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Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The BTK Strangler case update

Wichita BTK Strangler
The Wichita BTK (Bind-Torture-Kill) case has had a spurt of recent news stories. Amateur and professional BTK sleuths are stilling looking hard for any clues to identify the serial killer connected with eight unsolved homicides between 1974 and 1986. The self-named BTK reemerged in March of this year after disappearing for 18 years.

• The Wichita Eagle profiles Charlie Otero the son of Joseph and Julie Otero. Otero, 46, is nearing the end of a four-year sentence at Western New Mexico Correctional Facility in Grants, NM for aggravated battery in a domestic violence case.

Otero is the subject of intense interest because -- as many Wichitans could tell you -- four members of his family were killed by the BTK serial murderer 30 years ago...

In a recent interview with The Eagle, Otero said he regularly corresponds with six or seven people about the case. Most of them are regular participants in Internet discussion groups obsessed with the BTK case.

Reporters and filmmakers keep calling. "A lot of people want to tell his story," said Brian Reshetnik, deputy warden...

• The Wichita Eagle reports:
The Regional Forensic Science Center is poised to receive a second DNA analyzer to tackle what its director calls an "insane" number of new cases that need processing.

The Sedgwick County Commission is expected Wednesday to accept a federal grant in the amount of $84,742 to pay for the second analyzer. The new equipment should arrive and be working in four to six months.

"It's going absolutely insane in terms of the number of cases increasing," center director Tim Rohrig said Monday. "The number of exhibits are rising exponentially."

• KMBC-TV reports that a Wichita Police request to use DNA samples to exonerate officers working at time of murders has stirred up controversy:
Investigators looking for Wichita's most notorious serial killer are asking former Wichita police officers to provide samples of their DNA.

In a newsletter to retired police officers, lead detective Lt. Ken Landwehr said officials will use the samples to exonerate officers working during the time of the BTK murders. Specifically, Landwehr said investigators want to head off potential legal maneuvers once a suspect has been arrested...

One former police officer has balked at providing a DNA sample because he says it's an invasion of privacy -- not just his, but that of his family and generations of descendants.

• The Wichita Eagle on October 28th reported:
Workers at an office building just east of downtown say a suspicious package that may be from the Wichita serial killer BTK has given them an eerie feeling this week.

They say the package was found in a UPS drop box Friday night outside their office complex, the Omni Center, at 250 N. Kansas.

Police announced Tuesday that they "recently" obtained a letter possibly connected to the BTK investigation, and that it had been sent Monday (October 25th) to the FBI for verification.

After BTK's return, victims' son back in public eye [kansas.com, Nov 28, 2004]
DNA cases push forensic center to add analyzer [kansas.com, Nov 23, 2004]
Controversy Erupts Over Request For Police DNA In BTK Case [thekansascitychannel.com, Nov 22, 2004]
DNA of retired police sought in BTK probe [kansas.com, Nov 21, 2004]
Staff: BTK likely used UPS drop [kansas.com, Oct 28, 2004]
New letter might be from BTK, police say [kansas.com, Oct 27, 2004]

related:
Wichita BTK Information Summary

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