More than 3,300,000 pageviews from 150 countries


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Christopher Hubbart: The Pillowcase Rapist

     In 1969, when Christopher Hubbart attended high school in Los Angeles, he reached out and touched a woman's breast as she walked by him on the street. He touched several woman this way until he quickly evolved into a rapist. In the early 1970s, the sexual predator drove around Los Angeles in the morning hours looking for women to rape.

     Hubbart had a simple criminal modus operandi:  in residential neighborhoods he'd look for open garage doors that revealed that the man of the house had left for work. If Hubbart saw toys in the yard or in the garage he knew children were in the house. Hubbart believed that mothers protective of their children were more likely to submit to him without a struggle. As a calculating sexual predator, Christopher Hubbart represented one of society's worst nightmares.

     Once inside his carefully chosen victim's home, Hubbart bound the woman's hands, and while he raped her, held a pillow over her face. In 1972, the so-called "pillowcase rapist" sexually assaulted 26 women in Los Angeles County.

     Detectives identified and arrested Hubbart in 1973. He pleaded guilty, and instead of being sent to prison for at least fifty years, the judge sent him for sex offender treatment at the Atascadero State Hospital. At that time, criminal justice practitioners in California thought they could rehabilitate anyone. As a result, the state became a haven for sex offenders. (It still is.)

     In 1979, after a team of therapists, counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists proudly proclaimed that the pillowcase rapist had been cured and was no longer a danger to society, these mental health experts decided to treat him as an outpatient. Hubbart must have been grateful for his clean bill of health and the chance to continue his career as a serial rapist.

     Within months of walking out of the state hospital, Hubbart raped several women in northern California. Convicted in 1980, the judge sentenced him to prison instead of putting him back into the hands of counselors and therapists. But this was California, and in 1990, corrections experts released him on parole. As could be expected by anyone who knows anything about serial sex offenders, Hubbart re-offended. He raped a female jogger shortly after his release from prison.

      The authorities sent the pillowcase rapist back to prison. One would think that as a habitual rapist, Mr. Hubbart was finally in prison for good. The parole authorities, obviously with warm spots in their hearts for rapists, released him back into society after three years behind bars.

     In 1996, while living in the Los Angeles County town of Claremont, California, Hubbart told his parole officer that he felt he was losing control of himself. Later that year, pursuant to a new California law called the Sexual Predator Act, a judge committed Hubbart to the Coalinga State Hospital. The new law applied to serial sex offenders like Hubbart who were likely to re-offend. (I guess politicians in the state had grown tired of correction officials and mental health experts putting serial sex offenders back into society.)

     In May 2013, history repeated itself when a judge in Los Angeles County ordered Christopher Hubbart released from the state hospital. Once free, he would come under the supervision of bureaucrats running the Forensic Conditional Release Program. Under this program, administered by the California Department of State Hospitals, Hubbart would receive free housing, continued psychological assessment, group and individual therapy, and regular home visits. (Wouldn't it be nice if military veterans in California received care and treatment half this good?)

     Serial rapist Hubbart, under the release program, would be required to wear a GPS monitoring device. He would also be subjected to random drug testing, regular polygraph examinations, and house searches. He was also prohibited from watching television shows and digital media that "acted as a stimulus to arousal." Under this program, a security guard would be posted at his place of residence and he would not be allowed outside by himself at night. (No wonder the state is on the verge of bankruptcy.)

     In July 2013, District Attorney Jackie Lacey petitioned a state judge to block Hubbart's release on the grounds of public safety. The judge denied the request and the government appealed that decision. On August 25, 2013, the California Supreme Court affirmed the lower court's denial of the prosecutor's motion. The high court justices did not accompany their ruling with a written decision.

     Prosecutor Lacey, in speaking to reporters after losing the appeal, said, "We are now committed to working with law enforcement partners to ensure that all terms of conditions of release are strictly enforced. We will do everything in our power to keep all members of our community safe from harm."

     In July 2014, mental health authorities released the pillowcase rapist to his new home in Palmdale, California. Residents of this desert community northeast of Los Angeles were up in arms. A group of activists formed an organization called Ladies of Lake LA committed to getting Hubbart back into custody. Members of the group held daily demonstrations in front of the rapist's house.

     The obvious problem with Hubbart's release was this: prosecutor Lacey could not guarantee that this serial rapist would not take off his GPS ankle bracelet and slip into the night and rape more women. The prosecutor knew this, the police knew it, and so did the bureaucrats in charge of Hubbart's supervision.

    Sixty-three-year-old Christopher Hubbart had been kicked out of the state hospital to make room for younger rapists. The state was simply overrun with sexual predators. Christopher Hubbart's release had nothing to do with rehabilitation. Even the bureaucrats in California realized these people cannot be fixed.

     In September and October 2014, Hubbart violated the conditions of his release by letting the power in his ankle monitor run low. Prosecutor Jackie Lacey charged Hubbart with parole violation and petitioned Judge Richard Loftus to send Hubbart back to the Coalinga State Hospital. Hubbart's attorney, public defender Christopher Yuen, argued that his client had not re-offended and that parolees routinely let their monitor batteries run down.

    At the parole revocation hearing on May 11, 2015, Judge Loftus ruled that Christopher Hubbart "was not a danger to the health and safety of others." As a result, the rapist would remain free. The decision did not go down well with the citizens of Hubbart's neighborhood in Palmdale, California.

     On August 9, 2016, a Santa Clara County spokesperson announced that Hubbart had "failed to meet the terms of his release." As a result, he had been returned to the Coalinga State Hospital. The county official did not reveal how the serial rapist had violated the terms of his release. Hubbart's Palmdale neighbors were jubilant.

   

9 comments:

  1. This comment is off topic – I sent an email to your addy listed on your website but it came back as undeliverable, so I am posting this question here.

    Yesterday, I found your website by happenstance and read all of the excellent up-dated material that you’ve posted. I’ve also ordered your book, Crimson Stain. If it is as well written as the material on your website then you have a new fan. You did a phenomenal job sussing out the convoluted facts of Ed’s post conviction life. I noticed that the title indicates that Ed Gingerich as the only Amish man who was convicted of murder.
    This is not true. You are aware of Eli Stutzman, right? I read Gregg Olsen’s excellent book about his murders when it was first published in 1990. There are a couple of interesting overlaps between both of these Amish men. Eli’s wife, who he murdered in Wooster, Ohio, was named Ida Gingerich prior to marrying Eli. Both men got ridiculously miniscule sentences. In Eli’s case, he was sentenced in Texas to 40 yrs for the murder of his roommate and served less than 5 yrs, prior to being paroled. I’m just wondering if you were aware of Eli Stutzman’s murders prior to selecting the title of your book.

    Thanks in advance for the incredible reporting and writing.

    Nancy Brenner

    ReplyDelete
  2. One correction: Claremont, Ca is located in Los Angeles County, not Santa Clara County.

    ReplyDelete
  3. There is plenty of room at Coalinga State Hospital. They are not anywhere near capacity at last report. WHY he is getting out is a mystery. His doctors say he is in control now. Thus the Conditional Release Program. We shall see. Nobody is happy about this except maybe the Judge who should have kept him in. The Judges in Orange County let NO SVP out no matter how many times they ask. We need to watch who we are electing to sit behind the bench.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The "Conditional Release" revocation hearing was held in Santa Clara County, with Judge Loftus presiding. Not Los Angeles County. I know this because he lives just a few miles from myself. I had to drive for several hours to Santa Clara County to Hubbart's revocation hearing.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am the "Parole Agent" who arrested Hubbart the last time he was arrested - and before there were any New Victims - on my Watch. I then Fought the CDC Administration to keep him there - I Made him the "Poster Boy" for the California SVP Law. From the day I arrested Hubbart he stayed "Locked Up" until - several years following my retirement - when - the idiots deided to change the law. Not "ALL" State Employees are idiots.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Not Only - But Also - Hubbart never told the Psychologist he "Felt he was Losing Control" My only question to the Psychologist I had see him a few days following release and before he did it again - {I Literally Sat on the hill above Hubbart's Mother's home in Clairemont at night on my own time - he scared me that much] was simple "Is it likely he will do it again". Answer - YES - and I arrested him - he committed no "New Offense" But he did not come back out again for Years.

    I dumped my career.

    6 months following arresting Hubbart - CDC wanted to release him - and I told the Administrator who wanted to release him - [When a CDC Psych wrote a report saying - "Hubbart - is a "Gentelman Rapist" who never harmed anyone has been allowed to languish in prison for these many months". I have My records - my objection - and Your Name. Do what you think is best. If You Release him I have Copies of "My Documents" and your name. I will give those papers to the press.

    Then Hubbart stayed at Vacaville and became the Poster Boy for SVP legislation.

    All that is "Required" to arrest a Parolee is an agent who realizes He or She works for "The People" NOT CDC - and any Parolee the agent deems to be a threat can be returned to custody. Then a "Supervisor can write a "Difference Of Opinion" But they will not - when it is a Serial Rapist - instead they will want the "Agent" to change His or Her Opinion.

    In California - There are State Employees - and there are "Parole Agents".

    Just accept the fact - The "Powers That Be" will then make sure you go nowhere. But "Knowing You Keep Copies" you just never get another promotion and only the crappy assignments.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Jim: Something to think about - Chris had more victims than Di Salvo / Richard Ramirez / Gacey etc - Combined, The Calif Doj File is bigger than a Bible. You should write it - I have thought about it but haven't the patience. At the very least - it would make a heck of a movie. I am "Easy to find: Really hard E-Mail - johnmbays1@aol.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I was one of his victims in 1972. I lived in Claremont at the time. How he could be released several times after what he put these women through, is mind boggling. Also, he chose women with young children. My 8 year old son had to untie me and remove the pillow cases and belt from my head. A nightmare never to be forgotten.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous; I am so sorry you had to go through this, and your ordeal makes my blood boil. As a sexual assault survivor myself, and now a mother, I could not imagine the impact this had on you and your son. It breaks my heart and makes me enraged at the same time. You are a very strong woman. The damage that is done can never be undone; but just know that, even though I have no idea who you are, that I can honestly say that my heart is filled with love for you. I have the utmost respect for you, and am in awe at your courage and ability to share your story. You are a survivor, and an inspiration.

      Delete