Handcuffs On a Bear Skin Rug

It was not too surprising that Robert Hansen and Cindy Paulson disagreed about disputed the specifics of their fraught encounter. [Ed. note: Hansen was in full cover-up mode.] But why Hansen would lie about something as elemental as putting Cindy in handcuffs seems bizarre. Cindy wasn’t the first one to report Hansen’s reliance on restraints, or to say that handcuffs were brought out early on, during the kidnapping phase. Same thing with the firearms. Hansen just couldn’t admit he was never the nice guy he pretended to be.

Here for the first time are the tape recordings that document Bob Hansen’s rendezvous with Cindy Paulson. First, we hear from Robert Hansen’s confession. And then we hear Cindy Paulson’s perspective, documented in her trooper interview with Sgt. Glenn Flothe.

Robert Hansen Confession (Feb 22, 1984)

ROBERT HANSEN (RH): We drove to my home, uh, out in Muldoon and uh, (pause). There we had uh, uh, we went down into my basement, down into my den. Uh, oh gee whiz, I turned on the television set and so forth and we sat there on the couch for a little while.

Robert Hansen discusses sex on the bear skin rug

RH: Uh, (pause) we had uh, oh… I uh, sat there, fondled her a little bit, uh, we uh, sat there and discussed uh, oh we didn’t discuss much really, just talked a little bit, chitchat and then of course she was saying that she had to get back. Then she wanted to uh, uh, go some place and go to bed and so forth.

Uh, I told her no, I would like to stay down here in the basement, uh, I told her that I would like to uh do it a little bit different. I would like to uh, have sex with her there on a large bear rug that I had there (inaudible) just a normal black bear rug I had there on the… on the floor and so forth, and that I would like to, if at all possible, uh talk her into if I could, while I was having sex with her if I could put a pair of handcuffs on her.

Robert Hansen’s line-up photo

RH: And, uh, she said no. And uh, she didn’t care to have that, and she said she didn’t want anything like that to go on. Well uh, at that time uh, I told that uh, I was going to uh, put the handcuffs on her, uh I was going to have sex with her on the bear rug. She said she didn’t object to where we had sex and so forth, but not in handcuffs.

And uh, at uh that time I guess I showed her a firearm and told her that uh, I wanted her to put the handcuffs on and that uh, I toid her that she had to put them on. Um, that’s the first time I know that she stated I forced in up into the car and so forth, that’s…that’s not true. The first time there was any force used and so forth was in…in my home. Uh, and it is… it is true there uh, I had sex with her there on the bear rug and so forth in my home.

Cindy Paulson Interview with Sgt. Flothe (Sep 27, 1983)

CINDY: 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. 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.

Cindy Paulson discusses sex on the bear skin rug

CINDY (cont.): 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…

Cindy Paulson

CINDY (cont.): 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…

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2 thoughts on “Handcuffs On a Bear Skin Rug”

  1. Omg they DISAGREED??? Are you kidding me? Why do you give his misogynistic and pathological behavior such credence, as if he was just as mentally fit as the women he murdered. How disrespectful. Cindy Paulson is still thankfully alive and i HOPE she does not read this mess. Believe women. Don’t try and make excuses for murderers.

    1. “Disagreed” is definitely a poor word choice. The point remains that Hansen was such a f-ed-up psycho that he disputed details it made no sense to dispute. That’s the arc of this piece: to deny Hansen even a modicum of credibility. There’s a reason Cindy is at the center of this story. She is the one, true, credible voice that never wavers, no matter what the doubters say.

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