Little Bobby, Keeping Them Under Control

as his speech reached its crescendo, Frank Rothschild hit hard on the fundamental truths about Robert Hansen. There was, perhaps unsurprisingly, a sense that Hansen’s actions were ultimately vengeful. That all the things he thought were denied him as a teenager would now be his. By force, if necessary. Because the only way he could get that was to keep things under control. Always under control.

Yet within that paradigm, he maintained a Pollyanna fantasy that some of these women liked him. Or that they were there because they did, eventually, come to like him. Robert Hansen managed to take that famous Mae West quote and turn it upside down and inside out. Even he admitted that no one came with him of their own accord.

Is that a pistol in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

Mae West

Frank Rothschild: “And he did admit that none of them went willingly. Even when he went through the map and talked about where all these women were and pointed out to us where they were, it was cold. He said, well, there’s one here and there’s one there and you’ll find one next to this tree and one under that road. They weren’t people to him, they weren’t human beings to him.

under control
Hansen gravesite (courtesy Alaska State Troopers)

“So then we ask why. Why did he do all this? He said he was frustrated as a kid, his friends had to have all the fun, they got the girls and he didn’t. He had acne, he stuttered, people made jokes of him, talked about hiding, going under the bed, not coming out for a day.

“And so he says this is the reason: he wanted to feel wanted and you can’t feel wanted in a motel room. He called that as too commercial. He didn’t like this slam, bam, do it again, ma’am stuff. He didn’t like this quick stuff, he wanted to have [things] under control as long as he wanted and he tried hard to convince himself, he says, that they wanted to be with him, too. That it wasn’t bought sex, that they really wanted to be with him.

under control
High School Annual Photo (courtesy Ralph Hudek)

“He said, I wanted to control things, it made me feel masculine or powerful or in control of my life, that he got into it for his own ego. Maybe this quote sums it all up.He said “I was just seeing everybody else got theirs, then it’s my turn to have fun now.”

Copyright Leland E. Hale (2021). All rights reserved.


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