The picture of a woman lying in the middle of the road with only her feet sticking out of a yellow cover haunts investigators today. It was nearly 28 years ago when Anne Hanson was attacked, stabbed and left for dead in the middle of a quiet, seemingly safe Oregon neighborhood. Now one of the investigators in her brutal murder is releasing never before seen photos to local news station KOIN of the night and the days that followed Anne’s killing.
KOIN said Anne left a Gresham festival around 1:30 a.m. and was riding the MAX from the event in September 1988, when someone got to Anne and took her life. Anne’s brother Erik Hanson spoke to the news station and said, “You could sense what great potential she had. And that great potential was snuffed out.”
Gresham Police Captain Claudio Grandjean also sat down with the news station about the case, he is the one who gave them never before seen photos of what the crime area looked like at the time. Grandjean said about the killer, “It was beyond what is necessary to simply kill someone. It was going way beyond that.” Anne’s defenseless body was literally found lying in the middle of what would normally be a busier intersection during the day – at SE Roberts Avenue and Dowsett Lane. Someone came across Anne and made a call.
Grandjean, who was a rookie at the time according to the article said, “The call we got was … of a woman down. They were frantic, almost hysterical. It wasn’t something that, even today… as much as we’ve (Gresham) has grown, that still doesn’t seem like something that would happen now.”
In a newly released photo, you can see a team of investigators – shoulder to shoulder – canvassing the area for more clues. Some of those searches, unfortunately, were not fruitful. One of the biggest mysteries and problem with this case is it does not appear Anne was robbed, her attacker wasn’t caught on any camera, there wasn’t a suspect vehicle seen fleeing the scene and a murder weapon was never recovered, the report adds.
One of the worst issues with Anne’s case is no DNA from anyone was ever recovered, but Grandjean hopes now with new technology that could possibly change. The investigator told KOIN his department may explore trying touch DNA, but “it’s tricky.” KOIN explains the process as DNA, specifically transferred skin cells, can be collected from a suspect if they touched or handled something or someone.
Despite the extreme hurdles in this case, Grandjean adds, “I imagine for the family, there’s a big hole. There’s a lack of closure because there’s no sense of justice.”
Erik Hanson, Anne’s brother told KOIN at this point for his sister and for his family, “There’s no true closure. You just kind of cope with it and you keep it in your head and you adjust and you keep a relationship with her in your own way. I think that’s the best way to put it because they’re never going away.” Hanson also added, although he hopes someone will come forward to do the right thing, his mother won’t get to see the results here on earth; she passed away before she could find out who killed her daughter.
Anne’s family is waiting and hoping for justice for their loved one. If you know anything about the case, maybe it was something you heard, something you saw or something you can offer authorities, please call them directly: 503.618.2719
Read more: KOIN
Photo: Gresham PD