Christian Hansen: Where is the Photojournalist Now?

If there’s one thing nobody can deny, it’s that when Joseph Daniel “Danny” Casolaro was found dead on August 10, 1991, it left not just his loved ones but also the entire nation shaken to its core. That’s because, as carefully explored in ‘American Conspiracy: The Octopus Murders,’ he was a reporter/writer claiming to be on the verge of uncovering a political scandal crossing all bounds. The fact his wrists were slashed 10-12 times only for his death to be deemed a suicide hasn’t ever sat well either, which is just one of the many reasons why photojournalist Christian Hansen has since taken up his case with a vow to complete his long unfinished work.

Who is Christian Hansen?

It was back when Christian was merely a young boy that he first developed a keen interest in the world of journalism, photography, and truth, only for it to continue expanding as the years passed. He thus decided to pursue the same as a career while still in high school, unaware his tireless passion would soon result in him achieving wonders by actually landing freelancing positions at The New York Times plus various other publications upon graduating college. In fact, by the time he was in his mid-20s, he already had three years of experience and was back at university formally studying journalism while capturing “life as it happens” for the first time.

“I document my own life, mostly; it’s an autobiography,” Christian himself told The Times back in 2011 before going on to express the way Bruce Davidson became his idol. “I was in college. Carl Kiilsgaard, who lived down the hall, showed me Magnum’s Web site. As I explored, I found Bruce David son. I love his early work; I think it’s amazing. He’s always my favorite photographer. I’ve modeled a huge portion of my work off of [his 1998 book] ‘Brooklyn Gang’ — mostly the photos of people my age. In the beginning, I just wanted to take pictures like that.”

Christian continued, “I struggle sometimes because some of my friends are covering important, amazing world events. I’m photographing nothing compared to that. But I think that it’s important to get a slice of normal life, the little things you take for granted… [My work is] about normal people and everyday life, but people that have an edge about them, people that are different, people that are cool. I approach photography the same way. I just relax… I don’t think when I shoot; I just shoot.” Though little did he know his world would then turn upside down as his path would somehow lead him to learn of Danny Casolaro.

The truth is the more Christian gradually read about Danny’s demise, the more he grew obsessed with unveiling all the pieces himself because “if he was murdered, it was for a reason. And that would be that his theory was correct,” especially as the writer started by wanting to cover just one topic but it spiraled into him possibly discovering a massive international conspiracy he titled ‘The Octopus.’ According to the aforementioned docuseries, the former let this consume him to such an extent “he spent less time at his regular job as a photojournalist; instead, he would stay up for days, sorting through stacks of news articles, court transcripts, and weird conspiracy literature.”

Christian himself said, “In order to figure out what happened to Danny, I wanted to see what he was seeing. And then I realized I should just finish the book he was writing [on this whole scandal].” This obviously worried his loved ones as it was genuinely unclear wheather he was on a path to expose “the most dangerous political conspiracy of the century” or if he’d simply “fallen into some kind of paranoid fantasy” full of deceptions, false narratives, as well as self-driven beliefs, leading filmmaker/friend Zachary Treitz to go along for the ride. However, neither of them had any idea this whole thing would take up more than a decade of their lives and still remain a perplexing mystery despite them encountering new evidence too.

Christian Hansen Seemingly Wants to Close Danny Casolaro’s Chapter At Least

From what we can tell, even though Christian has since realized he may never be able to find out every little secret related to The Octopus to finish Danny’s book, he appears to still be devoted to at least concluding his personal chapter. This means that despite his decision to now live his life in the way he desires — being consciously happy and having as much fun as possible — he’s still following up on some details surrounding Danny’s death, particularly on those witness claims suggesting he wasn’t alone in his last few hours alive. As for this still active New York-based photojournalist’s own personal standing, we unfortunately don’t know much regarding the same as he genuinely prefers to remain well away from the limelight these days.

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