New ID Doc ‘The Butcher Baker’ Tells Terrifying Story of Serial Killer Once Portrayed On-Screen By John Cusack

It’s Serial Killer Week at Investigation Discovery. Every night through Sept. 4 the true-crime network is airing new specials about some of the most terrifying murderers of all time, including Samuel Little — one of the most prolific serial killers in history — and the notorious BTK Killer. And then there’s Robert Hansen, a man dubbed “The Butcher Baker.” 

The Butcher Baker: Mind of a Monster offers an in-depth look at Hansen’s crimes, which included kidnapping young women, flying them into the Alaskan wilderness, and then hunting them down for sport. It premieres Wednesday, Sept. 2. 

Robert Hansen killed more than a dozen young women in Alaska 

Robert Hansen
Robert Hansen | Anchorage Daily News/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

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On the surface, Hansen was a mild-mannered family man with a wife and two children. Born in Iowa, he eventually moved to Alaska, where he owned a successful bakery. But Hansen, an avid hunter who owned his own plane, had a dark secret: He was a killer. 

In the 1970s, Anchorage was booming due to the construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. The city also had a thriving red light district, where Hansen found many of his victims. After picking up a woman, he would take them into the Alaskan bush where he raped them and, in some cases, murdered them.    

‘The Butcher Baker’ features Hansen in his own words

The Butcher Baker: Mind of a Monster

Everyone knew Robert Hansen as the local bakery owner, not the serial killer he truly was. The Butcher Baker: Mind of a Monster premeires Wednesday, September 2 at 9/8c.#WhoIsButcherBaker

Posted by Investigation Discovery on Thursday, August 20, 2020

Police were aware that a number of women had gone missing in Anchorage, but it wasn’t until the early 1980s, when bodies began turning up in remote areas of the state, that they realized they might have a serial killer on their hands. Then, a woman named Cindy Paulson came forward with a horrific story. A man had picked her up for sex. When she got in the car, he pulled a gun, handcuffed her, and took her to his home, where her raped her. Later, he took her to the airport. But before he could put her on his plane, she escaped. Information she provided led the police to Hansen. 

Hansen eventually confessed to murdering 17 women. The Butcher Baker: Mind of a Monster includes audio recordings of his interviews with police, where he describes picking up his victims and taking them into the wilderness. Viewers will also hear recordings of Paulson describing her encounter with the killer and see interviews with investigating officers and people who knew Hansen. 

John Cusack played Robert Hansen in a 2013 movie  

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If Hansen’s story sounds familiar, that may be because it was the basis for the 2013 film The Frozen Ground. Nicolas Cage played an Alaska State Trooper investigating Hansens’s crimes. John Cusack played Hansen and Vanessa Hudgens portrayed a woman who escapes after being kidnapped. The Frozen Ground is currently streaming on Netflix.   

The Butcher Baker: Mind of a Monster airs Wednesday, Sept. 2 at 9 p.m. ET on Investigation Discovery.    

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