The cold case murder of 'Dick' Richard Gerald Hansen - San Jose, California - April 29, 1991

Fatal Shooting
On the early morning of April 29, 1991, a very concerning call came in to 911. A man had been shot on the side of the road in Sunnyville, California. Emergency services arrived and took him to Stanford University Hospital. There he died of his injuries a few moments later. It turned out to be 36-year-old Dick Hansen. He appeared to have been hit by two bullets at close range.

About Dick Hansen
Richard Gerald "Dick" Hansen was born on February 23, 1955 in San Jose, California. He lived most of his life in this city. He was the son of a prominent lawyer, and attended school at Santa Clara State University. There he was also a star football player. Dick married and had two children. However, his marriage broke up after several years, and he and his wife divorced.

Dick worked as an electronics industry manager. He felt very well at the time of the murder, according to one of his friends.

What happened on 29 april 1991?

On April 28, Dick was looking forward to a pleasant evening with friends. He asked a female friend to accompany him as well. This woman's
name is protected, and we call her Jean in this article. The two spent a nice evening at Original Joe's on South First Street. At 1:00am he and Jean left in her car, and drove to where Dick's car was parked. They arrived half an hour later. According to Jean, it was deserted on the
street at that time, and there was no other car to be seen. Yet suddenly a car appeared and stopped behind Jean's car. They didn't think much of it then.

Because Jean was quite unknown in the area, the two agreed that she would follow Dick to find her way home. As they both drove off, the car behind them also took off, and drove after them. After a few turns, Jean followed Dick's car towards Interstate 280. The car behind her did too.
It was then that the realization came that they were being chased by the man. Dick and Jean drove onto the Highway 85 a while later, after which the pursuer did the same. Meanwhile, they tried to shake him off by switching lanes. Whatever they did, he kept following them. Up to Fremont Avenue, where Dick and Jean pulled up on the side of the road.

The tension rose when the pursuer also stopped his car behind them. Dick decided at that point to get out of his car and confront the stalker. Jean says she saw it all happen in her rearview mirror. She heard Dick ask something like 'What are you doing?!'. The stalker pointed from his car with his hand towards Jean's car, on which Dick shouted with his hands up, 'get the hell out of here!'. Two pops followed, and Jean saw Dick fall down. According to her statement, she then ran over to Dick and stared at the shooter for a moment, frozen in fear. After a moment of eye contact, the shooter drove off.

Police Investigation
The police listened carefully to friend Jean's statement, and noted everything that could be important. Because the woman had seen the killer, a composite drawing of the man was made with her help. It would be a white man, between his late thirties and early forties. He wore glasses with large black rims.  According to Jean, the man had a car that resembled a 1970 Pontiac GTO LeMans. A two-door coupe with a light gray or blue faded paint job.

The police found it difficult to find a motive for the murder. They wondered if it could have something to do with football. After all, Dick was a relatively well-known player in his town, and Jean did have a very striking license plate for the sports enthusiasts: 49R HUGS (“Forty-Niner Hugs.”). Was it a player or fan of a rebounding team? According to some detectives, the composite drawing resembled a stature of a football player.

Case went cold
The murder of Dick Hansen turned out to be a true mystery. The police soon had to conclude that there were no more leads. Unfortunately, the composite drawing did not yield any valuable tips. It was also not possible to find the perpetrator's car. With little information available in the case, police left the caliber of the bullet unknown. That was information that only the perpetrator could know. They also decided not to reveal Jean's real name. The woman could otherwise be in danger.

Information and tips
More than thirty years have passed, and the perpetrator is still unknown. Still, his relatives do not give up the search. Them and the police hope that there are people who know more about the case. Is that you? If you know anything about Dick's tragic death, speak up now. Even if it's just a small detail, please let us know now. Don't hesitate and get in touch now (anonymously) using the form below.

This goes without the interference of the police, and entirely through our editors. If you would like to remain anonymous, do not enter your name and e-mail address. We ensure that your information ends up in the right place with the appropriate cold case team. 

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