Arrest of Robert Hansen: You Can’t Postpone

You can’t postpone the inevitable. But you can try. Who knows — maybe a miracle will occur and your slate will be wiped clean. Maybe your attorneys will find THE major flaw in the prosecution’s case, a flaw so deep and wide that no judge and no jury could convict. Maybe.

2/17/84: Sergeant FLOTHE meets with D.A. ROTHSCHILD on Friday regarding the upcoming HANSEN interview, however, HANSEN has advised that he wishes to postpone the interview until the following Monday. HANSEN has related through his attorneys that he would like to think it over, over the weekend.

Robest Hansen Hides Face From Reporters After His October 1983 Arrest (copyright Anchorage Times)

In preparation for this all-important meeting, Flothe met with Frank Rothschild the day before. When Rothschild asked, “What if Hansen doesn’t want to tell us everything we want to know?” Flothe repeated what Gilmour had suggested: “If he balks, just tell him that, come summer, we’ll charge him with murder every time we dig up another body.”

For his part Flothe was prepared to bring detailed sectional maps of the areas where Hansen’s flight maps indicated there were bodies. That way, Hansen could help them narrow down the sites where bodies were buried.

Rothschild, meanwhile, would start to work on some kind of an agreement between the various parties. The accord between counsel would finally consist not only of an agreement between the defense and prosecution concerning Robert C. Hansen, but a stipulation of Hansen’s rights and an involved waiver of those rights – all in all, a long and somewhat unusual document for what was to be a long and somewhat unusual proceeding.

Even as Flothe and Rothschild met, however, they got a call from Hansen’s attorney. Hansen wanted to postpone the interview until the following Monday. In the meantime, Dewey’s office said they’d work up an “agreement of understanding,” which Rothschild said should reflect Hansen’s willingness to give a full statement and his fullest cooperation. The defense seemed amenable to that suggestion. What else could they do?

Fred Dewey and Joe Evans, Hansen’s attorneys, had spent considerable time trying to get Hansen off on the charges lodged against him. They had called the charges ridiculous. They even tried to defend him against murders for which he hadn’t been charged, so much did they believe that he had been falsely accused. They’d done all this not just because they were expected to but because they trusted Bob Hansen. Now, it was evident he’d been lying to them all along. Like so many before them, they’d been taken in by Hansen’s heartless guile.

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

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