Arrest of Robert Hansen: Decks Get Cleared

Getting the decks cleared was an exercise in manuevering through Bob’s calculated attempts to sidestep the truth. The waffling started early. Sgt. Flothe, for example, wanted Bob to start with what he took to be the beginning of his murder spree, in Seward during the early ’70’s. The sergeant wanted him to talk about the disappearance of two young women in the glacial waters of Resurrection Bay. Hansen was having none of it. No, he told them, it didn’t start there. Everything started on the Eklutna power line, Hansen insisted, with a body found in July 1980.

And so it went. No one was really sure the decks were getting cleared. And if they weren’t getting cleared, that was a problem.

2/22/84: Sergeant FLOTHE, Sergeant HAUGSVEN, Lieutenant JENT and Trooper VonCLASEN meet with District Attorney FRANK ROTHSCHILD and Defense Attorneys JOE EVANS and FRED DEWEY at the district attorney’s office with regards to the interviewing of ROBERT HANSEN. Also present during the interview is District Attorney VIC KRUMM. Interview is initiated at 8:46 am with VIC KRUMM and FRANK ROTHSCHILD reviewing the agreement between the State and defendent, ROBERT HANSEN.

After waiving HANSEN of his rights he subsequently admitted to the kidnapping and rape of CINDY PAULSON. HANSEN then relates the kidnapping and murder of a dancer from the Good Times on Dimond that was subsequently during the interview identified as EKLUTNA ANNIE. The interview was concluded at 11:59 am, at which time a lunch break was taken.


The interview was then resumed at 12:19 pm, at which time HANSEN then related the kidnapping and murder of SHERRY MARROW (sic) [MORROW]. HANSEN then related the kidnapping and murder of another dancer that he placed into a cloth bag and tossed off the railroad trestle which crosses the Knik River towards the south bank. HANSEN then related the murder of a fourth woman, a woman which he had met on the docks in Seward. This woman was subsequently identified during the interview as JOANNA MACINA (sic) [MESSINA], a body which had already been found and identified.

It should be noted that a mark corresponding with each of the above mentioned murders were observed previously on HANSEN’s map. The interview was then concluded at 3:03 p.m.

[Throughout the interview] Hansen tried to make everything seem so innocent. He even revealed that he’d taken some dancers into the bush and brought them back alive. But what about the other women who obviously hadn’t survived? Why had their fate been so different? If no one else was going to ask, Flothe decided, he would. He waded right in to Hansen’s morass of evasions.

“What made you decide not to bring some of them back?” he asked, his voice trailing off gently. “What happened?”

“Well, uh…” Hansen said, hesitating. “Once out there, there was no need for any restraints or really anything else, any firearms or anything.” There was another pause, and then a mumble. “They would take off and want to leave, you know,” he said.

“Girls would take off and want to leave?” Vic Krumm asked. “Or you would take off and want to leave?”

“They would want to take off and leave, okay?” Hansen replied. “Uh, twice they got their hands on firearms that I had with me and I came pretty damn close to getting shot. There was no hurt created, if you want to call it that, as long as they didn’t panic on me. As long as she would go along with what I wanted out there, okay, I would let her go home and that was it.”

“And if they didn’t?” Flothe asked.

“They… they stayed.”

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

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