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'Butcher, Baker' serial killer Hansen moved to Anchorage

Jerzy Shedlock

The Alaska Department of Corrections has confirmed that well-known serial killer Robert Hansen has been moved from Spring Creek Correctional Center in Seward to the Anchorage Correctional Complex.

Corrections transported 75-year-old Hansen on May 11, said Sherrie Daigle, deputy director of the Department of Corrections. She said Hansen is currently in medical segregation, and his condition is stable. She declined to offer additional details about Hansen's medical condition.

Medical segregation is like being in the hospital, she said. Each inmate has his or her own cell when separated from the general population for health reasons.

"The department, based on the needs if we are overcrowded or if we don't have the exact something, or a program that an inmate needs at one facility, it's really common practice to move them," Daigle said in an email. "It's no reason for concern."

When Alaska inmates are moved to Anchorage, it's due to medical reasons 90 percent of the time, she said. Anchorage's jail is one of the state's only correctional facilities with a medical unit. Spring Creek is not overcrowded, Daigle added.

Hansen received a 461-year sentence in February 1984 for killing at least 17 women over more than a decade. He began his longer-than-life sentence in Pennsylvania but returned to Anchorage in 1988; he was one of the first prisoners at the newly opened Spring Creek prison, where he's remained since.

The infamous murderer lured in topless dancers and prostitutes in downtown Anchorage with money. Once alone, Hansen would kidnap the women at gunpoint, tie them up, then fly to remote areas to kill his victims.

As an Anchorage baker, Hansen played the upstanding citizen card more than once. He had a successful business and a family. Over the years, he maneuvered to avoid prosecution more than once.

A turning point happened in 1983 when a teenage prostitute named Cindy Paulson ran into a Fifth Avenue motel in handcuffs and said Hansen had imprisoned her at his home, raped her and put her on his plane for a one-way ride.

Several months after the woman stumbled into the motel, police armed with several search warrants went through Hansen's home. They found evidence, enough to eventually charge him with four murders.

As part of his plea deal, Hansen agreed to help authorities find the graves of the murdered women, but only a dozen bodies were located.

Hansen's story is the subject of the 1991 book "Butcher, Baker" and the 2013 film "The Frozen Ground" made by Scott Walker and starring Nicolas Cage, Vanessa Hudgens and John Cusack.

Reach Jerzy Shedlock at jerzy@alaskadispatch.com.

Correction: An earlier version of this story described Robert Hansen as having held a job rather than owning his own business.

 


By JERZY SHEDLOCK
jerzy@alaskadispatch.com