Terror on the Alaskan Terrain. When hunting animals lost its thrill, one man chose humans instead.
Aesthetically exhilarating landscapes. Multifarious terrains made up of mountains that seemed to reach the heavens and forests abundant with an array of wildlife, but this descriptive lure has a very dark and unfortunate history. The true story behind serial killer, Robert C. Hansen. A man who used this slice of wilderness paradise as his hunting ground. But his prey, was not animals.
Born in a small town in Idaho, Robert was raised by a domineering father. Danish immigrant who ran a bakery. Suffering from severe acne, skinny in frame, painfully shy and a stutter; Hansen had significant obstacles as an adolescent. There also is minimal record of his mother playing an active role in his life. It doesn’t take a psychology major to see the profile coming to light but the man becomes a monster by choice and Hansen clearly chose to be a monster!
His social awkwardness planted a seed of hatred. His lack in appeal to the females around him, exacerbated the evil growing inside. After school Hansen, signed up for the army reserves, married a local girl and worked for his father in the bakery. In 1960, he served twenty months of a three year sentence which was the result of him burning down a school bus garage in the county where he resided. While serving his time, his wife divorced him. Interesting enough, shortly after being released from prison, he remarried; and a short few years moving around stateside, they moved to Anchorage, Alaska in 1967.
To their community, “Bob the Baker” was a providing husband, bakery owner, leading local outdoorsman and father; but 1973 would be the year “Bob the Butcher” began his timeline of terror.
Anchorage was a hot spot in the 70’s for young women from the lower 48. The draw, men with lots of money to spend while there building the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. The year following Hansen record-breaking animal kills, no definitive trigger has been stated in why but hunting animals lost its appeal. Frequenting Anchorages Tenderloin district, he developed a routine where he would pick up topless dancers and prostitutes. Using his Piper Cub plane, he would fly his victims out into the wilderness to physically and sexually assault them. If they didn’t reject the sexual aspect, he would let them live. If they did not comply, he would release them into the wild only to hunt them and kill them.
From 1971 to 1983, (by his own admission) sexually assaulted thirty woman and admitting to killing twenty-one. And even had a couple of close encounters with police but due to lack of evidence, was released. But his last intended victim, a young prostitute, escaped while Hansen was loading his plane. She flagged down a motorist and Bob the butcher would soon be a headline in the news. Reportedly, his wife was also made aware of her husband's dark alter-ego at the time of his arrest. Media dubbed him the “Butcher Baker” and in 2013,
Hollywood enlisted the talents of Nicolas Cage, John Cusack and Vanessa Hutchinson in ‘THE FROZEN GROUND’. A gripping and intense cinematic representation of this real life monster. Robert C. Hansen was convicted of murder on June 13, 1983. There is no death penalty in Alaska. Hansen died in 2014 while serving his 461 year sentence. When learning of Hansen’s death, retired Detective Glenn Flothe told the Alaska Dispatch, “Good riddance, this world is better without him.” I think we all can agree with that!