Robert Allen Hale

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For other people of the same name, see Robert Hale.

Robert Allan Hale (April 7, 1941 – May 26, 2008) — known as Bobby Hale, as well as Papa Pilgrim and Sunstar — was an American criminal who mentally, physically, and sexually abused his wife and 15 children in the Alaskan wilderness.

Early life[edit]

Robert Allan Hale was the son of FBI agent Insall Bailey "I. B." Hale and Virginia Kingsbery Hale of Fortune Road, Fort Worth, Texas.[1][2][3][4] Warren Commission exhibit CE 1891[5] states that Virginia Hale of Fortune Road, employed in the Fort Worth office of the Texas Employment Commission, sent Lee Harvey Oswald to the Leslie Welding Company for work in July 1962. Oswald and Hale had gone to school together at Arlington Heights High School and knew each other.

In April 1959, Hale was cleared by a Florida Coroner's Jury of responsibility related to the shooting death of his 16-year-old wife of only 44 days, Kathleen Connally "K.K." Hale (daughter of future Texas Governor, John Connally).[6] Kathleen was pregnant and the couple eloped to Ardmore, Oklahoma. They were married on March 16, 1959, and moved to Tallahassee, Florida where Hale found work for a boating company and K.K. worked at a ten-cent store.[7] The couple was living in a small apartment for a month, when Kathleen was killed by an accidental 20 gauge shotgun blast below her right ear.

Other legal troubles and death[edit]

On August 7, 1962, before living in Alaska, Hale and his twin brother "Billy" Hale were observed by an FBI agent as they burglarized the Los Angeles apartment of Judith Exner, who claimed to be a mistress of President John F. Kennedy.[8][9]

In 1974, Robert Hale (then going by the name "Sunstar") met 16-year-old Kurina Rose Bresler in the California desert. She would later call herself "Country Rose" and bear Hale 15 children.[10] 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 Park Service over his plan to bulldoze a road to his 410-acre ranch ("Hillbilly Heaven") inside the remote Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, near the small town of McCarthy, Alaska.[10] He lost his case at the US Court of Appeals (9th Cir., San Francisco). He appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Court refused to hear it.

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. He was a diabetic and had been in poor health since at least 2006.[11]

In 2013 a book was published by Tom Kizzia titled Pilgrim's Wilderness: A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontier, chronicling Hale's life with a focus on his time in McCarthy.

References[edit]

External links[edit]