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Tara WillenborgCLARKSVILLE, IN – Police say 49-year-old Richard Hooten, a fugitive sex offender,  is suspected of the rape and murder of 17-year-old Tara Willenborg over the weekend.

Willenborg’s body was found by her boyfriend early Saturday morning inside the  Clarksville apartment the couple shared. She had been raped and died from asphyxiation. According to prosecutor Steven Smith, Willenborg suffered a ‘horrible death’.

Willenborg’s father said his daughter had attended Jeffersonville High School where she was a member of the cross country team. She’d recently earned her G.E.D. and had just moved into the apartment with her boyfriend in January. She would have turned 18 next Sunday.

Police would arrest Hooten on unrelated charges after seeing him wandering around outside near the apartment.

“Officers found him walking. He sort of fit the description and at that time they asked for his identity and ran a background check and noticed he had outstanding warrants,” said Darrell Rayborn with the Clarksville Police Department.

The warrant was issued because Hooten had failed to register as a sex offender. Turns out he has quite the criminal history including rape, sexual battery and sodomy charges in both Indiana and Georgia dating back to 1993. Now he has been charged with murder, rape, criminal deviant conduct, sexual confinement and strangulation.

Police do not believe Hooten and Willenborg knew each other, but that Hooten had an acquaintance who lived across the hall from the teen and had just waited for an opportunity to attack.

As he entered the courtroom on Monday to face the judge, Hooten mouthed the words “I’m sorry” when asked if he had anything to say to Willenborg’s family.

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My views regarding the death penalty have changed over the years, but not in regards to people like Hooten. If they’d let me, I’d put a bullet  in the son-of-a-bitch’s head myself and not lose one iota of sleep.

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  • Whatevn

    She is so pretty..

    I hope, in prison, what goes around, comes around, for him.

  • EveryVillainIsLemons

    No doubt he’s just sorry that he got caught. Here’s hoping that the state puts him in a maximum security prison for the rest of his life with NO chance of parole EVER. Given his history of sexual violence, he’s already more than proven that he can’t be trusted on the streets ever again.

  • Sam

    He’s sorry? He’s SORRY? Yeah, i’ll bet.
    How about this. How about all these muppets who claim they’re so sorry when they offend and re-offend and re-offend actually show how sorry they are by stopping themselves from re-offending? And if the only way they can accomplish that is by killing themselves, so be it.

    Sorry, pscht. I’m sure that’s just fixed that enormous hole you made when you stole Tara away from her family and friends.

  • Athena

    Right? Whodathunk… sex offender registration laws don’t actually keep people safe. Here’s an idea: If we don’t feel comfortable releasing a predator without registration and “supervision”, we shouldn’t feel comfortable letting them out at all.

    This man should have never been released. How many more pretty young girls have to die before we spend less time making room for non-violent drug offenders and more time making room for vicious neanderthals?

  • Morbid in regards to your comment about the death penalty.

    … you’d have to beat me to it.

  • Typically if word gets out, guys like him have a very very short life span in prison. Either by their own hand or someone else’s.

  • Buffettgirl

    Fortunately for society, the boys in prison will make his life the living hell he made Tara’s death. Unfortunately that doesn’t help her family and loved ones suffering right now…

  • Heather_Habilatory

    I think I can get you a few guns and some ammo, Morbid.

  • 18th40

    He’ll be in protective custody forever.

  • Buffettgirl

    Crap! You’re right… now my yucky, rainy, dreary day just got a little worse…

  • 18th40

    I hear you.

  • Evan Oswald

    nobody heard any screaming? was the door knocked down? Did she open it for him!?

  • Evan Oswald

    and whats wrong with saying sorry?

  • Evan Oswald

    was. was pretty.

  • Slouchy

    Ole Recklessrose should’ve been more careful.

  • Andyman

    Please help me out here. The article says, “Willenborg’s father said his daughter had attended Jeffersonville High School where she was a member of the cross country team. She’d recently earned her G.E.D. and had just moved into the apartment with her boyfriend in January. She would have turned 18 next Sunday.”

    First, how do you attend high school / track practice if you have earned your GED? Doesn’t that mean you dropped out? And secondly, I guess this could have happened to her anywhere, dad’s house included, but if he didn’t let her move in with the BF, she wouldn’t have been across the hall from fuck nuts to be savagely raped and murdered. I know nothing of their family and life, etc so there could be some reasonable answers but I am not letting my little girl drop out of HS, get a GED and move in with her BF at any 17 years old. But that’s just me. Anyone else want to weigh in on this?

  • LuvsHorror

    Depends what you’re sorry about.

  • 18th40

    Well, for starters, sometimes it just seems to be the hardest word.

  • Athena

    She probably ran track while attending high school, but had more recently gone the G.E.D. route. He probably mentioned the cross country team membership to offset the obvious stigma associated with at G.E.D.

    And, I don’t think a girl getting a G.E.D. and moving in with a boyfriend before 18 is any parent’s ideal, but as you mentioned, there are often reasonable answers. Besides, by that age (months, weeks, days away from 18), there’s not a whole hell of a lot you can do to stop them.

  • t0ofly

    what a creep. If there was ever a case for mob justice…

  • Reen B

    It’s been said elsewhere that they were neighbors/acquaintances who’d just met recently, and that she had sold some alcohol to him a few days before. Unfortunately she likely opened the door for him.

  • OutOfBubbleGum

    Step aside most worthy white mice. I have a rat that can be used for testing. And crash dummies, the rat needs a second job to pay his lawyers.

  • Andyman

    I guess not if the matter is *stopping them*. I guess my perspective (possibly hope) is that, the way I intend to raise my child is 1) they graduate from high school, 2) they go to college, 3) they graduate and get a real job and 4) they become a productive member of society. I guess all any parent wants to do is see their child succeed and be happy but this formula worked my me and my three sisters. Of course we had kick ass parents who weren’t our friends, but our parents. I constantly tell my 5 year old NO to all sorts of (reasonable) things now so that when she is 17, i don’t have to worry about her dying her hair fuchsia and moving in with the love of her life after getting her GED. I’m not hating just saying – parents that give up too much control too fast and / or have low expectations and / or who are friends with their kids aren’t doing them as many favors as they could be.

  • Athena

    I don’t think most anyone would disagree with that. Of course, there are always exceptions. I died my hair all sorts of colors (right now, at 30 years old, I have a fire-engine red streak through my dark brown hair) and moved in with the love of my life (whom I am currently married to) at 17 (I had already graduated) and, despite these facts, have a real job, am a productive member of society, and I say “No” to my 2-year-old plenty.

    I guess what I’m saying is that we should be focused on the right things. Hair color is trivial. Moving in with the boyfriend is not the smartest decision for most, but then again, it’s obviously not necessarily detrimental, either, if the girl is mature and well reasoned. And, who knows? Maybe she got the G.E.D. with the intent to start college on time in the event that she’d have credits to make up going the traditional route.

    Was she self-reliant? Well-adjusted? Healthy? Happy? Far better indicators of the quality of parenting she got than any tidbit contained in this article.

  • Andyman

    I hear you.. I guess we will never know.

  • nowitzki41

    if youre against the death penalty just wait until someone you love gets taken from you. youll be all for it then. It’s not just about putting the scum to death, it also gets people to talk. saving time and money from trials and release information such as where they hid a body for the family’s peace of mind

  • ultracreep

    I got a GED, moved in with my boyfriend at 18, and have been married to him for 18 years, got two college degrees and have a good career. I have also had hair of every color, piercings, etc. Being out on your own at an early age doesn’t necessarily guarantee failure. Either way we’ll never know how this poor girl would have turned out, and to be honest, this could have happened to her just as easily in her parents’s neighborhood. You never know where predators will show up.

  • I’m not against the death penalty because of moral reasons, I am against our current death penalty because innocent people have been put to death, and are currently on death row for crimes they did not commit. If someone killed my loved one in a malicious fashion, I’d have no issues seeing them dead. But it still wouldn’t change my mind about the way our current death penalty is used.

    In regards to saving money, you couldn’t be more wrong. A prisoner on death row costs us more money than had they simply died behind bars while serving a life sentence. Also, people give up information on crimes just to get a lighter sentence – in states with or without the death penalty..

  • Flo Robison

    THIS is what legislators need to be all over instead of targeting law-abiding citizens on gun rights. Why was this POS out of prison at all???

  • cedric

    I don’t see why everything has to circle around and connent to the Pro Drug Crusade.

  • cedric

    She was beautiful – the pile of shit rapist should be drug outdoors and un ceremoniously stomped to death.

  • cedric

    Very true.

  • Twisted1

    I agree with Athena. Fact our prisons are over crowded and we release very bad people to make room. People who are a danger to the population at large should be in prison. That is the point of locking them up. The guy who got caught with weed three times is more a danger to his brain cells then to the public. We waste valuable space locking up non violent offenders instead of rehabilitating them. Not to mention a crap load of money. While we free the shit stains of humanity to go rape and kill again, and again. Can someone please tell me where the hell common sense went because it seems to be about as rare as a pink unicorn.

  • Twisted1

    Agreed!!! My daughter is 17 smart and will graduate and go to college. Has nothing to do with the many different colors she has dyed her hair (right now it’s dark brown with a bright red ombré). I allow her to dye her hair. No scarification is the rule. She is well adjusted and will be duel enrolled next year.
    Edit: Each child is different. As much as you would like to think that your child will be the picture perfect image you have in your head when they are 17/18. When they get that age you pick your battles. If they make good grades, have a good head on their shoulders. The color of their hair…well that’s the small stuff. You count your blessings and pat yourself on the back that you got a good kid and she made it to this age with few scars from the cruelty of the world.

  • cedric

    I’m not against granting individual inmates early parole on a case by case basis to make room for these more violent criminals;I am however against simply opening the flood gates to a specific part of the inmate population.

  • Athena

    Well, I don’t know what to say. The lack of room in our prisons is a direct result of drug policy, and our lax sentencing and early release for violent criminals is a direct result of that lack of space.

    It’s not about being pro-drugs. It’s about supporting sensible sentencing. Many non-violent offenders never belonged in prison to begin with.

  • Evan Oswald

    tough go! whelp at least this was sorta preventable: lesson learned!

  • cedric

    I agree.Well stated.

  • JGo555

    MY sincere apologies to the family & boyfriend.

  • That’s HAWT!

  • Dave

    The U.S. Justice System is an immense failure.

  • restlessvagabond

    Why is it we can execute murderers but we can’t castrate rapists?

  • AliceinChainsman =]

    Indiana is about as “safe” as Florida

  • AliceinChainsman =]

    they want the average person to be preyed upon by the likes of this guy..Rope and bullets are cheap insurance.

  • AliceinChainsman =]

    I have more than a few…to lend

  • AliceinChainsman =]

    Nooo it needs to be Televised!!! lots of ceremony..Guest Stompers etc..

  • AliceinChainsman =]

    it only takes one Executioner.

  • AliceinChainsman =]

    its indiana…they can move in at 15