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Thursday, April 22, 2004

Is the BTK Strangler lurking on the Internet?

BTK (Bind-Torture-Kill) Strangler Investation
Is the BTK strangler a regular reader of The Johnsville News? Has he posted a link to our site on an BTK Internet message board? Have we linked to one of his posts? Since March 26th, we have written a dozen stories about the Wichita or BTK (bind, torture, & kill) Strangler and the manhunt to find this sicko. It's very possible he likes to read what others are saying about him and use that to inflate his pathetically sick ego. This was a killer who wanted press attention back in the '70's while he was piling up bodies. His written communiqu├ęs show that this killer has an appetite for media coverage.

For example, the killer sent a letter to KAKE TV, Channel 10, in Wichita on February 10, 1978. Attached to the letter was a drawing of the Nancy Fox murder scene that almost exactly matched the crime scene photos. The letter said, in part:

I find the newspaper not writing about the poem on (Shirley) Vian unamusing. A little paragraph would have enough. I know it not the news media fault. The Police Chief he keep things quiet?

How many do I have to kill, before I get my name in the paper or some national attention?


• Former FBI profiler of serial killers, Gregg McCrary, who operates a criminology consulting business in Virginia (www.criminalprofiler.com), makes these observations about the BTK Strangler:

It's as if BTK is saying: "'Look at what I've done.' He can't resist doing that." For many serial killers, communicating with and taunting the media and law enforcement and frightening the public is like "playing God. It's a heady, intoxicating experience" for them, McCrary said.

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.


• Given this proclivity then it is not surprising that this story broke yesterday at the Wichita Eagle:

Subpoena seeks info from BTK Net forum

Investigators want to know the identities of six users of The Eagle's online discussion on the serial killer...

Eagle managing editor Sherry Chisenhall said information about the six message posters would be provided to investigators. She said the terms of use of the discussion board includes a provision that says Knight Ridder Digital reserves the right to disclose any information "necessary to satisfy the law, regulation or government request."

Chisenhall said The Eagle is not publishing the six screen names because of concerns that publication could hurt the police investigation or possibly falsely identify someone as a BTK suspect.

The Eagle's BTK message board was started last month after the newspaper received a letter from the serial killer, who had earlier claimed responsibility for seven murders in Wichita in the 1970s...

Anyone with Internet access can view the discussion board at www.kansas.com, The Eagle's Web site.

In order to post messages, however, a person must first register by providing a name and an e-mail address, and by creating a user name and a password. Most of those who post do so under user names that disguise their identities.


One of the posters on the message board: "breathtaking" speculated that they might be one of the suspicious six because they have the letters B-T-K in their user name.

A direct link to the Kansas.com BTK message board is here. The other main message board that has thousands of posts, theories, stories, etc regarding the BTK strangler is here at ezboard.com.

Full disclosure: The Johnsville News has linked to "interesting" BTK posts on both message boards and anonymous posters on both boards have linked back to us.

Interestingly, one of the discussion treads on ezboard was speculation about this very issue, that is: "BTK Net Saavy?" No reports yet if ezboard was subpoenaed.

As much as we can hope this "internet strategy" works we have our doubts. The Wichita Police are grasping at straws with this and the investigation must be seriously stalled-surprise. If the BTK strangler is surfing the web we assume he's just a lurker and not a poster. He sure hasn't said anything to us.

related links:
BTK (Bind, Torture, & Kill) Strangler Info & Voice Recording [Consolidated BTK information]

Subpoena seeks info from BTK Net forum [Wichita Eagle, April 22, 2004, by Hurst Laviana]
Authorities seek information on 6 people using BTK message board [Wichita Eagle, April 21, 2004]
Profiler: Killer has urge to flaunt crimes [Wichita Eagle, March 25, 2004]

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