Arrest of Robert Hansen: A Thief Goes Home Again

Troopers already knew Hansen was a thief. A bigtime thief. The initial search of his home on the day of his arrest turned up ample evidence that he was an inveterate five-finger man. But Troopers had no idea how deep his thieving instincts went. Hansen gave them a glimpse when they took him to his residence and he pointed out all the stuff they’d missed. As Hansen himself bragged during his confession, “Hell, I stole more stuff in this town than Carter got little green pills.”

Photo: jennandjon

Hansen is quoting a variation of a once-popular saying, referring to a “cure all” patent medicine of the last century. As the magazine Southern Living notes, “Carter’s little pills began as Carter’s Little Liver Pills, a patent medicine developed in 1868 by Erie, Pennsylvania’s Samuel J. Carter. At one time, everyone knew Carter’s Little Liver Pills because they were advertised widely. So widely, in fact, that it seemed Carter had an endless supply of pills — which is why the saying originated as ‘more than Carter has little liver pills.’

3/2/84: On Friday, 3/2/84 Sergeant FLOTHE escorted ROBERT HANSEN from the 3rd Avenue pre-trial facility to his residence at which time HANSEN pointed out items which were stolen so that they could be returned to their owners.

Items identified by HANSEN as stolen and seized from the residence included first aid kit from Scenic Lake, a red Homelite chainsaw from a cabin approximately two miles west of Big Lake, ten horsepower outboard motor from west of Big Lake, Craftsman portable radio, Ross desk radio calendar pad, telescope, red vinyl airplane seat containing blue sleeping bag from Merrill Field, green generator stolen from B&C Supply, and a push type lawn mower.

The telescope, first aid kit and a .22 calibre break down rifle and semi-automatic pistol already seized were stolen from Ketchum Air Service cabin sites. The first aid kit, telescope, green generator, lawn mower, and red vinyl airplane seat containing blue sleeping bag are returned to their owners. The remaining items which are unidentified are placed into evidence pending identification.

Merrill Field (Anchorage,Alaska)

Big Lake (Call of the Wild Fire, near Big Lake, Alaska)

Scenic Lake

3/2/84: After transporting HANSEN to his residence Sergeant FLOTHE then transported him to AST Headquarters evidence room with regards to having HANSEN point out which weapons were stolen and which weapons did in fact belong to him. After viewing the weapons HANSEN was then transported back to the 3rd Avenue pre-trial facility.

Purchase Butcher, Baker

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