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.”


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