Robert Hale (Alaska)

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Robert Allen Hale (1941 – May 26, 2008), also known as Papa Pilgrim, was an American criminal who mentally, physically, and sexually abused his wife and 15 children in the Alaskan wilderness.

Early life

Robert Allen Hale was the son of I. B. Hale[1] and Virginia Kingsbery Hale of Fortune Road, Fort Worth, TX. [2][3][4][5] Warren Commission exhibit CE 1891[6] states that Mrs. Virginia Hale of Fortune Road, employed in the Fort Worth office of the Texas Employment Commission, sent Lee Harvey Oswald out on the job to the Leslie Welding Company in July, 1962.

In April, 1959, Robert Allen Hale was cleared by a Florida Coroner's Jury of responsibility related to the shooting death of his teenaged wife of only 44 days, Kathleen Connally Hale, the daughter of the future Texas Governor, John Connally.[7] Kathleen was already pregnant and they eloped to Oklahoma. They moved to Florida and lived in a small apartment for a month when Kathleen was killed by a shotgun blast below her right ear. Kathleen's family blamed Hale, but John Connally himself thought it might have been a suicide pact that Hale backed out of.

On November 22, 1963, John Connally was in the seat in front of President John F. Kennedy when he was shot and killed in their open-air limousine in Dallas by Lee Harvey Oswald, according to the Warren Commission.

Prior to living in Alaska, Hale had been involved in another notable incident with the law, also linked to President John F. Kennedy. On August 7, 1962, Hale and his twin brother William were observed by an F.B.I. agent, as they burglarized the Los Angeles apartment of one of John Kennedy's alleged mistresses, Judith Exner.[8][9]

In 1974, Hale met a 16-year-old girl named Kurina in the California desert. She would give birth to 15 children.

Robert Hale had gained notoriety through his family's iconoclastic lifestyle. A self-proclaimed devout Christian, Hale moved his family of 17 to Alaska from New Mexico in 1998 and kept them isolated from nearly all outside influences, including churches.

In 2002, Hale launched a legal battle with the National Parks Service over his plan to bulldoze a road to land his family owned inside the remote Wrangell-St. Elias National Park near the small town of McCarthy, Alaska. The case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which refused to hear the case.

In 2005, family members told police that Hale had routinely beaten and raped his eldest daughter for years. He was incarcerated in September 2007 and died eight months later on May 26, 2008.


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  3. ^ [1] "Reprint of A life off the beaten path, The strange story of Papa Pilgrim"
  4. ^ [2] "A life off the beaten path 2007-12-09, Page A10, Fort Worth Star-Telegram"
  5. ^ [3] "Property record of Virginia Hale's 6475 Fortune Road neighbor, Bob Bryden"
  6. ^ [4] "CE 1891"
  7. ^ [5] "Google News search results"
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External links