Skip to comments.Cub Scout Leader Arrested in BTK Killings
Posted on 02/26/2005 5:16:30 PM PST by AntiGuv
WICHITA, Kan. - A 31-year manhunt for a serial killer who taunted police with letters about his crimes ended Saturday when authorities said they finally caught up with the man who called himself BTK and linked him to at least 10 murders.
The suspect was identified as Dennis L. Rader, a 59-year-old city worker in nearby Park City, who was arrested Friday. Police did not say how they identified Rader as a suspect or whether he has said anything since his arrest.
"The bottom line: BTK is arrested," Wichita Police Chief Norman Williams said Saturday, setting off applause from a crowd that included family members of some of the victims.
BTK a self-coined nickname that stands for "Bind, Torture, Kill" stoked fears throughout the 1970s in Wichita, a manufacturing center with 350,000 residents, about 180 miles southwest of Kansas City, Mo.
Then the killer resurfaced about a year ago after 25 years of silence. He had been linked to eight slayings between 1974 and 1986, but police said Saturday they had identified two more, from 1985 and 1991.
Rader, a Cub Scout leader who was active at his Lutheran church, lived with his wife, neighbors said. Public records indicate they have two grown children. Messages left for family members were not returned on Saturday, and no one answered the door at the home of his in-laws.
A few neighbors recalled receiving small favors from Rader, but most interviewed Saturday said the municipal codes enforcement supervisor was an unpleasant man who often went looking for reasons to cite his neighbors for violations of city codes.
"A part of me was scared when I heard, because I talked to him. It's a little creepy," said Chris Yoder, 23, who once lived nearby.
Rader has yet to be charged, but a jubilant collection of law enforcers and community leaders told the crowd in City Council chambers they were confident the long-running case could now be closed.
"Victims whose voices were brutally silenced by the evil of one man will now have their voices heard again," Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline said.
Rader was being held at an undisclosed location, and it was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer. In Kansas, suspects generally appear before a judge for a status hearing within 48 hours of their arrest.
Prosecutor Nola Foulston said the death penalty would not apply to any crime committed before 1994, when the death penalty was introduced in Kansas.
The BTK slayings began in 1974 with the strangulations of Joseph Otero, 38, his wife, Julie, 34, and their two children. The six victims that followed were all women, and most were strangled.
Along with his grisly crimes, the killer terrorized Wichita by sending rambling letters to the media, including one in which he named himself BTK for "Bind them, Torture them, Kill them." In another he complained, "How many do I have to kill before I get my name in the paper or some national attention?"
But he stopped communicating in 1979 and remained silent for more than two decades before re-establishing contact last March with a letter to The Wichita Eagle about an unsolved 1986 killing.
The letter included a copy of the victim's driver's license and photos of her slain body. The return address on the letter said it was from Bill Thomas Killman initials BTK.
Since then, the killer had sent at least eight letters to the media or police, including three packages containing jewelry that police believed may have been taken from BTK's victims. One letter contained the driver's license of victim Nancy Fox.
The new letters sent chills through Wichita but also rekindled hope that modern forensic science could find some clue that would finally lead police to the killer.
Thousands of tips poured in, and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation gathered thousands of DNA swabs in connection with the BTK investigation. In the end, DNA evidence was the key to cracking the case, said Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.
"The way they made the link was some DNA evidence, that they had some DNA connection to the guy who they arrested," Sebelius said in an interview with The Associated Press. She did not elaborate.
The two newly identified cases were similar to the early ones with one exception, Sedgwick County Sheriff Gary Stead said: The bodies had been removed from the crime scenes. One of the victims lived on the same street as Rader.
"We as investigators keep an open mind. But only now are we able to bring them together as BTK cases," he said.
On Friday, investigators searched Rader's house and seized computer equipment.
Authorities, who generally declined to answer questions in detail after announcing the arrest, had little to say about why BTK resurfaced after years without contact.
"It is possible something in his life has changed. I think he felt the need to get his story out," said Richard LaMunyon, Wichita's police chief from 1963 to 1989.
59 years old...
If I just read the headline I would assume that "cub scout leader" was the only thing he's done in his life aside from being a serial killer.
Does any one have a pic?
I already heard him described as a Christian church goer. Let the spin begin!
This guy fit right into middle America. He could have been a neighbor, brother or coworker. Scary.
He also installed ADT systems, the need for which was generated by his killings.
Imagine that maniac in your home with you, installing a security system.
I'm sure he home schooled his children as well. (sarc)
Musta' been ELCA.
Amazing he doesn't look evil.........Thanx....
Who knows what this guys is?
On one side of the page:
Red State White Male
Cub Scout Leader
And on the other
If he did the crime, and DNA is tough to beat, he is evil.
7:31 CST: Thank God the Drudgereport is reporting the REAL news like George Bush winning a Golden Raspberry Award, the latest on Camilla and the Jerry Springer opera instead of the capture of a serial killer.
|Joseph Otero, Jan. 15, 1974||Julie Otero, Jan. 15, 1974||Kathryn Bright, April 4, 1974||Shirley Vian, March 17, 1977||Nancy Fox, Dec. 8, 1977||Vicki Wegerle, Sept. 16, 1986|
|Photos are not available for the Otero children, who with their parents were strangled to death on Jan. 15, 1974.|
|Two other cases have been tied to BTK. They are Marine Hedge, 53, and Delores "Dee" Davis, 62. Hedge's death occurred on April 27, 1985, she was abducted from her home at 6254 Independence in Park City. Davis' homicide occurred on Jan. 19, 1991, the latest death now linked to BTK. She was abducted from her home a half-mile east of Park City. Both were found in remote locations.||
OFFERING AT AUCTION WITH NO RESERVE A COMPLIANCE NOTICE DATED, SIGNED, PRINTED AND INTIALED BY JUST APPREHENDED BTK (BIND TORTURE KILL) SERIAL KILLER DENNIS RADER. ISSUED TO ANNIE'S ANTIQUE MALL WHICH IS LOCATED ACROSS THE STREET FROM PARK CITY KANSAS POLICE DEPT. AND CITY HALL, WHERE RADER WORKED AS COMPLIANCE OFFICER. RADER, WHO HAS ELUDED WICHITA POLICE SINCE 1974, IS ACCUSED OF MURDERING AT LEAST 10 PEOPLE. HIGH BIDDER TO PAY ACTUAL SHIPPING COST PLUS INSURANCE IF DESIRED. ~THANKS~
The'll give him a pass for being employed by the government.
I read where he said that (paraphrasing) "demons had taken over" his brain. This would appear to be true.