Knik River, Part 3: Hidden In the Meat Shack

Remember this: if something goes wrong, it’s not Bob Hansen’s fault. No, it can’t be Bob Hansen’s fault. It wasn’t him who picked up this young woman at the Bush Company. It wasn’t him who handcuffed and kidnapped her. It surely wasn’t him who stuffed her into his Super Cub and flew her up to the Knik River meat shack so he could perform who-knows-what indignities.

No, it was not going to be Bob Hansen’s fault. The blame lay elsewhere. Always. And so it was that Bob Hansen began with a warning to his abductee. If something goes wrong up here, he says, it’s gonna be your fault.

[Transcript lightly edited for clarity]

Great Alaskan Bush Company: Meat Shack

RH: [I told her] don’t say a goddamn word to him, I don’t want to have to — if you raise hell and he starts for me, I’m going to have to shoot the son-of-a-bitch and if I’ve got to shoot him, I’m going to shoot you and you don’t want to die do ya?

“Oh, no, no, no, no.”

I said all right let’s go in here. We went to the meat shack there and ah, there’s just a screen door on it where there was a nail in the stud there – or in the door jam, it was bent over to hold the door shut. I twisted that down. Got her inside and when I had taken off the — handcuffs are off here — I just put them either in my pants pocket or a jacket pocket. I can’t remember what I had on, most likely I had a jacket on.

Got her in [the meat shack] and ah, there’s two posts at either end and a big — or iron pipe running across the top of it where they could hang meat. I just backed her up against that. I said, hey I’m going to make sure the guy don’t land, or if he does land I’m going to make sure he don’t come up here. You stay here and keep [your] mouth shut, you know. We’re going to have no problems whatsoever.

So I just pushed her up against that there and ah I handcuffed her hands behind her, around the post that was in there — at the end of it — and I walked back out here ah, and walked to ah, out to my airplane.

Pioneer Peak: Meat Shack
Pioneer Peak

And this guy just made one more pass. That only took, my gosh ah, he made, well, about three and a half turns all total. They were quite big turns, you know, and ah, I got back out to the trees as he was coming around one more time and got halfway around and he was out there and he dipped his wings at me and I just waved at him, you know (1).

He waved a couple more times and leveled off and went that way — went back towards, ah, or down the river. That scared me a little bit there. I thought, Jesus Christ, if somebody landed, you know, at that time I didn’t even have — I had a pistol in my belt — but I had my .223 in my airplane.

I picked [my .223] out of the airplane and carried that back up here and I leaned that against the [meat] shack here and then went back to her.

(1) A “wing dip” (or wing wave) is the flight equivalent of waving a hand.

Purchase Butcher, Baker

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