My Novels

Monday, February 28, 2005

Bad as my trouble seems with DH, it could be oh-so-much worse. They nabbed the BTK killer over the weekend, and he has broken the "mold" for serial killer profilers. Happily married father of two adult children, city employee, president of the church council (weird!), he wasn't the typical "loner" that everyone describes when they learn a neighbor on the block is a killer.

But his wife, can you imagine? The article I'm posting states she's "in a state of shock." Mercy, that is an understatement I would think. The poor woman!

(Two posts in the same day, guess I'm in a writing mood.)

Police: Speculation May Hamper BTK Probe

Feb 28, 4:36 PM (ET)


WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - The police chief warned Monday that public speculation could complicate the BTK serial killings investigation and vowed that suspect Dennis Rader will "not be tried in the media, but rather in a court of law."

Rader, the churchgoing family man and Cub Scout leader arrested Friday, was being held in connection with 10 deaths between 1974 and 1991. An initial court appearance was set for Tuesday. A source close to the investigation said he had confessed to six killings.

"The guy is telling us about the murders," the source said on condition of anonymity.

Rader, 59, was being held in lieu of $10 million bail. Police had long linked the BTK killer to eight murders but added two more on Saturday after Rader's arrest and said their investigation was continuing. The nickname comes from killer's own writings to authorities and stands for "Bind, Torture, Kill."

The source also said investigators were looking at three other killings. But Police Chief Norman Williams repeated the figure of 10 killings.

Williams said the media had spread "speculation, inaccurate and irresponsible information" and said it was complicating "an already complex investigation."

"The BTK investigation has and will continue to be guided by the United States Constitution, which means we will adhere to due process," he said. "This case will not be tried in the media, but rather in a court of law."

Williams said he would ask prosecutors if they can take legal action against members of the media. But he did not go into specifics on what information was inaccurate, and he refused to take any questions.

Rader was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday via video so prosecutors could recite yet-to-be-filed criminal charges against him and the judge could review bail. It was unclear whether Rader had a lawyer.

Prosecutors had said initially they could not pursue the death penalty against Rader because the 10 murders linked to BTK happened when Kansas did not have the death penalty. The state restored capital punishment in 1994.

The source said police also were looking into whether Rader was responsible for the deaths of two Wichita State University students as well as a woman who lived down the street from another known victim of BTK.

It was unclear when the three slayings occurred, but the source said one of them took place while Kansas' death penalty was in effect. When asked for comment, District Attorney Nola Foulston said, "Your information is patently false," but she refused to say whether Rader had made any confessions or whether investigators are looking into Rader's possible involvement in more unsolved killings.

The BTK killer re-emerged over the last year, taunting police with letters and packages sent to media outlets. Authorities have declined to say what led them to zero in on Rader, a married father of two and an active member of a Lutheran church.

He was anything but a recluse. His job as a city code enforcement supervisor required daily contact with the public, and he even appeared on television in 2001 in his tan city uniform for a story on vicious dogs running loose in Park City.

Before becoming a municipal employee, Rader worked for a home-security company, where he held several positions that allowed him access to customers' homes, including a role as installation manager. He worked for ADT Security Systems from 1974 to 1989 - the same time as a majority of the BTK killings.

Mike Tavares, who worked with Rader at ADT, described him as a "by-the-books" employee who would often draw diagrams of houses and personally make sure technicians installed systems correctly.

While Rader was known as a blunt person and rubbed some people the wrong way, he never struck co-workers as anything other than businesslike.

"I've spoken to some co-workers who were around then, and everybody is very numb," said Tavares, who left the company in 2001.

At Christ Lutheran Church, where Rader was president of the church council, pastor Michael Clark said Rader's wife, Paula, was in a state of shock.

"Her demeanor and voice indicated she was suffering," Clark said.

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius told The Associated Press that DNA evidence was key to cracking the case. It was unclear whether BTK's letters helped lead to the arrest. Police have said they obtained semen from the crime scenes even though the killer did not sexually assault his victims.

Wichita television station KAKE, citing sources it did not name, reported that DNA from Rader's daughter, Kerri, was instrumental in his capture, though KAKE anchor Larry Hatteberg said it did not appear the daughter turned in her father.

Parts of the profile released earlier by police seemed to match up. Investigators said they believed the killer was familiar with a professor at Wichita State University. Rader graduated from the university in 1979.


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