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Friday, February 4, 2005

BTK Strangler Postcards & Victims Speak Out

ABC News reports:

On Thursday (Feb. 3rd), KAKE-TV received a postcard purportedly from BTK. Postmarked Feb. 2, it was the second message KAKE had received in a week. Last week, KAKE-TV received a postcard that had directions to a Post Toasties cereal box propped up against a sign on a rural road in Sedgwick County. The letters BTK were on the front of the cereal box.

The most recent postcard has the name Happ Kakemann and lists KAKE-TV's address as a return address. It also says, "Thank you for your quick response on #7 and 8. Thank [sic] to the news team for their efforts.

Last week's postcard had the name S. Killett and a return address of 803 N. Edgemoor — the home of BTK's first victims, the Otero family. The sender referred to the postcard as communication No. 8 and asked station officials whether they had received his seventh message. KAKE-TV said it only knew of six messages supposedly sent by BTK.

Wichita police asked KAKE not to report other details of the message from Thursday's postcard. They have sent it to the FBI for analysis.

Stephen Relford, who's mother, Shirley Vian, was a victim of the BTK in March 1977 has come forward to talk about his horrific ordeal. He and his two siblings just missed being BTK strangler victims themselves after a telephone call scared the killer into fleeing; thus saving their lives. This according to a later letter from BTK.

"Are your parents home?"

Little Steve Relford looked at the well-dressed man holding a briefcase who had knocked on the door, and, like almost any 5-year-old would have done in 1977, told him the truth.

The Wichita Eagle also reports of another women who was almost a victim of the BTK (Bind, Torture, Kill) Strangler instead of Shirley Vian:
On March 17, 1977, a man who would become known as the serial killer BTK knocked on a woman's door at 1243 S. Hydraulic.

The woman's name was Cheryl. She was single and lived there with her 5-year-old son.

A neighbor boy apparently saw the killer knock on her door. But Cheryl wasn't home.

To this day, Cheryl says, she wonders whether she could have been another BTK victim...

Cheryl, now 54 and living outside Kansas, spoke about the experience in interviews with The Eagle this week.

Because she could have been a BTK target, she asked that her last name and whereabouts not be revealed.

• Portion of Catherine Crier’s interview with Charlie Otero from Feb. 3, 2005. Four members of his family were murdered on Jan. 15, 1974 by the BTK Strangler:

I had just uh finished testing in school and came home and se… found my family murdered, tied up, tor… they had been tortured and killed. My mother and father were in their bedroom. Um I could sense and feel the terror and the fear that they had felt. I saw my mother as I had never seen anyone before not even on TV and uh it was pretty horrible. It was quite the life changing experience for me.

Steve Huff at The Darkside points out there is some suspicion that BTK may also have left a message on the CatchBTK.com website:
An interesting aspect to this is the following post left at Tom Voigt's catchbtk.com - linked in the killer's moniker above - on the message board Tom set aside for communication exclusively from BTK:

Posted on Thursday, February 03, 2005 - 1:33 pm:

"Tom, you should try to identify BTK. You definitley don't know whether BTK or RIAC, or 2, or Thomas Killman are actually BTK. Or better yet, whether BTK is about to take responsiblity for a 1993 killing. Better yet, you never know if I would come forth. But let me tell you, i'm not dead just yet."

If this is a message from BTK to Tom and catchbtk's readers, meant to be an addition to the message sent to KAKE, is it possible that the killer is referring to this 1993 murder, listed at Tom's site as a possible victim of BTK, but not confirmed?

links:
BTK Back: A Message To KAKE [KAKE-TV, Feb. 3, 2005]
New postcard may be from BTK [Wichita Eagle, Feb. 4, 2005]
Man Who Met BTK Serial Killer Speaks Out [ABC News, Feb. 4, 2005]
BTK survivor recounts mother's slaying [Wichita Eagle, Feb. 3, 2005]
Stephen Relford [KAKE, Feb. 3, 2005]
Neighbor wasn't home, missed BTK [Wichita Eagle, Feb. 4, 2005]

related:
Finding the BTK Strangler: The DMV Numbers Game [TJN, Jan. 30, 2005]
New Clues in the Wichita BTK Strangler Case [TJN, Jan. 26, 2005]
BTK (Bind, Torture, & Kill) Strangler Info [TJN]

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