9-02-83: PAULA GOULDING’s body found Knik River — assigned to Sergeant Stauber. .223 caliber shell casing found near grave. Area accessible generally by riverboat, aircraft. Victim fully clothed in shallow grave. Victim reported missing on 4-25-83. Dancer at Bush Company.
Source: Sequence of Events Leading to Arrest of Robert C. Hansen, 1/31/84, Sgt. Glenn Flothe (“Ruff Copy”)
Paula Goulding (Alaska State Troopers)
With Paula Goulding’s body found along the Knik River — almost a year to the day after Sherry Morrow’s body was found nearby — there came a turning point in the “case of the missing dancers.” No longer could authorities claim that there wasn’t “some psycho knocking off girls.”
It wasn’t just that bodies were found; there was also the inconvenient truth presented by Cindy Paulson, a living, breathing witness to Hansen’s depravity. At this point in the investigation, however, it is important to stress that Cindy Paulson’s value was still in the “future.” She was, after all, a prostitute. Anchorage Police didn’t seem to take her seriously.
“[Cindy Paulson] was treated roughly at the police station. The investigators thought she was inventing a story and wanted her to take a polygraph test. She refused. What was the use? They didn’t believe her anyway. To make matters worse, the officers hadn’t seized any evidence at Hansen’s house, the scene of the alleged crime. They hadn’t even taken any photographs.”
Excerpt From: Walter Gilmour & Leland E. Hale. “Butcher, Baker.”
We’ve chronicled the life and death of Paula Goulding in several of our past posts. They are worth re-reading now, as they add context to this pivotal development in the unmasking of Robert Hansen.
- Knik River, Part 5: Lonesome Death, Far From Home
- Robert Hansen Plays A “Good Samaritan”
- Paula Goulding: The Secret Rendezvous
Purchase Butcher, Baker