The 1998 murders of Shelley T. Schantz and Allen J. Ripka


Henrico County Police
could still use the public’s help to solve the 1998 double murders of Shelly T. Schantz (Jan 1962 – Feb 11, 1998) and Allen J. Ripka (Aug 31, 1964 – Feb 11, 1998.)

In this NBC article, you can read what they found when they entered the crime scene, two dead roommates and a crying baby. He was three years old at the time. The baby was left unharmed.

Captain Jan Stem was in charge of violent crimes in 1998. Police believe that Shelley (36) was the intended victim. Finding Allen (33) in the apartment meant he had to die as well. Shelley had mentioned that threats against her were made. There is another theory but police keep that under wrap. However, to help them prove that theory, they can use the public’s help.

Nothing appeared stolen or ransacked and there were no signs of forced entry. Either Allen or Shelley may have opened the door to their killer. Nobody has ever been held accountable for the murders of Allen en Shelley.

The Richmond Times of Feb 13 and 20 1998 mentioned that Shelley was a legal secretary and worked for the Circuit Executive office of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond. When she did not show up for work, her boss called her son’s day-care center. After they said that the son was not there, the center contacted police.

According to the same paper, Allen was a service technician with Power Systems & Controls Inc. He had served in the U.S. Navy as fire control technician and worked with weapons and radar systems.

Richmond Times Feb 20 1998 page 30A pizza box (see picture) was found at the crime scene as per the papers of Feb 20, 1998, page 30. Where it was ordered, who paid for it, who delivered it, or who picked it up, etc. could connect some dots in the still ongoing investigation.

If you have any information, call Henrico Police at (804) 501-5000 or the Cold Case Investigators at (804) 501-5304. You can also submit your tip through Crime Stoppers by calling (804) 780-1000.


In the series “Case of the Month” I highlight old unsolved cases. These posts are not an in-depth analysis and of course, more information can be found online and in newspaper archives.

We need to get these cases back in the mainstream media, to get people talking again, and if anything, to make sure that we do not forget the victims. Just because their cases are unsolved does not mean that we can forget about them.

With the advances in modern forensic sciences, we have a chance to find clues that previously remained hidden. So, let us review all these old cases once more.

I encourage you to share this post on your own social media platforms. By sharing these posts online, the cases reach new networks, new connections, and the latest news feeds. One day these updates may pop up in the right person’s news feed. That may be someone who can help advance the case and that is my goal.

Rest in peace, Shelley T. Schantz and Allen J. Ripka.


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