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Robert Allen Hale was born April 7, 1941, and died on May 24, 2008[1]. He had many pseudonyms including Preacher Bob, Firefly, and most famously Papa Pilgrim.[2] He had 15 children with latest wife Kurina Bresler, who was sixteen and Hale was thirty-three at the time of their 1974 marriage. In between those marriages, he is alleged to have had four children by three women. Nothing is known about them.

Legal Battles

First married at eighteen to sixteen-year-old Kathleen Connelly in 1959. They fought while living together, and at one point Kathleen slept at a neighbor's and went to the police in the morning, requesting to be sent home to Texas.[3] She died just 44 days after her wedding, pregnant, after being shot in the head. The death of declared accidental and Robert Hale was cleared of all chargers. [4][5]

At one point years later, Robert and his brother William were witnessed to have been breaking into the home of Judith Campbell Exner, who was one of John F. Kennedy's mistresses, in a potential blackmail attempt. No charges were brought.[6]

After living on a hippie commune in New Mexico he moved his family with his second wife to the wilderness of Alaska, in McCarthy. He got into a long legal battle over the use of federal-state land. He gained a following and support for bulldozing land inside of Wrangle-St. Elias protected forest. Land rights activist were on his and his families side for their "Hillbilly Heavan" and their old-fashioned pioneering ways, and against the abuse of Federal Power. [7]

After his eldest children escaped, his abuse towards them and his wife came to light. He drank and had angry outbursts, whipping his children until they bled, covering the mouth and nose of crying babies, and demanding his wife call him Lord.[8] He taught his children it was okay to steal, poach animals and lie to authorities. Only three of his children could read. [9] He would deny his children food as punishment, and force them to sleep outside in the freezing Alaska wilderness.[10]

His family got help after he locked his daughter in a shack and brutally raped her for multiple days. He was arrested in October 2005 after a two-week manhunt for physical and sexual assault, coercion and incest.[11] He plead no contest to multiple charges that he raped one of his daughters.[12] He died in prison 3 years later.


His story was written about in the book Pilgrim's Wilderness: A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontier[13] written by Tom Kizzia. It is an in-depth look at the life of the Hale Family, their time in Alaska, legal battles, and abuse.[14]

The Dark Side of Camelot by Seymour Hersh is about JFK, and mentions Robert Hale, his twin and Father, and his involvement with the break in, potential bugging of the apartment and,the information he got from FBI files.[15]