| Last updated
A victim known as ‘Horseshoe Harriet’ has been identified after nearly 40 years, thanks to genetic genealogy and DNA technology.
On Friday, October 22, authorities confirmed the woman was identified as having been a homeless teenager called Robin Pelkey.
In the early 1980s, the 19-year-old was killed by Alaskan serial killer Robert Hansen, who was known as the ‘Butcher Baker’.
During his abductions, Hansen reportedly turned to targeting sex workers, thinking they were harder to track and were less likely to be reported missing, according to retired trooper Glen Flothe, who helped send the Butcher Baker to jail.
Hansen pleaded guilty in February 1984 to four murders and several other crimes, after four bodies were found between 1980 and 1983, according to the Alaska Department of Public Safety.
Pelkey went missing in 1984 and was one of at least 17 victims. Hansen later pointed out the burial grounds of 17 women when he flew out with investigators over an area of Anchorage.
After the Alaska Bureau of Investigation Cold Case Investigation Unit revealed Pelkey’s identity, Alaska Department of Public Safety Commissioner James Cockrell thanked all those involved in the case.
I would like 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.
However, trooper spokesperson Austin McDaniel said only 12 bodies have so far been found and 11 formally identified.
The last unidentified woman is known as Eklutna Annie, after her body was discovered near Eklutna lake. McDaniel said she is considered to have been Hansen’s first victim.
Alaska State Troopers cold case investigator Randy McPherron noted that while he is ‘very happy’ to have figured out who Pelkey is, to ‘give her family some closure’, the team still have their ‘fingers crossed’ that genetic genealogy efforts currently underway will also help identify the final woman.
Pelkey has since had her grave marker adapted in line with her revealed identity, it having previously read, ‘Jane Doe #3’.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677
New York Post
Alaska Department of Public Safety
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read