People Magazine Investigates is in Sonoma County in northern California to examine the notorious Jenner Beach Murders of 2004, where young couple Jason Allen and Lindsay Cutshall were callously gunned down by Shaun Gallon.
Allen, 26, and Cutshall, 22, were engaged to be married, and a ceremony was planned for back home in their native Ohio; however, before they tied the knot, the pair were spending the summer working as Christian Camp Counselors in northern California.
On August 14, 2004, the young couple were taking a few days off when they decided to bed down for the night in sleeping bags on the sand of the secluded Jenner Beach in Sonoma County. Tragically, it was here that they encountered a cold-hearted killer, Shaun Gallon.
Years later, Gallon would describe to police officers how he had first killed Allen with a sawn-off rifle before turning the gun on Cutshall. He recalled how Cutshall had awoken at the sound of the gunshot and had made a “noise” on seeing her dead fiancee before, she too, was murdered.
A search for the couple was instigated when they failed to return to camp, and four days later, a helicopter spotted their remains lying on the beach. They were still in their sleeping bags, with their Bible lying next to them.
For the next thirteen years, the police worked hard to secure a conviction. From the beginning, investigators suspected that Gallon was responsible for the crime. He was a severely troubled individual, arrested on numerous occasions for a wide variety of crimes, including assault, but unfortunately, the police were unable to tie him to the Jenner Beach murders.
Shaun Gallon confessed to Jenner Beach murders after killing his brother
A grim breakthrough emerged in the case in March 2017, when Gallon was arrested after he killed his younger brother, Shamus Gallon, at their mother’s home in an unprovoked attack. While being questioned, he surprised investigators by admitting to killing Allen and Cutshall.
Gallon told the police that he had been drinking heavily on the night of the murders and that he was tormented by “voices and demons.” He explained that after spotting Allen and Cutshall asleep on the beach, he returned to the car to retrieve his rifle.
He reportedly told the Sonoma County Sheriff: “That’s when I snapped. I was like, ‘Oh my god, I’m just going to start killing people.'”
The ruthless killer also confessed to the attempted murder of John Robles in June 2004, just two months before the beach killings. Gallon had fought with Robles in a bar years previously and clearly still harbored animosity when he planted a bomb on his car. It exploded severely injuring Robles’s wife, but the intended target escaped without injury.
Gallon was seen locally as a reclusive and disturbed loner; he was known for some bizarre survivalist behavior and was also known to have killed animals for no reason.
In July 2019, a judge sentenced Gallon to serve three consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole; he was also given a further 94 years. Judge LaForge said: “It’s crystal clear to me you deserve to spend the rest of your life in prison – and then some.”
More from People Magazine Investigates
Follow the links to read about more heinous crimes profiled on People Magazine Investigates.
In 1970, Army officer Jeffrey MacDonald hacked his wife and two daughters to death at their home with a scalpal and an ice-pick. He then tried to blame their deaths on “drug-crazed hippies.”
One day in October 2018, Cheryl Coker left her home in Riverside, Ohio, and vanished without a trace. She had just filed for divorce her husband Bill Coker, which made him an instant suspect, but the pair had had an open marriage, so there was no shortage of potential murderers.
People Magazine Investigates airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.