manilow music.


Related Posts
Twitter Feed
Load More

Subscribe to The Ops Desk Newsletter:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore