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Monday, April 12, 2004

BTK Update

BTK Strangler
Every day that goes by without a break in the BTK (Bind, Torture, & Kill) Strangler investigation is a day the killer gets further from justice. The Wichita Police are no closer to solving this case than they were when they received the killer's March 19th letter. Any book about the BTK Strangler will have to document the numerous ways the Wichita Police bungled this case. Every time you read stories about this case you end up shaking your head in disbelief at the police failures.

For example it is surprising that the Wichita Police waited over twenty-one months until August 15, 1979 to release the killer's voice recording made on a 911 call. A recording they had since December 9, 1977. The news reports from that period said they were "enhancing" the audio quality of the recording. So we end up with almost two years of foot dragging and no real sense of urgency.

Why haven't the police released all of the transcripts of the killer's communiqués? Why are they withholding any of this information in this twilight stage of the investigation. This case was already in the dustbin of history until the killer decided to make a small encore. Releasing the Unabomber's communiqués to the public is what finally caught him after years of hiding. Someone turning in a tip on the BTK Strangler by recognizing something he wrote, or the way he turned a phrase, might be the only way he will ever be caught.

The Denver Post reports:
"A local lawyer writing a book about the killer says BTK includes an element in his communications, not known to the public, that police recognize."

The Wichita attorney, Robert Beattie, who is working on a book about BTK should furnish us with more details than the police have been willing to release.

So this past weekend Wichita officials were trying to reassure the Women's International Bowling Congress which draws more than 42,000 people to Wichita between next week and July 6 not to worry about the BTK Serial Killer. So we have the BTK Strangler who has killed women and children in Wichita and the police are saying he will not dare touch a lady bowler. Ladies, please trust us Wichita P.D. will protect you. Thank you very much Wichita PD. For their own protection the lady bowlers should pack their own heat in their bowling bags when they visit Wichita. They should not depend on the Wichita Police for anything.

• In a related development, have the Wichita P.D. missed some of BTK's murders? The Wichita Eagle on Monday, April 12, 2004 reports:

A review of unsolved murder cases mentioned in The Wichita Eagle over the past three decades turned up 15 where a female over the age of 10 was killed under circumstances similar to BTK.

They all occurred after Jan. 15, 1974, the day BTK killed four members of the Joseph Otero family in their home at 803 N. Edgemoor.

Wichita lawyer Bob Beattie, who is working on a book about the BTK strangler, said he has questions about three cases in particular:

• Nov. 12, 1974: Sherry Baker, 23, a Wichita State University student.
• June 29, 1985: Linda Shawn Casey, 31, another WSU student.
• Nov. 12, 1999: Tina Frederick, 22, was found shot to death in her apartment at 888 S. Hydraulic, a few blocks from the home of Shirley Vian, one of BTK's known victims.

related links:
Wichita killer lay low for decades [Denver Post, Mar 31, 2004]
Wichita seeks to reassure visitors worried about BTK Strangler [AP, April 10, 2004]
Cold cases [Wichita Eagle, April 12, 2004]
BTK (Bind, Torture, & Kill) Strangler Info & Voice Recording [Latest Summary of Case Information]

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