Kidnapped: The True Story of Cindy Paulson

On June 13, 1983, Cindy Paulson was kidnapped and raped, her life threatened by Robert Hansen. Her eventual getaway was central to Hansen’s ultimate capture and confession to the murder of dozens of women. Three months later, Cindy agreed to a detailed interview with Sgt. Glenn Flothe, the Alaska State Trooper in charge of the homicide investigation. This interview helped pave the way for Hansen’s indictment in the murders.

For the first time, we share the entire interview. Due to its length, we will present this interview in installments. Below is Installment One.
Purchase Butcher, Baker

FLOTHE: The following will be an interview with Cindy Paulson. Today’s date 9/27/83. Time of taped interview 8:04 pm., Anchorage, Alaska. I, Cindy Paulson, make the following voluntary taped interview at the Alaska State Troopers on today’s date. Present during the interview, of course, will be myself, Sergeant Flothe will be interviewing Miss Paulson.

FLOTHE: OK. How old are you, Cindy?

CINDY: Um, well, my true birthdate is 18.

FLOTHE: And what is your true birthdate?

CINDY: July 5th, 1965.

FLOTHE: You’re 18?

CINDY: Um hmm. (Sniffles)

Cindy Paulson
Cindy Paulson

FLOTHE: Last night, Cindy, I met with you and I asked you to come by today with regards to telling me again what happened back on 06/13/83. And you told me you’d be willing to come by and you’ve since come by this evening. And, with your permission, then, I’d like to ask you some questions and um… have you tell me in your own words what happened on that day, involving that incident.

CINDY: (Sniffling). All right.

FLOTHE: OK? And start at the beginning just like (inaudible).

CINDY: (Inaudible) …I gave the gentleman my telephone number and asked him to call me. And he had called me and I slept through it. You know, I was supposed to meet him. So the next day, which was Sunday (sniffles), I was on Fourth and Denali and this gentleman had been by and pulled in the parking lot and offered me, and I got in the car voluntarily, I was talking with this man and he offered me $200 for a blowjob in the car.

And I said, “Fine, no problem.” And we pulled over to the side, by the side of the house, and I proceeded to give him a blowjob. And um, after I had got (inaudible), I kept doing it, and then he kept feeling around my neck, like he was just trippin’, playing around with my neck and my necklaces. And he had cuffed one of my hands, and I was trying to get loose and he pulled out a gun. Then he had got my other hand cuffed, I don’t know how he did it, it was just frightening, ‘cause I didn’t really… I fought, but not a lot, ‘cause I knew he would do something.

And, um, he took me to his house on Old Harbor Road in Muldoon. Take a right at the [inaudible] and you go all the way down to a blue house on the right hand side, just past the Veteran’s Home. And, um (sniffles), he took me downstairs and he had a dog, a black dog, (inaudible) on the couch (inaudible). And, um, I was handcuffed the whole time. He had brought a chair over and, um, he kept telling me, you know, if I cooperate he won’t hurt me.

Robert Hansen's House in Muldoon
Hansen’s House, Old Harbor Road (copyright Leland E. Hale)

And he handcuffed me to the chair at first, and then he had changed the hands and handcuffed me to the bottom of the other chair and had my neck tied with a rope around it, to the coffee table, and we made love on a bear skin rug. And I was on my period at the time and had a tampon in my womb and he had sex with me with no rubber. And then he kept telling me, you know – calm – you know, if I would be OK he won’t hurt me. And then, after that I had went to use the bathroom and he was following me with a rope around my neck. And I was handcuffed the whole time.

And I went to the bathroom and started to come out and he told me to go back in… And I had heard chains start rattling and I came out and he had laid a little bed down in the floor by the pool table and he wrapped the chain around my neck four times and handcuffed me so I could move around a little bit (crying inaudible). And I was there for five hours. And there was bars and curtains over the windows. And I had to pee on the rug, over by the pool table. And he saw me and didn’t do nothing.

And then about five hours later he woke up and came over there and I told him all I want to do is go home, ‘cause I live with my mom, and I won’t tell nobody. And the whole time, he took all my money and jewelry, and he told me that since he liked me so good, that he would take me to his cabin, and make love to me one time and bring me back. And he said that he had a plane over at Merrill Airfield and that we would go there, then he would take me to his cabin and bring me back. And I knew that I wasn’t going to come back (crying). (Inaudible)

And so when we were ready to go he took all my money (inaudible). And we get in the car and I’m laying down in the back seat with a cover over me. We were driving down to the Merrill Airfield and we get to the airport and in the passenger seat he had a rope and a gun. And he got up and put something in the trunk and put the gun on the top of the car. And he was digging in the trunk, he said he had to put a seat in so he could tie me up in the plane. And he kept going back and forth to the plane.

And then when he went back to the plane I looked up and I seen that I could only see him from the waist down. And the front driver’s door was open so I opened the back door and I ran. And he started chasing me with a gun. And then this guy with a truck stopped me ‘cause I had the handcuffs on my hands and I didn’t have no shoes on. I was hysterical. And he gave me a ride up the street to the Mush Inn and that’s when I called a friend of mine to come and get me.

Mush Inn Motel, Anchorage (2017)
Mush Inn (copyright Leland E. Hale 2017)

And they took me to the Big Timber where I was stayin’. And I was trying to get the handcuffs off and the police came. And then when the police came I showed him his airplane. And I described everything he had on and exactly to what he did on the bear skin. And we went to his house and I went to the hospital and the police station.

Big Timber Motel, Anchorage (copyright Leland E. Hale 2017)
Big Timber Motel (Copyright Leland E. Hale 2017; the building is condemned but was recently sold to a developer)

FLOTHE: Thank you. I am going to turn the tape off for a minute. You’ve got some tears coming down there. I’m going to get you a couple Kleenex’s, OK? The time is 8:13 p.m.

Purchase Butcher, Baker

19 thoughts on “Kidnapped: The True Story of Cindy Paulson”

  1. Omg, seem the movie, poor girl, glad she made it out of that hell hole, prostitute or no prostitute no woman should have to go through that..

  2. I have watched this movie over 100 times and can’t believe the courage of Cindy. I cry every time I watch it for her and the victims, also feeling terrible for that freaks family. Can’t imagine what they had to go through either. Nicholas cage and Vanessa should have won some awards for there performance. One question I have is how could Hansen fly a plane out of that airport with no license? Also can’t believe no one ever saw him getting these women into his plane?

    1. Hansen purposely put very small tail numbers on his plane, so the tower couldn’t read them. And at takeoff, he stood on it, so that he was too high for the tower to catch him. Know, too, that Merrill Field, where Hansen kept his plane, is quite busy.

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  4. I learned of the murders from my Uncle who was a C.O. where Hansen was incarcerated. I’ve watched the movie so many times and looked into the Hansen murders. Cindy was so incredibly brave, and probably saved many more lives from the hands of this monster. I cry every time I watch this movie for Cindy and all the victims. Thank you for sharing this.

  5. I just watched the movie and it broke my heart.I was actually yelling at the tv for her to run.I do not care if she was a prostitute or stripper.No women should have to go through that kind of ordeal. And all those victims my heart goes out to them and their families.

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