Serial killer’s victim identified after 37 years through genetic genealogy and a DNA match
, 2021-10-24 02:00:00,
A woman known for 37 years only as Horseshoe Harriet, one of dozen or so victims of a notorious Alaska serial killer, has been identified through genetic genealogy and a DNA match, authorities said Friday.
The victim was identified Friday as Robin Pelkey, who was 19 when she was killed by Robert Hanson in the early 1980s, the Alaska Bureau of Investigation’s Cold Case Investigation Unit said. The Alaska State Troopers released a nearly 8-minute video describing the genetic genealogy process and the Pelkey cold case.
“I would like to thank all of the troopers, investigators, and analysts that have diligently worked on this case over the last 37 years. Without their hard work and tenacity, the identity of Ms. Pelkey may have never been known,” Alaska Department of Public Safety Commissioner James Cockrell said in a statement.
Hansen, who owned a bakery, gained the nickname “Butcher Baker” for abducting and hunting down women – many of them sex workers – in the wilderness just north of Anchorage through the early 1980s, when the state’s largest city was booming because of construction of the trans-Alaska pipeline.
Construction of the 800-mile pipeline offered good paying jobs for workers, but it also attracted those who wished to make money off of them, everyone from sex workers to drug dealers. Many of those people looking for fast money left as quickly as they came, and exotic dancers traveled a circuit along West Coast cities, making sudden disappearances commonplace.
Retired trooper Glenn Flothe, who helped put Hansen behind bars, told the Anchorage Daily News in 2008 that Hansen’s victims initially included any woman who caught his eye, but he quickly learned that strippers and prostitutes were harder…
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