Robert Hansen’s crimes in Alaska stretch back to at least 1971 — and perhaps earlier. We’ve talked about some of them. The homicide involving Celia “Beth” van Zanten. The disappearance of Megan Emerick in Seward. The disappearance of Mary Thill, also in Seward. All these crimes and disappearances were south of Anchorage, in what were some of his earliest stomping grounds. So it was that, in 1975, an anonymous woman came forward, telling of a crime that took her south, from the Kit Kat Club to Chugach State Park.
This case is notable for its consistency with Hansen’s emerging M.O. More than that, the appearance of Chugach State Park is remarkable. Beth van Zanten was killed at McHugh Creek — just down the road. Whether this woman knew that is unknown. What is known is that, out of fear, she preferred to remain anonymous.
On October 5, 1975, Sheryl Messer of the Anchorage Rape and Assault Center reported to Investigator Sam Barnard that a female adult had reported to Messer that she had been abducted and raped by a caucasian male on September 28, 1975, in Anchorage.
Messer stated that the woman victim had sworn Messer to secrecy concerning her name, and that the victim would not talk to police herself out of fear for her life. Messer stated the woman was a caucasian female, approximately 28 years of age, who was a dancer at an unnamed Anchorage night club. [Later identified as the Kit Kat Club]
Kit Kat Club, 1977 (courtesy Lynn McConnell photographs and papers, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage — 1977)
The woman told Messer that she had met her assailant at the club one evening, and had given him her telephone number. The woman further told Messer that the man called her home at approximately 4:00 am, on Sunday, September 28, 1975, and arranged to meet her at the Fork & Spoon Restaurant. When the woman arrived there, she met the man, but he pulled a gun, which she described as a large semi-automatic pistol. [The man] forced the woman into his vehicle, which the woman described as a 1974 or 75 foreign station wagon, deep red in color, with a black interior, having Alaska license number AY261.
The woman told Messer that the man then drove her to Chugiak [Chugach] State Park (sic) and raped her, performed cunnilingus on her, and forced her to perform fellatio on him.
Kit Kat Club (approximate) to Chugach State Park (Google Maps; illustration Leland E. Hale)
The woman told Messer that the man stated that if she did not do as she was told, he would kill her. The man also said he worked on the pipeline, and he was raping women in the Anchorage area and he had a friend who also worked on the pipeline who was also raping women. The man also said that he knew that the woman would not be able to be a good witness against him because she was a nude dancer and a prostitute.
Source: Affidavit for Search Warrant of Robert Hansen’s Property, Sgt. Glenn Flothe, Alaska State Troopers
Purchase Butcher, Baker