Alaska’s 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 a hypocrite because he hid 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 Papa Pilgrim, and this was the side his family saw all too often.
No one knew of the horrors the Pilgrim family endured at the hands of their father, high on the mountain above McCarthy Alaska.
Pilgrim’s Wilderness: A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontier. Kizzia, Tom. 6-16-2013. Crown Publisher
Papa Pilgrim’s Progress: The Dark Tale of an Alaskan Frontiersman. Kirby, Mark. 11/19/2008. Outside Magazine.
Hale clan details abuse at the hand of their father, ‘Papa Pilgrim’. Kizzia, Tom. 7-1-2016. Anchorage Daily News.
Robert Allen Hale. Wikipedia.
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Robin Barefield is the author of four Alaska wilderness mystery novels, Big Game, Murder Over Kodiak, The Fisherman’s Daughter, and Karluk Bones. Sign up to subscribe to her free, monthly newsletter on true murder and mystery in Alaska.