Robert Hansen: Empty Shell, Empty Thrills

This guy Hansen was a twisted soul whose emotional repertoire was thin as a twig. An overgrown child, he was always looking to get away with something behind your back. And always seeking the next thrill, bigger than the last.

Unfortunately for the women of Anchorage, there was never enough. Never could be. Robert Hansen was an endless pit, which no amount of caring and no amount of love could fill.

That emptiness is never more starkly communicated than in the following exchange with Anchorage Prosecutor Frank Rothschild during his confession.

Robert Hansen, Hunter (courtesy Anchorage Times)

RH: Quite a few weekends I would spend doing something [away from my family]. I got to admit you know ah, any excuse I got to be away like that was time that somebody wasn’t watching me and I could go steal some stuff. You know, I could go in the stores…

FR: …When you steal things, that is sort of a rush you get in doing that, part of it is just getting away with something, fooling the police, just the thrill or excitement or something like that? Did you ever feel anything similar to that in dealing with any of these women? I know you were afraid and were scared, you talked about hiding under the bed, but was there any kind of a rush associated with that too?

RH: Well, there was a feeling when things were going right, there was a great sexual surge. Not the same feeling, no, as when I was going in stealing something out of a store.

FR: You’re a hunter, you like to kill animals —

RH: That was more of a contented feeling going in — like going and take something. I got a big charge and thrill out of that, yes, but the same time gosh it felt good, I wasn’t going to have to, of course, pay for everything that I got out of the stores, but at the same time, it was — in fact somebody had just lifted ten pounds of weight off my shoulders, oh it felt good.

PARKER (psychiatrist) so forth – LANGDON (psychiatrist) said you know, kleptomania. I don’t know what the right term for that is, anyway I know how it made me feel. It made me feel good to go in and get by with it. The more I could get by with the better, you know. I’ve taken a few firearms and so forth. It’s hard to get a firearm out of the store, especially long guns. Of course the ones that aren’t so long, they’re not bad, but ah, it’s somewhat the same thing.

RH = Robert Hansen; FR = Frank Rothschild

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