|Birth Day:||February 15, 1939|
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He was a local hunting champion in Anchorage, Alaska.
Robert Hansen was born in Estherville, Iowa, in 1939. He was the son of a Danish immigrant and followed in his father's footsteps as a baker. In his youth, he was skinny and painfully shy, afflicted with a stutter and severe acne that left him permanently scarred. Shunned by the attractive girls in school, he grew up hating them and nursing fantasies of cruel revenge.
In 1957, Hansen enlisted in the United States Army Reserve and served for one year before being discharged. He later worked as an assistant drill instructor at a police academy in Pocahontas, Iowa. There, he began a relationship with a younger woman. He married her in the summer of 1960.
On December 7, 1960, Hansen was arrested for burning down a Pocahontas County Board of Education school bus garage, revenge for his unpopularity in high school. He served 20 months of a three-year prison sentence in Anamosa State Penitentiary. During his incarceration, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder (at that time called “manic depression”) with periodic schizophrenic episodes. The psychiatrist who made the diagnosis noted that Hansen had an “infantile personality” and was obsessed with getting back at people he felt had wronged him. Hansen's wife filed for divorce while he was incarcerated.
Over the next few years, he was jailed several times for petty theft. In 1967, he moved to Anchorage, Alaska with his second wife, whom he had married in 1963 and with whom he had two children. In Anchorage, he was well liked by his neighbors and set several local hunting records.
In December 1971, Hansen was arrested twice: once for the abduction and attempted rape of a housewife, and again for raping a prostitute. He pleaded no contest to assault with a deadly weapon in the offense involving the housewife; the rape charge involving the prostitute was dropped as part of a plea bargain. He was sentenced to five years in prison; after serving six months of his sentence, he was placed on a work release program and released to a halfway house.
When confronted with the evidence found in his home, Hansen denied it as long as he could, but he eventually began to blame the women and tried to justify his actions. Eventually confessing to each item of evidence as it was presented to him, he admitted to a spree of attacks against Alaskan women starting in 1971. Hansen's earliest victims were girls, usually between 16 and 19 and not sex workers, unlike the victims who led to his discovery.
In 1976, Hansen pleaded guilty to larceny after he was caught stealing a chainsaw from Fred Meyer, an Anchorage department store; he was sentenced to five years in prison and required to receive psychiatric treatment for his bipolar disorder. The Alaska Supreme Court reduced his sentence, and he was released with time served.
Detective Glenn Flothe of the Alaska State Troopers had been part of a team investigating the discovery of several bodies in and around Anchorage, Seward, and the Matanuska-Susitna Valley area. The first of the bodies was found by construction workers near Eklutna Road. The body, dubbed "Eklutna Annie" by investigators, has never been identified. Later that year, the body of Joanna Messina was discovered in a gravel pit near Seward, and in 1982, the remains of 23-year-old Sherry Morrow were discovered, in a shallow grave near the Knik River. Flothe now had three bodies and what looked like one killer.
On June 13, 1983, Hansen offered 17-year-old sex-worker Cindy Paulson $200 to perform oral sex; when she got into the car, he pulled a gun on her and drove her to his home in Muldoon. There, he held her captive, and proceeded to torture and rape her. She later told police that after Hansen chained her by the neck to a post in the house's basement, he took a nap on a nearby couch. When he awoke, he put her in his car and took her to Merrill Field airport, where he told her that he intended to "take her out to his cabin" (a shack in the Knik River area of the Matanuska Valley accessible only by boat or bush plane). Paulson, crouched in the back seat of the car with her wrists cuffed in front of her body, saw a chance to escape when Hansen was busy loading the airplane's cockpit. While Hansen's back was turned, Paulson crawled out of the back seat, opened the driver's side door, and ran toward nearby Sixth Avenue.
Supported by Paulson's testimony and Douglas' profile, Flothe and the APD secured a warrant to search Hansen's plane, vehicles, and home. On October 27, 1983, investigators uncovered jewelry belonging to some of the missing women as well as an array of firearms in a corner hideaway of Hansen's attic. Also found was an aeronautical chart with little "x" marks on it, hidden behind Hansen's headboard. Many of these marks matched sites where prior bodies had been found (others were discovered later at those then unexplored).
In 1988, he was returned to Alaska and briefly incarcerated at Lemon Creek Correctional Center in Juneau. He was also imprisoned at Spring Creek Correctional Center in Seward until May 2014, when he was transported to the Anchorage Correctional Complex for health reasons.
Hansen died on August 21, 2014, aged 75, at Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage, due to natural causes from lingering health conditions.
Currently, Robert Hansen is 84 years, 3 months and 26 days old. Robert Hansen will celebrate 85th birthday on a Thursday 15th of February 2024.
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