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Serial killer Robert Hansen dead at 75

Robert Hansen is dead
Robert Hansen is dead
Anchorage Police Mugshot; Fair use photo for the media

The death of a serial killer is making headlines today. Alaska's most prolific predator, Robert Hansen, died at Alaska Regional Hospital on Thursday morning, according to this report on The Washington Post. He was 75-years-old. While the cause of death has not been identified yet in the death of the Alaska man, it's noted that he was geriatric and in declining health. In fact, there are loved ones of his victims alive today that are most likely experiencing bittersweet emotions regarding this man's death -- and the long life he lived before reaching the end.

Robert Hansen outlived his average victim by at least 40 years. He brutally raped over 30 Alaskan women, killing at least 17 of them in horrible fashions. His 17 known murder victims -- which included Delynn Frey, Celia Van Zanten, Mary Thill, Megan Emerick, Sherry Morrow and numerous others -- never got true justice for their violent demises, while Hansen lived on three square meals a day and a bed to sleep in until he died at a ripe old age that none of them ever got to see.

Hansen came from an era in the United States that saw a lot of serial killer activity. The years 1970 through the late 1980s produced countless serial killers such as Richard Ramirez and the BTK killer. Richard Ramirez -- known as the Night stalker -- died last year. So the death of Robert Hansen was almost expected, since many of the serial killers from his era are aging and fighting health problems that come with age.

Alaskan serial killers are a different beast from the serial killers that stalk the rest of the country. These are killers who take advantage of the unforgiving rugged outdoors, who make use of the terrain and climate. Robert Hansen was the most prolific serial killer in Alaska, but he was not the only one. Israel Keyes -- who killed himself while in custody -- took the lives of multiple people, most famously Anchorage teen Samantha Koenig. The death of Hansen is the death of a monster who victimized numerous women, and he likely inspired Keyes, and other killers in the area -- to do the same.