Cindy Paulson & Glenn Flothe: Setting the Record Straight

The movie “The Frozen Ground” takes several liberties with the truth. Fine. It’s only “based” on a true story. One of its core mythologies involves the relationship between Cindy Paulson and Glenn Flothe. In it, the film makes the claim that Cindy Paulson eventually moves considers moving in with Flothe, his wife Cherry and their children — and wreaks havoc in the process on their lives. That did not happen. We’re here to set the record straight.

First, there’s no denying that Flothe developed a professional rapport with Cindy Paulson. Here’s Walter Gilmour on that topic. As usual, Gilmour gets straight to the point:

“On September 16, 1983, Flothe took photos of Hansen’s bakery, house, private plane and cars. He also started doing the basic footwork that good investigators cannot forget if they are to remain good investigators. He knew that Cindy Paulson would be a key player in the case against Hansen, and so he took pains to establish some level of rapport with her.”   Major Walter Gilmour

Better than that, there are the words of Sgt. Glenn Flothe himself. During the early drafts of “Butcher, Baker,” Glenn personally reviewed our manuscript. As is his wont, he also attached sticky notes to the back of various pages, offering his invaluable insights and suggestions. On the back of the passage (above) where Gilmour talks about “rapport,” Glenn Flothe added several sticky notes, with the following comments. Let’s get it straight:

“My wife befriended Cindy for months at all hours of the night and morning — without ever meeting her until two days before she was to testify against Hansen.

Glenn Flothe and his wife, Cheryl, after her successful kidney transplant in 2007

“Cindy fixed a family dinner for my wife and family at a safe home when, for a short time, she had her act somewhat together. I have now lost her again to the streets and pimps — whereabouts unknown.

Corsair Restaurant, Anchorage, AK (now closed; photo courtesy Wonderlane)

“The night Hansen was convicted, Cherry and I took Cindy & her friend from the safe home out to dinner at the Corsair. The next day, with an airplane ticket in her hand, she left Anchorage and back to prostitution.”

Glenn Flothe (1985)

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27 thoughts on “Cindy Paulson & Glenn Flothe: Setting the Record Straight”

  1. The movie did not emply [sic] that Cindy Paulson lived with Glen Flothe. It only stated she was going to spend the night at their house but didn’t because she took off.

  2. We were building a house by the Knik river when this was happening. I was pregnant and would go for evening walks along the river and through the woods with my dog….freaks me out now to think of what could have happened.

  3. I really don’t think those minor details matter. I’m assuming 50Cent wasn’t there either.
    The main objective is there. This lady survived a horrendous attack that unfolded many circumstances that ultimately lead to catching a monster. Very courageous and
    Strait forward.

  4. Watched the film. Have law enforcement background. Didnt know about the case but Flothe went above and beyond what normal manpower is dedicated. Um sorry the remaining victims were not recovered, condolences to the families.

  5. Very sad and harrowing story.
    I like and respect women, and can’t imagine why any man would want to harm women in any way.
    It’s sickening and frightening to think of how many women that sadistic butcher actually abducted, tortured and ultimately killed, not to mention his cold, detached, psychological cruelty that he put them through!
    I found the whole thing very moving for those girls and their families, but it also made me feel a lot of anger towards the killer, his hate towards women, and how cowardly he was!
    I’m very sorry for those girls who had young lives, dreams, and futures to live out; and also families and loved ones who must have missed them deeply; so sincere condolences to them, especially for the families of the victims whose bodies were never found; and may God rest all the victims souls and give them peace.
    I’m glad that Cindy Paulson survived that terrifying ordeal, and that she played a big part in that monsters sentencing.
    Very brave young woman, and what great work and dedication from all the men in the investigating team!

    1. It’s a movie, made for profit and entertainment and not a police report or documentary. There are some changes to the story to present it all in 1.45hours. You have limited time to develop the characters, present a plot and present something that folks want to see. To expect otherwise is simply ridiculous.

      37 year in law enforcement with half as a detective.

      1. My cousin Delynn was one of his victims. On frozen ground is a movie and while it has some truth it does romanticize the story a bit. Robert Hanson was a murderer. No matter how these women lived they were human beings. Can you imagine the fear they felt.. There isnt a day that goes by that I dont think of her.
        Discovery Id came out with their documentary on halloween. There were 2 parts and that was the true story but of course it was all about hanson and bot so much about his victims. That was sad. It made me angry. Yes he was the star of the show but the victims have family that are still are still grieving. I hope he is rotting in Hell..

        1. I am so sorry for your loss. It does not matter that they were prostitutes. We are all Gods children. I cannot imagine the hell those poor girls went through. Again I am so terribly sorry for you & the other families that actually lived it.

  6. I just watched “Frozen Ground” even though it’s been out for a while. I understand some things were changed to make a good movie but the basic facts are there. This guy was a sick serial killer and he was finally stopped mainly because of the persistence and good work of one officer. Cindy Paulson went through hell but she was brave enough to testify against him and that was the main thing. She later turned her life around and found happiness! I admire her strength, I have not gone through that but have had a different life of hell and am a survivor also. I am so happy that maniac is rotting in jail. God has a place for him. It is called hell.

  7. On December 20th 1981 I was getting ready to board a flight the next night to go home with my 2 year old son for a visit. My friend was babysitting him. I was out late with friends and traveling to her house close to midnight. She lived in the last neighborhood on the left as you drive the Seward highway. I was alone on the road when headlights were on me. I moved to the right lane and they followed then the left lane and they followed then back to the right lane. Scared didn’t begin to describe the feeling. I knew that I couldn’t miss that left turn or I’d be on the road heading down the peninsula with the inlet on my right.
    As I was in the right lane with headlights right on me I hit my brights and swerved into the left lane and around the corner into the neighborhood of my friend. Apparently whomever wasn’t expecting this and kept straight. Terrified I pulled in my friend’s driveway and relayed what happened. I have always wondered if this could have been Hansen and get an uneasy feeling when I remember this incident.

  8. I love the movie and have watched it many only by the grace of God that Cindy was able to get away and be able to have the life she deserves.

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  10. I am from Anchorage and can relate very much to cindy..I too was immersed in the seedy life of the Anchorage truly is like the wild west, even now, and there is a kind of lawlessness that is more open and accepted than in any other place in the US. When I watched the movie Frozen Ground it reminded me of my life there. I was so glad Cindy was able to escape. I was, too and I now live a happy life in the states. I shudder to think of what could have happened to me living that lifestyle. Still, there are those that prey on the vulnerable and take advantage of Alaska’s open wilderness. Israel Keyes, for instance, ravaged our town not so long ago. While it is an undeniably beautiful place to live, it is rife with crime and i have seen many of my friends that I grew up with turn to a destructive lifestyle as they spend more time there..i am so grateful to have escaped with my life.

    1. I would just like to say that I too am Happy you made it out of there! I myself understand the wild west like lifestyle having lived in Southern California Desert and found myself in A circle of people that was very dark and extremely dangerous and had some very close encounters where I could’ve ended up in a grave somewhere in the desert as many have! I consider myself blessed to have made it out alive. Anyway I just wanted you to know that I fully understand how you must’ve felt and I am truly happy you found peace and happiness. God Bless

  11. Did Robert Hansen really see Cindy again at a strip club, and try to have her killed before his arrest? I’m trying to find out how much of that was accurate!

    1. To the best of my recollection, there was a half-assed plan by some of Bob’s friends to bribe Cindy Paulson to leave Alaska. She was the only witness trooper’s had and, if she disappeared, the case would fall apart. The filmmakers in Frozen Ground took literary license on this one, exaggerating that kernel of truth for the sake of drama. Short answer: didn’t happen.

  12. I guess I missed the entire “lived with Glenn Fothe” part of the movie. The only time it showed anything close to that was when (taking literary license) he brought her home for ONE NIGHT to keep her safe (which caused a marital spat which led to her leaving in the middle of the night).

  13. As someone who has had a movie made about them, I can assure you that the producers DO take a lot of creative liberty with the story. I’d originally written a book about my ordeal and the movie strayed soooo far away from the story.

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