The Horrible Misdeeds of Papa Pilgrim


From the Wilderness of Kodiak Island Alaska. This is murder and mystery in the last frontier. With your host Robin Airfield in a land full of peril and vicious animals. Humans are the most dangerous predators of all Alaska. Slogan is the last frontier and to some people this means Alaska is the wild west a place with less law and order and someplace they can live as they choose the man who called Himself Papa. Pilgrim believed moving his family to the Wilderness of Alaska offered him the opportunity to do anything he wanted. Papa pilgrim was the worst kind of hypocrite because he hit his crimes behind his religious zeal like a charismatic cult leader. Pilgrim could appear charming and persuasive in public. But there was another side of Pop. A pilgrim and this was the side. His family saw all too often. Welcome to murder mystery in the last frontier. I'm your host Robin Fairfield. And I'm broadcasting from the heart of the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge on Kodiak Island in Alaska. This store is not specifically a Taylor murder. Although I do believe it does involve a murder. I chose the story because it describes the independent streak of many Alaskans and their desire to live without government. Interference it also conveys the friend late open nature of Rural Alaskans and their willingness to trust others and go the extra mile to lend a helping hand to strangers this story also unfortunately reveals the nature of those few individuals who moved to Alaska to escape their sins only to repeat them here and become an ugly stain on the fabric of the Alaska Landscape in most wilderness areas in Alaska. You are likely to find a few people who've chosen to live in such a remote area because they want to escape. Societal norms and public scrutiny. Most of these individuals are good. People who simply don't WanNa be bothered by the government don't WanNa be told how to raise their children or want to be able to follow their own spiritual beliefs. Alaska does have laws though. Alaska is not the wild west. Papa pilgrim probably could have hidden off the grid in the Alaskan Wilderness and continued his horrible rain over his family. Had he not taken on the National Park Service and turned a spotlight on himself and his family? My first podcast episode chronicled the mail. Day murders in tiny McCarthy Alaska the ghost mining town in the heart of the huge Rangel Saint Elias National Park. Most of this story is also said McCarthy and it begins where my last story ended Chris Richards. One of the survivors of the McCarthy Mail Day massacre died when his cabin burned a few days before Christmas in two thousand one at almost the same moment when flames leapt from richards cabin. The Pilgrim clan marched into McCarthy PAPA. Pilgrim country rose and their fifteen children made quite a spectacle in the streets and McCarthy Alaska the strange story. Papa Pilgrim begins much earlier than his arrival in McCarthy Vo. I'll start when he was in high school and went by his legal name. Robert or bobby. Hail Bobby's father I B Hale was a college football star. Who turned down an offer to play for the Washington and instead joined the FBI. Bobby hail grew up in an affluent family in Arlington Texas. He his twin brother Billy and they're younger brother. Tommy attended Arlington Heights. High School Robert Hale was known for his video temper and the love for fighting with his fists. He even trained as a boxer as youth at age seventeen. Bobby ran off with his sixteen year. Old High School Sweetheart. Kathleen or K. K. Connolly the daughter of future Texas governor. John connally John. Connolly's perhaps best remembered for riding in the car with John F. Kennedy in Dallas on the day Kennedy was assassinated Bobby K. eloped and moved to Tallahassee Florida where K- k- soon learned. She was pregnant. Bobby cake had a tumultuous relationship and on Monday April twenty seventh nineteen fifty nine following an explosive argument K. Spent the night with the landlady of their apartment building the following morning K. K. Went to the local police station and asked if they could send her back to her parents and Texas before. The officers had a chance to help her K. K. Return to her apartment where she was found dead a few hours later the back of her head blown away by twenty gauge shotgun. According to Bobby he arrived home and found his wife lying on the sofa with a loaded shotgun threatening to kill herself. He tried to get her to put down the gun but when she refused he lunged for the shotgun and discharged. Cake as death was ruled an accident. Despite the absence of cake as prints on the shotgun and the fact that she was shot in the back of the head after K. K. Died BOBBY RETURNED TO FORT. Worth where he received his ged and attended Texas Christian University for a short while a few months. Later Bobby and his twin brother billy or caught breaking into the Los Angeles apartment of Judith. Exner the rumored mistress of JFK and a woman who supposedly also had ties with Sam Giancana a leading figure in the Chicago Mafia. No explanation ever emerged to suggest. Why the hill brothers broke into extras apartment. But not long after the break in the. Us government awarded one of the largest military contracts in US history to IB hails new employer general dynamics some historians wonder if the brothers were trying to find evidence in ex-nurse apartment about her affair with Kennedy to blackmail the president into awarding. General Dynamics. The defense contract bobby. Hail next wondered from California to Houston and back to California where he ran with the same crowd as Charles. Manson at age. Thirty three bobby. Who was then going by the name Bob? Sun-star met sixteen year old. Carina Rose Bressler near a waterfall in the San Bernardino Mountains. He soon began calling his new girlfriend. Country Rose Hale and rose found job caretaking. A ranch owned by actor. Jack Nicholson in a remote section of northern New Mexico. They stayed on the New Mexico ranch for more than twenty years raising sheep and goats and growing vegetables. Rose gave birth to their first child. Butterfly sun-star later renamed Elijah in nineteen seventy five and every other year. Rose bore another child until she and Hale had fifteen children. Hail experimented with a variety of religions but finally settled on his own self serving form of Christianity. He changed his name to pop a pilgrim and was not shy about sharing his version of the Gospel with anyone. Who would listen? The pilgrim children. Never Watch television and had no access to computers. They received no formal education. And we're naive about the ways of the world. Only Elijah and the oldest boys learned how to read. Hail destroyed all the family. Books except the Bible and a copy of Pilgrim's progress and refused to teach the children how to read or even how to perform simple mathematical calculations. He wanted them to know the scripture only through his teaching he did not want them to read the Bible for themselves and then questioned his interpretation of it hail force children to haul his bath water every night and then allowed them to take baths in his dirty water every three to four days. He bragged that his kids bathed in their undergarments and had never seen a naked body including their own hail demanded total obedience from rose and his children and when he determined they had disobeyed him. He unleashed swift brutal punishment. He whipped them with a leather strap or his belt and he hit them with his fists as a trained boxer. He delivered brutal. Beatings when Halen rose. I moved to New Mexico ranch. They lived miles from their nearest neighbors. But over time people began moving closer to the strange backwoods couple whose children never seemed to go to school hale taught his children. It was okay to steal from neighbor if a neighbor had something they needed when neighbors started accusing hail of theft and threatened to write a letter to Jack. Nicholson asking him to evict the hill family from the ranch. Papa Pilgrim decided. It was time to take his show on the road and move his clan to Alaska once in Alaska. He believed he could live in seclusion with his family. Preaches God's people and act as Lord of his kingdom would hale did not seem to realize is that conditions can be extreme in Alaska and you often must depend on others to survive. The pilgrim family drifted around Alaska for a few years. They lived in fairbanks and then in homer for short time. But neither town offered Papa the seclusion. He desired for his family. He knew as soon as he drove into. Mccarthy in January two thousand two. This was where he wanted to settle. He did not plan to live in McCarthy itself but he wanted his home to be near enough to the small town so he could get supplies. They're on the Weekly Mail plane. Nail dear ish who was in the process of remodeling the McCarthy Lodge. For the summer tourism season was the first to notice the strange arrival of the pilgrim family. The temperature hovered at twenty degrees below zero. But most of the huddled together in the open beds of two pickup trucks. When the trucks roll to a stop in front of the lodge the kids sprang from the beds and began looking around town excitedly. A man with long grey hair along beard a weathered face and piercing blue eyes climbed from the cab of one of the trucks and introduced himself to Garish. As Pilgrim Darioush invited the family into the Lodges Dining Room. Pilgrim had come to McCarthy with only ten of his kids rose stayed back with the younger kids. While Papa chucked out McCarthy and scouted available Property Papa liked what he saw McCarthy and the pilgrims charmed the dozen residents who gathered at the lodge to meet them. The pilgrim kids grabbed fiddles guitars and a mandolin from their trucks and put on an impromptu bluegrass concert for the crowd. The children were cute shy and various religious. Most of the residents welcomed the pilgrims. But at least one in the crowd of townspeople saw papa pilgrim for the con. Man He was papa. Pilgrim soon returned to McCarthy with country rose and their fifteen children. They bought an abandoned mine. Fourteen miles from McCarthy up the mountain and accessible only by the nearly impassable McCarthy Green Butte Road Papa called their new Home Hillbilly Heaven Hill Billy. Heaven could be reached by Snow Machine Horse and even on foot if you didn't mind hiking for a day since it was impossible to drive a truck up the road. Though pilgrim arranged for supplies to be delivered by Bush plane or by horse the freight costs soon became too expensive. However and in the fall of two thousand and two. When the family ran short on funds the pilgrims began to secretly use a bulldozer to clear the old road to town since the road ran through the wrangle. Saint Elias National Park and Park Regulations Prohibited Clearing Park land or altering the old road in any way. Pilgrim did his best to hide his illicit actions from the park service. The following spring when Park Rangers discovered what the pilgrims had done to the road. They began surveying the damage. And prepared a lawsuit against Robert Hale. Aka Papa Pilgrim. Pilgrim wasted. No time preying on the generosity of other Alaskans and asking for their sympathy and support. He posted the letters around McCarthy about the unfairness of the park service. Denying his simple God fearing family access to their home. He invited a television news. Crew Anchorage so it's viewers could see the families simple lifestyle and Papuka talk about how much they needed the old road to haul supplies to their home. In Hillbilly Heaven. The charming news piece created support for the pilgrims and anger against the Park Service. The story about the pilgrims and their simple godly lifestyle. High Above McCarthy in Hillbilly Heaven Spread to national and international news organizations the Washington Post The economist. Cnn and the BBC all did stories on the pilgrims and they're backward lifestyle. Zealous reporters uncovered. The Story of hails passed. But the pilgrim patriarch revelled in all the attention and greedily accepted proffered charity. He pushed his charming in front of the cameras and never missed an opportunity for his family to perform their gospel tunes. For the press residents of McCarthy who had I found the pilgrim's charming and had welcome them with open arms soon began to grow tired of the clan. At the beginning of the two thousand four summer tour season pilgrim dress some of his younger children in ragged outfits and stationed them by the footbridge into McCarthy where they sold tickets for a bus ride up to the Kennecott mine. Other local families already provided a bus service to the mind and the residents McCarthy resented the pilgrims for stealing the business the pilgrims also set up a squatters camp down the street from the McCarthy Lodge where they stayed when they were in town. Not only did they encroach on the properties of others but they brought their livestock into the camp forcing their neighbors to deal with the smell and excrement from the animals. Mccarthy residents repeatedly asked the pilgrims to move their squatters camp but when they refused Stevens Harper a park ranger and a neighbor whose driveway had been partially blocked by the pilgrims possessions approached their camp driving a bulldozer. Two dozen McCarthy residents arrived on the scene to support Harper and Papa. Pilgrim finally moved the camp to a parcel of land. He'd recently purchased at the end of the McCarthy road. Papa pilgrim continue to teach his kids. It was okay for them to steal equipment and animals from others and at the father had a run in with one of the locals he often sit and Joshua and Jacob his two oldest sons to follow or frighten them when Park Service. Rangers attempted to climb the road to talk to pilgrim. Some of the oldest kids at first followed the Rangers on horseback and then blocked their way when they got closer to Hillbilly Papa. Pilgrim liked to preach his version of the Gospel and when others disagreed with him he'd get mad. And leave the people of McCarthy found Papa pilgrim overbearing and self righteous and. They were concerned about the welfare of the kids. The older kids often sported large bruises and people wondered if the bruises had been caused by a rough life outdoors or was there source more sinister. A few realized most of the kids could not read and they wondered if the children had ever received formal schooling. Let me pause for a minute to thank the folks at the Puzzle Game Best Fiends. For sponsoring my podcast. I appreciate your support and I love your game as I was thinking of what I wanted to say about best scenes in this episode. I decided to make a list of my three favorite things about the game number one. The game challenges me. It consists of a series of puzzles and the player must solve each puzzle to move to the next level number two. The puzzles are short. It might take a long time to successfully solve a puzzle but each puzzle lasts only a few minutes. So you can pick up the game. Play it for a bit and put it down again. 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Although the residents McCarthy worried about the pilgrim children most felt it was not their place to interfere in the lives of this devout Christian family who seemed well adjusted and happy no one could know the horrors country rose and her children endured at the hands of Papa. Pilgrim pilgrim began having sexual relations with his oldest daughter Alicia when she was eighteen years old ten years later she her father and her mother often shared the same bed. Hail told his daughter that her mother was old and ugly and no longer excited him. He told Aleisha she needed to get him excited so he could plant his seat in her mother. Alicia hated having sex with Papa. She knew it wasn't right but when she told her father she thought their relationship was simple. Papa told her the Scripture said it was okay for a father to have intimate relations with his oldest daughter. He also pointed out she was helping her. Mother have more children in two thousand four. The pilgrim's Mitt another devout Christian family. Who lived in Palmer Alaska? The Buckinghamshire had nine children. And the Pilgrim. Children were thrilled to meet new friends at first. Even Papa pilgrim like the Buckingham. But then Jim Buckingham. Noticed the many bruises on Alita and suspected her father was physically and sexually abusing her when Buckingham confronted pilgrim about a suspicions. Pilgrim grew angry and ordered his to leave the Buckingham home. While at the Buckingham Alicia told the Buckingham Girls. The Bible discouraged marriage the Buckingham Girls. Who knew the Bible well explained to Aleisha? Bussey was misquoting. The Bible Alicia began to wonder if her father had misquoted the Bible on purpose and she began to question everything. Papa had told her she especially wondered whether the Bible said it was right for father and daughter to have sexual relations. Papa seemed to be losing control of his temper more often when Jonathan the youngest child cried Papa would set the baby on his lap and pinched nose and mouth closed until the baby began to turn blue and pass out this action not only scared Jonathan but also terrified rose in the kids. So Papa began to Pinch Jonathan's nose mouth closed to keep the others in line in January. Two thousand five pop took Aleisha and some of the boys with him. Down the mountain to McCarthy together supplies and they stayed in the shack on the edge of town that night. Papa argued with the boys over something Jim Buckingham had told them he sent the boys out to unload trucks and then lost his temper with Aleisha when she told him he had not been teaching them. What the Bible really said? He took off his belt and began whipping. Alicia when the boys heard her scream they returned to the shack. Alicia tried to run out the door. But Papa grabbed her by the hair and dragged her back inside the cabin. He told the boys to leave so they got on their snow machines and headed up the valley to their home. Papa beat Alicia and raped her repeatedly. He kept her locked in the shack for three days and when he finally took her home he made her wear a ski mask so the others could not see her bruises and her badly swollen face. Aleisha six year old sister. Jerusalem asked deletion remove her ski mask and Jerusalem felt sick when she saw leash obas face. It was so swollen and bruised. She barely recognised her sister. Alicia brothers were shocked and angry when they saw her face and told Papa he was a wrong for beating her Alicia admitted to her. Brother's what Papa had been doing to her. She didn't say he had sexually abused her but she said he had treated her like a wife only a hundred times worse and it was as bad as they could imagine. The older boys confronted their father. And Papa Hit. Josh will with his fist and broke. Josh was knows the four older boys decided to leave home and told Aleisha she needed to leave to after they left. Papa declared his sons lost to the devil and his behavior Goo even more erratic as he continued to beat Alicia and punish the younger kids. For small wrongs. Mama told Aleisha to run away from home but Chaba was too terrified about what Papa would do to her if he khader finally one day when the gasoline supply for the generator ran low. Papa decided to make a quick trip to McCarthy to get gas and Alicia Banou. This was her chance to make a break for it. She announced to the others that she was leaving and Jerusalem said she would go with her. Jerusalem worried Alicia did not have the will to keep herself alive so she wanted to accompany and take care of her sister. Momma called Joseph in Glen Allen and he said he and the other boys would meet Alicia and Jerusalem when they arrived in McCarthy and would keep them safe from Papa Alicia Jerusalem knew they did not have long before papa returned he planned to hurry to. Mccarthy grabbed the gas and rush back up the hill because he was afraid Alicia would escape if he left her alone along. The young women attempted to start one of the snow machines but it would not fire when they looked at the engine. They realized the spark plug had been removed they replaced the spark plug told the family. Goodbye drove a short distance over the snow and the fan belt broke. Jerusalem struggled through the deep snow back to the cabin and started a second machine. They only one a short distance on this no machine though before it ran out of gas and they saw had a fuel line leak. They were running out of time. Before Papa returned and in desparation they transferred to a third snow machine. They travelled a short distance and then pulled off the main trail and hid in the trees. Jerusalem had brought white sheets with them so they covered themselves and the snow machine with the sheets and remained motionless in the snow. Aleisha not even imagine the magnitude of poppas rage. If he found them and once he got near the cabin he would see the stalled snow machines and know something was wrong as they heard. Papa snow machine coming up. The trail Alicia prayed and tried to remain calm when he drove past them. Aleisha told her sister they had to hurry. They had one half hour at best before. Papa would be on their trail when they arrived. Mccarthy their brothers were not at the meeting place a leash pulled US know machine into thick brush and she in Jerusalem crawled under the bowels of a spruce tree hiding from their father and waiting for their brothers. They heard Papa snow machine searching the streets of the town circling and waiting for any sign of his missing daughters Alicia and Jerusalem state under the spruce street for five days eating cold cheese and raisins while the temperature dropped twenty degrees below zero at night. They didn't dare build a fire and they had no sleeping bags so they huddled and waited. They finally decided to sneak down to their town shack and use the phone. They knew they had to be careful though because their father be staying at the cabin when they arrived at the shack they quietly searched the surrounding woods and indeed pop ahead hidden is no machine in the thick brush. The girls hurried back to their hiding place and the next day they entered another cabin and use the phone there to call their brothers. The brothers had misunderstood the original rendezvous spot and had been actually waiting to hear from their sisters. The brothers rescued Aleisha and Jerusalem. And the girls eventually went to live with the Buckingham in Palmer. A few months later when Alicia heard Papa had nearly beaten two year old Joseph to death. She knew it was time to report. Papas many sins to the authorities Robert Hale heard the troopers were after him and he managed to hide from them for twelve days but was eventually found arrested. He stood quietly. While the troopers placed the handcuffs on him hale continued to deny the claims made by his wife and children even after a palmer. Grand jury charged him in September. Two Thousand Five with thirty felony accounts of Rape Assault and incest. He pleaded not guilty to the charges but a year later he changed his plea to no contest in exchange for a fourteen year prison sentence at Hale sentencing hearing in September two thousand seven his wife and all his children except the youngest one addressed the court and their father. Berating him and asking him why he had done such terrible things to them. They told the judge they love their father. And we're trying not to hold any bitterness against him but they begged the judge not to let him out of Prison S. Fourteen of his fifteen children's spoke at the sentencing hearing the spectators cringed while they heard for the first time the horrors the Hale family had endured at the hands of their father Aleisha when she detailed some of her father's most appalling acts toward her sick in the crowd. The children confessed. They thought the world was normal until they met the Buckingham and realized there was another way to live. Robert Hale died in a prison hospital on March twenty. Sixth two thousand eight only eight months into his fourteen year sentence. He was sixty seven years old and had been in poor health for many years with Vance. Roses diabetes and blood clots. He never apologized to his family nor repented for his evil deeds in the he refused to talk to his family. Most of the hailed children moved in with a Buckingham 's where they were taught to read and write. Joseph and Joshua married the two oldest Buckingham Daughters and Alicia is also now married. How do you erase a lifetime of and a childhood where you were taught how to survive on your own in the Wilderness? But we're taught nothing about how do belong to society and treat others hopefully with much support. The hail children will find their way. The residents of McCarthy who had originally found the hail children's sweet in the family charming were horrified when they learned the nightmare. Papa pilgrim created for his family in the cabin on the mountain. In addition to the fifteen children born to Robert and Rose Hale Hale fathered three children from previous marriages. Country Rose was hails fourth wife and probably not his first abuse victim K. K. Connolly was sixteen years old when she married Robert Hale and she died forty four days later from a shotgun blast to the back of her head K. K. was certainly one of Hale's earliest victims if you would like to listen to extra episodes of murder and mystery in the last frontier. I invite you to join the last Frontier Club. I'm celebrating the Grand Opening of the last Frontier Club until the end of June. The names of everyone who joins before. Then we'll be placed in a drawing to win last Frontier Club. Merchandise autographed copies of my books handmade glass jewelry and more. I will of course include the names of those of you who have already joined the club in my drawing you can find the link to the club in the show notes or you can simply go to patriotic dot com. That's Patriot on P. A. T. R. E. O. N. DOT COM and search for murder and mystery in the last frontier. I hope to see you there. Thank you for listening. 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