Arrest of Robert Hansen: Witnesses Step Up

Slowly, slowly, slowly… The trooper’s investigation of Robert Hansen was reaching critical mass. For one, the witnesses were starting to fall into place. Other pieces would soon follow. Enough so that Flothe was ready for prosecutors to get involved.

The call to D.A. Pat Doogan was a definite “tell,” although it also signaled Flothe’s frustration with the local D.A. — Doogan was in Fairbanks, not Anchorage — because the local D.A. kept expressing doubts about the case against Hansen and, in that spirit, seemed to demand a near-endless string of “more evidence.”

Not an easy thing to live with when, as a cop, you know that Hansen can kill again at any minute.

But if that’s what they wanted…

Bennet and Yount were witnesses to Cindy Paulson’s miraculous escape at Merrill Field, Bennet being the security guard who identified Hansen’s plane and Yount being the Good Samaritan who rescued Cindy in his truck as she raced away from her would-be killer. Ward Hulbert, on the other hand, was part of a group of cabin owners who were tired of being burglarized and decided to take action.

“There were several cabins broken into,” said the man. “Mine, the doc’s, another guy’s. And every single one of them was broken into by someone in an airplane. This was in the wintertime, see, and it left some ski marks out there, going right up to the cabins. Well, when the troopers shut down our cases, we decided we were going to find that airplane ourselves, ‘cause to tell you the truth, we were pissed.”

The men divvied up all the airports in and around the Anchorage area: Merrill Field, Lake Hood, Birchwood, Hillside, Inlet, Eagle River. They had one thing going for them: The ski on the suspect aircraft was quite unusual. The skegs looked like they were either homemade or some type of a conversion done for a Super Cub.

“Now we searched and searched,” said the mountain of a man, “and of all the planes we looked at, only one plane matched the description.”

Excerpt From: Walter Gilmour & Leland E. Hale. “Butcher, Baker.”

9-30-83: Sergeant Flothe consults with D.A. Pat Doogan reference probable cause for search warrants regarding PAULSEN, GOULDING and MORROW cases.

Sergeant Flothe has reviewed HEPPEARD, [TROOPER’S DAUGHTER], 1975 unidentified victim, CHRISTI HAYES, SHERRY MORROW, PAULA GOULDING, CINDY PAULSEN, and other missing person case reports and HANSEN background information.

Sherry Morrow

Paula Goulding

Cindy Paulson

10-6-80 to 10-13-83: LOUIS BENNET, ROBERT YOUNT, and other witnesses reference PAULSEN case reinterviewed by A.S.T. on tape.

10-10-83: WARD HULBERT interviewed reference theft and airplane ski tracks traced to HANSEN’s Supercub airplane. A.S.T. subsequently learns of PACE and ROWLAND burglaries.

Purchase Butcher, Baker

Arrest of Robert Hansen: Finding Christi Hayes

Like dominoes, Christi Hayes was the next chip to fall. Remember this: she was another woman who went face to face with Robert Hansen. She was another one who got away. Finding Christi Hayes moved the case against Robert beyond Hansen coincidence.

Finding Christi Hayes took Robert Hansen one step closer to the end.

10-5-83: Sergeant Flothe and Sergeant Haugsven locate, interview 1979 victim, CHRISTI HAYES.

10-6-83: Sergeant Flothe and Trooper Von Clasen interview MILDRED JOHNSON reference CHRISTI HAYES.

Chena & Burwell Streets, Anchorage, near scene of Christi Hayes assault (Google Maps)

Purchase Butcher, Baker

Arrest of Robert Hansen: Rape Kit Kicks Off A Flurry of Activity

Cindy Paulson’s rape kit was not going to sit on a shelf, gathering dust. Cindy’s rape kit had a rendezvous with destiny. Or, more specifically, a rendezvous with the FBI Lab in Quantico, Virginia.

Meanwhile, there were other threads to pursue. There was evidence that Robert Hansen defrauded State Farm Insurance by claiming his many hunting trophies had been stolen. Troopers knew better: Cindy Paulson had seen them in his den.

The other development was equally portentous: faced with the local DA’s reluctance to assist him, Sgt. Flothe reached out to Pat Doogan in Fairbanks, a prosecuting attorney he’d worked with back in the day. Doogan agreed to help Flothe write the legal documents they’d need to take before a judge, and then get a search warrant for Hansen’s various properties.

Robert Hansen’s time was running out.

Rape Kit
FBI Labs, Quantico, Virginia

9-30-83: Lt. Jent and Sgt. Flothe contact Agent-in-Charge Larry Nelson, request assistance from FBI Quantico.

9-30-83: Sergeant Flothe contacts GLENN LARSEN, State Farm Insurance, reference HANSEN and $13,000 insurance claim.

9-30-83: Pat Doogan, DA — meets with Sgt. Flothe.

Purchase Butcher, Baker

The Arrest of Robert Hansen: Evidence Seized

9-28-83: Trooper Von Clasen seizes PAULSEN evidence from A.P.D., transfers to A.S.T.

9-29-83: Sergeant Flothe locates evidence at Humana Hospital reference PAULSEN rape exam — seizes frozen Tampon and filter paper stain from Dr. PROPST.

Cindy Paulson

Purchase Butcher, Baker

Pew Charitable Trusts
February 16, 2016

“Seeking to secure justice for thousands of rape victims, about 20 states are moving to test a backlog of unexamined rape kits found in storage rooms in police departments across the country — and change the rules for how rape cases are handled in the future.

“Some states, including Colorado, Illinois, Ohio and Texas, already have passed laws that require that old kits be tested, and have seen charges brought against suspects as a result. In several states, including Michigan and Tennessee, law enforcement agencies face new time limits for submitting rape kits for testing. In others, law enforcement agencies were ordered to make a full count of their backlogged kits before state officials decide how to go about testing them.

“This year, Arizona, Hawaii, New Hampshire and New York are considering bills that would require an inventory of backlogged rape kits. Oregon is considering legislation that would require testing the old kits, and Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island are considering bills that would require both, according to the Joyful Heart Foundation, a nonprofit founded by actress Mariska Hargitay of the Law and Order: Special Victims Unit television program and which advocates for the testing of all rape kits.

“The goal of all the legislation is to ensure that forensic evidence in the kits, such as DNA that is collected from victims in an invasive process that can last four to six hours, is promptly and properly tested to help identify and prosecute suspected rapists. The DNA evidence is placed in an FBI database so that it can be compared to that of criminals and suspects who’ve had theirs taken.

“’For someone to have survived a rape, reported it to police, and endured the invasive evidence collection, only to have it sit in an evidence room untested — I find that appalling,’” said state Rep. Janet Adkins, a Florida Republican who is sponsoring a bill that would require faster testing of new rape kits.

“The exact number of untested rape kits across the country is not known, but indications are it’s staggering. The Joyful Heart Foundation initially documented about 140,000 kits in the 27 states for which it has data. But Ilse Knecht, the group’s policy director, said old kits are continuously being discovered. Last week, for instance, Honolulu police officials said they had a backlog of 1,500 rape kits dating back more than a decade. Florida officials said in January that nearly 13,500 untested kits had been found across the state.”