'The Butcher Baker: Mind of a Monster': Release date, plot, cast, trailer and all you need to know about ID's true-crime documentary
'The Butcher Baker: Mind of a Monster' delves into the story of serial kiler Robert Hansen, who became known as the 'Butcher Baker' because of the nature of his decade-long killing spree
True-crime documentaries have become so popular in recent times, consuming the infotainment content is basically the new fad. A subset of the genre that has especially garnered a fan-base is that of serial killers. No one can pinpoint a particular reason for the people's fascination with these killers who committed gruesome crimes fueled by murderous intent. Yet, iron-stomached and curious viewers eagerly sit by the television as a new insanely macabre tale of the evils of humanity unfold on the screen. Investigation Discovery is feeding this frenzy with its upcoming 'Serial Killer Week' which will feature unscripted films about some of the most notorious murderers in history. 'The Butcher Baker: Mind of a Monster' is one among the films on the list, and here's what you need to know about it.
'The Butcher Baker: Mind of a Monster' premieres on Wednesday, September 2 at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.
A mild-mannered family man, Robert Hansen was a man who seemed to have it all. He lived a mundane life, ran a successful bakery, and most would think that the only extraordinary accreditation he has ever received were his world-record hunting trophies. He was greatly respected by his peers for these achievements, but what they didn't know and would soon discover is that there is more to him than meets the eye. On the outside, he may have seemed like a normal person, a member of the community, revered by others. On the inside, he was a vicious cold-blooded serial killer, who would eventually confess to murdering over a dozen innocent women.
Tapes of his confession had been lost in history. But now, some 35 years later, 'The Butcher Baker: Mind of a Monster', is piecing together the truth about Hansen. The documentary features testimonies from and interviews with his friends, surviving victims, and the officers involved. “The fascination behind serial killers continues to be unmatched, with our viewers consistently asking for more,” Henry Schleiff, Group President of Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, American Heroes Channel and Destination America said in an official press statement. “We chose these cases not just because of these macabre monsters, or that each investigation is a self-contained mystery, but because each story will leave our viewers gripped to the screen until the final scene when justice is ultimately served.”
Robert Hansen became known as the 'Butcher Baker' because of the nature of his decade-long killing spree. Though he maintained a respectable reputation in his town, he let his dark side run wild in the Alaskan wilderness. Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, Hansen abducted sex workers and exotic dancers and let them loose in the woods so he counts hunt them like animals. Born in Iowa, Hansen did not have an easy childhood and often worked at his family bakery from a young age. He was naturally left-handed but was forced to use his right hand, which also related in a lifelong stutter. As a teenager, he was bullied and rejected because of his awkwardness and stutter. He became a social outcast, who sought refuge in his loneliness.
Hansen grew to have an interest in game hunting, which became a channel for his rage that brought his fantasies of vengeance to life with the sport of stalking his prey. In 1967, he moved to Anchorage, Alaska, and settled into a quiet life with his wife and two children. He was in good terms with the community and even opened a small bakery. There he would go on to commit many crimes including shoplifting, abduction, rape, and more. Unbeknownst to the police, his killings had started in 1973 and his favorite spot for the hunt was the Knik River, where he would chase his female victims, mostly sex workers and dancers from Anchorage's red-light district, and brutally murder them. In 1983, a 17-year-old girl, Cindy Paulson, was found running frantically on the street and handcuffed. She was saved by a passerby who took her to the police, and she explained her story to them.
She claimed that a man had kidnapped, raped, and tortured her before attempting to load her onto a plane to take her to his cabin in the woods, but she somehow managed to escape. Police were able to identify Hansen from her description, but he provided a strong alibi. He later emerged as a suspect in the cases of two bodies discovered in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, a case that led to the involvement of the FBI. The police were then executed a search warrant and made some shocking discoveries in Hansen's home that proved that he was the culprit they were looking for. He was arrested and confessed to the murders of 17 women, in total. His story became the subject of a 2013 film starring John Cusack and Nicholas Cage called 'Frozen Ground'.
'The Butcher Baker: Mind of a Monster' is a feature-length documentary brought to you by Arrow Media and Investigation Discovery. The channel will host a chilling week-long series highlighting the most prolific and elusive serial killers in American history in a segment called 'Serial Killer Week', beginning August 30.
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