There Are 13 Bodies Still To Find

At this point in the woeful saga of Robert Hansen’s so-called “summer project,” one gruesome task remained. Find the bodies and then identify the victims. Here, though, some intricate mathematics started to come into play. Hansen’s flight maps had 24 distinct asterisks. Troopers surmised there was a body at each of those marks. Hansen wasn’t giving them the satisfaction. He instead admitted to a total of 17 victims. Four of them already identified. That left 13 women. Unlucky 13.

Portion of Hansen’s Flight Map (courtesy Alaska Public Defender’s Office)

FRANK ROTHSCHILD: “Now there are, Your Honor, 13 bodies still out there to find. On Saturday Mr. Hansen took a helicopter ride with Troopers, trying to point out as exactly as possible the locations of these bodies. And obviously until — and we’re going to find the bodies and notify the next of kin. We don’t know who they are although we have some suspicions.

“We know there’s one off the old railroad bridge by the Palmer-Glenn Highway where he took an airplane bag and stuffed it with rocks, tied it to her and threw her over into the water so she’d sink. That he buried one off of Barnhardt’s Mill Road off the Old Glenn Highway, a couple on  sandbar next to the old Palmer bridge that goes across the Knik River. There’s another one right there by a road, there’s another sandbar right in the middle of the Knik down a little ways there where there’s one.

“Old Palmer Bridge” (courtesy Google Maps)

FRANK ROTHSCHILD: “There’s one in Eagle River right off of Hiland by the dump, down by Summit Lake down on the Kenai in a creek bed, the one on Grouse Lake on the Kenai who wasn’t buried. We don’t know if we’ll find anything with all the animals, or the 2 out towards Susitna. There’s another one that was found right to Paula — that is, he tells us, within 10 yards of Paula Goulding’s gravesite.

Body Next to Paula Goulding (courtesy Alaska State Troopers)

“And then interestingly enough, as he was flying with Sergeant Flothe and other troopers around in a helicopter, another one came to mind he hadn’t even remembered to tell us about and he would point, oh, yeah, there’s another one right over there. If you dig over here you’ll find another one, number 17, which we just found out about Saturday afternoon.”

NOTE: On October 22, 2021, AST announced the positive identification of Robin Pelkey. Though her body was NOT on Hansen’s maps, the man himself took troopers to her gravesite after his confession. Once known as Horseshoe Harriet (after the lake near where her body was found), this young woman now has an identify.

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


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4 thoughts on “There Are 13 Bodies Still To Find”

  1. So sad there are 13 left unidentified. Robert Hansen did kill them, otherwise they wouldn’t be marked on his map, and he wouldn’t know where they are. Maybe, like most victims, he didn’t know their real names, where they came from etc. He just knew what they did for a living. Maybe he began to get bolder and bolder and just got rid of them like rubbish, thinking he would never get caught. I really hope the identities of these victims are found out. Eklutna Annie’s face always haunts me..Somewhere, there may be a very elderly mother/family member out there wondering..Waiting…

    1. There were 13 unidentified at the time of Hansen’s sentencing. Subsequent to that, he took troopers to spots marked on his flight map. He ultimately insisted he left a victim at 17 out of the 24 marks on his map. Ten of those 17 were identified. Two more likely belong to the young women who went missing in Seward in the early-to-mid 70s. That leaves five unidentified victims at the time of Hansen’s death (twelve if we assume all 24 marks were Hansen victims). [Ed. most likely] More here:

      1. Those he denied killing… I wouldn’t believe him. They wouldn’t be on the map otherwise, charted alongside the other victims. I thoroughly believe that Bob Hansen was responsible for their demise… I do know that two of those unidentified, who were Eklutna Annie and Horseshoe Harriet. I haven’t heard or read much of the others…

        1. Although I tend to agree with you (95% plus), it’s not too hard to imagine that his maps started for one purpose (marking good landing places near favored big game sites), and then evolved. After all, it’s not like he completely switched from game animals to women. As Glenn Flothe so tellingly noted, his hands were always in blood. So, from humble beginnings, his maps could have easily — and quickly — become something sinister. To my mind, that’s a far more evil progression.

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