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Friday, March 26, 2004

Cold Case gets Hot: The Kansas BTK Serial Killer is Back

Envelope Mailed by BTK serial killer
The AP Reports: WICHITA, Kan. — After 25 years of silence, police have apparently heard again from the BTK Strangler, a serial killer who terrorized the city during the 1970s. A letter sent last week to The Wichita Eagle contained information on a 1986 killing and included photos that appeared to be of the victim's body. Police are examining the letter for DNA and other evidence.

"The photographs appear to be authentic," said Lt. Ken Landwehr, who has been working the BTK case for 20 years. "I'm 100 percent sure it's BTK."

More than two decades ago, the BTK Strangler claimed responsibility for seven slayings between 1974 and 1979; six victims were strangled, one was stabbed to death. Four were members of one family two children and their parents.

In his letters claiming responsibility for the murders, the killer used the initials "BTK" to refer to "bind, torture and kill." The claims were sent to the Eagle and TV station KAKE, the last one in 1979.

On March 19, the Eagle received a letter that contained a photocopy of the driver's license of Vicki Wegerle, 28, who was strangled in her home in 1986. Three pictures showed the victim's body in various poses.

Until now, there was no suspicion that the slaying was the work of the BTK Strangler.

More BTK Forensic Information-
The killer's voice was captured on tape when he called a dispatcher from a downtown Wichita payphone on Dec. 8, 1977. The call took place shortly after 8:00, about 8:20, the individual said: "there's a homicide at 843 S. Pershing" and hangs up the phone.

Police rush to the payphone where the call is made and to the address where a body is, indeed, found. Police found 25-year-old Nancy Fox strangled and bound -- the seventh victim.

Back at the payphone, a nearby fireman got a glimpse of the killer, but it is too vague. The killing would end there but not the question of "why." It has been reported that authorities have fingerprint, semen, and tape recording (911 call) evidenice of the killer. The confounding thing is that this case seems to have a wealth of evidence, but no good leads.

Related Links:
Letter From 1970s Serial Killer Surfaces In Wichita
Families reminded of loss BTK caused
Letter's route from Eagle to police
Letter's address a vacant unit
Police hoping DNA puts them on BTK's trail

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