Alleged sexual assault shocks family of murdered teen
The Big Isle case puts scrutiny on justice
» Preliminary hearing set in rape case
STORY SUMMARY »
Charges against convicted killer Peter Bailey for allegedly raping a 12-year-old girl in a Pepeekeo church Sunday have touched off a debate about why Bailey was not still behind bars.
His release came as a shock to the family of the murder victim, Carol Olandy, 17, who was shot seven times in 1979.
Bailey was originally supposed to have served a minimum of 35 years before being eligible for parole. But that sentence dwindled to 20 over two decades, and he was released in 2003.
City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle said his office tried to prevent an early release.
Bailey, 49, of Laupahoehoe, will appear for a preliminary hearing tomorrow in Hilo District Court on three charges of first-degree sexual assault.
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Michelle Stevens visited her sister's grave site yesterday evening. It was one way she could cope with the shock of finding out her baby sister's killer is free -- and might have hurt another family.
Peter Bailey was found guilty of murder, robbery and kidnapping in 1979 after shooting Stevens' 17-year-old sister, Carol Olandy, seven times.
Officials set a minimum term of 35 years before he was eligible for parole on a life sentence.
The system that freed him after only 23 years has now come under closer scrutiny.
The 49-year-old killer faces three counts of first-degree sexual assault on the Big Island after allegedly raping a juvenile girl he took to Sunday choir practice.
"This was a shocker because we just didn't know," said Stevens, who found out through news reports that Bailey was out of prison.
Honolulu Prosecutor Peter Carlisle said his office pushed to keep Bailey, whom he called a "sociopath," in prison. However, he stopped short of blaming the parole board for poor judgment.
Instead, he railed against lobby groups and lawmakers pressuring officials to release all inmates who appear to be rehabilitated, and to bring back to Hawaii those inmates held on the mainland who are up for parole.
Stevens, who was 21 at the time of her sister's death, said she is appalled at Bailey's release.
"It brings back a lot of painful memories, and we just feel for the girl and her family on the Big Island and the suffering they must be going through," she said.
Her concerns seem to be borne out by court documents, which paint an image of Bailey as a man who would joke about killing someone, then do it and laugh about it later.
Bailey also apparently occupied an imaginary world in which he was:
» A national and international dealer in electronic equipment.
» The head of an organization called MANU, for Major and National Unlimited.
» A ladies' man, asking the doctor if having too many girlfriends was a psychological problem.
"I have some question about his mental stability, and I feel that the possibility of a thought disorder exists," said one evaluator, Dr. Edward Furukawa, in 1979. "His manner of presenting himself included repeated references to his charm and mysterious appeal to women, the sheer numbers of whom he had known seemed important to him."
Furukawa also said Bailey would "laugh suddenly and quite inappropriately at times while describing the various events" of the crime. He concluded Bailey was fit for trial, but recommended further analysis.
NANCY HEDEMANN, a clinical psychologist who evaluated Bailey, said Bailey had joked with accomplice Francis Talo on the day of the murder about stealing a fast car, killing the owner and stashing the car to use later.
When Hedemann asked Bailey when the joke became serious, Bailey said he was serious from the start. Bailey called the murder "a stupid thing to do" but otherwise showed little remorse, documents state.
Olandy was found in a gulch by the Kunia pineapple fields. After the murder, the men went to rob a Fort Ruger store, where they were arrested.
Talo was sentenced to 20 years in prison, and remains behind bars because of unrelated robbery convictions that year and for trying to escape in 1981.
As for Bailey, Hawaii Paroling Authority acting Administrator Max Otani said various boards lowered his minimum term, to 25 years in 1990 and 20 years in 1995.
Once he was eligible for parole in 1999, he was denied parole four times through 2002.
During that period, Bailey entered a work furlough program, which allows inmates to work during the day and return to prison for the night.
"The parole board had always recommended that he participate in a work furlough program before he gets paroled, and he fulfilled that requirement," said Otani, adding that Bailey displayed good behavior during his imprisonment.
He was released Jan. 21, 2003.
The Legislature recently overrode a veto by Gov. Linda Lingle, paving the way for prisoners on the mainland to be returned when they are within a year of parole eligibility. Officials worry that complying with the law might force them to release or furlough prisoners here to make room.
Bailey has now become the poster boy for those worries.
"If there is so much pressure on the system to release people that the likes of Peter Bailey are being let out prematurely, then that's a system that needs to be re-evaluated at all turns," Carlisle said. "This guy didn't deserve another chance. The victim certainly didn't get another chance."
Hawaii prisons are already overcrowded, with 250 inmates recently sent to the mainland because one of the four modules at the Halawa prison had to be closed for repairs.
Prison officials estimate there are 582 prisoners set to return to Hawaii facilities, with about 400 parole violators who could be up for parole within another year.