Robert Hansen’s flight map was key to identifying his victims; State Troopers surmised — correctly — that the marks on his flight map corresponded to burial sites. But Hansen insisted that not all the marks on his flight map identified victims; while he admitted to 17 marked burial sites, another five — four of them in the Seward area — he denied.
One of the women “denied by Hansen” was Megan Emerick, who was 17-years-old at the time of her disappearance. Here’s what we know about Megan:
- She was last seen in Seward, Alaska, on July 7, 1973.
- She was a student at the Seward Skill Center (now called the Alaska Vocational Technical Center).
- She was last seen walking out of a dormitory laundry room.
- All of her personal belongings, including her identification, were left behind.
- Her roommate searched for three days before reporting her disappearance.
And here’s what we know about Robert Hansen (according to court records and his confession):
- On parole for an Assault with a Deadly Weapon charge involving a real estate secretary, Hansen was required to tell his parole officer his whereabouts; his parole records show that he was in Seward on the July 1973 weekend that Megan disappeared.
- He had a “large boat” during the early ’70’s, which he used for scuba diving and fishing in and around Seward.
- He learned to scuba dive by taking some divers he’d met on the Seward docks out on his boat to find sea cucumbers.
- In his confession to the 1980 murder of Joanna Messina, Hansen admitted that he met her while “walking up and down the [Seward] docks and talked to the fishermen about different things and so forth, and just bullshit and talk.”
“In the spring I would take my boat and pickup and camper and drive to Seward and leave it, then just drive a car back and forth [from Anchorage].”
The distance from the Seward Skill Center, where Megan was last seen, to the Seward docks where Hansen kept his boat, is about an 11-minute walk (one-half mile). In Hansen’s confession to the Messina murder, he said he tried to lure her onto his boat, but failed because she needed to be at a job call for the local cannery:
“I met her and I talked to her and… I had my boat down there and was talking [to] her that I was going to go out, out the next day fishing and so forth, would she like to go along, you know.”
Finally, there is the “problem” of Robert Hansen’s flight map. It shows not one, not two, but three marks in Seward’s Resurrection Bay. Marks which, in many other cases, showed where he’d left bodies.
During his confession, Hansen denied it.
Anchorage DA Vic Krumm: “Way back in the early ‘70’s, there were a number of young women from Seward…”
Robert Hansen: “Ah… out of Seward gentlemen, I never had anything… anything to do with any girls out of Seward.”
I don’t believe him. He visited Seward often, kept a boat there, had a way of talking up folks hanging out at the docks and, on at least one occasion, took those folks out on his vessel. You be the judge.
Robert Hansen Flight Map (Seward and Resurrection Bay detail)
- Butcher, Baker (Amazon Kindle; Apple iBooks; Barnes & Noble NOOK; Google Play; Kobo eReader)
- Statement of Robert C. Hansen, District Attorney’s Office Anchorage, February 22, 1984
- The Charley Project: Megan Emerick
- Alaska State Troopers: Missing Persons Bulletin
- National Center for Missing & Exploited Children: Megan Emerick
Correction: Hansen was on parole for Assault with a Deadly Weapon, not attempted assault.