Arrest of Robert Hansen: Rescuing Cindy Paulson, Pt. 1

Sgt. Flothe’s terse memorialization of the day he reconnected with Cindy Paulson makes it sound matter-of-fact, even facile. She was at a “friend’s” house, so easy-peasy, we’re rescuing Cindy. In a way, it was — but only because Flothe came prepared for the worst. For one, he brought backup. Because the “friend” was Cindy’s pimp. Second, he preemptively called the safe house where he planned to take Cindy once they scooped her up. The good news was Cindy had already met the woman who ran the safe house. She liked her.

So, even though rescuing Cindy was anything but straightforward, she was ready to come in from the cold. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

Cindy Paulson

2/10/84: Witness CINDY PAULSON’s location unknown. Attempt to locate PAULSON. PAULSON subsequently located on Government Hill living with a friend. PAULSON, per her request, removed from friends residence and placed into safe home. PAULSON also contacts parents and let parents know of her whereabouts.

“Early Saturday morning Cindy Paulson called Flothe at his office. It seemed urgent. She was speaking in a whisper. “I can’t talk too loud,” she said. “I just got out of bed and I’m in the bathroom. I went to the bathroom so I could talk on the phone. I need you to come pick me up.”

“What’s the address?” Flothe asked without hesitation.

“Over on Government Hill,” Cindy said, then gave him the street address.

“Are you at your pimp’s place?”


“I’ll be there in a half hour or less.

“Before going to Government Hill to pick up Cindy, Flothe rounded up some reinforcements. He didn’t expect any trouble, but wanted to make sure he didn’t have any. When he got to the unprepossessing apartment building, he had three plainclothes officers with him as back up.

“Inside the building, the troopers marveled at the set-up. The first floor was like an atrium, with a ceiling that opened to the floor above. In the center of the atrium was a pool table. There was a bar off in the corner. In every direction they looked there were doorways leading off to individual rooms.

It was a party house. People could party, and when it was time to have sex they went off to one of the many rooms, not only on the first floor but on the second level, which was reached by a stairway snaking up one side of the atrium. It was the perfect layout.”

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

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