Mary Sue Kitts
Missing since July 1974 from Fresno, Fresno County, California
Classification: Endangered Missing
Circumstances of Disappearance
Mary Sue Kitts was last seen in Fresno, California in July 1974. For three years, she was presumed to be a runaway.
During an armed robbery of a Visalia K-Mart in March 1977, Larry Green shot a bystander, and police arrested him along with Benjamin Meyer and Clarence Ray Allen. Authorities eventually linked Allen to the 1974 murder of Mary Sue Kitts, the live in girlfriend of his son, Roger.
In 1974, Clarence Ray Allen enlisted the help of his son Roger Allen, as well as other employees in Allen's security guard business, to burglarize Fran's Market.
On June 29, 1974 the night of the burglary, Roger Allen invited the owners 19-year-old son, Bryon Schletewitz, to an evening swimming party at Allen's house. There, Bryon's keys to Fran's Market were taken from his pants pocket while he was swimming.
Later in the evening, while Bryon was on a date arranged by Allen with Mary Sue Kitts, Allen and accomplices, used Bryon's keys to burglarize his parents' market. They removed a safe from the market and divided the $500 in cash and over $10,000 in money orders found inside.
Kitts contacted Bryon Schletewitz and confessed to him that she had helped to cash the money orders stolen from Fran's Market. Bryon confronted Roger Allen with this story, and Roger admitted that the Allen family had burglarized the store.
When Roger told his father of Bryon's accusation based on Kitts's confession, Allen ordered Kitts to be killed.
Kitt's was strangled to death by Allen's accomplice Lee Furrow.
Allen had his accomplices tie stones to Kitts's wrapped-up body and, while he watched for traffic, dumped her into the Friant-Kern Canal. Her body was never recovered.
Allen was tried and convicted in 1977 of robbery, attempted robbery, and assault with a deadly weapon. His arrest also led to his second 1977 trial, for the Fran's Market burglary, conspiracy, and the murder of Mary Sue Kitts. In return for testifying for the prosecution, Furrow pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree murder.
Clarence Allen was sentenced to death for arranging the execution murders of three people who testified against him. He was executed by lethal injection on January 17, 2006.
The canal was searched and some human bones were recovered, but police were unable to make a positive identification of them.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Fresno Sheriff's Department
Agency Case Number: 74-13248
San Francisco Chronicle
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