Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The BTK Story

New Revelations

Tuesday, March 1 12:05 PM

Ron Sylvester of The Wichita Eagle and Frank Witsil of the Detroit Free Press reported today that 'A Michigan law enforcement official said Monday that federal agents went to the home of Dennis Rader's daughter to take a DNA sample shortly after his arrest Friday.'

Monday, Feb 28 1:20 p.m. update

Ron Sylvester reported in a February 28, 2005 AP article that investigators believed Dennis Rader was responsible for 13 murders, although the authorities vehemently deny this. The article further suggested that at least one of the additional murders is believed to have occurred after 1994, when the death penalty was re-instated in the state of Kansas. If police can prove that a previously unknown victim of BTK was murdered after 1994, prosecutors can make a good case for seeking the death penalty in this case, something for which many of the victim's families are hoping.

Associated Press reported Sunday that a source close to the investigation that police believed that BTK may have been responsible for the deaths of two Wichita State University students and a woman who lived down the street from another BTK victim. After Wichita Police Chief Norman Williams threatened legal action against anyone who spread erroneous information, AP modified its report to say that investigators are "looking into" whether BTK was responsible for another three killings.

Sedwick County D.A. Nola Foulston insisted that the information in the modified A.P report is false. However, if the three cases below are not being investigated by police, perhaps they should be. After all, the public has learned of three new BTK victims in the past year: Vicki Wegerle, Marine Hedge, and Dolores Davis.

Three cases have been posted on Internet bulletin boards which seem to fit the description of the victims in the Associated Press article.

  • "Nov. 12, 1974: Sherry Baker, a Wichita State University student
    stabbed in her apartment. Hands tied behind back (with a coiled telephone cord)
    No sign of forced entry.
  • June 29, 1985: Linda Shawn Casey, a Wichita State University student
    found dead on the bedroom floor of her home bound, beaten, sexually assaulted, tabbed repeatedly. No sign of forced entry. At the time, BTK was mentioned as a possibility but discounted due to the length of time since his last known victim.
  • Nov, 12, 1999: Tina Frederick, lived a few blocks from BTK victim Shirley Vian.
    Found shot to death in her apartment - lying on a bedroom floor."

It has also been revealed that at the time Rader worked for the security company ADT between 1974 and 1989, he "held positions that allowed him access to customers' homes, including a role as an installation manager," the Associated Press reported on February 27th. A majority of the murders attributed to BTK have occurred during the period that Rader was employed by the company. Thus, it is possible that he used his position to seek out potential victims.

The Wichita Eagle wrote that  "Rader worked at ADT Security Services. Nobody who worked with Rader during his 15 years with the company could stand him, according to several former co-workers."

Dennis Rader is a very polarizing figure: they either hated him or like him. As the Wichita Eagle reported, some people saw him as "arrogant, by-the-numbers, rude and confrontational. Others said he is efficient, nice, friendly and a regular guy."

Rader's bail has been set at a whopping $10 million, which will be set or changed during his next court hearing scheduled in the upcoming days. At that time, the 10 first-degree murder charges against him will be formally filed. Since there has been no indication, as of yet, that Rader has hired or asked for a lawyer, there is a chance that the court will have to appoint him one. Regardless, the lawyer will need time to review the case, which will likely prolong the hearing date, the Associated Press reported.

PICTURE2

Fox News reported that the suspect's daughter Kerri Rader, 26, provided the DNA samples that allegedly linked Rader to eight murders attributed to BTK between 1974 and 1986. The Wichita Eagle reported on Feb. 28 that Wichita Mayor Carlos Mayans confirmed that Kerri Rader's DNA was linked to the BTK victims.

Initially broadcast reports indicated that not only did Kerri Rader provide DNA samples to investigators, she had actually gone to the police to voice suspicions about her father being BTK. This allegation is denied by the Rader family and police. This ordeal has had a devastating effect on the Rader family, which is reportedly out of state in seclusion.

According to the Wichita Eagle, BTK's most recent communication was sent to the Fox News Wichita affiliate in mid February. Inside the package was a necklace, computer disk, and a copy of the cover of the 1989 John Sandford novel entitled "Rules of Prey." The story is about a serial killer called "the maddog." 

Sources:

Associated Press (February 27, 2005). BTK killings suspect led cub scouts.

Fox News, February 27, 2005

Sylvester, Ron (February 28, 2005). Report: BTK suspect confesses to killings. The Wichita Eagle.

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