Arrest of Robert Hansen: Cops Collecting Cars

Read these entries carefully. At this point in the morning, Darla Hansen was at the Anchorage Trooper post, being interviewed by Sgt. Haugsven and Trooper Von Clasen. While she was there, the troopers executed a search warrant on her Subaru. The troopers were collecting cars and hers was right where they wanted it. Convenient.

Soon, they’d have all the cars under control.

10:20 a.m.: Sergeant Wodrich executes search warrant on Subaru at Anchorage Post.

10:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.: DARLA HANSEN interviewed at Trooper Post by Sergeant Haugsven and Trooper Von Clasen. Investigator Maxine Farrell also present.

10:45 a.m.: Sergeant Stauber executes search warrant on HANSEN’s Chevrolet pickup truck, Alaska license 9757BN. Vehicle impounded, towed to Trooper Impound Lot, A.S.T. Headquarters, Tudor Road.

Hansen’s Chevrolet pickup truck, Old Harbor Road (copyright Leland E. Hale)

“Neither Haugsven nor Von Clasen nor Maxine Farrell much relished the interview of Darla. Even in their brief meeting with her earlier that morning, they sensed she had already suffered because of Bob Hansen. And though she was a tall, big-boned woman, what emerged in the interview was a soft-spoken woman who was gentle and somewhat shy. She was a willing talker, with nothing to reveal.

There was a certain, ineffable quality about her, as though she had always been more serious than everyone else. There was also the sense that something had finally, after all these years, been drained out of her. She looked weary, harried.

When the interview finished, Haugsven, Von Clasen and Farrell were collectively convinced that Darla Hansen knew nothing of her husband’s crimes. How eerie that seemed: To live with a man, to share his bed, to bear him children and cook his meals, to love him no matter what he did, and not know that for twelve years he had been a cold-blooded killer.

They did not tell her that her husband was suspected of murder, since they were not at liberty to talk. They wondered: How will she handle the news when she finally learns the purpose of all this activity? How would anyone handle it? How many have to face the prospect of learning, after twenty years of marriage, that their life mate has committed unspeakable crimes?”

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

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Arrest of Robert Hansen: Alibi Witness Rolls Over

When Anchorage Police questioned Robert Hansen about Cindy Paulson, he told them he had an alibi — he was with friends that night and they’d vouch for him. When A.P.D. Officer Dennis called John Henning, one of those alibi witnesses, Henning confirmed that Bob Hansen was at his house from about 11:30 p.m. until 5:00 in the morning. They talked about fishing and ate pizza, Henning said.

Because Hansen had another alibi witness, John Sumrall, who said Hansen had been with him from 5:00 p.m. until 11:30 p.m., fixing an airplane seat, the cops took it to mean that Cindy Paulson’s complaint had been fabricated.

It was an old story. The cops believed Hansen’s friends, not some teenaged prostitute. But that explanation was quickly falling apart.

Cindy Paulson

1:00 p.m.: Sergeant McCann and Sergeant Stockard return to HANSEN residence after determining HENNING was currently in King Salmon. Upon returning to HANSEN residence contact JOANNE HENNING, who advises her husband, JOHN, had covered for HANSEN and lied to the police.

1:10 p.m.: Sergeant Flothe receives information via telephone from McCann regarding HENNING interview.

“It had been a long day for McCann and Stockard. Up at five, in the office by quarter to six, on the road by half past. They began by driving to John Henning’s shop at his home in Diamond Heights. The pretty young blond who answered the door told them he wasn’t home and didn’t know when he would return. He was in King Salmon, a village at the apex of the rich fishing grounds of Bristol Bay. She said Joann Henning, his wife, wasn’t home either, but was expected back at any time.

The troopers had no choice but to wait. They waited and waited. Eventually, they went back to the house, wondering if there had been any word. There hadn’t been.

The only thing McCann and Stockard could do was return to the Hansen residence. That’s where they were needed. They reached the house slightly before one o’clock that afternoon. They could tell they were in the right place when they passed the dead-end sign: There was a line of trooper cars parked out front.

No sooner had they arrived, however, than they saw an orange Datsun go past the house and turn around. They were immediately out of their car. They brought the Datsun to a halt by standing in its path. The female driver rolled her window down.

“You’re the one we’re looking for,” McCann said.

“Oh, no, now just a minute here,” the woman said, unbelieving.

“Well, aren’t you Joanne Henning?” McCann asked.

“Yeah,” she responded.”

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

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Arrest of Robert Hansen: Mother Is Here For You, Bob

Wouldn’t you know it. Robert Hansen’s mother happened to be in town when the shit hit the fan. It had to be the one time in her life when she should have been elsewhere. As it was, the cops didn’t quite know what to do with her. It was Darla Hansen who saved the day. She found a friend who would host Hansen’s mother while the cops searched the residence.

“At the Hansen home, meanwhile, it had taken longer than expected to get everyone out of the house. Darla had been teaching and her students had to be sent home. And Bob’s mother was visiting, so Darla had to find a place for her to stay. It was nearly an hour after the troopers arrived before Darla backed the family Subaru out of the driveway, her shocked mother-in-law at her side.”

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

8:40 a.m.: Sergeant Stauber and Trooper Hughes execute search warrant on HANSEN’s plane located at Northern Lights Avionics. Plane transported and secured at CAP Hanger.


8:40 a.m.: Sergeant Haugsven accompanied by Trooper Von Clasen and A.P.D. Investigator Maxine Farrell contact DARLA HANSEN at residence. Arrange transport Hansen’s for mother.

9:08 a.m.: Trooper Bullington and Sergeant Smith serve search warrant on HANSEN Bakery.

9:35 a.m.: DARLA HANSEN transported ROBERT HANSEN’s mother from residence prior to A.S.T. conducting search.

9:35 a.m.: Search of HANSEN residence is initiated by Sgt.’s Stogsdill, Burger, Thomas and Lt.’s Jent and Kasnik.

Lt. Pat Kasnik (courtesy Alaska State Troopers)

9:35 a.m.: Residence and surrounding courtilage video taped by Trooper Dekreon and photographed by Paul Edscorn.

Hansen’s House from the Rear (copyright Leland E. Hale)

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Arrest of Robert Hansen: Search Warrant Served

When Sgt. Flothe memorialized the events leading up to Robert Hansen’s arrest, he reserved a special level of detail for the day the warrant was served. After going day-by-day, the narrative now went hour-by-hour and minute-by-minute. Even the casual reader could feel the pulse of the investigation quicken. It wasn’t every day that a warrant of this magnitude was served. Everyone knew that, everyone acted accordingly: this was to be a carefully orchestrated full-court press.

10-27-83: Search warrants obtained by Sergeant Flothe served on HANSEN Bakery, residence, airplane, Subaru, pickup, Buick, camper, and his person.

10-27-83, continued:

6:30 a.m.: Trooper Bullington and Sergeant Smith surveil HANSEN’s Bakery, waiting for HANSEN to finish work prior to contacting him.
6:30 a.m.: Sergeant McCann and Sergeant Stockard enroute to locate JOHN HENNING, alibi witness Paulson case.
8:26 a.m.: HANSEN contacted by Bullington and Smith agrees to being transported to A.S.T. for interview.
8:44 a.m.: HANSEN advised of rights by Sergeant Galyan and agrees to being interviewed by Sergeant Flothe and Sergeant Galyan.

Sgt. Darell Galyan

“When Hansen got to the interview room he found it was already set up in the most elaborate fashion. Flothe led him into the room and sat him at a desk alone for a while. He wanted him to absorb everything.

On the desk were piles and piles of file folders, some with the names of hunting and fishing associates on them, another open to the page where his wife’s picture was pasted, with the legend DARLA HANSEN written across the top. Next to them were photographs of some of the victims, arranged so that they faced him when he sat down.

Tacked on the wall was a gigantic map of the Knik River area. On it was drawn a big red circle, with two X-marks penciled inside it. Sergeant Darrell Galyan had written in big red letters on the perimeter of the circle: HANSEN IDENTIFIED IN THIS AREA. […]

Sergeant Galyan, an affable but persistent cop, started the questioning. Flothe operated the tape recorder and kept tabs on what was happening with the various searches.

Galyan began with seemingly innocuous topics, like Hansen’s bakery, the baking business, the fact that Hansen owned a plane and was a hunter. The whole approach seemed, on the whole, biographical. Then, a little more than five minutes into the interview, Galyan started to draw the loop of questions a bit tighter.”

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

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Arrest of Robert Hansen: Search Warrant Images

The search warrant authorized by Judge Carlson granted the troopers a wide swath of search targets — his house, his place of business, his vehicles, his airplane. Sgt. Flothe was more than anxious to get going, that much was obvious. He didn’t have a second to lose: Robert Hansen was an early riser and Flothe didn’t want to give the man even a fleeting chance to destroy evidence.

“Judge Carlson, one of Alaska’s leading jurists, is a scholarly man who brings gravity, wit and an incisive intelligence to the bench. He read the forty-eight-page affidavit quickly but with great deliberation. And then he was ready to make his pronouncement. “I don’t have any problem granting you this search warrant,” he said soberly.

“He gets to work early, Your Honor,” Flothe said. “And we will probably want to serve it early tomorrow morning.”

“That’s fine,” the judge said.

Sgt. Flothe almost vaulted out of his chair. Both the judge and the assistant DA gave him quizzical looks, but he didn’t care. Because if he was going to start the next morning, it would take some fast motoring.”

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

Search Warrant
Former Site of Hansen’s Bakery — 9th Avenue View (Google Streetview; illustration, Leland E. Hale)

Search Warrant
Hansen’s House and Vehicles, Old Harbor Road (copyright Leland E. Hale)

Search Warrant
Robert Hansen’s Super Cub (Anchorage Times)

Search Warrant
Robert Hansen Police Lineup Photo

Purchase Butcher, Baker

Arrest of Robert Hansen: Here Comes the Judge

More than anything, Flothe needed to go before a Judge and get a search warrant for Robert Hansen and the things of his life. All his work — and that of the APD, other Alaska State Troopers and the D.A.’s Office — was now coming to fruition.

As always, things didn’t go exactly as planned, but this time they were just speedbumps put up by the ever-vigilant watchdogs at OSPA. And when they went before Judge Victor Carlson, he didn’t hesitate to give Flothe the go ahead. It was a day Glenn Flothe would never forget. Still, there was so much more to do.

10-21-83 to 10-26-83: HANSEN 48 page affidavit for search warrant reviewed by Sergeant Flothe, D.A. Gail Voigtlander and Office of Special Prosecution, (OSPA), then re-typed and re-reviewed.

10-26-83: Sergeant Flothe, D.A. Gail Voigtlander met with Judge Carlson, obtain eight search warrants; Bakery, residence, pickup, Camper, Buick, Subaru, Airplane and HANSEN’s person, search warrants to be served on 10-27-83.

Judge Victor Carlson (in Chambers, March, 1983)

“It was October 26th, a Wednesday, when Glenn Flothe and Gail Voigtlander made their trek to OSPA. They corralled a staff member into taking a look at the affidavit. It got tedious. The attorney looked at a section, mentioned a court case that might have a bearing on the question, then moved to the next section and did the same thing. There were Supreme Court decisions they should take a look at, they were told, and other questions they should research.

Generally, though, the attorney said they had a warrant good enough to take to a judge. Finally.

That very day they took their warrant to Judge Victor Carlson. At their request, they met in chambers. Flothe didn’t want anyone learning about the search warrant early, and would ask that the search warrant be sealed by the judge.”

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

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Back Story: With Friends Like These

Sgt. Flothe wanted to talk to as many of Robert Hansen’s hunting buddies as possible. These were the friends who could, with luck, link their suspect to locations associated with the missing dancers. With Larry Bivins, Flothe hit the jackpot. With friends like these, who needed enemies.

  • Bivins put Hansen at Seward and Moose Pass, two locations on the Kenai Peninsula. Troopers already had an unsolved murder along the Seward Highway, as well as a kidnapping and rape in the same area;
  • Bivins also put Hansen on the Knik River islands and sandbars, near where the bodies of Paula Goulding and Sherry Morrow were found;
  • The Birchwood Airport, meanwhile, put Hansen just southwest of the Knik River, very near Eklutna, where troopers had another unsolved murder (Eklutna Annie).


“On 10-21-83 the affiant [Flothe] interviewed Larry K. Bivins, a past acquaintance of Robert Hansen. Bivins related that he lived next door to Hansen in the early ’70’s and on several occasions he went hunting with Hansen, primarily for sheep out of Seward, Moose Pass, and the Jim Creek area northeast of the Old Knik River Bridge. Bivins further related that on one occasion he and Hansen, using Hansen’s river boat, hunted the Knik River islands and sandbars, in the area of and across from the Eklutna Powerhouse. Bivins pointed the area out to the affiant on a map, which is the same area that the bodies of both Paula Goulding and Sherry Morrow were found.

Bivins further related that Hansen was an avid sportsman and that he owned numerous handguns and rifles. Bivins further stated to the affiant that he and Hansen got into reloading in the early 1970’s and that Hansen owned reloading equipment at that time and liked to reload rifle ammunition. Bivins related that the last time he met with Hansen was for dinner with Hansen at Hansen’s residence, possibly in 1975 and 1976, during which time they drove out to Birchwood Airport in Chugiak and Hansen showed Bivins his airplane.”

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Back Story: Dr. Rothrock Calls Out a Killer

“Affiant [Sgt. Glenn Flothe] has consulted with Dr. Irvin Rothrock, a psychiatrist, regarding this case. It is Dr. Rothrock’s opinion, having reviewed all of the available materials, that Hansen fits the pattern of a person who might be involved with the missing dancers. Dr. Rothrock bases this opinion on the fact that:

  1. Hansen appears to be an impulsive actor as reflected in his shoplifting behavior.
  2. Hansen was involved in arson at an early age.
  3. Hansen seems to pick victims who he would view as inferior to himself.
  4. Serial murderers are often times avid hunters.

Dr. Rothrock added that often times in cases such as this mementos are kept and, due to Hansen having a family, he may well keep such mementos at his place of business.

Dr. Rothrock also stated that it is only a low percentage of people who continue on thorazine and lithium on a voluntary basis.”

Dr. Irvin A. Rothrock

Source: Affidavit for Search Warrant of Robert Hansen’s Property, Sgt. Glenn Flothe, Alaska State Troopers

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Arrest of Robert Hansen: Psychiatric Evaluation

Dr. Irvin Rothrock was Alaska’s leading expert on the psychiatric evaluation of murderers. Born to a farming family in Arkansas, Rothrock studied medicine and then psychiatry, eventually joining the psychiatry faculty at the University of Kansas Medical Center, where he taught for more than 12 years. He came to Fairbanks in 1977 and traveled all over Alaska performing forensic evaluations and testifying as an expert witness. Now he was being asked to evaluate one Robert C. Hansen.

Dr. Irvin A. Rothrock

10-17-83: D.A. Pat Doogan returns to Fairbanks furnishes Dr. ROTHROCK with copies of HANSEN cases for evaluation.

10-20-83: Dr. ROTHROCK contacted via telephone by Sergeant Flothe reference background material previously sent to him regarding HANSEN. Information added to affidavit.

Dr. Rothrock was not the first psychiatrist to take a look at the baker.

In 1972, shortly after abducting the trooper’s daughter, Hansen was given a psychiatric evaluation by Dr. J. Ray Langdon. Dr. Langdon found that Hansen:

Exhibited a compulsive personality with through disorder, perhaps with periodic schizophrenic episodes during which he dissociated in a psychotic rather than neurotic fashion. Doctor Langdon concluded that, assuming his diagnosis to be correct, Hansen’s mental illness would be very difficult to treat successfully. Langdon included in his evaluation that Hansen in his teens used to fantasize doing all sorts of harmful things to girls.

In the late 70’s, Hansen was again evaluated by psychiatrist, Dr. Robert McMannon, who examined him in conjunction with a Larceny from a Building conviction (when he stole a chain saw from a big box store). Dr. McMannon testified at Hansen’s sentencing as to his professional diagnosis of the baker, saying he would be:

Reluctant to stop [Hansen’s] treatment by medication (thorazine or lithium) and if he did stop such treatment he would have Hansen come back for at least quarterly evaluations to review how he was doing. Dr. McMannon also stated that Hansen should always be under medical attention for his disorder (manic depression).

With that background established, it was certain that the Robert Hansen case was to be Dr. Rothrock’s biggest one to date, if not his career.

Purchase Butcher, Baker