Mike Huckabee's Willie Horton

Documents undercut the candidate's claim that no one could have predicted a released rapist would kill.

Published December 5, 2007 5:53PM (EST)

When Mike Huckabee was asked over the weekend about his role in winning parole for Wayne DuMond -- a convicted rapist who committed sexual assault and murder again after his release -- the former governor declared: "None of us could've predicted what he could've done when he got out."

Huckabee's words reminded us of some we've heard before: Condoleezza Rice's claim, after 9/11, that nobody "could have predicted" that terrorists would try to use a "hijacked plane as a missile," and George W. Bush's claim, in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, that nobody "anticipated the breach of the levees." Both of those claims were false -- the FAA actually warned airports in 2001 that terrorists might use a hijacked plane as a weapon, and experts had been predicting for years that the levees in New Orleans wouldn't hold up against a Category 5 storm.

It now appears that Huckabee's claim was equally untrue.

In a piece for the Huffington Post, journalist Murray Waas says that Huckabee was "provided letters from several women who had been sexually assaulted by DuMond and who indeed predicted that he would rape again -- and perhaps murder -- if released."

Despite those letters, Huckabee, as governor, pressed for DuMond's release. "He made it obvious that he thought DuMond had gotten a raw deal and wanted us to take another look at it," a former member of the Arkansas parole board said back in 2001.

Huckabee has said that he did, in fact, have doubts about DuMond's guilt and also felt sorry for him: While awaiting trial on charges of raping a 17-year-old high school cheerleader, DuMond was castrated -- he said by two men who broke into his home and tied him up with fishing line.

"I thought he would, you know, would, be clean," Huckabee told the National Review's Byron York in August. "And he had a job, he had sponsors lined up, so at the time, I did not have this apprehension that something horrible like that would happen. I did want him to report in [to parole authorities], because I just didn't know -- you never know about a guy like that."

DuMond was released from prison in October 1999. Shortly thereafter, he killed Carol Shields in an apartment near Kansas City. According to the Kansas City Star, prosecutors have "no doubt" that he also killed 23-year-old Sarah Andrasek, who was pregnant at the time of her death in 2001. DuMond was never charged with the second murder. He died in 2005 while serving a life sentence for the first.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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