The crimes covered on NBC's Dateline are never straightforward, and the murder of Scott Horn will be no different. The retired FBI agent was killed in his garage in 2017, and those who knew him were puzzled at how the easygoing father could be so brutally murdered on his own property. The crime, investigation, and trials will be covered on the April 17 episode of Dateline.
Soon after he was killed, multiple theories about what happened to Horn began circulating, from a nefarious robbery scheme to someone seeking revenge from Horn's days in the FBI. Though police ultimately zeroed in on a culprit (or two), there were a lot of obstacles in the case.
What happened to Scott Horn? Read on to find out.
What happened to Scott Horn?
On March 16, 2017, at the age of 62, Scott Horn was found bludgeoned to death outside the shed of his home in Laurel, Maryland. Suspicions about Horn's whereabouts were raised when he didn't contact his daughter, Kelly Horn, as he did each morning. Scott Horn used to call his daughter every day to wake her up, but when she didn't get so much as a text of explanation from her father on that fateful March day, she contacted her dad's neighbors.
When they also confirmed that they hadn't seen Scott Horn that day, they alerted authorities to do a wellness check. That's when his body was discovered hidden in a tarp by his shed.
Scott Horn had been shot in the neck, but police soon determined that the shot was not fatal. They believe that his attacker (or attackers) then beat him to death. He suffered from severe trauma to his face and the top half of his body.
In addition to being a former FBI agent, Scott Horn also was a landlord. He had a reputation of carrying large sums of cash around from rent payments, and for keeping it in his house as well. Police wondered if he may have been killed during a botched robbery, or if one of his tenants had gotten mad at him.
There was no DNA evidence at the scene belonging to an outside source, making the case a difficult one to solve.
Interestingly, police also learned that Horn was in the midst of a messy divorce at the time he was killed.
According to Horn's friends, he had been in the process of splitting from wife Anne Reed Allen. There had been allegations of domestic abuse from the marriage too, and it was clear that things had become acrimonious between them. But, when Allen was questioned by police, she said that she and Horn were actually reconciling.
Police later learned that Allen was dating someone else during her supposed reconciliation with Horn. With only circumstantial evidence to go on, which included a theory that the couple murdered Horn for a life insurance payout and his rental properties, Allen and her beau, Jason Byrd, were arrested in June of 2017 for the murder of Scott Horn.
Scott Horn's murder remains unsolved to this day.
Because there was no concrete evidence linking Byrd and Allen to the crime, the charges against Byrd were actually dropped. Allen spent 18 months in prison awaiting her trial, which took place in November of 2018. After three weeks of trial, she was acquitted, so nobody has ever been held responsible for Scott Horn's death.
On the day that Allen was acquitted, new charges were filed against her. She was charged with two felony counts of attempting to influence witnesses and one count of obstruction of justice.
It was later revealed that, while Allen was in jail, she had a friend relay messages to her children about what they should say when they were witnesses during the trial.
It has been reported that Allen still lives in Laurel.
Horn's murder will be covered in "The House," the April 17 episode Dateline, which airs at 10 p.m. Regular episodes of Dateline air on Fridays at 9 p.m. on NBC.