Johnny Hansen

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Johnny Hansen

Name: Johnny Hansen
Alias: Terrible Dane
Birth Name: Arnold Bernard Hansen
Born: 1911-07-30
Birthplace: Dufur, Oregon, USA
Died: 1932-03-02 (Age:20)
Hometown: Portland, Oregon, USA
Stance: Orthodox
Boxing Record: click

Manager: Asa (Ace) Baker

Johnny Hansen was born Arnold Bernard Hansen to Herbert (Bert/Smokey) B. Hansen (later of 389 East Hoyt Street, Portland, Oregon, USA) and Ethel Smith (later of Aberdeen, Washington, USA). It appears that his parents divorced, because Hansen was later known to live solely with his father. Hansen became a prizefighter, with nicknames like "The Durable Dane," "The Terrible Dane," and the "Pride of the Portland Newsboys." His early manager included Tex Salkeld. (Salkeld left as his manager and trainer before Hansen's bout with Don Fraser.)

Hansen was killed by a .32 caliber bullet from an automatic pistol shot by Jack Kentworth, a fellow pugilist, and one-time good friend. Immediately before he died, Hansen was to have faced Freddie Steele on the March 15 show in Portland promoted by Joe Waterman.

Miss Peggy Norman, 21-years-old, had recently left Kentworth and returned to the affections of Hansen, after two years. Prior to that, Kentworth and Norman had lived together as husband and wife at the LaVelle Hotel (284 Third Street), although they were not married. After a Tuesday night fight, that turned out to be his final career bout, Hansen had gone to a party, where he met Norman. The two returned to the LaVelle Hotel. Kentworth, too, returned to the hotel and knocked on the door. Hansen, visiting with both Miss Norman and Mr. R.J. Stow, let Kentworth in. Despite Hansen's caution to Kentworth ("Don't be a fool. You don't want to commit murder."), he was shot and killed.

Kentworth fled, a warrant for his arrest was issued, and he was located the next day eating lunch in a Klamath Falls restaurant. He was taken into custody at gunpoint by 70-year-old deputy sheriff Sam Walker without any struggle. Kentworth was charged with first-degree murder. On July 2, 1932 Kentworth plead guilty to manslaughter, after the judge allowed withdrawl of a not guilty plea to first-degree murder charges. Kentwoth was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Kentworth's defense attorney John Collier argued that the large amounts of alcohol consumed by the four people in the room along with the fact that Kentworth was in the habit of carrying a gun, made conviction on anything more than second-degree murder the best case scenario.

Funeral services for Hansen were conducted Saturday, March 5, 3:00 P.M., at the Miller & Tracey Chapel, (which is today still in business, but named Hennessey, Goetsch & McGee at 210 NW 17th Street in Portland). Reverend Oswald Taylor preached the services. More than 200 vehicles made up the funeral procession. The pallbearers were fellow boxers Wesley (Kayo) Ketchell, Eston Hunter, Benny Pelz, Louis Nelson, Ray Morgan and Eddie Volk. Plus many out-of-town pugilists attended the funeral -- such as Tony Portillo, Neil Kilbane, and Freddie Steele.

Hansen was originally buried in Grave #1, Lot 59 at the Lincoln Memorial Park in Portland, Oregon. However, when his father died in October 1941, Johnny's remains were moved to be next to his father's in Grave #2, Lot 238, (northside) Fircrest area of Lincoln Memorial Park. It appears that his father simply adored his son. Their joint grave marker, that still exists to this day (2003), was laid December 5, 1956, according to the cemetery's records. By whom, we don't know. Perhaps by his mother.

Source: Portland Oregonian newspaper and Lincoln Memorial Park records.