Watching the ID documentary, The Butcher Baker: Mind of a Monster, I was floored by the folks who filled in the intimate details. As a police procedural polished with novelistic touches, Butcher, Baker necessarily gives some of these same players only brief appearances. They often go unnamed. That’s because Butcher, Baker focuses on The Glenn Flothe Quest. And so it was that the documentary gobsmacked me with new revelations.
Be sure to watch: The Butcher, Baker: Mind of a Monster on Investigation Discovery, NEW! Unlocked Special
Other Voices, Other Stories
These other voices add nuance and texture to a portrait of a madman. I, for one, was glad to hear from them. Here, in no particular order, are my reactions to the deep stories the filmmakers found. These are the names and faces that gobsmacked me.
- Wayne Coggins: It’s telling that Darla reached out to her church family to get help for Bob. The church was in her wheelhouse. The pastor liked his donuts, but wanted to save a soul. The jailhouse scene is priceless. Yeah, Hansen knew what he did was wrong. Wrong enough to land him in mortal sin territory.
- Marshall Ellison: Here, we learn that someone else in Darla’s church family tried to connect with Bob, again at Darla’s urging. What he found out was that Bob wasn’t like the other guys. He liked the hunt. Only the hunt. And, as Flothe learned, always had his hands in blood.
- John Daily: September is moose season in Alaska. As the days grow shorter and colder, the moose come down into the lowlands to feed. That’s why Daily was on the Knik. And that’s why he and a hunting buddy found a body. As cops, they knew exactly what to do.
- Susan: “I said, ‘see you later.’ There was no see you later.” Hansen’s M.O. was to meet his “dates” in places where they could rendezvous alone — in places where he could make sure no one was lingering protectively. Susan likely kept a respectable distance as she said goodbye. Otherwise, Hansen would have quickly abandoned the liaison.
- Diana Lynn Hansen nee Smith: Diana talks glowingly about Darla as a learning disabilities teacher. Not only did Darla teach at the nearby grade school, she took on special-needs students for private tutoring out of her home. Her teaching space was in the basement. The same basement where Bob bound and raped Cindy Paulson.
- Karen O’Leary: O’Leary met Hansen through a Sunday Singles dating ad in the Anchorage Daily News. I believe she was a secretary with the Alaska State Troopers at the time. Hansen took her to his home — Darla and the kids were in Europe — and proposed sex on his bear skin rug. O’Leary declined. Five days later, Hansen kidnapped Cindy Paulson and raped her on that same bearskin rug.
Truth Stranger Than Fiction
When you start writing non-fiction, especially true crime, you end up repeating the same mantra, over and over. You are constantly gobsmacked. You can’t make this stuff up.
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