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Posted: Oct 14 2007, 10:44 PM
Member No.: 16
Joined: 13-July 06
King County Sheriffs Office
Agency Case Number: 04255743
Posted: Oct 14 2007, 10:45 PM
Member No.: 16
Joined: 13-July 06
Posted: Dec 25 2007, 08:18 AM
Member No.: 1
Joined: 3-July 06
Joan Ellen Hansen
Above: Hansen, circa 2006
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: August 10, 1962 from King County, Washington
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date of Birth: July 19, 1932
Age: 30 years old
Height and Weight: 5'8, 120 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown eyes. Hansen may use the last names Cooper and/or Hough. Some agencies refer to her as Joanne Hansen.
Details of Disappearance
Hansen was last seen in King County, Washington on August 10, 1962. She planned to meet her sisters at the World's Fair in Seattle, Washington, but never arrived. She has never been heard from again. Her car was found abandoned several days after her disappearance, with no signs of foul play and no indication of Hansen's whereabouts. An extensive search of the area turned up no sign of Hansen, and a private detective her parents hired was also unable to locate her.
Hansen left behind a young son who is now an adult. For years after her disappearance, there were rumors that her body was buried beneath a local barn. The barn had a new concrete floor poured around the time of Hansen's disappearance, replacing the old dirt floor. The barn has since been demolished and is now a road. In 2006, at Hansen's son's behest, investigators examined the road with ground-penetrating radar. No evidence was located, however. Hansen's case remains unsolved.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
King County Sheriff's Office
The Doe Network
The King County Journal
Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004.
Last updated October 3, 2007; casefile added.
Charley Project Home
Posted: Dec 10 2009, 11:27 AM
Member No.: 683
Joined: 1-November 08
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Last updated 8:19 a.m. PT
Kids wonder: Did dad kill mom?
47 years later, missing woman's children look for answers
By LEVI PULKKINEN
Forty-seven years after their mother vanished, the children of a Kent Valley woman hope to bring her killer to justice.
The complications -- the man they believe to be responsible is their father, and he's dead.
Joan E. Hansen disappeared in August 1962 under circumstances that remain a mystery, at least officially.
For decades, though, the two children she had with then-husband Robert Hansen have believed their father killed their mother, attorney Dean Brett said.
Brett, a Bellingham attorney representing Ty and Nicole Hansen in the case on behalf of their mother's estate, filed a wrongful death suit on behalf of his clients late last month in King County Superior Court. The move followed Robert Hansen's death earlier this year at his home in Auburn.
"They want to establish once and for all what happened to their mother," Brett said Wednesday.
The investigation into Joan Hansen's disappearance has remained open but unsolved since its launch. A King County judge in essence ruled her deceased in 1975 following a probate hearing, though her body was never found.
The last person to have seen the mother of four was her husband, who told King County sheriff's deputies he spoke with her on Aug. 10, 1962, Sgt. John Urquhart said.
Urquhart described Robert Hansen as a longtime person of interest in his wife's disappearance. But investigators have not located enough evidence to support the filing of charges.
"The case remained open," he said. "And it remains open today."
Initially, Brett said, the children believed their mother to be alive and to have simply left. In talking with people who knew their parents, though, they came to believe their father had killed their mother.
"It was sort of general knowledge in the community," Brett said. "They didn't grow up knowing that (their mother was killed). They came to their own conclusions."
Calls to the attorney representing Robert Hansen's estate were not returned Wednesday.
At the time Joan Hansen disappeared, Urquhart said, missing persons cases were pursued less vigorously than they are today. The case remains open, and cold case detectives have revisited it over the years.
In cold cases where a suspect has died, Urquhart said detectives continue periodic reviews until they "can conclusively link (the killing) to a person."
Brett said he believes law officers were hampered by the fact that Joan Hansen's body was never recovered.
"It's been looked at many times by King County," Brett said. "The criminal case hasn't gone forward because, without a body, they believed they couldn't make the case."
"I think there are witnesses that are more comfortable talking now that (Robert Hansen) is gone," Brett added.
In court filings, the Hansen's grown children claim that Robert Hansen denied each of them inheritance due them following their mother's death, as well as compensation for the loss of their mother. Joan Hansen's pain and suffering in anticipation of death, her children claim, should also be taken into account.
Representatives of Robert Hansen's estate have not yet filed a response to the suit. A trial date has not been set.
Posted: Dec 11 2009, 10:49 PM
Member No.: 1
Joined: 3-July 06
Son: 'I believe my father killed my mother'
By Matt Markovich
A son has filed an unusual lawsuit in an attempt to find out what happened to his mother, who disappeared nearly 50 years ago. Essentially, the son is suing his father for the death of his mother - even though his father is dead.
More local news
Story Published: Dec 10, 2009 at 9:23 PM PST
Story Updated: Dec 10, 2009 at 10:15 PM PST
Comments (89)KENT, Wash. - A son has filed an unusual lawsuit in an attempt to find out what happened to his mother, who disappeared nearly 50 years ago.
Essentially, the son is suing his father for the death of his mother - even though his father is dead.
The bizarre case began with the disappearance of Joan Hansen in 1962 - and it remains officially a mystery.
But family and friends believe Joan's body is buried somewhere along the Green River near the Kent-Des Moines Road. There used to be a farm there owned by the Hansen family at the time of Joan's disappearance.
Family members say the mother of three was murdered by her husband, Robert Hansen, and the killing was covered up.
"I know he did it," says Patricia Martin. "There's no doubt in my mind, he did it that day."
Martin may have heard Joan's last words by phone on the day she disappeared.
"She said, 'Oh my God, he's in the basement, Pat. He's coming,' And she started screaming, and the phone went dead," Patricia Martin remembers.
Martin believes Joan was referring to Robert Hansen, Joan's husband, who was also Ty Hansen's father, in that frightening, mysterious phone call.
"I believe my father killed my mother," Ty Hansen now says. "I don't think there is any question about that."
But there is - neither Joan nor her body have never been found. Her disappearance is still an open case with the King County Sheriff's Department.
Searches of the place where the family barn used to be in the Kent Valley - a place where many believe Joan's body is buried - have turned up nothing.
The latest twist in the case came in August, when Robert Hansen committed suicide.
He left a will saying, "I had a wife, Joan Hansen, who disappeared long ago. If she is still alive, I leave her nothing."
And he writes, "I'm leaving my children nothing."
The family has learned that his estate may be worth millions, and he gave it all to a friend in Costa Rica whom he met long after his wife's disappearance.
So, in an unusual move, Ty Hansen has now filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a man who's already dead, his father and his estate.
He's hoping to seek a final answer and part of an inheritance.
But Ty Hansen says, "That's not the main reason why I'm doing this. My primary motivation is to be able to get my mother's story heard and finally get some justice."
He and other family members want someone to come forward and break the silence.
"Everybody knows - his friends know - and I thought maybe after he died, you know, they would come forward," says Patricia Martin. "But they haven't."
Posted: Dec 15 2009, 05:06 PM
Member No.: 1
Joined: 3-July 06
Ty Hansen believes he knows the real story behind his mother's disappearance nearly 50 years ago.
Ty Hansen seeks justice, claims his father killed his mother in 1962.Hansen believes Joan Hansen didn't run away from her family when he was just 2 years old, but was killed by his father because she had filed for divorce.
To prove his case, Hansen is suing his father for damages -- despite the fact that Robert Hansen is dead.
Hansen insists he just wants the truth of his mother's disappearance to finally be heard and his father's culpability to be legally settled. He acknowledges, however, there are several million dollars at stake.
"I want justice for my mother. I want her story to be told," Hansen told ABCNews.com. "I don't want this to be swept under the rug like it has been for the last 47 years."
Hansen says he was raised by his father telling him and his two siblings that his mother had deserted the family, but a very different story emerged when he began researching his mother's story 15 years ago.
What Hansen found was divorce papers that indicated violence between his parents, and the fact that his mother was reported missing when she didn't show up for a hearing regarding the separation. In addition, his mother's friends who knew her at the time of her disappearance said she had vowed she'd never desert her kids.
Patricia Martin, one of Joan Hansen's best friends, claims she spoke to Joan Hansen moments before she was murdered.
"We were speaking on the phone and all of sudden Joan said 'Oh my God,' then there was silence and then I heard her holler 'Don't!'" said Martin, 76. "She kept saying 'he's coming' and then she started screaming and the phone went dead."
"I have no doubt what happened to Joan," said Martin. "I know he killed her."
Son Confronts Dad, Calls Him 'A Killer'
Hansen said that no matter whom he talked to – his father's friends, his mother's lawyer and even aunts he never knew existed – everyone told him the same story.
Ty Hansen, shown here with his mother Joan Hansen before she disappeared in 1962, says he believes that his mom was murdered by his father.
(Courtesy KOMO/ABC News)"They all say, well your dad killed your mom and he probably buried her down there at the barn site," said Hansen, who is now 50 and living in Costa Mesa, Calif., where he works as a self-employed house painter.
King County Sheriff's office spokesman Sgt. John Urquhart told ABCNews.com that Robert Hansen has always been and will continue to be a "person of interest" in his wife's case, even now that he's deceased.
"She's gone, she's disappeared, and we believe she's been a victim of a homicide," said Urquhart. "We've been investigating him for years and years, a long, long time."
"We've jack-hammered road, we've dug areas up and jack-hammered again," he said.
Urquhart said Robert Hansen was never arrested because there was never enough "probable cause" to do so.
Hansen believes that his mother was buried in the days following her Aug. 8, 1962 disappearance underneath a cement slab in the family barn, but that the area has since been paved over by a major state highway.
Despite employing cadaver dogs, ground-penetrating radars and even convincing the King's County Sheriff's office to excavate a portion of the road, his mother's body has never been discovered.
While Hansen continued on his search for the truth about his mother, he says his father became increasingly estranged from him, eventually wanting "nothing to do" with his son. It culminated with the father writing Ty Hansen out of his will and leaving his estate to a "friend in Costa Rica," according to ABC's Seattle affiliate KOMO.
When Hansen confronted his father about his mother, his father never denied the murder but would never talk about her disappearance either.
"My dad knew I was investigating, but he never reached out to say 'stop.' He just basically told me to go to hell," said Hansen. "I went to his house several times in 2005 and 2006 while I was traveling to do more legwork on the project and I'd visit him and confront him and tell him I thought he was a murderer."
"I'd say to him, 'Dad, I think you killed mom. I think you're a liar, a murderer and a coward,' and he'd just cuss at me, and tell me to get off his property," said Hansen.
Then, in August of this year, Hansen got a phone call from the King's County coroner's office to tell him that his father had committed suicide, asphyxiating himself in his car in his garage.
Hansen explains his father's suicide as the result of a combination of factors including the tightening noose of the investigation into his mom's disappearance, a recent divorce from a woman he married later in life, and his old age. He was 84 when he died.
"I think that the prospects didn't seem very good to him, so he decided he was done with it," said Hansen.
Hansen also found tax records that suggested his father had nearly $5 million to his name, earnings from property he owned as well as his years as a successful landlord.
Robert Hansen Remains 'Person of Interest' in Mom's Disappearance
As for the investigation back in the 1960s when Joan Hansen disappeared, Urquhart was obviously not working for the Sheriff's office.
The man who was sheriff at the time, Ted Forrestor, was unable to be reached by ABCNews.com, but Hansen claims that Forrestor's long term relationship with his father – they had grown up together – and the fact that case was only ever looked at as domestic dispute, led to the inconclusive investigation.
lAt the time, Kent, Wash., only had about 9,000 residents, and the fact that "everyone knew each other" tarnished the investigation, said Hansen.
Repeated calls made to Forrestor's Washington-area home were not returned.
The complaint for wrongful death and personal injuries filed by Hansen in King County Superior Court in November has not yet been answered by Robert Kitto, the executor of his father's estate.
Kitto, reached by telephone by ABCNews.com, declined to comment on the worth of Robert Hansen but said that he does not know anything about his client, whom he has worked with for nearly 40 years, that "would suggest he would harm his wife."
The amount of monetary damages that Hansen will seek will not be determined until trial, which has not yet been scheduled.
Hansen says that while he's aware critics are accusing him of trying to pilfer money from his dead father, he doesn't care. All he wants, he says, is justice for his mother.
"I don't care what the critics say," he said. "It doesn't bother me one single bit whether I get nothing or everything makes no difference. I'm still going to pursue the story and I still want justice."
Posted: Nov 24 2011, 09:56 AM
Member No.: 683
Joined: 1-November 08
Renowned crime writer re-examines local cold case
By Elisa Jaffe Published: Nov 23, 2011 at 8:57 PM PST
SEATTLE -- For nearly 50 years, the screams of her best friend on their last phone call have haunted Patricia Martin.
That best friend, Joann Hansen, had planned to meet her mother and sisters at the 1962 Seattle World's Fair, but she never showed.
"They waited for her, and had her paged," said crime writer Ann Rule.
The missing mother of three had been trying to leave an abusive marriage.
"(Her husband was) probably one of the meanest men ever written about, and that's saying a lot," Rule said.
Hansen had filed for divorce and a restraining order against her husband.
"So we hid her car and she stayed at my house," said Martin. "She was like a sister to me."
After a time, Hansen was convinced it'd be OK for her to head home since her husband wasn't allowed inside. Martin called to check on her.
"We talked for a second and then she went, 'Oh wait.' I said, 'What's the matter?' (She said,) 'He's coming. He's here. He's coming up the stairs.' And I said, 'No, he isn't.'
"And she started screaming. And the phone went dead, and I never heard from her again."
"And from that day to this, nobody is sure where Joann is," Rule said. "(She) never would have left her children. She adored her children."
One of Hansen's now-grown children contacted Rule to share his suspicions about his father. His words are detailed in Rule's new book, "Don't Look Behind You."
"He told the kids their mother had run off with another man," said Rule.
In a quest for peace, Hansen's son dug for his mother's bones in the Kent valley and confronted his father.
"Ty left a message on his dad's recorder and said, 'Dad, I'm not quitting until I find my mom's bones,'" said Cindy Wilkinson, who helped search for Hansen's remains.
But if Hansen's husband knew anything, he took those secrets to his grave when he committed suicide two years ago.
"I know he killed her. I would bet my life on it," said Martin.
Hansen's children may have no doubts. But with no body, they have no proof. And Rule is hoping her book stirs up some new clues.
Rule's book will be released next week.
Posted: Mar 28 2012, 07:30 PM
Member No.: 1
Joined: 3-July 06
Son Sues Dad for Killing Mom 50 Years Ago
By Caleb Hannan in Crime & Punishment Monday, Dec. 14 2009 @ 7:08AM
There are few things worse than losing your mom. But suspecting your dad of her murder has to be one of them.
Joan Hansen was a mother of three living on a Kent Valley farm when she disappeared in 1962. The last person to talk to her was Patricia Martin.
"She said, 'Oh my God, he's in the basement, Pat. He's coming,' And she started screaming, and the phone went dead," Martin told KOMO News.
Martin thinks the "he" Joan was referring to was her husband, Robert. So too does Ty Hansen. Which is why he's filed a wrongful death suit against his father some 50 years after his mom's disappearance.
"My primary motivation is to be able to get my mother's story heard and finally get some justice," says Ty.
But there's also another reason. This past August Robert Hansen killed himself. And in his will, he left his entire million-dollar estate to a friend in Costa Rica he met after his wife disappeared.
From the scant details available, it seems as if Ty's at least partially motivated by money. And who could blame him? But KOMO's story has so little info it's hard to tell which way is up. And the bizarre case has more questions than answers.
Did police suspect Robert at the time of Joan's disappearance? How old were Ty and his siblings? What were they told about what happened to their mom? And why has it taken 50 years for this to be made public?
We've got a call into Ty and are trying to track down his mom's friend as well. We'll let you know what we find out.