Troopers try to identify victim of serial killer

Posted: Friday, February 21, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaska State Troopers are making another try at identifying a murdered woman nicknamed ''Eklutna Annie,'' more than 20 years after her decomposed body was found buried along a power line outside Eklutna.

The woman, believed to be a white brunette in her 20s, was found on July 21, 1980, by electric workers repairing the line. She had no identification and could not be matched to a missing persons report. Troopers believe she may have come to Alaska from Washington or California.

Forensic experts said the woman appeared to have been dead about a year.

In 1984, a local baker named Robert Hansen listed her among the 17 women he admitted killing in and around Anchorage. He said she was his first victim, but didn't know her name. She was a topless dancer or a prostitute, he told troopers in his confession. He picked her up in town, told her he lived in Muldoon and was taking her to his home.

But when he continued past Muldoon Road out of town, the woman said no and tried to get out of his pickup, so he pulled a gun on her.

''I just pointed the gun and I tell her, I says, 'Now look, if you do exactly what I tell you and don't give me any problem whatsoever, there's going to be no -- you won't get hurt any way, shape or form,''' Hansen told troopers.

But the truck got stuck in mud. The woman helped Hansen maneuver onto tractable ground, but when he told her to get out for a minute, she ran, he said. He caught her by the hair and claims she pulled a knife from her purse. He overpowered her, he said, and used the knife to stab her in the back.

Hansen said the woman might have said she or her family lived in Kodiak.

Troopers were not convinced the woman was Hansen's first victim, but her death occurred early enough in his murder career that he left her jewelry on her body when he buried her.

Troopers are hoping someone will recognize her jewelry. None of it is valuable or particularly distinctive, but a silver cuff bracelet with polished stones may be handmade.

Once Hansen became a more experienced killer, he began keeping his victims' jewelry. A bag of such jewelry was found in his home after investigators came to suspect him in the disappearances of dancers and prostitutes from pipeline-era Anchorage.

Hansen, now in his 60s, is in Spring Creek prison in Seward, serving 461 years plus life.

When found, Annie was wearing knee-high, reddish-brown, high-heeled boots, jeans, a sleeveless knit top and a brown leather jacket.

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