Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Hunting Humans

Closure

Malai Larsen, Angela Feddern, Lisa Futrell, Tamara Pederson, Sue Luna
Victims: Malai Larsen, Angela Feddern,
Lisa Futrell, Tamara Pederson, Sue Luna
When investigators first heard Hansen's confession, they couldn't help but think of the popular fictional story "The Most Dangerous Game" by writer Richard Connell. The story is about a shipwrecked trio that find themselves stranded on an uncharted island, where they meet a Russian Count, known only as General Zaroff. The group is initially delighted to find someone else on the island, but their happiness turns to sorrow when they realize that the shipwreck was no accident and the good general had lured them there so he could hunt them down. Up until the early 1980s, Richard Connell's story was a work of fiction, the product of one man's imagination. Robert Hansen was conducting a real life version of "The Most Dangerous Game."

As the interview neared its end, Hansen was provided with a large aerial map of the region. He identified 15 gravesites, 12 of which were unknown to investigators. Since it would have been nearly impossible to locate any of the graves going by Hansen's checkmarks on the map, investigators decided to fly him to each location. The following day, Hansen accompanied the men to the Anchorage International Airport, where they boarded a large military helicopter. Their first stop was along the Knick River, not far from where Paula Goulding was found. Afterwards, they flew east to Jim Creek, and then west toward Susitna. Their final stops were due south, at Horseshoe Lake and Figure Eight Lake. At every stop, Hansen led investigators to the site, now heavily covered in snow, and they would mark the trees with orange paint. By the end of the day Hansen had revealed the gravesites of 12 unknown women.

According to articles published by The Anchorage Daily News, Robert Hansen pled guilty on February18, 1984, to four counts of first-degree murder in the cases of Paula Golding, Joanna Messina, Sherry Morrow, and "Eklutna Annie." One week later, on February 27, Superior Court Judge Ralph E. Moody sentenced Hansen to 461 years plus life, without chance of parole. He was then remanded to Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary in
Pennsylvania.

By May 1984, investigators had found seven bodies at the gravesites Robert Hansen pointed out to them. No other bodies were ever recovered. The summary went as follows:

On April 24, Sue Luna - Knik River.

On April 24, Malai Larsen - parking area by old Knik bridge.

On April 25, DeLynn Frey - Horseshoe Lake.

On April 26, Teresa Watson - Kenai Peninsula.

On April 26, Angela Feddern - Figure Eight Lake.

On April 29, Tamara Pederson - one and a half miles from old Knik Bridge.

On May 9, Lisa Futrell's - south of old Knik Bridge.

Spring Creek Correctional Center, Seward
Spring Creek Correctional Center, Seward

In 1988, Hansen was returned to Alaska and became one of the first inmates in the new Spring Creek Correctional Center in Seward, where he remains today. Shortly after his conviction, the record keepers for Pope & Young removed Hansen's name from their record books. Hansen's wife and two children tried to remain in Alaska, but after two years of harassment, his second wife filed for divorce and left Alaska for good.

Conservationist Gareth Patterson recently published an article on his website entitled "The Killing Fields." In the piece, Patterson compared the similarities between trophy animal hunters and serial killers. "Certainly one could state that, like the serial killer, the trophy hunter plans his killing with considerable care and deliberation. Like the serial killer, he decides well in advance the type of victim--that is, which species he intends to target. Also like the serial killer, the trophy hunter plans with great care where and how the killing will take place--in what area, with what weapon. What the serial killer and trophy hunter also share is a compulsion to collect trophies or souvenirs of their killings. The serial killer retains certain body parts and/or other trophies for much the same reason as the big game hunter mounts the head and antlers taken from his prey...as trophies of the chase," he said.

On February 21, 2003, more than 20 years after her decomposed body was found, Alaska State Troopers asked for the public's help in identifying "Eklutna Annie." In an effort to help solve her identity, state police released information regarding her clothing and jewelry.

Forensic reconstruction of Eklutna Annie
Forensic reconstruction of
Eklutna Annie

According to the report, which was published by Kenai Peninsula News, an Alaska newspaper, the victim was a white brunette in her 20s. When found, Annie was wearing knee-high, reddish-brown, high-heeled boots, jeans, a sleeveless knit top and a brown leather jacket. Troopers were also hoping that someone might recognize her jewelry; a silver cuff bracelet with polished stones, possibly handmade. Anyone with information should call investigator William Hughes at 907-269- 5058. Email: william_hughes@dps.state.ak

 

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