The shell casings that troopers had found at gravesites on the Knik were .223’s from a Mini-14 semiautomatic. They knew that Hansen favored this rifle. Had bragged about this rifle. Now, with the search of his residence in full motion, they needed to find that rifle. It was the firmest link they had to Hansen and the murders of the missing dancers. The problem was, troopers on the scene weren’t finding it.
Under questioning from Sgt. Flothe, Hansen casually suggested the Mini-14 might be “in my boat. It’s parked right next to my house.”
1:30 p.m.: Lieutenant Jent subsequently asked to look in boat for Mini-14, as HANSEN indicates it may be there. Sergeant Flothe later advised by Lieutenant Jent that permission will have to be obtained from Judge Carlson.
1:45 p.m.: Interview with DARLA HANSEN concluded.
2:00 p.m.: Lieutenant Jent amended search warrant #83-326 to include searching boat for Mini-14. HANSEN advised Flothe weapon may be in boat.
Hansen’s .223 “Mini-14” — His Preferred Murder Weapon (courtesy Alaska State Troopers)
“Hey, Glenn,” Jent said when he called Flothe back, “you know we’re gonna have to get permission from the judge to let us look for the Mini-14 in the boat. The boat’s not listed in the search warrant.”
“You’re right. You better call Judge Carlson.”
“I’ll get over there right now.”
“Great. We gotta find that gun. Hansen ain’t breaking.”
“At least we got a break on Henning.”
“Yeah,” Flothe said, “but we can’t make his wife testify against him.”
“Don’t worry. Once he knows we know, it’s gonna be all over.”
“Yeah,” Flothe replied. “I’d still feel better if we found that damned Mini-14.”
“We’ll find it. If it’s here, we’ll find it. And I’ve got a feeling it’s here. It’s just well-hidden.”
All Flothe could do, for the moment, was hope that Jent was right. At least now they had more help on the scene. And maybe they would find the Mini-14 in the boat, although it seemed like a dumb place to hide anything. Then again, Flothe thought, Hansen could be lying. For Hansen, lying was a way of life.”
Excerpt From: Walter Gilmour & Leland E. Hale. “Butcher, Baker.”