Serial Killer & Army Reserve Veteran Robert C. Hansen Died of Natural Causes While Serving Out a Life Sentence in Alaska State Prison (August 21, 2014)

Robert Hansen was a mild-mannered family man with a passion for hunting. A master at his trade, Hansen sought a more challenging prey – his fellow human. Hansen kidnapped women, set them loose in the Alaskan wilderness, and hunted them down for sport. -Hunting Humans, Ice Cold Killers (S1, E1)

Serial killer and Army Reserves veteran Robert C. Hansen confessed to the murder of 17 women and the kidnapping and rape of another 30 women in Alaska. But the authorities believe there are many more victims and their cases are still open. Hansen was officially charged with the abduction and rape of Cindy Paulson and the murders of Joanna Messina, Sherry Morrow, Paula Goulding, and the unidentified body known as “Eklutna Annie.” On February 28, 1984, Robert Hansen was sentenced to 461 years plus life in prison with no parole. Hansen led the police to 17 grave sites he marked on a map but only 12 of his victims bodies were recovered. Robert Hansen’s health was declining for over a year when he died of natural causes on August 21, 2014 at the age of 75.

In 1982, two off-duty police officers were hunting for wild game. As darkness fell and they headed home, they made a gruesome discovery. They knew enough to back away and dispatched the Alaska State Troopers to the scene. The crime scene investigators unearthed the partial bones of a woman buried in a shallow grave. They also found bones scattered around the surrounding area. In Alaska, wild game won’t hesitate to drag off the evidence. They also found a 223 caliber bullet casing. The victim was bound and blind folded at the time of death, and she was shot three times. She was identified as Sherry Morrow; Sherry was drawn to Alaska for the easy money. She worked as an exotic dancer in a seedy area of Anchorage known as ‘Fourth Avenue’. Police looked to see if anyone else in that community had disappeared under similar circumstances. Before the discovery of Sherry’s body, none of the missing persons reports were linked or suggestive of murder. Morrow’s case inspired police to take a look at the cold case files.

Two years before Morrow’s body was found, construction workers found the partial remains of a woman buried in a shallow grave; her body was desecrated by wild life and her bones were scattered. Police couldn’t make an identification and dubbed their Jane Doe “Eklutna Annie”. Nobody ever came forward with information about Annie. Police were concerned they were dealing with a brutal killer so they started canvassing the area where the dancers spent their time. Sherry’s co-workers feared the worst because a number of women had gone missing and they were never heard from again. Over the next several years, five more dancers went missing. Police suspected Sherry and Annie’s cases were connected. They were all victims from the beginning because everyone preyed on these girls, including the bar owners and pimps. Several dancers reported seeing the same man and provided police with a physical description. Police learned of a third body found in a gravel pit near where Eklutna Annie’s body was found.

The victim was identified as Joanna Messina. She was a canary worker who was last seen leaving the dock with her dog and a red haired man her co-workers couldn’t identify. Messina was shot and killed with a 22, not a 223. Two more women vanished and were never seen or heard from again. The blindfolds at the crime scenes told the police a lot about the killer. He was a sexual sadist who wanted complete control. He derived pleasure from his victim’s fear and pain and disposed of their bodies in isolated areas in Alaska. Nine months later, a truck driver found a frantic hand-cuffed woman running in the road; someone with a gun ducked out of site. The trucker took her to a nearby hotel where she was safe and called the Anchorage police. The police found a 17-year-old woman still in handcuffs and in shock. She told the officers she was a topless dancer down on 4th Avenue; she said she was propositioned by a red haired man in his 40s the night before. She confessed that she accepted the stranger’s offer.

Once inside the man’s car, she said the man pulled a gun on her. He kidnapped her, handcuffed her, and told her if she cooperated and did what he wanted, she wouldn’t be harmed. He took her to a middle class house in Muldoon. He held her hostage in a basement filled with mounted heads of animals. He brutalized her for hours. He chained her to beam in the basement and repeatedly sexually assaulted her. She told the police he was going to fly her to his cabin in the woods, promising to release her if she cooperated. Once at the airport, the kidnapper shoved her in a small plane and began loading supplies. The second he turned his back, she made her escape. Hoping to corroborate her account, investigators took her to the airfield to find the plane. She identified a plane owned by Robert Hansen; he was a 50 year-old avid hunter and local business man. Hansen owned a well established bakery, had lot of friends, and went to church. By all accounts, he was an upstanding member of the community.

When questioned by police, Hansen was outraged and insisted the dancer was lying to extort money from him. He also questioned whether it was even possible to rape a prostitute. He claimed he had an alibi and told investigators his wife and children were in Europe and he spent the night playing poker with friends. When questioned, the two men substantiated his story. Hansen allowed authorities to search his home but they didn’t find evidence of what the victim described. She also refused to take a polygraph and this made the police wonder if she fabricated the story. It was a “he said, she said” case because they had no evidence. Citing a lack of evidence, the prosecutor dropped the case. Three months later, Alaska State Troopers discovered the partially decomposed remains of another woman in a shallow grave. She was identified as a missing dancer from the Fourth Avenue district. Investigators found a blindfold buried among the remains. An autopsy revealed Paula Goulding had also been shot by a 223 caliber bullet.

Initially, the police didn’t link the cases but the use of the 223 caliber bullet helped them realize they were dealing with a serial killer who was targeting exotic dancers in Anchorage. Troopers contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation for assistance; agents created a behavioral profile of the serial killer. The killer believed he was invincible because he picked the perfect victims. He chose the dancers on Fourth Ave because he thought no one would care if they were missing. They started looking into Robert Hansen’s past. They learned he was abused as a child and had very low self-esteem. He was always considered small and had few friends; he was often ridiculed by his peers. After graduating from high school, Hansen enlisted in the Army Reserve and went to basic training at Fort Dix. He later received advanced training as a military police officer at Fort Knox. While enlisted in the Army, he was known to frequent prostitutes. He told fellow soldiers, he found them dissatisfying and yearned to take control of the situation.

Despite his strict up bringing and disciplined military structure, the profilers learned Hansen had a number of run-ins with the law. He served time for arson and theft but he appeared to have long since left that life behind. In 1967, he married and moved to Alaska. He was a functioning member of society. They believe his low self-esteem would drive him to live in a place like Alaska. His former neighbor told investigators he loved the thrill of the hunt; and he was always looking for the bigger hunt. He was an avid trophy hunter. Hansen’s weak point was women because he was unsuccessful with them. He hunted where most of the victims were found. “Perhaps Hansen tired of game and turned to more interesting prey like humans.” Humans create a much greater challenge to the hunter. Police deduced he most likely had trophies from his hunts for humans. The killer was a sexual sadist, proficient, and more successful over time. Authorities threatened the two men who alibied him with jail time if they didn’t come clean about the night the dancer was abducted.

Both friends quickly broke down and said they were covering for him because they thought he was a legitimate guy. They believed him when he said he thought the dancers were trying to extort him. The police asked Hansen to come down to the station and executed a search warrant. An officer searched the attic and in the rafters he found a bag of jewelry. And nestled with his bag of trophies, they found IDs belonging to the victims and newspaper clippings. Authorities also found a trophy map with locations of where he killed his victims. Hansen tracked his kills. The most critical find was a 223 caliber mini 14 rifle. The rifle was sent to the crime lab for further analysis. The 223 matched perfectly with the round they found in Eklutna. Robert Hansen was charged with assault and kidnapping. Despite his pleas of innocence, the evidence was mounting against him. The District Attorney agreed to charge Hansen with four murders: Sherry Morrow, Eklutna Annie, Joanna Messina, and Paula Goulding. Hansen accepted a plea deal. Police believe he chose prostitutes because they represent the evil in humans.

Robert Hansen chose prostitutes because they will go anywhere for anything and when they disappear, no one cares. He admitted he controlled the game from the point of abduction. He was the predator and they were they prey. He killed Eklutna Annie first. Then he abducted Sherry Morrow. He took most of his victims to his remote cabin and brutalized them for hours before he stripped them naked, blindfolded them and then released them in the woods. He turned them loose, gave them a head start, and hunted them down. He was a trophy hunter. He then collected things off the girls so he could re-live the events. Robert Hansen’s killing spree lasted twelve years in Alaska. Hansen confessed to 17 killings but it is believed he had many more victims. He eventually lead police to 15 gravesites unknown to investigators. Unfortunately, investigators only recovered 7 bodies likely due to the veracious animal activity in the Alaskan wilderness. Robert Hansen was sentenced to 461 years plus life in prison with no chance of parole.

Source: Hunting Humans, Ice Cold Killers, Investigation Discovery

Victims:
Andrea “Fish” Altiery (disappeared 12/2/81, unknown if body recovered)
Roxanne Easlund, 24 (disappeared 6/28/1980, unknown if body recovered)
Megan Emerick, 17 (suspected abduction on 7/7/73, body never recovered)
Angela Feddern, 24 (disappeared February 1983, body found)
DeLynn “Sugar” Frey (disappeared September 1983, body found)
Lisa “Betty” Futrell, 41 (disappeared 9/7/1980, body found)
Malai Larsen, 28 (disappeared June 1981, body found)
Paula Goulding (disappeared 4/25/83, body found)
Sue Luna, 23 (disappeared 5/16/82, body found)
Joanna Messina (disappeared 5/19/1989, body found)
Sherry Morrow, 23 (disappeared 11/17/81, body found)
Tamara Pederson, 20 (disappeared August 1982, body found)
Mary Kathleen Thill, 23 (suspected abduction on 7/5/75, body never recovered)
Cecelia “Beth” Van Zanten, 17 (suspected abduction on 12/22/71, body found)
Theresa Watson (disappeared 4/29/83, body found)
“Eklutna Annie” (real name unknown, disappeared 11/1979, body found)
Cindy Paulson (abducted & raped on 6/13/1983, escaped & survived)

List compliments of The Frozen Ground.

In the News:

A Killer Among Us: Inside the Hunt for an Alaska Serial Killer (June 11, 2017, KTUU-Channel 2, Anchorage, Alaska)

The Frozen Ground Movie (2012)

THE FROZEN GROUND Official Trailer (2013)

The Frozen Ground – Clip 3 | Lionsgate

The Frozen Ground (2012) – Chained Scene (1/10) | Movieclips

The Frozen Ground (2012) – The Lucky One Scene (2/10) | Movieclips

The Frozen Ground (2012) – Pole Dancing Scene (3/10) | Movieclips

The Frozen Ground (2012) – Hunting Her Scene (4/10) | Movieclips

The Frozen Ground (2012) – On the Run Scene (5/10) | Movieclips

The Frozen Ground (2012) – Shock at the Strip Club Scene (6/10) | Movieclips

The Frozen Ground (2012) – The Interrogation Scene (7/10) | Movieclips

The Frozen Ground (2012) – From Bad to Worse Scene (8/10) | Movieclips

The Frozen Ground (2012) – He’s Coming Scene (9/10) | Movieclips

The Frozen Ground (2012) – Truth Comes Out Scene (10/10) | Movieclips

Based on a true story. An Alaskan State Trooper (Nicholas Cage) must partner with a near victim and the only witness to escape the clutches of the serial killer in order to bring the murderer to justice. -The Frozen Ground

Frozen Ground – Examining the Frozen Ground

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch all of the Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. Download the ID Go app and binge away. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $2.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict.

Related Links:
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Serial killer Hansen dies; ‘World is better without him,’ trooper says
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Robert Christian Hansen (February 15, 1939 – August 21, 2014), known in the media as the “Butcher Baker“, was an American serial killer.
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Serial KIller: *Butcher Baker* Robert Hansen killed at least 17 women, sentenced to years in prison; Died 8/21/2014
Robert Hansen | Murderpedia
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Ep 80 Robert Hansen | True Crime Podcast
Serial Killer Robert Hansen “The Butcher Baker” – Murder With Friends
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44 – The Butcher Baker Robert Hansen | Make Me a Fan Podcast
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Episode 309: Robert Hansen Part II – Gross Truncations | The Last Podcast on the Left
A Killer Among Us: Inside the Hunt for an Alaska Serial Killer
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The Frozen Ground Official Trailer #1 (2013) – Nicolas Cage, Vanessa Hudgens Movie HD
The Frozen Ground – Official Trailer (2013) HD
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The Frozen Ground Movie CLIP – I Didn’t Shoot Anybody (2013) – Nicolas Cage Movie HD
The Frozen Ground Movie CLIP – The Archive (2013) – Nicolas Cage Movie HD
The Frozen Ground Exclusive Official Clip (2013) – Vanessa Hudgens, Nicolas Cage movie HD
The Frozen Ground- Clip 3- Opening Nationwide In Theaters and On Demand August 23!
The Frozen Ground (2012) – Chained Scene (1/10) | Movieclips
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The Frozen Ground (2012) – On the Run Scene (5/10) | Movieclips
The Frozen Ground (2012) – Shock at the Strip Club Scene (6/10) | Movieclips
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Hunting Humans | Ice Cold Killers | Investigation Discovery (S1,E1)
Hunting Humans | Ice Cold Killers | Investigation Discovery (website)
Hunting Humans | Ice Cold Killers | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Army Reserve Veteran Robert C. Hansen Sentenced to 461 Years Plus Life in Prison, No Parole for Murders of Multiple Women in Alaska (February 28, 1984)
Ice Cold Killers Premiered ‘Hunting Humans’ on ID: After Multiple Disappearances, Alaska Authorities on Hunt for Serial Killer (January 24, 2012)

Air Force TSgt Jackie Larsen Died of a Non Combat Related Illness Supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom at Balad Air Base in Iraq (July 17, 2008)

Jackie Larsen

TSgt. Jackie Larsen, US Air Force

Air Force TSgt. Jackie Larsen, 37, of Tacoma, Washington, died of natural causes on July 17, 2008 at Balad Air Base in Iraq.  She was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom on behalf of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Beale Air Force Base in California.

Larsen died of non-combat-related medical causes, a Beale spokesman said, but the exact cause of death is not being released. –Military Times

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DoD Identifies Air Force Casualty
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jackie L. Larsen
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Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Iraq)

Sandra Grant, 23, US Navy, Died of Natural Causes While Aboard the USS Eisenhower in Support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (2006)

17695945_116985239713

Seaman Sandra Grant, US Navy

Navy Seaman Sandra Grant, 23, died of a natural causes (cardiac arrest) while aboard a ship in the Arabian Sea on December 31, 2006. Seaman Grant was a Damage Control Fireman supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and was assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. Naval officials reported the death was under investigation but preliminary findings pointed to natural causes. Sandra was a sailor, a family member, a friend, a wife, and the mother of a baby boy. She was also one of three sailors announced in the Department of Defense press release that died of ‘natural causes’ or an ‘accident’ in a hostile fire zone in support of OIF.  Lt. Cmdr. Jane Lanham, 43, died from natural causes on September 19, 2006 in Bahrain. Petty Officer 3rd Class Roger Napper, 20, died of trauma from a single motor vehicle accident on October 7, 2006 in Bahrain.

[Sandra’s] father said the news came as a total shock because she was always healthy and didn’t have any prior medical condition. –The-Dispatch.com

Related Links:
DoD Identifies Navy Casualties
Navy Seaman Sandra S. Grant
SMN Sandra Stephanie Grant Fry
Sandra Stephanie Grant, US Navy
Sailor carried on family’s legacy

Caroline Young Killed 2 Grandchildren After Losing Custody to Marine Recruiter Barrington Bruce; Sentenced to Death (June 18, 1993)

A grandmother caring for her grandchildren, a young girl in love with a boy, a mother protecting her son – are all consumed with intense love. But when that love is threatened, they find it too much to bear and take measures into their own hands. -Deadly Possession, Deadly Women (S5, E10)

In 1993, Caroline Young, 51, was as devoted to caring for 6-year-old Darin Torres and 4-year-old Dai-Zshia Torres as any mother, but they were not her children. Darin and Dai-Zshia were her daughter’s children, but her daughter did not care for them so Caroline had to step in. Twenty-five year old Vanessa Torres never looked after her own children because she had significant problems with drugs and prostitution. Caroline had full custody of the children since they were infants because the courts deemed their biological mother unfit as a parent. The children’s two different fathers had nothing to do with them and that’s the way Caroline liked it. Darin’s parents never married and separated when Darin was very young; Darin didn’t see his father for most of his life. And both his mother and grandmother didn’t want Darin’s dad in the picture. But in 1993, that suddenly changed when Marine Corps recruiter Barrington Bruce received a $12,000 bill from the State of California for back child support. Darin’s father Barrington, who was living in Virginia at the time, had been looking for his son Darin since he was a toddler. After Caroline Young applied for child support, the family support division found the young Marine Sergeant who was thankful they found him because he wanted to be reunited with his son.

Active duty Marine Barrington Bruce was determined to get the child back so he took legal steps to get custody. Caroline Young realized she made a mistake by asking for child support because the move revealed her grandson’s whereabouts. Caroline did not want the two kids she had taken care of since they were infants separated. She started making outlandish threats and even talked about killing the children rather than losing custody, but nobody believed that she would do it. Former FBI Profiler Candice DeLong explained that for some people their attachment to other people is unhealthy because it consumes them. In the process, they lose their sense of self and the prospect of losing the person they are consumed with causes tremendous pain and disruption. Barrington Bruce was determined to get his son back so he went to court and was awarded full custody. Barrington went through all the proper channels and his family situation was deemed appropriate for taking custody of the child. He had a full-time job in the military, he was married, and his wife had just had a baby. But Profiler DeLong cautions that the stress of losing Darin caused something deep-seated in Caroline, something that she had not dealt with, possibly a desertion by someone in her past when she was a little girl.

After years of daily devotion, Caroline Young was shattered by the idea of losing her grandson because Darin belonged to her. Candice DeLong explained that for some women, a person that they love is not so much a person but a possession that they can’t live without. What started out as an idle threat seemed like Caroline’s only option, because some women find it easier to kill then to say goodbye. On June 18, 1993, Barrington Bruce won custody of Darin and was excited to pick him up. Across town, his son and Darin’s sister were asleep. Caroline had no intention of relinquishing custody of Darin back to his father. She was operating under the misguided notion that if I can’t have these children, no one can. She wrote a suicide note directed towards Darin’s father and then proceeded with murdering both children. Caroline slit little Darin’s throat first. Afterwards, Caroline calmly smoked a cigarette, which Profiler DeLong reminded us was evidence that she had time to pause, think about it, put the knife down, and call for help but she didn’t. When you think of a grandmother, you don’t think of someone who’s capable of doing such a heinous act. This crime was motivated by pure selfishness and there’s nothing more despicable then the murder of innocent children. This was a horrendous crime, unbelievable in it’s depravity.

Darin’s mother, Vanessa Torres, woke up and found her son Darin in bed with his throat slit. It was a chaotic scene to say the least. Vanessa reported that she saw her mom’s clothing covered in blood and in complete horror she asked her mother why she did it. Caroline replied, “the children needed to stay together.” After this brief encounter, Caroline grabbed the baby girl Dai-Zshia and slit her throat and stabbed her in the chest as well. Vanessa managed to call 911 in the midst of the chaos. Profiler DeLong reminded us that killing someone with a knife is a very personal thing. It’s one thing to shoot somebody but to hold someone against your own body and slash their throats is an entirely different crime. Profiler DeLong explained that she could have silently smothered them while they were sleeping but she didn’t or she could have shot them and they would have been killed instantly but she didn’t do that either. Instead, she used a knife to end their life until they succumbed. But Caroline wasn’t finished; she stabbed herself multiple times in an attempt to kill herself. This was a horrible crime scene and Caroline may have been disturbed at the time of the murders but she was definitely not legally insane. She knew what she was doing was wrong and slaughtered Darin and Dai-Zshia anyways.

Detective Bill Cooper, one of the detective’s tasked with investigating the homicides, shared that every officer that touched the crime scene was impacted. It wasn’t enough for Caroline to simply murder Barrington’s little boy, she wanted to taunt him from her grave. Barrington Bruce found out his son was dead when he went to pick him up after he was awarded full custody, and this told the investigators everything they needed to know about Caroline Young. She was blinded by selfishness and vindictive. At the crime scene, investigators discovered a suicide note. She wrote the note as if she was already dead. She said she was a very angry spirit and was going to get even with those who hurt her and the children. She also said directed to Barrington, “every baby your wife has, I will come back and get it.” Caroline’s stabbing suicide attempt failed. On October 27, 1995, Caroline Young was convicted of two counts of murder and sentenced to death. The reason Caroline killed those two children was because she didn’t want to see them separated. It doesn’t make any sense but in her mind murdering them kept them together. On September 6, 2005, Caroline Young died of kidney failure after ten years in jail. Detective Cooper summarized and said there are a few cases in his career that he wished he could forget about and this was one of them.

Source: Deadly Possession, Deadly Women, Investigation Discovery

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
Dai-Zshia Torres (1990-1993) | Find A Grave
Darin Torres (1987-1993) | Find A Grave
Caroline Young (1943-2005) | Find A Grave Memorial
Hayward woman guilty of killing grandkids
Woman sentenced to die for slaying grandchildren
Hayward Woman Is Sentenced to Death, convicted of murdering 2 grandchildren
Kidney failure claims inmate before execution
Caroline Young Murdered Her Grandchildren for Revenge
When Caregivers Kill: Understanding Child Murder by Parents and Other Guardians
Women and the Death Penalty in the United States, 1900-1998
Caroline Young | Murderpedia, the encyclopedia of murderers
Deadly Possession | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S5, E10)
Deadly Possession | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (website)
Deadly Possession | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Deadly Possession | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Deadly Women Premiered ‘Deadly Possession’ on Investigation Discovery: Caroline Young Murdered Two Grandchildren for Revenge (November 11, 2011)
Deadly Women: 30 Military and Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Army Spouse Jennifer Reali Shot & Killed Lover’s Wife; Sentenced to Life in Prison, Paroled in 2017 & Died of Cancer Three Months Later (September 12, 1990)

Screen Shot 2018-08-30 at 1.57.07 PM

Jennifer Reali

Lt. Joe Kenda, a homicide detective with the Colorado Springs Police Department, was angry when he found out about this murder. Whoever did it gunned down a housewife and mother and he vowed to catch them. On September 12, 1990, a Lupus support meeting was held in a recreational area in Colorado Springs, Colorado. One of the participants was Dianne Hood, who just 18 months earlier after her third child was born, was diagnosed with Lupus. But Dianne was a fighter and was in remission. After the meeting let up, she walked outside with a fellow Lupus support group member, Karen Johnson, and was robbed and shot twice. Karen went flying back into the building and informed the others that Dianne had been shot. Another support group member Sarah was a registered nurse so she ran outside to help. Sarah found Dianne laying in a pool of blood and observed her gasping for breath as she began compressions. EMTs arrived on the scene and took over for Sarah. Dianne had two bullet wounds, one in the shoulder and the other in her chest area. She was pronounced dead at the hospital. This crime sent a shockwave through the community.

After Lt. Kenda arrived on the scene, he found blood on the ground and a couple shocked witnesses. It was assumed initially that this was a robbery gone bad. Kenda interviewed Karen Johnson first because she was the best witness he had. Karen reported that she and Dianne were walking to their cars when they heard footsteps from behind. The person was wearing dark clothes and a ski mask. Dianne gave up her purse to the robber and began to run. The shooter first fired at her shoulder and that put her down and then this person fired a fatal shot at her chest. Everything did in fact look like a robbery gone bad. Unfortunately, Karen didn’t know much about the shooter aside from they were shorter they she was. Kenda and fellow police officers began canvassing the area to see if they could find any additional evidence. Criminals usually have a planned exit so Kenda used a K9 unit to comb the area looking for the scent of the shooter. About about a mile, the dog locked onto a scent. The dog led officers to a garbage can and then sat down. This is dog’s alert system. Inside the garbage can the police found an olive drab field jacket, a pair of gloves, a black ski mask, and some camouflage pants.

The items in the garbage can matched the witnesses description of the shooter at the scene. They also found brown hair in the ski mask and evidence of gun residue on the gloves upon testing at the forensic’s lab. The K-9 dog eventually lost the scent of the shooter because this person most likely got in a car and drove away. The only promising lead just hit a dead end. Kenda didn’t have a suspect, he had a masked maniac so he decided to look into Dianne Elaine Hood’s life; he wanted to know everything about her to find out who in her life wanted her dead. With no other substantial leads, police started canvassing the neighborhood, knocking on every door, to see if anyone saw anything. They encountered a woman who indicated David Burns could have had something to do with it. Kenda learned the locals gave Burns the nickname Homicidal Dave. Kenda wanted to know who this guy was because he wore camouflage similar to that of the shooter. Kenda learned Burns was a veteran of the first Gulf War, spoke loudly and obnoxiously to others, and the community felt he was dangerous. Upon further investigation, David Burns was cleared because he alibi checked out on the night of the murder. With no suspect or person of interest to investigate further, Kenda needed to expand the investigation.

Expanding the investigation meant combing through all the evidence to find new clues. After reading through Karen Johnson’s testimony again, Kenda deduced that someone wanted to make this look like a robbery. Kenda believed Dianne Hood was targeted and that this was an assassination. During the autopsy, two bullets were recovered from Dianne Hood’s body so they were sent to ballistics. Kenda received a call the next day informing him he was looking for very rare and valuable gun, a Colt Peacemaker patent 1872 single action Army revolver, a cowboy gun. This was a huge limiting factor because this rare gun was worth thousands, maybe this person was a gun collector. During a homicide investigation, the police look at everything. Dianne’s life didn’t raise any red flags; she was a devoted mother of three and housewife. Kenda turned to Dianne’s husband Brian Hood and after bringing him to the station, Brian’s life appeared to be just as idyllic as Dianne’s was. Brian Hood was extremely well liked by his neighbors and co-workers. He used to play football and Dianne was a cheerleader; that’s how they met. Brian’s physical stature eliminated him as the shooter.

During the interview, Brian admitted that he was addicted to working out and went to the gym almost every day to keep up his physique. So Kenda went to the gym, spoke with a couple employees, and learned that Brian spends a lot of time with a girl named Jennifer, who worked at a flower shop. Joe went to the flower shop and learned her full name was Jennifer Reali. She was married to Benjamin Reali who was a Captain in the Army and an intelligence officer. The shop owner shared that he liked Ben because they both collected antique guns. This was a solid lead for Kenda. Does Ben own the same antique gun used in the shooting? Did Ben shoot Dianne Hood because of the relationship Brian had with Jennifer at the gym? Did Jennifer shoot Dianne? Ben worked at Fort Carson as a criminal investigator for the US Army so he knew as a soldier, he is an expert in killing and as an investigator, he knew how to get away with it. The clothing recovered in the garbage can was military clothing. Was this his clothing? Ben’s stature did match that described by the shooter. Kenda surprised Ben at work and he immediately went on the defensive. Ben admitted to owning several antique guns and one of them was a Colt 45 Peacemaker (patent 1872).

Kenda wanted the antique gun so it could be analyzed. Ben appeared to be confused and concerned but he handed over the gun. The police couldn’t recover any fingerprints on it. Kenda then invited Ben to go to the police station so they could interview him. The police put Ben on their turf so he wouldn’t be in his normal comfortable setting. Ben was seated and Kenda laid out the clothing they found in the garbage can. Without even looking, Ben said he didn’t recognize the clothing. Kenda said, Ben you need to look at these clothes and examine them. Kenda then threatened to call his military Commander and ruin his career overnight or at a maximum arrest him for murder. Ben admitted the clothing were his and the ballistics office confirmed his gun matched the one they were looking for. Ben claimed he last saw the clothing in his closet at his house but he hadn’t been living there for about 3 weeks; he was staying on post. Ben then told Kenda his wife asked him to hold the gun that morning and a couple weeks ago, she wanted to shoot it so he took her to the gun range to practice. Ben went from a person of interest to a witness. Kenda remembered the witness telling him the shooter put the purse over their shoulder like a woman would do.

Ben Reali was eliminated as a suspect because Kenda knew they were looking for a woman. Forty-eight hours after Dianne was murdered, Kenda was on the hunt for twenty-eight year old Jennifer Reali. He needed to find out more about his prime suspect. He learned she was a college graduate and a mother of two daughters. From outward appearances, she didn’t fit the modus operandi of a killer. Kenda brought Jennifer to the station in the hopes that she would break after he pressed her. While at the station Kenda realized Ben was not a co-conspirator but was struggling with the fact that his wife might be a murderer. The clothing was Ben Reali’s and the bullet casings matched the same gun owned by Ben Reali; as a result Jennifer was arrested for first degree murder and Ben had a hard time with it. After the arrest, Kenda turned all his attention to Jennifer Reali. She denied any knowledge of anything so Kenda presented the evidence to her and backed her into a corner. He could tell she was used to being in control and didn’t like being cornered. Jennifer tried to say the gun must have been stolen but that was ludicrous, as if someone would return the gun after stealing it. Jennifer finally broke and admitted that she did it; Kenda got his confession.

Jennifer Reali admitted to killing Dianne Wood and that she did try to make it look like a robbery. She also shared that someone else was involved in the plot to kill Dianne; she claimed it wasn’t her idea. Jennifer disclosed that she killed Dianne for Brian Hood. She admitted to having an affair with him for the past eight months. She met him at the gym and they became close; this is how the personal and romantic relationship started. Their innocent flirtation eventually turned into a full-blown affair, she says they were in love. She brought Brian to her house when Ben was out of town. Jennifer was very specific about all the details with her affair with Brian. Brian told Jennifer that killing Dianne would help end her suffering with Lupus, a disease he said was going to kill her. He also had an insurance policy on her for $100,000 and if she was murdered, it would double the pay out to $200,000. For a period of months, Brian brainstormed various ways to kill his wife as if he was her mercenary. In the end, Brian decided a staged robbery in a parking lot would do.

Brian told Jennifer they already committed the sin of adultery and the sin of murder was no worse. He claimed that Jennifer was his whole life and he used passages from the Bible to let her know it was okay to kill Dianne as long as she repented. Brian also believed the police were stupid and would assume this was an armed robbery. This was his final plan to convince her they would get away with it. Brian pressured Jennifer for three months to kill his wife and then on September 12th, she went through with it. Jennifer was held in the El Paso County jail for first degree murder but the architect of the plot was still at large. The police hunted down and arrested Brian for conspiracy to commit first degree murder, solicitation to commit first degree murder, and first degree murder. In the meantime, one of Brian’s friends came forward with damning information after reading about his arrest in the paper. He told the witness that he wanted his wife dead. Police learned Brian’s friends were afraid of him because they wondered if he was capable of killing them too. Brian Hood pressured his friends until he found one that would do his bidding; he used his wife’s disease as an excuse to justify murder.

Brian maintained his innoncene throughout the investigation and trial. But the family doctor testified at trial that he told Dianne and Brian that she had the mildest form of Lupus and it could be easily managed; she was not going to die. Brian told his friends he wanted Dianne dead because she was going to die anyways; he knew that wasn’t true. A year after Dianne Hood was shot and killed on December 23, 1991, Brian Hood was found guilty of two counts of criminal solicitation, one count of conspiracy to murder his wife, however on the charge of first degree murder, he was found not guilty. Instead of life in prison, he was sentenced to 37 years. The police felt like he got away with murder. Jennifer Reali plead insanity claiming she had been brainwashed by Brian Hood. The jury didn’t buy it and she was found guilty of first degree murder and conspiracy to commit first degree murder. Jennifer Reali was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole at the Colorado State Penitentiary. The police got justice for Dianne when she couldn’t do it for herself but this murder was devastating to the Hood and Reali families. They couldn’t help but ask: Why would Brian do this? Why not get a divorce? Why kill her? Kenda explained that this was human nature at its worse.

What does a murderer look like? As it turns out they look like the cute mom next door. -Lt Joe Kenda, Retired Homicide Detective

Source: I Now Pronounce You Dead, Homicide Hunter, Investigation Discovery

In the News:

The Colorado Springs woman, who’s been called the “fatal attraction killer,” Jennifer Reali, has a new address. -KRDO Colorado (August 5, 2014)

Gazette city editor Cary Vogrin talks with Eric Singer on Between the Lines about Jennifer Reali’s release to a halfway house from prison after years of serving time for a “fatal attraction” killing. -Colorado Springs Gazette (August 5, 2014)

A rare interview from three years ago sheds new light about the “fatal attraction killer.” -KRDO Colorado (August 6, 2014)

The Department of Corrections says Jennifer Reali has been transferred to a halfway house, despite having her parole denied three years ago. -KRDO Colorado (August 6, 2014)

Audio from the recent parole hearing for Jennifer Reali. The Colorado Springs woman explains why she killed Dianne Hood and why she’s sorry. -Colorado Springs Gazette (November 7, 2014)

Audio from Jennifer Reali’s recent parole board hearing telling officials why she can do more good being free to help others not follow the same path she did. She was convicted of killing her boyfriend’s wife. -Colorado Springs Gazette (November 7, 2014)

No parole for convicted killer, Jennifer Reali (2015) -KRDO Colorado (October 14, 2015)

Reali shot and killed her lover’s wife in 1990. -CBS Denver (April 6, 2018)</p

Investigation Discovery:

Preview: She was broken down by every man who crossed her path, so when Jennifer’s lover told her that his wife had to die – Jennifer made sure she did. -Under His Control, Deadly Women (S4, E10)

Jennifer Reali was having a wild affair with Brian Hood, he made her shoot his wife to death in a parking lot. She did, and now she is serving life in prison. Former FBI profiler Candice DeLong talks face to face with Jennifer to find out the truth -Love Before Life, Facing Evil (S1, E3)

ID Go: Mother of three Dianne Hood is shot to death by a masked gunman on her way home from a Lupus support meeting. Police initially assume it’s a robbery, but Lt. Joe Kenda uncovers a sordid web of lust and greed, revealing a killer no one ever expected. -I Now Pronounce You Dead, Homicide Hunter (S2, E1)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
A Most Dangerous Liaison
The State of Colorado v. Jennifer REALI, Defendant-Appellant (1994)
Sweet Evil: A True Story of Religious Manipulation and Deadly Love
Escaped killer caught
The case a lawyer wouldn’t give up on
Convicted Murderer Reali Goes Before Parole Board
“Fatal Attraction” killer Reali denied parole in 1990 love-triangle slaying Manipulated Against Our Natures: When Good People Do Bad Things
Killer makes tearful plea for release
Convicted Colorado Springs killer denied parole
Jennifer Reali moved to halfway house
Jennifer Reali, Fatal Attraction Killer Turned Gospel Singer, In Lakewood Halfway House
‘Fatal Attraction Killer’ Jennifer Reali Will Enter Halfway House
Jennifer Reali, convicted in Colorado Springs ‘fatal attraction’ murder, denied parole again
Parole Rejected for ‘Fatal Attraction Killer’
Facing Evil Podcast Ep 3: Was This Woman ‘Under the Spell’ of a Religious Man When She Shot his Wife?
Colorado Springs’ ‘fatal attraction killer’ denied full parole
Colorado Springs’ ‘fatal attraction killer’ denied full parole
Parole denied, but Jennifer Reali remains out of jail after killing lover’s wife
No Parole for Colorado’s “Fatal Attraction Killer”
“Fatal Attraction” Killer Jennifer Reali Finally Granted Parole
Woman who killed lover’s wife in Colorado granted parole
Woman Who Killed Lover’s Wife in Colorado Granted Parole
Son says he’s ready to forgive “Fatal Attraction killer” Jennifer Reali, who killed his mother
Mayor John Suthers on Jennifer Reali (the Fatal Attraction Killer)
‘Fatal attraction’ killer Jennifer Reali dies after release
‘Fatal Attraction Killer’ — Who Disguised Herself to Gun Down Romantic Rival — Dies After Parole
‘Fatal atttraction’ killer Jennifer Reali dies at 55 three months after release from Colorado prison
‘Fatal attraction’ killer Jennifer Reali dies after release
‘Fatal Attraction Killer’ — Who Disguised Herself to Gun Down Romantic Rival — Dies After Parole
‘Fatal Attraction’ Killer Jennifer Reali Dies 3 Months After Parole Release
‘Fatal Attraction’ killer, who was jailed for 28 years for shooting dead her lover’s wife at point blank range while wearing a ski mask, dies three months after her release
Reali death harkens memories of big trial that came to Glenwood Springs
Lieutenant Joe Kenda | Homicide Hunter | Crime + Investigation
Episode 3 – Jennifer Reali | Facing Evil with Candice DeLong (Podcast)
Deadly Women: Face To Face | Facing Evil with Candice DeLong
Deadly Women: FBI Profiler Makes a Confession
Female Domestic Violence Killings In Colorado — 1990-1995
Update: Jennifer Reali | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery
Deadly Women Premiered ‘Under His Control’ on Investigation Discovery: Brian Hood Used Lover Jennifer Reali to Kill Wife (October 19, 2010)
Facing Evil with Candice DeLong Premiered ‘Love Before Life’ on Investigation Discovery: Jennifer Reali Fatally Shot Lover’s Wife in Colorado (November 26, 2010)
Homicide Hunter Premiered ‘I Now Pronounce You Dead’ on ID: Jennifer Reali Killed Lover’s Wife Dianne Hood in Colorado Springs (October 2, 2012)
Deadly Women: 30 Military and Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Video Links:
Reali denied parole
Reali reaction
Jennifer Reali wants to help others stay out of prison
Jennifer Reali interview released
Convicted kIller Jennifer Reali decribes her crime
‘Fatal attraction killer’ moved into halfway house
Colorado ‘Fatal Attraction’ killer Jennifer Reali granted parole
Between the Lines: The next step for convicted killer Jennifer Reali
Jennifer Reali Dies After Being Released From Prison
Under His Control | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Preview)
Under His Control | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S4, E10)
Under His Control | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (website)
Under His Control | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Under His Control | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Love Before Life | Facing Evil | Investigation Discovery (S1, E3)
Love Before Life | Facing Evil | Investigation Discovery (website)
Love Before Life | Facing Evil | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
I Now Pronounce You Dead | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (S2, E1)
I Now Pronounce You Dead | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (website)
I Now Pronounce You Dead | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
I Now Pronounce You Dead | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)