The Arrest of Robert C. Hansen: Background Investigation Pays Off

9-15-83: Sergeant Flothe and Sergeant Haugsven photograph HANSEN Bakery & airplane. Sergeant Barnard, Fairbanks, advises of 1975 kidnapping case involving HANSEN and Topless Dancer. Sergeant Flothe requests DEWAYNE BURGESS, HANSEN’s Probation Officer, to furnish background information on HANSEN.

Source: Sequence of Events Leading to Arrest of Robert C. Hansen, 1/31/84, Sgt. Glenn Flothe (“Ruff Copy”)

As momentous as this sounds — and it was momentous — the case against Robert Hansen was still bumping along at a fast-crawl. Sergeant Stauber, who had been assigned to the Goulding Homicide, was on leave from 9-15-83 to 9-23-83. Sgt. Haugsven, who had the Sherry Morrow Homicide, returned from leave on 9-15-83. That these two homicides were treated separately was problematic. But with Haugsven back, Flothe now had a fellow traveller to share the excitement of his discoveries. The background investigation was starting to pay off.

And, in that, troopers started to see the meandering road their predecessor’s had been forced to travel. More than that, they started to see how past investigations had been thwarted. For sure, it was a shared responsibility. But some of the people responsible for overseeing Robert Hansen were clueless (helpless?), even in the face of overwhelming evidence.

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

Robert Hansen’s Super Cub (Anchorage Times)

Background: News From Sergeant Sam Bernard, Fairbanks

Background: Outcome of the 1975 Kidnapping Case

“No charges were filed against Hansen [in the 1975 kidnapping], nor could there be. The DA wasn’t ready to let innuendo become a probable cause for arrest. Barnard didn’t give up. He contacted Dewayne Burgess, Hansen’s parole officer, hoping that he’d take some action to revoke Hansen’s parole. But Burgess didn’t do a thing, Barnard said. Not one thing.”

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

Purchase Butcher, Baker

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