Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The BTK Story

BTK Returns

Vicki Wegerle, victim
Vicki Wegerle, victim

After nearly 30 years of silence, BTK once again terrorized the city of Wichita.  The killer resurfaced on March 19, 2004, when he sent a letter to The Wichita Eagle newsroom. 

The residence of Vicki Wegerle
The residence of Vicki Wegerle

According to reports in the Eagle, the letter suggested the killer was taking responsibility for the September 16, 1986, unsolved death of Vicki Wegerle, who was found in her home at 2404 W. 13th Street.  Included with the letter were a photocopy of Wegerle's driver's license and three photos of her body. 

Investigators are not yet releasing the contents of the letter, however it has been reported in the media that the return address on the letter was from "Bill Thomas Killman" (BTK) -- 1684 South Oldmanor.  Investigators have since determined the name to be fictitious and the address a vacant lot.  Why he chose them is unknown, but many speculate there is a hiding meaning behind it.    

A police officer inspects Wegerle's car
A police officer inspects Wegerle's car

On March 24, 2004, Lt. Ken Landwehr, who has been investigating the BTK case for over 20 years, confirmed that the letter was from BTK.  The single fingerprint removed from the letter, he stated, would most likely come back to an employee from the newspaper and not from the killer. 

Landwehr told Wichita news station Kake-10 that investigators were following leads from more than 290 telephone tips and requested that anyone with information should call the BTK hotline.  It's not traceable, so tipsters can remain anonymous.

Gregg McCrary
Gregg McCrary

On March 25, 2004, Gregg McCrary, a former FBI profiler, told The Wichita Eagle he felt BTK was bragging about his crimes and he craves the media attention: "'Look at what I've done.'  He can't resist doing that," said McCrary.  "Frightening the public is like playing God.  It's a heady, intoxicating experience, so they're not afraid to make contact with you (the media) or police -- that's all a part of the game for a guy like this.  He's outwitted law enforcement and everybody else all these years."

Psychologist Dr. Harold Brodsky spoke with KAKE-TV on March 28, 2004, and said giving BTK attention is a good thing.  "Are we falling into his hands by showing him this attention?  The reality is, if we don't show him this attention, he's going to do something diabolical," said Brodsky. Regardless of where he has been and why he has suddenly come back, one thing is certain -- he has once again brought panic to the city of Wichita.  Investigators have surmised that the killer is living in the area.   No one feels safe and practically everyone is taking steps to protect themselves.  Sales of security systems, locks, guns, personal alarms, pepper spray and other security devices have sky rocketed.  The case has drawn the attention of national news organizations and CNN, MSNBC and Good Morning America are covering it from all angles. 

In the mean time everyone seems to have the same questions:  Will he make contact again?  Or more importantly: Will he kill again?  Unfortunately, no one has an answer to either question and only time will tell if BTK strikes again.

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