CHRIS BAGLEY

Fairfax man: Rumors are wrong, his son's suicide had no connection to Chris Bagley's death

Larry Hanson Jr. didn't know Bagley or who killed him

Larry Hanson Jr. (left) is shown with his father, Larry Hanson Sr., of Fairfax. Hanson Sr. talked to The Gazette on Friday about rumors swirling about his son’s suicide having some connection to the slaying of Christopher Bagley, 31, of Walker. No connection exists, the elder Hanson said. (Submitted photo)
Larry Hanson Jr. (left) is shown with his father, Larry Hanson Sr., of Fairfax. Hanson Sr. talked to The Gazette on Friday about rumors swirling about his son’s suicide having some connection to the slaying of Christopher Bagley, 31, of Walker. No connection exists, the elder Hanson said. (Submitted photo)

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Fairfax man, whose son committed suicide in February, is now dealing with unfounded rumors that his son knew the person responsible for Christopher Bagley’s fatal stabbing.

Larry Hanson Sr., 58, told The Gazette on Friday that his son, Larry Hanson Jr., 32, had no connection with Bagley and did not hang himself because of Bagley’s death or leave a suicide note implicating possible suspects.

Those rumors, he said, have spread through the Fairfax and Cedar Rapids area, as well as on social media.

CEDAR RAPIDS - A friend concerned about Chris Bagley, who was found buried at a southeast Cedar Rapids home earlier this month, searched the mobile home where Bagley was last seen alive but only found a cellphone in the trash.

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Bagley, 31, went missing from his Walker home Dec. 13, and his body was found March 1 buried in a yard in the 4000 block of Soutter Avenue SE in Cedar Rapids.

Six people with ties to Bagley have been charged with drugs and/or firearms crimes in the past two weeks. No one has been charged in his slaying.

“This is like a nightmare from hell. I just want to clear his name,” Hanson Sr. said of his son. “It’s bad enough dealing with his death.”

His son left a letter to a person with the same first name “as one of the people said to be involved in that mess,” he said, referring to the six arrests. “I guess that’s how the rumor started.”

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Hanson Sr. said his son didn’t know Bagley. He did go to high school with Drew Blahnik of Marion, whose apartment was burglarized by two people claiming they thought Bagley was living there. But Hanson Jr. was not friends with Blahnik and wasn’t involved with drugs, his father said.

Hanson Jr. isn’t mentioned in any search warrants or documents regarding Bagley’s death. Court records show Hanson Jr. had four convictions for drunken driving in 2009, 2015, 2017 and 2018, for which he received probation or minimum jail time.

Hanson Sr. said his son suffered from depression and was an alcoholic who started drinking heavily about six years ago.

Hanson Jr., who worked as a coordinator for a vehicle body shop, was having financial problems, and his wife had left him with their two children.

His son, he said, could not quit drinking.

“He hated the monster he was when he drank,” said Hanson Sr., tearing up. “He hated himself, but everybody loved him. He was the guy who helped anyone.”

Hanson Sr. feels some of his son’s depression stemmed from him having a rare autoimmune disease that affected his physical and mental state.

He said his son had attempted suicide four or five times, usually with pills. He tried rehab more than once and had committed himself to a hospital detox unit two days before he killed himself on Feb. 25.

In his last phone conversation with his son, Hanson Sr. said they argued and his son hung up on him. Each apparently tried to call back the other, resulting in missed calls. Hanson Sr. then went to his son’s house and found his body in the basement.

“I tried to give him CPR, but I couldn’t get him back,” he said.

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Hanson Sr. said he empathizes with Bagley’s parents. As horrible as losing their son has been for him and his wife, their son wasn’t missing for weeks as Bagley was. His body wasn’t found buried, and he and his wife don’t have to wait to see if someone will be held accountable.

l Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@thegazette.com

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