True Crime

She murdered her own sister to steal her identity

San Francisco Chronicle

Stevie Allman, 52, was for many a guardian angel. An anti-drug activist, she worked with neighbours and police to clean up the streets.

While people often thought Stevie and her younger sister Sarah Mitchell, 47, were twins, the two women couldn’t be more different. Sarah had a history of theft, prostitution and drug abuse.

On July 1, 1997, emergency services were called to a house fire where a woman was rescued with burns to her face. ‘I’m Stevie,’ she told them. She said local drug dealers had fire-bombed her home as revenge for her campaigning.

Releasing a statement to the media, she said, ‘I have no doubt they intended to murder me.’ The public quickly rallied. Money was raised towards her medical expenses, local builders offered to rebuild her house, and a reward of $50,000 was offered for information on her attackers. But when Stevie and Sarah’s eldest sister Leotta Belleville, 60, saw the news reports, she called police. ‘That’s not Stevie,’ she said. ‘That’s Sarah.’

Stevie had taken her sister in (Credit:

Police took fingerprints from ‘Stevie’ – they matched a prior prostitution charge belonging to Sarah. Investigators then searched the burnt-out house and found Stevie Allman’s remains in a charred freezer.

Sarah Mitchell was found guilty of murdering her sister, Stevie Allman, then dismembering her body and assuming her identity to access her money and the deeds to her house. Sarah was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole.

Sarah smiles while being sentenced.
(Credit: San Francisco Chronicle)
Sarah was sentence to life in prison.
Sarah was sentenced to life in prison. (Credit: San Francisco Chronicle)

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