This homicide-related article is a very personal tale. In January 1988, my father, Robert Haugh, was bludgeoned to death in his home in Seguin, Texas. He was 37. My dad worked in the medical field for many years and was employed at the San Antonio Medical Center at the time of his death. One night on his way home from work, he picked up a hitchhiker along Route 10 and offered him some assistance. Unfortunately for my father, it would be his last kind deed.
Helping A Serial Killer
Turns out, the transient from Michigan, Barry Kahkola Jr., was an escaped serial killer who had already claimed four victims. My dad was his fifth victim. After killing my father, the 20-year-old offender murdered two more people before he was taken back into police custody. At the time of his capture, the killer was driving my father’s car and was in possession of several other items belonging to my dad. The killer’s final death toll was seven victims across four states.
Despite the Lone Star state’s tough stance on crime and Texas being among the Top 5 states in terms of executions in the U.S., my father’s killer has not been executed. While Kahkola was facing the death penalty for killing my father, as well as the other multiple counts of criminal homicide credited to his name, prosecutors opted to cut a deal with the killer that removed capital punishment from the equation. According to the prosecution, they did not want to roll the dice with Kahkola’s defense team securing a conviction on a lesser charge that would see him out on the streets someday. In an effort to avoid that possibility, a plea deal was made to ensure Kahkola would spend the rest of his life in prison.
Needless to say, the prosecutor’s decision has not gone over well with the victims’ families and loved ones, including myself. This experience has also shaped my beliefs and is one reason I support capital punishment. Many of us would have preferred to see him dealt his proper comeuppance, especially in light of the meager justification he has provided over the years…”That the tequila made him do it.”