Robert Christian Hansen operated as a serial killer in Alaska for twelve years before a 17 year old prostitute named Cindy Paulson was found running near naked down a road, handcuffed, and helped by a truck driver. Police questioned her alleged kidnapper, local baker Robert Hansen, but Police met a mild and very well liked local man and dismissed Paulson`s claims. But she was to re-emerge and help convict him.
Hansen was born on 15th February 1939 in Esherville, Iowa, but had difficulties with domineering father. He was quiet, a loner who was bullied at school due to his severe stutter. As he got older, Hansen excelled at hunting, and this became his favourite past-time. 1957 saw him join the U.S.Army Reserve, in which he served for one year before being discharged. He then became an assistant drill instructor at a Police Academy in Pocahontas, Iowa. It was during this period that he met a younger woman and they married in 1960. But Hansen was convicted in December 1963 for an arson attack on a bus garage and served just over half of a 3 year sentence. His wife divorced him whilst he was incarcerated in Anamosa State Penitentiary, but he remarried after release and in 1967 he moved to Anchorage, where he had two children and set up a business as a baker. His hunting prowess made him a local star. He was jailed again in 1977 for theft where he was diagnosed as bi-polar.
June 13th 1977, Cindy Paulson was found running scared by a truck driver, and initially dismissed by Police. She said that Hansen paid her $200 for oral sex, held at gunpoint, taken to a place owned by Hansen where she was raped & tortured. He then intended to fly her out to a place he had in the wilderness, in his Piper Super Cub. Whilst he was preparing his plane, that was when Cindy took her chance, and despite a short chase, she came upon the truck driver. Hansen was a mild and likeable man and so Police did not continue and the case went cold.
Detective Glenn Flothe, an officer with Alaska State Troopers, was dealing with the discovery of three bodies in the Anchorage - Matanuska - Susitania Valley. The first was found on the Eklutna Road so she was named "Annie" but her true identity was never established. Then, later on that same year, the body of Joanna Messina was found. The following year, the remains of Sherry Morrow were found. Glenn Flothe decided to seek help from the FBI and a top profiler gave them a profile that included the fact that he may have a speech impediment or disability. Hansen was found to fit the profile perfectly. October 27th 1983, Police searched Hansen`s properties and found articles belonging to some of the victims. Hansen eventually confessed to all the crimes he had committed, more than 30 assaults, rapes and murders, starting in 1971. Police had found a map of the wilderness with crosses marked on them. Many later were found to be grave sites. His death toll is thought to be between 17 & 21 though Hansen denied some murders. He is eventually charged with four murders, the kidnap and rape of Cindy Paulson and sentenced to 461 years and is currently in Spring Creek Correctional Center in Seward, Alaska.
How Hansen killed his victims was by hunting them, ala "The Most Dangerous Game". He brought them to the wilderness, released them, then stalked them and shot them dead. One detractor said "How does a crime scene reveal a man with a stutter?" Well, the profiler did not specify he had a stutter but possibly, or some other disability. Why? Common sense says that he is displaying total power & control over his victims, something a man with a vocal disability would have difficulty accomplishing because he would have difficulty expressing threatening words. BUT ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS! The early victims of Hansen were girls in their late teens but later became prostitutes and strippers and topless dancers.