Dennis Rader/"BTK"

Who is BTK?

The following is a compilation profiling "BTK" before Dennis Rader was arrested:

The killer known as BTK is Wichita's most notorious serial killer, now connected with eight unsolved homicides from 1974 to 1986.

BTK stands for "Bind, Torture and Kill," a style of killing he used. The serial killer used the initials in letters he sent to local media.

Based upon a review of information the killer has provided to police over the years, the following facts about BTK are being made available to the public in the hopes of identifying him:

He claims he was born in 1939, which would make his current age 64 or 65.

His father died in World War II, and his mother raised him.

His mother was forced to work, so his grandparents cared for him.

His mother worked during the day near the railroad.

He had a cousin named Susan, who moved to Missouri.

His family moved a lot, but always lived near a railroad.

His grandfather played the fiddle and died of a lung disease.

His mother started dating a railroad detective when BTK was around 11 years old. This relationship would have occurred during the years 1950 to 1955.

In the early 1950s he built and operated a ham radio.

He has participated in outdoor hobbies including hunting, fishing and camping.

As a youth, he attended church and Sunday school.

He had a female Hispanic acquaintance named Petra, who had a younger sister named Tina.

Around 1960, he went to tech military school. He then joined the military for active duty and was discharged in 1966.

He has a basic knowledge of photography and the ability to develop and print pictures.

In 1966, he moved back in with his mother, who had remarried and was renting out part of his house.

His first job was as an electro-mechanic, requiring some travel.

After attending more tech school, he worked repairing copiers and business equipment; this sometimes required travel and he was away for extended periods.

He admits to soliciting prostitutes.

He has a lifetime fascination with railroads and trains.

Based upon the investigation to date, police believe that BTK:

Frequented the WSU campus in the 1970s.

Was acquainted with PJ Wyatt, who taught a folklore class at WSU in the 1970s.

He has written or still writes poetry. An example of this is the "Oh Anna, Why Didn't you appear" poem and the "Oh! Death to Nancy" poem that were released in earlier media advisories.

Utilized fake identification to gain access to people's homes or to conduct surveillance.

How accurate were they?


WHO is Dennis Rader?

Dennis L. Rader, 59, has worked as a compliance supervisor for Park City in charge of animal control, nuisances, inoperable vehicles and general code compliance since about 1990.

He grew up in the Park City area and has lived there ever since.

He worked for Coleman in the early 1970s -- as did two of BTK's early victims.

He served in the military during the Vietnam era and worked for years at a home security company in Wichita.

He attended WSU -- long linked to the BTK case -- where he graduated in 1979 with a major in Administration of Justice.

He is married and has grown children.


NEW!!! THE CRYPTIC NOTE

*** IN DEPTH REPORT DETAILING DENNIS RADER'S LIFE***

**Additional Information**

***More Victims***


BTK History

 

Feb. 11, 1978
'BTK' made first contact through newspaper in '74



August 15, 1979
Tape of BTK call aired; police are hoping for ID



June 17, 1979
BTK is back; intended victim gets poem



Feb. 12, 1978
Was girl 7th victim? Police seek connection



Feb. 11, 1978
Nancy Fox: Found slain Dec. 9, 1977



Feb. 11, 1978
City's 'BTK Strangler' claims he's killed 7



Jan. 17, 1974
Police baffled on motive in mass killing



January 1974
Victims' children return home; clues sought



Jan. 16, 1974
Four in Wichita family found slain at home


"BTK" TIMELINE

--1966--
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|- 5/2: Romana Case; shot three times in home basement
|- 5/15: Joanna Phillips; stabbed
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--1967--
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|- 10/15: James & Louise Henderson; shot; children left unharmed
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--1968--
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--1969--
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--1970--
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|- 9/17: Kelley Lynn Albright; abducted, raped, stabbed, body dumped
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--1971--
|- 1/12: Rosy Spencer; strangled, beaten
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--1972--
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--1973--
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|- 11/??: Bruce Douglas (Wichita, KS) went missing; body found 1/21/74 (see 1974)
--1974 --
|- 01/15: Joseph, Julie, Josephine, & Joseph Jr. (Wichita, KS) strangled, telco cut, some bodies hooded, Otero car moved/abandoned, items taken, home invasion, children murdered
|- 1/21: Bruce Douglas (Wichita, KS) body found; asphyxiated and enclosed in trunk of car in rural area N.E. of Wichita, WSU student, car abandoned, car left running, LE ruled "accidental suicide" [more]
|- 4/4: Kathryn Bright (Wichita, KS) strangled & stabbed to death, Kevin Bright (survived) shot & strangled, home invasion- perp. hid in home awaiting victims' return
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|- 10/??: BTK's first known letter is received- a phone call to The Wichita Eagle-Beacon instructs them to search the Wichita State Univ. Library for a communique, it is found in an engineering book; it takes responsibility for the Otero mass-murder, provides insider-details, and coins the pseudonym "B.T.K."
|- 11/12: Sherry Baker found stabbed to death, hands tied, home invasion
--1975--
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|- 6/9: Carol Marsteller (Sedgwick County/Wichita, KS); stabbed, body dumped... UPDATE 2/23/05: David Packard convicted of Marstellar murder in 3/1987, paroled 3/2004 [more at KAKE tv] [more at catchbtk.com]
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--1976--
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--1977--
|- 03/17: Shirley Vian (Wichita, KS), bound and strangled with garrote, hooded with plastic bag, children left unharmed, home invasion- perp. knocked & was invited in by children; neighbor boy apparently witnessed BTK knock on door of Vian neighbor "Cheryl", and saw him proceed on to Vian's after he got no answer at first home.
|- 6/23: Nina Berardi; shot, telco cut, children unharmed, home invasion
|- 7/11: Sandra K. Talbott (Wichita/El Dorado, KS); c.o.d. unspecified, body dumped near "Twin Bridges"
|- 11/26: Denise Rathbun last seen; found 2 weeks later; died of drowning and exposure, body dumped in creek under bridge
|- 12/08: Nancy Fox (Wichita, KS) bound and strangled, driver's license stolen (later contained in BTK 2004 Murdock Park message drop), home invasion
|- 12/08: BTK calls emergency hotline from payphone to report the Fox murder, a recording (almost certainly edited) of the call (listen at catchbtk.com) is later released by WPD
--1978--
|- 1/31: A "Curley Locks" style poem which refers to the Vian murder, stamped with lettering blocks on an index card, is received by The Wichita Eagle-Beacon, but is initially ignored
|- 2/10: Another letter from BTK is received by KAKE tv; it contains a poem based on "Oh, Death", demands more media coverage and takes credit for an extra, unattributed, victim (now assumed to be Kathryn Bright)
|- 5/10: Karen, Scott & Mark Pretty (Houston, TX); strangled/drown, bound with telephone cord, bodies found in bathtubs, car abandoned at nearby apartment complex, home invasion, children murdered [more]
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--1979--
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|- 04/28: Anna Williams (Wichita, KS) aborted attack, perp. hid in home awaiting victims, but apparently got bored and left before they returned, telco cut
|- 5/1: Jerry Hunter (Valley Center, KS); c.o.d. unspecified, car found abandoned
|- 8/15: WPD releases the BTK Nancy Fox phone call to the media and it is heard by the public for the first time
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--1980--
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|- 10/25: Barbara Smith; blow to head, attempted strangulation, arson
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--1981--
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--1982--
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|- 6/25: Lupe Leo Ornelas; c.o.d. unspecified, body dumped in ditch, car found abandoned
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--1983--
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--1984--
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--1985--
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|- 4/27: Marine Hedge abducted from home after returning from same restaurant as Delores Davis (see 1991), found 8 days later strangled, body dumped in ditch, telco cut, Hedge car moved/abandoned, ID stolen (2/26/2005: WPD reclassifies Hedge as official BTK victim.)
|- 6/29: Linda Shawn Casey; bound, beaten with & sexual assault with wine bottle, stabbed, home invasion, telco cut,
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--1986--
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|- 9/16: Vicki Wegerle (Wichita, KS), strangled, Wegerle car moved/abandoned, driver's license missing (photocopy later included in 3/19/2004 BTK communique)
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--1987--
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|- 6/6: Hattie Smith bound, beaten, strangled, drowned in bathtub, home invasion, items missing
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|- 10/31: Shannon Olson, found stabbed following day, hands bound, body dumped in sand pit
|- approx. 12/30: Phillip Fager, shot; Kelli Fager, nude and strangled: Sherri Fager, strangled, bound; Kelli and Sherri killed in basement hot tub; Bill Butterworth later tried for murders and acquitted
--1988--
|- 1/??: Mrs. Phillip (Mary) Fager receives letter from BTK which admires the Fager mass-murder, but denies responsibility
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|- 9/14: Michael J. Fowler (Sedgwick County, KS); c.o.d. unspecified, body dumped in rural area
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--1989--
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|- 10/02: Krista Martin beaten to death; blunt object to the back of the head, home invasion
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--1990--
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--1991--
|- 1/19: Delores "Dee" Davis abducted from home after dining as same restaurant as Marine Hedge (see 1985), strangled, dumped body found 13 days later under bridge, bound, telco cut, items missing from home, car wiped down, but apparently not moved (2/26/2005: WPD reclasified Davis as official BTK victim.)
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--1992--
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--1993--
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|- 8/16: Kristi Hatfield found dead; blow to the back of the head, body dumped in field
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--1994--
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|- 10/29: John Doe (Sedgwick County, KS); body dumped, c.o.d. unspecified [more]
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--1995--
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--1996--
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|- 6/??: Avanthea Williams; c.o.d. unknown, body dumped in abandoned building, known prostitute
|- 9/12: Cherie Fox shot to death, home invasion
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|- 12/26: JonBenet Ramsey (Boulder, CO); strangled with garrote in basement, raped, bound, strange "ransom note" letter left in home
--1997--
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|- 5/11: Deanna Law found nude in bath tub, strangled, sexual assault, neighbor charged with the crime, but charges dropped despite his confession
|- 6/6: Hattie Smith; strangled/drown
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--1998--
|- 2/10: Monte E. Dixon; shot in home
|- 2/??: Thomas McCorgary (Harvey County, KS); convicted murderer was poisoned with Zoloft & morphine, while away from prison in hospital dieing from emphysyma [more]
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--1999--
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|- 11/12: Tina Frederick; shot in home, blocks from Vians' 8/2004: man incarcerated for another murder charged with Frederick crime
|- 12/15: Opal J. Trumpp; murdered in basement with unspecified weapon, perp. fled on foot
--2000--
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--2001--
|- 2/20: body of Agnes Hayes found near bridge in Harvey County, KS; strangled, police believe crime originated in Wichita or Sedgwick County, known prostitute, body dumped [more]
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|- 10/17: Melvin D. Childress; c.o.d. unspecified, body dumped in field, car found abandoned
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--2002--
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|- 6/4: Dorothy Slaughter beaten, died two weeks later, Mr. Slaughter (survived) beaten, telco cut, car keys stolen, home invasion
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--2003--
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--2004--
|- 3/19: BTK letter received by The Wichita Eagle containing photocopy of photos of the Wegerle crime scene and of Vicki's driver's license
|- 4/7: KSN tv receives anonymous letter containing unidentified baby photo (view at catchbtk.com); presumed to be from BTK
|- 5/5: KAKE tv receives "The BTK Story", a rambling autobiography patterned after Crime Library's BTK feature, included are two phoney photo ID's
|- 6/17: WPD receives letter from BTK concerning Otero murders; a second letter is discovered the same day at the Wichita Public Library, contents not revealed
|- 8/17: Jacob Allen; bound to rail road tracks
|- 9/26: Carol Mould; c.o.d. unspecified, arson, items possibly missing from scene
|- 11/30: WPD releases laundry list of clues (view at catchbtk.com) as to BTK's background and identity, asking for help from the public
|- 12/8: unknown man, presumably BTK, calls quick mart alerting them to package left in Murdock Park; WPD searches park but finds nothing
|- 12/14: citizen finds BTK package in Murdock Park containing Fox's drivers licence, as well as other unrevealed contents
--2005--
|- 1/27: WPD recovers BTK's Post Toasties cereal box communique as a result of letter sent to KAKE tv; the letter indicates yet another communique that WPD has overlooked and quickly locates; both drops are left in rural areas far afield of BTK's previously understood boundaries; contents not revealed
|- 1/31: Melissa Scott (Valley Center, KS); c.o.d. unspecified (autopsy results not complete/released; police tight lipped), children unharmed [more]
|- 2/3: KAKE tv receives postcard from BTK, it expresses condolensces for the colds 2 news casters suffer, though the rest of the content is not revealed
|- 2/3: KSAS tv receives manilla envelope with undisclosed message and objects. KSAS is a FOX affiliate. [more]
|- 2/25 - 2/26: WPD arrests Dennis Rader off tip from daughter Kerri, hold press conference declaring they have a DNA match for Rader as BTK

Complete Coverage

 

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and

--May They All Rest In Peace, FOREVER-


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