Ex-Postman Sought In Killings Is Collared

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. - A former postal worker wanted for murder no longer had the mustache and shoulder-length hair shown in his mug shot, but a shave and a haircut didn't fool a bar customer who spotted him wearing a bright Hawaiian shirt and having a drink as he watched television.

The panicky patron alerted the bartender while another man called police.

"He said, `The postal killer is here. . . . The guy on the news. The postal killer's here. I know it's him. I know it's him,' " said Frank McNaughton, a manager at the sports bar.

Mark Richard Hilbun gave up without a struggle, ending a two-day hunt for the man accused of shooting up a post office and other attacks that left his mother and a friend dead and five people wounded.

"He was very calm, McNaughton said. "He was cool as a cucumber. He didn't act agitated or anything."

The peaceful capture was in contrast to the bloody crime spree linked to Hilbun, a 39-year-old former military policeman with a history of mental problems.

Hilbun is accused of fatally stabbing his mother, Frances, and her dog and then killing a letter carrier and wounding a clerk Thursday at the Dana Point post office, where he had worked for four years. Hilbun was fired as a letter carrier last year for stalking a 29-year-old woman co-worker.

Police said that in the hours after he fled, he shot two people he encountered, critically wounding one. Police also suspect Hilbun of a shooting-robbery yesterday morning at an automatic-teller machine about 20 minutes before he was arrested. A man and a woman were in good condition with minor gunshot wounds, police said.

Hilbun was booked for investigation of two murder charges and three attempted murder charges. He was held without bail, with arraignment likely tomorrow or Tuesday.

The arrest offered some peace of mind for postal workers in Dana Point, a coastal community 20 miles southeast of Huntington Beach.

"I feel a little relieved," postal worker Ron Lee said. "But I'm still going to have to get over all of this problem."

The post-office shooting came just hours after an attack at a Dearborn, Mich., post-office garage. Police said postal mechanic Larry Jasion killed a co-worker and wounded two others before fatally shooting himself.

The Dana Point rampage started with the fatal stabbing of Hilbun's 63-year-old mother and her dog in her home.

Wearing a T-shirt reading "Psycho," Hilbun then allegedly went into the post office, shouted the name of the woman he was accused of stalking, then opened fire on her first day back from a leave, authorities say.

The shots killed Charles Barbagallo, a letter carrier described as one of Hilbun's few friends. The alleged target of Hilbun's obsession, Kim Springer, 29, wasn't hurt.