One of Orange County’s most notorious killers will remain behind bars; Gov. Jerry Brown has once again overturned a parole board decision that the man who took part in a devil cult murder spree is suitable for release.
The call to keep Arthur Craig “Moose” Hulse in prison follows a letter writing campaign led by relatives of Santa Ana gas station attendant Jerry Wayne Carlin, 20, who along with El Toro schoolteacher Nancy Brown, 29, was murdered in 1970 by the Sons of Satan motorcycle gang.
The governor, who also blocked Hulse’s release in 2015, said Hulse is still unable to explain his role in the murders, and during his most recent parole hearings “tried to downplay his role in the murder” of Carlin.
The Sons of Satan were a small group of transient, devil worshiping drug users led by Steven Hurd. Occurring in the wake of the Manson family murders a year earlier, the slayings triggered fear across Orange County.
At the time a 16-year-old “prospect” hoping to join the Sons of Satan, Hulse beat Carlin, who was working an overnight shift at a gas station, to death with the blunt end of a rusty hatchet, caving Carlin’s skull in. Less than two days later, Hulse helped bury Brown’s body in a shallow grave at an Irvine field, after other members of the motorcycle club had stabbed her more than 20 times.
According to the governor’s written decision, Hulse during his most recent hearings in front of the parole board denied that he intended to kill Carlin, saying he “just didn’t know how to say no” to Hurd.
“Mr. Hulse’s deliberate and extremely violent actions contradict these statements,” Brown wrote. “Mr. Hulse still is unable to sufficiently explain why he so readily committed murder at Mr. Hurd’s request, and why he was so desperate for the approval of the Sons of Satan. Mr. Hulse’s continued minimization of these crimes makes him a risk for future violence.”
Hulse, in 2014, told a psychologist his “explosion” of violent behavior was a result of being bullied as an overweight child, along with drug use and his need for acceptance from the Sons of Satan, the decision said.
Patricia Cromer, who married Carlin shortly before his death, said she understood Hulse was young, on drugs and influenced by another person, but she doesn’t believe that negates his actions during the brutal killings.
“Jerry left a wife, a son, parents and siblings,” Cromer said. “We have all lived with the pain of losing our loved one. When will our feelings, our rights matter as much as Mr. Hulse’s.”
Hulse has been rejected for parole more than a dozen times.
He and other underage killers have been given a new hope for freedom by recent changes in state law, requiring the parole board to take into account the “diminished culpability of juveniles compared to adults.”
Hulse, who is now 63, has participated in a variety of self-help programs behind bars, and has not been disciplined for serious misconduct since 1998. He is considered medically disabled and is unable to walk on his own.
The state parole board will next weigh Hulse’s request for release sometime before September 2017. Cromer, who has led several rounds of letter writing campaigns to keep Hulse in prison, has said the ongoing battle has taken a toll on her.
“After 46 years, I now need to decide if,” she said, “given the current parole guidelines for older lifer inmates, I will still have enough fight to mount another letter writing campaign should Mr. Hulse again be granted parole.”