Hansen’s treacherous rendezvous with this anonymous victim is a too familiar reminder of the recurring themes in his criminal career:
- Forced sex in an out-of-the-way location (a State Park or, better yet, The Bush).
- A he-said-she-said encounter, with the victim at a disadvantage because of her life choices.
- The police gullible accomplices to his claim that the victim’s complaint was a dispute over sex-for-money.
- A seemingly credible claim that he couldn’t own guns because he was an ex-felon.
In this instance, Hansen even managed to work the sympathy angle, mentioning that he’d met this particular anonymous victim while his wife was out-of-town. Oh yes, the good ol’ cat’s-away-mice-will-play defense.
[The] woman described the man as a white male, approximately 30 years of age, approximately 5’8″, average build, brownish-blonde hair, blue eyes, wearing wire-rimmed glasses, short hair parted on the side, and with a slight stutter in his speech.
Robert Hansen at his 1971 Arrest (courtesy Alaska State Troopers)
Investigator Bernard’s report indicates that he checked the Division of Motor Vehicles registration files for Alaska license AY261, and found that license was issued to Robert C. Hansen of 327 Thomas Circle, Anchorage. Barnard went to that address and observed, on October 10, 1975, a 1974 Volvo stationwagon, red in color, with Alaska license AY261 parked in the driveway. He noted the vehicle had deep red exterior color and a black interior.
Hansen’s House on Thomas Circle (Google Maps)
Aerial View, Hansen’s House on Thomas Circle (Google Streetview; illustration Leland E. Hale) Note the proximity to the Glenn Highway and Mountain View Dr. These locations would figure prominently in Hansen’s ongoing criminal activities.
Barnard procured an unmarked photograph of Robert C. Hansen and gave it to Sheryl Messer to show her unidentified female complainant. On October 16, 1975, Messer advised Barnard that the female victim had positively identified the photograph as being of her assailant. Messer also informed Barnard that the woman still refused to be identified to police or talk to them directly out of fear for her life.
“The trooper[s] later learned there was another, less profound, reason for her reluctance. She was a school-teacher from the lower forty-eight and was afraid that cooperating with the police would lead to a trial and make public her involvement. Understandably, she feared her school district almost as much as she feared Robert C. Hansen.”
Excerpt From: Walter Gilmour & Leland E. Hale. “Butcher, Baker.”
On October 14, 1975, Investigator Barnard interviewed Robert C. Hansen, who denied abducting or raping any woman on September 28. Hansen stated he knew a tall, dark-haired girl that he had met at the Kit Kat Club in Anchorage the previous summer, when Hansen’s wife was out of town. Hansen said he struck up a conversation with the girl, and they agreed to go to her place.
Hansen said that as he was driving the girl toward her residence in his car, she said it was going to cost him $100.00, whereupon he became upset and drove the girl back to the Kit Kat Club. Hansen told Barnard that the girl was angry at him and called him obscene names, but he did nothing to her. Hansen denied owning any pistols, stating he was a convicted felon and could not own one. Hansen further stated that on Sunday, September 28, 1975, he was in the Seward area, fishing.
It is worth noting that Mary Thill went missing in Seward in July, 1975. Hansen once more places himself in the Seward area — a strange alibi in retrospect — although it is clear he was with this anonymous victim instead.
Source: Affidavit for Search Warrant of Robert Hansen’s Property, Sgt. Glenn Flothe, Alaska State Troopers
Purchase Butcher, Baker