Just in time for the Halloween season comes this possible nightmare: the release from prison of a member of a devil cult whose slayings were compared to the Manson family murders a year earlier in 1969.
Arthur Craig "Moose" Hulse, who has been in prison for 44 years after receiving a life sentence for his role in the bloodshed, lost more than a dozen previous bids for parole, most recently in 2012, when the state board determined he would pose an unreasonable risk of danger to the public. Why? Because Hulse had not come to grips with what he'd done. But since state law changes last year, reduced sentences and a modified parole process can be obtained by inmates who committed crimes while they were juveniles. Hulse was 16 in 1970.
He was a member of a small group of transient, devil-worshipping drug users led by Steven Hurd. They first killed 20-year-old Jerry Wayne Carlin with a Boy Scout hatchet as he was working a graveyard shift at a Santa Ana gas station. His skull was crushed in from multiple blows.
A day later, cult members hijacked a station wagon driven by El Toro schoolteacher Nancy Brown, a 29-year-old mother of four who was stabbed her more than 20 times in an Irvine field.
Hulse's fate is now in the hands of Gov. Jerry Brown, who can accept or reject the parole board recommendation. He's already being lobbied to keep the double killer locked up by Carlin's widow Patricia Kramer, her supporters and the Orange County District Attorney's office.
"It took me totally by surprise," Kramer, who married Carlin shortly before he was killed, told the Orange County Register of the parole board decision. "I went back to being 18 again. It was like losing Jerry Wayne again. I just sat at my desk and cried."
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Kramer called Hulse "an animal."
"Is 44 years enough payment for two people's lives and what he has done to my family and my son?," she asked, referring to the boy who had not yet been born when his father was murdered.
If released, Hulse would reside in the Bay Area, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Scott Simmons, who told the Reg, "In our opinion, he is still a safety risk."