Backstory: Glenn Flothe Needs to Find Cindy

The lost part of Cindy Paulson needed someone to find her. She’d told Robert Hansen she wanted to go home to her mother. Even when she did, it seldom lasted long. There were other “caretakers” in her life, though she was hardpressed to depend on them. Always it came down to her coming back to what she knew. Or thought she knew.


On September 27, 1983, affiant interviewed Cindy Paulson, who informed him that:

Paulson, who on the date of the incident was 17 years of age, was working as a prostitute in Anchorage (June 1983).

Find
Cindy Paulson

[More on Cindy Paulson]

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


“Word had it that a vice cop named Gentile was the man Flothe should talk to [about Cindy Paulson]. The sergeant found him in the heart of the city’s red light district: a collection of seedy taverns, pawnshops and topless bars sandwiched between the Alaska Railroad right-of-way and the “respectable” hotels up on Fifth Avenue. It was a zone where a person could buy drugs, proposition women, and get stinking drunk.

“So, you want me to help you find this girl, huh?” Gentile asked as they walked. “What’d you say her name was?”

“Paulson. Cindy Paulson.” They stepped around a group of native men drunkenly arguing about which bar to go to next. Flothe could already tell that Gentile knew this world; he moved through it with elan…

“Two days later, Gentile called Flothe back. “I found Cindy,” he said. “She’s in a massage parlor right here in town. She’s back.”

“Great.”

“Not only that,” Gentile said. “I even know her. You know her as Cindy Paulson, right? And I know her as Stacy Lee Regan. Small world, ain’t it?”

“You think she’ll let me talk to her?”

“She better. She owes me a favor.”

“The first meeting was in one of those hotels where the plaster is cracked and rust-stained from leaking steam radiators. It looked like big pools of tea were on the ceiling, and the hallways smelled of drugs and stale semen. It was the kind of place where the desk clerk raised a momentary eyebrow and then forgot about you.

“Gentile arranged for a room and the three had coffee. Gentile did most of the talking.”

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


Purchase Butcher, Baker

Backstory: Glenn Flothe Interviews A.P.D. Officer Baker

Sgt. Flothe’s interview of A.P.D. Officer Gregg Baker turned out to be portenous. These were the things that get said between the lines. The nuances that don’t always make it into a police report. As every investigator knows, these things are invaluable. Just hearing that Hansen stuttered in the presence of Baker confirmed what Cindy Paulson had told them.

How many men in Anchorage fit this profile as well as Robert Hansen?


“On September 22, 1983, after reviewing the A.P.D. report, affiant interviewed A.P.D. Officer Gregg Baker. Baker stated that in addition to the information contained in the report, he recalled being present with Robert Hansen during his interview by [A.P.D.] Investigator Dennis, and that Hansen had made the remark that, ‘You can’t rape a prostitute, can you?'”

Robert Hansen’s Stutter (creepy audio)

“Officer Baker also told affiant that the ammunition under the seat in the green Buick sedan was, to his recollection, either .30-06 caliber or .223 caliber, judging from its shape, and his ten years in law enforcement. Baker also stated that he saw a pair of rubber surgical gloves in the Buick on the back window shelf. Baker further saw a small hole in the support pillar in the den area of the residence, but no bolt or other attaching device in it. He saw another small hole, like a bullet hole, in the pillar just above the floor, as previously described by Cindy Paulson.

“In the garage, Baker saw a large supply of powder for reloading ammunition, and dies for cartridge reloading, but he could not recall what caliber ammunition the dies were for.

“Baker stated that when he had first contacted Cindy Paulson at the Big Timber Motel, she was very upset, and concerned that she might be in trouble because she was a prostitute, but wanted to help the police in spite of this because she was afraid of the man who abducted her would hurt somebody else if he wasn’t caught.

Officer
Big Timber Motel (Copyright Leland E. Hale 2017; the building is condemned but was recently sold to a developer)

“Baker stated he had taken the handcuffs off Cindy Paulson and placed them in A.P.D. Evidence.

“Baker recalled that one of the weapons in the hidden basement storage area in Hansen’s garage was a Thompson Contender, which Baker noticed because it is an unusual weapon.

Officer
Thompson Center Arms Contender (7mm, single shot)

“Baker stated that he did not check the caliber of Hansen’s Contender, but he knows from experience that it is available with interchangeable barrels in many different calibers, including .30-30, .223 and .222.

Officer

Baker stated that he recalls Hansen spoke with a stutter, just like the man Paulson described has her assailant.”

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


Purchase Butcher, Baker

Backstory: Sister Reports Sue Luna Missing

Because troopers had already found missing dancers along the Knik River, it was worth scouring the area to see if there were more. They knew of at least one other dancer who had disappeared: Sue Luna. The circumstances of her disappearance matched those of other dancers, who were not just missing but recently found, dead, along the banks of the Knik. If they found Sue Luna, they reasoned, that’s where she would be. She would not be the only one.


“Affiant has reviewed Anchorage Police Department report number 82-36211, which states that on May 30, 1982, Roberta Moorehead reported to Officer Russell that her sister, Sue Luna, a caucasian female, age 23, approximately 5’2” tall, approximately 120 pounds, with light brown hair and blue eyes, was missing.

“Moorehead told Officer Russell that she had arranged to pick up Luna at her apartment at the Sleeping Lady Apartments on May 27, 1982, and spend the weekend with her, but when Moorehead went to the apartment, her sister was not there, and Moorehead was informed by her sister’s roommate that she had not been seen since May 26th.

Sue Luna
Sue Luna (courtesy Alaska State Troopers)

“Officer Turney of the Anchorage Police Department interviewed Robin Price, who stated that she was Sue Luna’s roommate at the Sleeping Lady, and that she and Luna were working as dancers at the Good Times Bar in Anchorage, on the 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm shift. Price said that on Tuesday, May 25th, 1982, Luna told Price that she had made a date to meet an unidentified male Luna had met recently at the Good Times. Luna was to meet the man the following day at Alice’s 210 Restaurant to have sex with him for an hour for $300.00. [1]

Sue Luna

“Price stated that she last saw Luna at about noon on Wednesday, May 26th, 1982, when Luna left their apartment in a taxi cab to keep this date. Price stated that Luna was wearing a white ski jacket with red and black trim, blue jeans, silver sandals with high heels, one gold ring, and a digital type watch with a gold expanding band when last seen. Price said Luna did not appear for work that day and she had not seen her since.

“As of this date the whereabouts of Sue Luna are still unknown to affiant.”

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


[1] It’s worth noting that Hansen also met Sherry Morrow at Alice’s 210 Cafe, six months before Sue Luna went missing. Both were quoted the same inflated price: $300.00 for sex. Both had foolishly taken him up on the offer.


Purchase Butcher, Baker

The Arrest of Robert C. Hansen: A Troika of Action

With a troika of near-simultaneous actions, the pace of discovery was now quickening. Or, rather, the attempt at discovery. The Knik River search was a disappointment of sorts — the idea that there were additional women to be found was more than tantalizing. After talking to Officer Baker from A.P.D., about Cindy Paulson, Flothe immediatelty knew something else: he had a living witness. He had to go to the source.

On paper, it seems like the troika came together quickly. It didn’t. Sgt. Flothe spent several days furrowing over Cindy’s whereabouts.

“Flothe was realistic about his mission. He knew it wasn’t going to be easy to find her. The street is a place that swallows people whole, where rumors are worth more than the truth, a place with its own rules and regulations. If he was lucky, Cindy was still in town, working at one of the topless clubs or massage parlors. Even then, he couldn’t be sure that those who knew her would tell him where to find her.

His preliminary investigation gave him cause to worry. The word was that Cindy had fled the state and gone back home to Seattle. That meant he would have to leave Alaska to find her, a more daunting task.”

Excerpt From: Walter Gilmour & Leland E. Hale. “Butcher, Baker.” (Copyright Leland E. Hale and the Estate of Walter J. Gilmour)


9-17-83: Knik River search for additional bodies – negative results.

Affiant has reviewed Anchorage Police Department report number “82-36211”, which states that on May 30, 1982, Roberta Moorehead reported that her sister, Sue Luna, was missing. As of this date the whereabouts of Sue Luna are still unknown to affiant.

Troika

9-22-83: Sergeant Flothe interview with Officer Gregg Baker, A.P.D. reference PAULSEN case.

9-27-83: Sergeant Flothe locates, interviews CINDY PAULSEN.

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


Purchase Butcher, Baker

The Arrest of Robert Hansen: His Possessions & Obsessions

This phase was all about Hansen’s possessions. The places (and things) where troopers were most likely to find him. But then there is something else. The obsessions.

Two sentences was all it got. Ten words, almost casually dropped. Ending with, “Reports to follow.” (Click for sample) These are among the most tantalizing words in Flothe’s narrative. What’s in those reports? We hang on edge.

Meanwhile, Flothe and Haugsven were chasing locations with a car and a camera. They were on the Hansen loop, a scarily compact circuit, documenting Robert Hansen’s haunts and his possessions. They found the things of middle class life in Alaska — even the airplane, it turns out — in a State with the highest per capita airplane ownership in the United States.


9-16-83: HANSEN residence photographed by Sergeant Flothe and Sergeant Haugsven. Residence accurate in location and description to PAULSEN statement.

Iowa advises of HANSEN’s 1961 Arson conviction. Reports to follow.

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


More details were found in Sgt. Flothe’s affidavit. No question, they were on the hunt, in what can be described as the “down and dirty” phase.

“On September 16, 1983, affiant drove to 7223 Old Harbor Street in Anchorage, and took photographs of the residence at the address from the street. Copies of these photographs are attached hereto and incorporated as Exhibit #2.

Possessions
Hansen’s House, Old Harbor Road (copyright Leland E. Hale)

“On September 16, 1983, affiant drove to Merrill Field, Anchorage, and took several photographs of a blue and white Super Cub aircraft with tail number N3089Z, and a gold Chevrolet pickup, Alaska license number 0757BN. Copies of these photographs are attached hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit #3.

Possessions
Robert Hansen’s Super Cub (Anchorage Times)

“On September 16, 1983, affiant drove to the vicinity of 828 East 9th Avenue in Anchorage, and took an exterior photograph of Hansen’s bakery. A copy of this photograph is attached hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit #4.”

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

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


Purchase Butcher, Baker

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.

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

Background
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

The Arrest of Robert C. Hansen: Sgt. Glenn Flothe Checks the Records

9-7-83: Sergeant Flothe assigned to assist Sergeant Stauber and Sergeant Haugsven.

9-13-83: Sergeant Flothe reads PAULSEN case – initiates extensive background investigation on ROBERT C. HANSEN – obtains Parole-Probation records from archives in Juneau, A.S.T. and A.P.D. case files regarding past offenses, correspon- dence to Iowa regarding Arson arrest, various police contacts, motor vehicle accidents, work history, psychiatric court testimony, etc.

9-14-83: Sergeant Flothe talks to Bill Dennis reference PAULSEN case.

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


Bringing Sgt. Glenn Flothe onto the “missing dancers” case was ultimately very fortuitious. He immediately saw the “break” that authorities had been waiting for. Except that… At the time it wasn’t universally seen as the break that it was.

There were some among the Alaska State Troopers who took Flothe’s insight seriously — Maj. Walter Gilmour among them — but old habits die hard. The skepticism of the Anchorage Police could not help but creep into A.S.T. thinking. That wasn’t the only problem.

Police agencies in Alaska were, at the time, engaged in a changeover to a digital records system. A good thing for the future, but a pain during the transition: criminal records that Sgt. Flothe would need to built a complete picture of Hansen’s criminal record were temporarily unavailable. Thankfully, he had living memories to fall back on. The living memories of troopers who’d come across Robert Hansen before. The world’s original computers would not fail him.


Records
Walter Gilmour and Lt. John Lucking, examining Robert Hansen’s flight map, showing kill sites on the Knik River (1984, courtesy Alaska State Troopers)

“By Tuesday afternoon, Major Gilmour had heard that Flothe was telling other investigators about his suspicions. So he stuck his nose into Flothe’s office. He was only being conversational when he asked the sergeant how he was doing in his new assignment, but Flothe figured something was up. It wasn’t every day that a major stuck his nose in his office.

“Just came across something that looks interesting.”

“Oh yeah?” Gilmour replied. “What’d you find?”

“A gal named [Cindy Paulson] came to Anchorage P.D. with a story about how some guy kidnapped her at gunpoint, put her in handcuffs, took her to his house and raped her. Just like in the Ted Bundy case. And listen to this: When he finished raping her, he tried to take her to a cabin in his airplane. The girl was absolutely certain he would kill her.”

“And she’s identified a suspect?”

“Yessir. A guy named Robert Hansen.”

“…If this is the same Robert Hansen, he’s got arrest records as long as the Aleutian Chain. And it ain’t just larceny in a building. He’s been messing with girls in this town since he got here, the dimple-dicked little shit.”

“Are you telling me that…?”

“What I’m telling you is that Hansen is your man. You’re absolutely right, Glenn, your assessment is right on target. The sonofabitch is a killer. A little chicken killer.”

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


Purchase Butcher, Baker

The Arrest of Robert C. Hansen: Paula Goulding’s Body Found

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”)

Body Found
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.


Purchase Butcher, Baker

The Arrest of Robert C. Hansen: Cindy Paulson in Hindsight

This blog has explicitly recognized the importance of Cindy Paulson in blowing the Robert Hansen case wide open. We have, in fact, dedicated 22 posts to Cindy, more than any other single person involved in this case (although Sgt. Glenn Flothe is there throughout). We do this, of course, with the benefit of hindsight. In the real world, that “hindsight” took a while to develop. Not too long, mind you. But long enough for Hansen to have struck again, had he not been so freaked out about what had gone down with Cindy.

Hindsight
Cindy Paulson

In the entries below, Sgt. Glenn Flothe chronicles the day-to-day of the “missing dancers” investigation. We call them “missing dancers” because, before Cindy, that’s all the police had. Dancers who had suddenly gone missing.

These entries record the rhythm of police work — and how one discovery leads to the next. A new piece of information surfaces. A trooper follows up on it. Two weeks later, he takes a two week vacation. It takes more than a month for him to receive the case file from another agency. Even so, Sergeant Haugsven’s earliest steps show that he takes the Cindy Paulson information seriously.

He looks for the cabin that Hansen mentioned to Cindy. He starts keeping an eye on Hansen’s airplane flights. These small steps will soon pay off. These small steps began to provide “hindsight” into the biggest serial-murder case in Alaska history.


6-13-83: CINDY PAULSEN reports rape-kidnapping to Officer Baker and later Investigator Dennis.

6-16-83: A.P.D. Investigator Maxine Farrell relates PAULSEN incident to Lyle Haugsven – A.S.T. Haugsven contacts Investigator Dennis and subsequently follows investigation.

7-01-83 to 7-17-83: Sergeant Haugsven on leave.

7-01-83 to 8-12-83: Sergeant Flothe on leave.

7-17-83: Sergeant Haugsven returns.

7-22-83: Sergeant Haugsven attempts to locate cabin owned by HANSEN — negative results.

7-25-83: Sergeant Haugsven receives a copy of PAULSEN case from A.P.D. Officer Baker via Sergeant Stogsdill.

7-27-83: Sergeant Haugsven initiates Merrill Tower reporting of HANSEN’s flights.

8-12-83: Sergeant Flothe returns from leave.

8-20-83 to 9-05-83: Sergeant Flothe in Southeast Alaska working INVESTOR case.

8-27-83 to 9-14-83: Sergeant Haugsven on leave.

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


Purchase Butcher, Baker

Backstory: Sherry Morrow’s Good Friend Lisa

If you wanted to meet someone in downtown Anchorage and not look out of place, Alice’s 210 Cafe was the perfect spot. In its day, it was the crossroads of Anchorage, the great equalizer run by a woman, Marge Dube, whose mission in life was “making good food and feeding everyone.” (1) When Sherry’s friend Lisa Nyland learned she was to meet someone there for a professional photography session, she thought nothing of it. Alice’s 210 belonged to everyone; even, it turned out, Robert Hansen.


“Sergeant Haugsven informed affiant [Sgt. Glenn Flothe] that he had interviewed Lisa Nyland, who stated that Sherry Morrow had stayed at Nyland’s residence on the night before her disappearance, and that Morrow had told Nyland on the day before her disappearance, Monday, November 16, 1981, that Morrow had an appointment with an unidentified man the following day at Alice’s 210 Restaurant (sic) at noon, and that the man had offered Morrow $300.00 to meet him there and allow him to take pictures of her.”

Lisa
Former Site of Alice’s 210 Cafe, Downtown Anchorage (Google Maps; illustration Leland E. Hale)

Many will remember the ’70s, when Marge Dube ran Alice’s 210 Cafe on Fifth Avenue… Many colorful people from all walks of life ate there — street people, prostitutes, topless dancers, cab drivers, cops, pilots, politicians, judges and others. (Anchorage Daily News, December 2001)

“Nyland further stated that the following morning she awoke at approximately 11:30 am, and found Morrow had left the residence, but had left a note for Nyland stating that she had gone to ‘do that photo layout.’ Nyland said that she never saw Morrow again. Nyland also said that Morrow had told her she met the man who offered the money for photos only a few days before.”

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


(1) Marge Dube was a quintessential Alaska character. According to her 2001 obituary, “she often fed people who couldn’t pay… At her request, no memorial service will be held. Friends are asked to please stop smoking, as Marge did during the last three years of her life, after having smoked 62 years… Her family added, ‘She will be placed in a porcelain vase that was a gift to her from the family of a KLM pilot whose life she saved by breaking up a mugging.’ In lieu of flowers, she asked that friends leave food out to feed the ravens.” (Anchorage Daily News, December 2001)


Purchase Butcher, Baker