Because of this timely intervention, the Washington State Intermediate Sentencing Review Board is revisiting their decision regarding Donald Randolph Hooper. WE urge readers to contact Governor Inslee's office immediately to voice your objection to paroling this violent criminal. Melt the phone lines! According to the board’s staff, the decision to grant parole to Hooper was discretionary and not mandatory. The Governor may reverse the ruling. Please insist they honor their duty to uphold public safety.
In a story on the Whatcom Sheriff's Support Foundation Blog, WE learned that in December, 1982, Donald Hooper raped and attempted to murder a 14-year-old girl. He abducted his victim at gunpoint from a Seattle bus stop, bound and gagged her, molested her, and forced her into the trunk of his car. Hooper, a State Ferry system worker, then boarded a ferry for Kitsap County. He drove to a remote area, and raped the child. Afterward, he tightened the tie wraps he used to bind her, then threw her in the Hood Canal, leaving her for dead.
Hooper received a life sentence for this crime, which was described as "a calculated, callous and cold-blooded offense that reflects a total disregard for human life.” In 1986, he was convicted of an additional, prior kidnapping and rape, involving a hitchhiker. In that instance, the victim was also a stranger whom he kidnapped at gunpoint and bound with tie wraps. The conviction was later overturned on procedural grounds. But Hooper also confessed to other sex offences which were not prosecuted.
The Department of Corrections has rated Donald R. Hooper a Level III sex offender, indicating a high risk to re offend. According to Sheriff Elfo: “Hooper should not be turned lose to re-offend in Whatcom County or for that matter, any other community. He is physically capable of victimizing more women and children. The State even admits that he is likely to re-offend. We do not want to raise the possibility that we will have to inform a parent that Hooper has harmed their child without first doing all we can to reverse a decision that we feel is contrary to the safety of our citizens.”
Update: The latest word is that as a result of Sheriff Elfo's action, this board may simply opt to release Hooper somewhere else instead. That is not acceptable, and WE're sure it isn't what Sheriff Elfo had in mind either.