A Serial Killer’s Victim has been Identified — Finally
“Horseshoe Harriet” finally has a real name attached to her
*“Like the pine trees linin’ the windin’ road, I got a name — I got a name” — Jim Croce*
It is beyond sad, when a murder victim goes nameless. And it’s even more disturbing when the victim remains unmissed and nameless for 38 years.
In 1983, a young woman was murdered near Anchorage, Alaska, by serial killer and bakery owner Robert Hansen. Her body was located near Horseshoe Lake, outside of Anchorage in 1984. According to reports, one of the factors that made her identity difficult, is that she was not reported as missing by anyone in her family. Robert Hansen himself, had stated to investigators during his confessions, that he specifically tried to target women that he believed would not be missed. Apparently, he got it right.
In August of this year, using DNA taken from Horseshoe Harriet’s remains, authorities believed that they might have a lead as to her identity. They learned that Harriet had relatives in Arkansas. Authorities in Alaska contacted the Arkansas State Police, asking for help in obtaining DNA from the relative. After the DNA was retrieved, a kinship DNA analysis was done. In September of this year, it confirmed that Horseshoe Harriet was officially identified as Robin Pelkey. Robin was 19 when she was murdered by Hansen. He admitted to killing 17 women, usually by taking them to remote locations, releasing them, and then hunting them like prey. While he admitted to killing 17 women, authorities believe there may have been more. They believe that Hansen was responsible for the rape and/or murder, of 30 women. In 1984, Hansen was officially charged in the death of 4 women. During his confession, he showed investigators on a map, the location of many bodies. He took investigators to the scene of where he dumped some of his victims. Robert Hansen died in prison in 2014.
I have always had a fascination with Hansen’s case. I was living in Alaska in the late 70’s and 80’s when he was actively killing women.