Friday, April 2, 2004

BTK (Bind, Torture, & Kill) Strangler Info & Voice Recording

last updated: April 2, 2005

Otero Crime Scene Sketch

Otero crime scene layout sketch
BTK/Otero crime scene sketchesBTK / Otero crime scene drawings
photo of knots used by BTK serial killerVenetian blind cord and knots used by BTk to bind Oteros

Otero Family House
Victim being removed from the home of the Joseph Otero family
after four family members were killed Jan. 15, 1974, in Wichita


BTK's March 19, 2004 Letter
Image of BTK's March 19th, 2004 envelope mailed
to the Wichita Eagle on March 17th

Background about the March 19, 2004 letter:

Excerpts from the Wichita Eagle. The March 19th letter is the first communication from BTK since June 1979.
A serial killer who terrorized Wichita during the 1970s by committing a series of seven murders has claimed responsibility for an eighth slaying and is probably now living in Wichita, police said Wednesday.

A letter The Wichita Eagle received Friday suggests that the BTK strangler was responsible for the Sept. 16, 1986, strangulation death of Vicki Wegerle, who was found dead in her home at 2404 W. 13th St. The crime was never solved.

The letter contained a single sheet of paper with a photocopy of Wegerle's driver's license and three pictures that apparently were taken of her body. Each picture shows the victim in a slightly different pose and with her clothing arranged in a slightly different manner.

The letter was postmarked from Wichita on March 17...
BTK's message came with the day's normal mail delivery and was given to a reporter, who took it to City Hall.
The BTK letter that was made public Thursday by The Wichita Eagle arrived in the paper's mail room on the morning of March 19, where a clerk opened it, looked at its contents, then placed it in a plastic bin headed for the newsroom.

Glenda Elliott, who reads and routes general newsroom mail, saw the contents of the envelope and passed it on to Tim Rogers, an assistant managing editor. Rogers handed the letter to reporter Hurst Laviana and asked him to make copies of the letter and give the original to the police so they could check it out.

The Eagle receives hundreds of pieces of mail a day, and letters with bizarre contents are not uncommon.

Laviana, who was leaving for a meeting at police headquarters, photocopied the letter and the envelope, then took the letter to City Hall.

After a daily 10 a.m. police briefing, he gave the letter to police spokeswoman Janet Johnson and Capt. Darrell Haynes.

After returning to the newsroom, Laviana looked closely at the page and noticed that the driver's license belonged to Vicki Wegerle, a name he recognized as a homicide victim from the 1980s.

He also noticed that the clothing in three pictures of what appeared to be a dead woman's body was arranged in a slightly different manner in each photograph. These did not appear to be crime-scene photographs...
Wichita Eagle reporter tells KWCH about BTK letter:
In September of 1986, Bill Wegerle came home from work and found his 28 year-old wife, Vicki, strangled on their bedroom floor. The couples 2 year-old son was home. Their 10 year-old daughter was in school when the murder happened. At the time, investigators had no solid leads on the killer and the case was never publicly linked to the BTK killings.

One letter to the Wichita Eagle 18 years later changes that.

“I think the family always in the back of their minds thought it was BTK but as far as I know, police never fixed on him as a suspect until today,” said Wichita Eagle reporter Hurst Laviana.

Laviana received the letter last Friday. The return address on the envelope gives the name “Bill Thomas Killman.” Take the first letter of each name and it spells B-T-K. Laviana says the rest of the return address doesn’t exist. The letter is postmarked from Wichita but Laviana says what’s most disturbing are the pictures inside. There are no words on the single piece of paper, only pictures. There are three photocopied photos of a woman lying on a bed. The paper also contained a photocopy of Vicki Wegerle’s driver’s license.

“The clothing in each of the pictures was arranged a bit differently,” said Laviana. “So you could tell it wasn't a standard crime scene photograph where the person was moving around taking pictures from different angles. Whoever took these photographs was actually moving the clothing around while taking these pictures. It looked like she was dead in these photographs.”

The photos are of Vicki Wegerle. The sender included a copy of her driver’s license as proof. Laviana says the family told him that was the only thing missing when she was murdered...
MSNBC-Dan Abrams Interview with Hurst Laviana of The Wichita Eagle regarding the BTK March 19, 2004 letter and case:
ABRAMS: And how—and now the police are—why are the police so convinced that this actually is from this killer?

LAVIANA: The police won‘t say exactly why they‘re sure. There‘s something about this letter that they‘re not releasing to the public that tells them that it is in fact from the same person who mailed the earlier letters from BTK back in the 1970‘s.
Letter's address was a vacant unit - Residents of the apartment complex BTK used as a return address are on heightened alert.
One of the mysteries surrounding BTK's latest communication is the return address on his letter: 1684 S. Old Manor -- or "Oldmanor," as he typed it.

But for the families who live at Parkwood Village apartments, which includes the vacant unit at 1684, BTK's use of that address is not only mysterious; it is frighteningly close to home.

"I'm just dumbfounded on why he used that address. It's got everybody around her shooken up," said Abby Tietsort, an apartment manager...
  • Letter is addressed to the Wichita Eagle and Beacon Publishing Company, Inc. However, it is now The Wichita Eagle, Knight Ridder, Inc.
  • The correct return address street name is "Old Manor."
  • Letter was mailed on the 27th anniversary of Shirley Vian murder (Mar. 17, 1977).
Vicki Wegerle's driver's license
Vicki Wegerle's Driver's License

The BTK's March 19th letter contained a single sheet of paper with no words on the single piece of paper, only pictures. There are three photocopied photos of a woman lying on a bed. Her clothing was in different positions in the three photos. The paper also contained a photocopy of Vicki Wegerle's driver's license. A code was also included with the letter it was revealed in March 2005.

photo of code used by BTKcode used by BTK in March 19, 2004 letter

The Victims

Medics remove Wegerle's body Vicki Wegerle
Vicki Wegerle
Age: 28
Date: Sept. 16, 1986 (Tuesday)
Time: between 10:15 a.m and 10:30 a.m.
Address: 2404 W. 13th St, Wichita
Cause of death: Strangulation
Binding: Unknown to public (bound at ankles and wrists)
Location of Body: Face down on bedroom floor
Phone line: Uncut
Semen at scene: Unknown
Sexual Assault: No sign of penetration
Entry: Unknown
Notes: The family car (1978 gold Monte Carlo) is found two blocks away in the 1300 block of North Edwards at 12:10 p.m. A young girl, age 11, sees the killer leave the car. Police did not attribute this murder to the BTK strangler. The Wichita Police considered Bill Wegerle, Vicki's husband, a suspect for 18 years, until the BTK March 2004 letter, according to Bill's sister, Glenda Wegerle.
  • Wegerle's 2-year-old son, who was home at the time of the killing, is not harmed. The couple's 10 year-old daughter was in school when the murder happened.
  • She was a homemaker whose numerous activities in the community included baby-sitting at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church.
  • Wegerle's husband worked in property maintenance.

Map of where Wegerle car was found after murderMap of where Wegerle car was found.

Photo of Wegerle house frontfront of Wegerle house

Joseph OteroJulie Otero
Joseph and Julie Otero
Ages: 38 & 34
Children: Josephine, 11, and Joseph II, 9 also murdered
Date: Jan. 15, 1974 (Tuesday)
Time: sometime between 8:15 a.m and 8:45 a.m.
Address: 803 N. Edgemoor, Wichita

- Joseph Otero
Cause of death: Strangulation
Binding: Venetian Blinds Cord. Bound at wrists and ankles, but not gagged. Son, Charlie, removed a belt from around his neck.
Location of Body: Bedroom

- Julie Otero
Cause of Death: Strangulation
Binding: Venetian Blinds Cord. She was struck, bound and gagged. There were bruises on her cheeks.
Location of Body: Bedroom, lying across bed.

- Josephine Otero
Cause of Death: Strangulation
Binding: Venetian Blinds Cord, bound at wrists and ankles.
Location of Body: Found hanging by her neck from a pipe in the basement. She was partially nude.

- Joseph Otero II
Cause of Death: Strangulation
Bags on victim: Three bags were found on victim's head, resembling a hood or hoods. WPD was not able to trace the bags to a manufacturer anywhere in the world.
Binding: Venetian Blinds Cord, bound at wrists and ankles.
Location of Body: Bedroom

Phone line: Cut
Semen at scene: Yes - semen left near each of the bodies
Entry: Unknown

Otero House
Otero House

• More Otero Crime Photos: Otero House front entrance, front #2, front+north side with phone line, north side - kitchen/dining room window & phone line, phone line close-up, south side, south side #2-master bedroom & corner bedroom windows, backyard, Dillons Parking Lot-aerial view-where Otero car was abandoned, 1974 photo of Dillons parking lot, Otero Family car

Map of Otero Residence in relationship to Dillions

Description from Wichita Eagle January 17, 1974:
"A late bulletin from police Wednesday said a white male, about 5-feet-10 to 6 feet, slender build, wearing a dark topcoat or trench coat with dark shaggy hair cut below his ears was observed in front of the Otero residence at 8:45 a.m. Tuesday. He was not wearing a hat, according to Hannon, and was dark complexioned. He is believed to be of foreign extraction."

Description from Wichita Eagle January 17, 1974, different witness:
"dark complexioned man wearing a rumpled hat was seen by a witness leaving the home in the Otero family car at 10:35 a.m., creating a 90-minute gap between the time the family was dead and when the suspect was seen leaving." The witness, a man on his way to take his mother to a doctor's appointment on Jan. 15, 1974, stopped to let a white station wagon back out of the driveway of the Otero house.

  • BTK took Joseph Otero's watch as a souvenir reminder of his heinous deed (mentioned this fact in his Oct-74 letter). Something he is reported to have done after every murder.
  • Julie Otero (brown belt in judo) had a broken cheekbone.
  • One other victim had bruises on their cheeks and the other two had bruises around their eyes
  • The Otero's family car, a 1966 beige Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser station wagon, is driven to the Dillons store parking lot at Oliver and Central and found around 7:00 p.m.
  • The knots used to bind the victims' hands and feet appeared to be tied by an expert.
  • Joseph worked as an flight instructor/mechanic at Rose Hill Airport.
  • Joseph had retired from the Air Force in Sept. 1973. Otero had entered the Air Force May 28, 1952, and had at one time been stationed in Wichita with the 384th flying wing. He had a break in service in 1956. He left the service Aug. 31, 1973, while stationed in the Panama Canal Zone.
  • The family had moved to Wichita 4 months prior to murders.
  • The parents are from Puerto Rico.
  • Oteros' other children -- Charlie, 15, Danny, 14, and Carmen 13 -- were at Robinson Junior High School. Photo map of route to and from school.
  • Police confiscated the family's photographs and pictures of Joseph Jr. and Josephine Otero were not released until March 2005. [photo Josephine, photo Joseph Jr.]
  • Former Police Chief Richard LaMunyon (1976-1989) interview provides more information [CNN, 5-Apr-04]
  • Description of Otero's neighborhood and Dillons circa 1970's.
Ms. Pat Brown's profile of BTK provides some additional (possibly inside) information regarding the Otero murders:
BTK refers to Joseph Otero, Sr twice as Joe in his (later) letter indicating he either knew him before the murder or was close to the investigation afterwards. He is also aware that Joe Otero has a rib injury from a car accident a few weeks earlier. Again, he either learned this from contact with Joe Otero or from subsequent talk by investigators. As there is also evidence from the letter that refers to something that occurred at the scene AFTER he left, this would lead one to believe BTK had close contact with law enforcement, the Oteros, or news media.

Kathryn Bright
Kathryn Bright
Age: 21
Date: April 4, 1974 (Thursday)
Time: before 2 p.m.
Address: 3217 E. 13th St., Wichita
Cause of death: Knife wounds, stabbed 3 times in the abdomen. She was bound and partially undressed. There was obvious ligature marks around her neck.
Binding: Cord or rope
Phone line: Not reported
Semen at scene: No
Sexual Assault: No sign of penetration
Location of Body: Tied to a chair and unconscious on her living room floor. She was partially undressed.
Entry: Broken window on back door
Description (by Kevin Bright) from Wichita Beacon April 4, 1974:
"The suspect is described as a white male, 5 foot 10 inches of stocky build, with dark brown or black hair and a black mustache that reaches to the corners of his mouth."

Notes: Kathryn and her brother, Kevin (age 19), entered her apartment and were confronted by a man with a gun. He forced Kevin to tie Kathryn up, then forced Kevin to another room. When he began to pull cord around Kevin’s neck, Kevin struggled. Kevin managed to grab the killers gun, and attempted to fire it twice into the attacker’s stomach. When the gun failed to fire, the killer took it back and shot Kevin twice in the face (.22 cal). Leaving Kevin for dead, the killer went back into the room with Kathryn. Kevin escaped and flagged down a car for help. One occupant of the car drove Kevin to the emergency room while the other called the police. Kathryn was pronounced dead around 7:00 p.m. Kathryn Bright and Julie Otero worked on the same assembly line at Coleman (camping gear). Coleman's main plant is at 3600 N. Hydraulic and there is a smaller plant at 5605 N. 119th Street.
  • Before the BTK strangler shot Kevin Bright, BTK asked him, "Haven't I seen you at the University?" (Bright interview). Bright describes BTK as around 25- or 30-years-old and possibly had dark eyes, they were hard to see, because he had a black stocking cap almost covering his eyes. He wore a camouflage jacket and possibly a silver watch.
  • BTK has not publically claimed responsibility for the Bright murder.
  • Kevin Bright was hypnotized in a search for new clues.
  • Since two victims: Katherine Bright and Julie Otero both worked on the same assembly line at Coleman Company-police took Kevin Bright to Coleman several times to sit outside the plant to see if he recognized anyone. It is unclear exactly when this was done-police reportedly did not link the BTK strangler to the Bright murder until around Feb 12, 1978. Picture of old Coleman building.

The body of Shirley Vian, believed to be a BTK victim, is carried from her house in 1977 Shirley Vian
Shirley Vian
Date: March 17, 1977 (Thursday)
Time: 11:45 a.m.
Address: 1311 S. Hydraulic, Wichita
Cause of death: Strangulation
Binding: Venetian Blinds Cord. Her hands and feet were bound, with cord looped tightly around her neck and a plastic bag was draped over her head. The bindings ran from her neck to her ankles and her hands were taped behind her back.
Location of body: bedroom, nude, face down, on bed.
Phone line: Not reported
Semen at scene: Yes
Sexual Assault: No sign of penetration
Entry: Knocked on front door. The Vian children answered the door to a man with a gun and a small bag. All three children, ages 4, 5 and 8, were locked in a closet, but they managed to escape and call police.

Description from Wichita Eagle March 18, 1977:
"described by the children as a paunchy, heavily built white man in his late 30's or early 40's, with dark hair."
  • Vian's children were not physically harmed. BTK said in a letter they were saved by the telephone ringing.
  • Two money orders were taken.
  • Vian's husband, Richard Vian, worked in construction.
  • Raymond Hartley, a crime scene investigator, is the man with a wrinkled brow, long sideburns and a checkered polyester suit helping wheel Vian's covered body out on a gurney (in above photo). His perspective on the case as told to The Wichita Eagle (Dec. 19, 2004): Investigator in BTK case says physical evidence key.
  • Vian's five-year-old son, Stephen Relford, now 34, did an interview on Feb. 3, 2005 regarding the murder of his mother. KAKE-TV interview with Susan Peters. ["Relford still haunted",, Mar. 1, 2005, with photo]
  • BTK approached, Stephen Relford on the street 10 minutes prior to entering their house. He showed him a picture of a woman and her young child and asked if he knew them. Relford replied: 'No, sir.' BTK then went to a neighbor's house and Relford went home. A few minutes later, there was a knock at the door-it was BTK. Relford learned about six years later, that the photo was of him and his mother, when he saw the same photo in his grandparents' home.
  • Some of Vian's fingers are broken.
  • Neighbor wasn't home, missed BTK.
  • A poem about Vian that was patterned after a "Curley Locks" nursery rhyme was mailed to the Wichita Eagle on January 31, 1978.
Pictures-Vian house: front exterior, front #2, living room, kitchen, bedroom, rear of house from alley, down alley behind house, aerial view. 2nd picture of Shirley Vian.

Nancy Fox
Nancy Fox
Age: 25
Date: Dec. 8, 1977 (Thursday)
Time: shortly after 9:00 p.m.
Address: 843 S. Pershing, Wichita
Cause of death: Strangulation
Binding: Nylon stockings. A pair of her own stockings were twisted around her neck.
Location of Body: Bedroom of duplex. Fox was found partially clothed, lying face down on the bed with her hands and feet bound with nylon stockings. Other reports have her being fully clothed.
Phone line: Cut and phone inside was also off the hook.
Semen at scene: Yes
Sexual Assault: No sign of penetration
Entry: Broken back window
Notes: Killer calls at 8:20 the next morning from a pay phone at Central and St. Francis to report this murder. His voice is recorded and replayed on Wichita media outlets on August 15, 1979. He also took her driver's license as his "souvenir." Fox was a full-time secretary for a construction company (The Law Company, Inc.) and worked part time at nights for Helzberg's Jewelers at the old Wichita Mall on East Harry St. The killer mails a poem about Fox, "Oh Death to Nancy." It was patterned after a poem called "Oh Death" that was published in a textbook used in a Wichita State University American folklore class.
  • Her license was taken. Returned by BTK in package on Dec. 14, 2005.
  • A necklace belonging to Nancy Fox could not be accounted for after her murder. The necklace in question is described as a gold chain with two pearls that were set vertically. Police believe that the necklace could possibly be one of the items taken by BTK from the crime scene. Photo of Fox wearing necklace.
  • Police also believe it is possible that BTK may have given the necklace to a woman he was dating at the time.
  • BTK left a pair of glasses lying upside down on her dresser along with numerous items. BTK sent a sketch of the crime scene with only the pair of glasses displayed.
  • Subliminal message aired by KAKE-TV in 1978 showed an image of glasses turned upside down.
  • Fox had lived in the duplex for about two years. The other apartment in the duplex was vacant.
Pictures-Fox house: front #1, front #2, rear #1, rear #2, entry window, south side, aerial view

Hear Recording (mp3) of BTK strangler's 911 call at 8:20 a.m. December 9th 1977
Operator #1: "Dispatcher"
BTK: "Yes. You will find a homicide at 843 South Pershing. Nancy Fox."

Operator #1: I'm sorry sir I can't understand you. What is the address?
Operator #2: I believe 843 South Pershing...

BTK: "That is correct"
  • Second sample of BTK 911 voice recording: BTK_e3.mp3 [enhanced version]
  • Was the BTK 911 recording edited for the public? There is some initial speculation that BTK really said more in the time interval between the two operators.
  • The BTK Strangler left the phone off the hook and walked away. A fireman who stopped to use the same pay phone saw that it was in use, went inside a store to get change, and saw the phone dangling by its cord when he came back out. He told authorities the man who was using the phone when he pulled up was a 6-foot-tall, blonde-haired man dressed in a gray industrial uniform and a hat with ear flaps. He may have been driving a late model van that had writing -- possibly advertising -- on its side. The son of the fireman provided some details in a letter.
Description from Wichita Eagle February 11, 1978 (Fireman's description of 911 caller):
A witness later told police that he has seen the caller.

According to Thimmesch, the witness said the caller was a white male, about 6 feet tall and had blondish hair.

Thimmesch said the witness told police the caller was wearing a "blue-gray industrial-type uniform or outfit and possibly a hat which had ear-flaps."

Thimmesch said the caller apparently was driving a "late-model van, probably not over two or three years old, which may have has some type of writing, possibly advertising. on the side of it." He said the van did not have windows.

pay phone at Central and St. Francis used by BTK on Dec. 9, 1977pay phone at Central and St. Francis used by BTK on Dec. 9, 1977

Description from witness not interviewed by police. Man at Ralph Reynolds car lot across the street:
My grandfather back in 1977 was sitting in a car lot office, one of those little tiny buildings right on the small car lot. It sat on central right catty corner from the store where BTK phoned in the murder of Nancy Fox. On this particular day the street was quiet.The older men who met at Ralph Reynolds car lot passed the day by talking about the good ol day, watching people walk by and just keeping each other company. This particular day they were watching a man make a phone call at the pay phone at the store across the street. They watched him walk up and paid particular attention as he was the only person they had seen near the area. They noted him making a phone call and walking away. Grandpa described him as middle ages, 30-40's, a hefty guy, not fat but not little, maybe a little overweight. The rest of the description is lost in memory over the long period of time that has passed. Grandpa shared this with me, and I realized they were talking about the BTK. Grandpa said after the man left, the place was covered with police officers. Grandpa said that the man is the only one he and his friends had seen there. He knew the police were after this man because of all the police that came after he left the pay phones and there had been no other person around. Grandpa refused to tell the police as he did not trust police. Grandpa was from a gangster era, he knew Bonnie and Clyde, hung out with Pretty Boy Floyd...he said "if this is true, how do you know its not a police officer"? I went ahead and called the police and gave them a description that he gave me of this man. The police, Grandpa said never talked to any of them.
Home Invasion/Intended Victim - April 28, 1979 (Saturday)
The killer waits inside a home, but leaves before the single 63-year-old woman, Anna Williams, who lives there returns.

BTK cut the phone line and entered the home through a basement window sometime between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. He got tired of waiting for her and left, taking about $35 in cash and some clothing and jewelry. Anna came home late from a dance. She called police and reported what she thought was a simply burglary.

Anna lived at 615 South Pinecrest, just blocks from the site of both the Nancy Fox murder sixteen months before and the Otero crime scene of over five years earlier.

BTK later sent her a package, arriving Friday, June 15, 1979. The package contained a poem (Oh, Anna Why Didn’t You Appear) and personal items from her home, letting her know he had been there. KAKE-TV received a similar package Saturday morning, June 16th. Each 8 ½ by 11-inch manila envelope was addressed in neatly printed block letters and contained a 19-line typewritten poem, a sketch (sexually graphic), an article of the woman's clothing (scarf), and an article of jewelry. These are the last written communiqu├ęs from BTK until March 19, 2004.

After the visit and packet from BTK Anna moved out of state.

"A female postal clerk happened to open a door and a man was standing there. He said 'put this in the KAKE box' and handed the envelope to her. She didn't think much about it.

"Later, she described him as about 30 years old, about 5 feet nine inches tall, white. He was wearing a blue jean jacket, jeans and gloves (in June!) He was clean shaven, with hair cropped short above the ears. He had a gap between his front teeth."
Strange coincidence: Anna Williams was also the name of a victim of America's first infamous serial killer, Dr. HH Holmes (Herman W. Mudgett aka Dr. Henry H. Holmes, Dr. Death). BTK cited "Dr. H.H. Holmes" in his February 10, 1978 letter. Holmes was also known as the "The Torture Doctor."

Williams house: aerial view/map, photo of house.
The Luckiest Woman In Wichita [America's Most Wanted, Aug 27, 2004]

  • Tracking BTK Map: murders and communications (.pdf) [Wichita Eagle, Feb. 26, 2005]

  • BTK Map/Timeline (.pdf) [Wichita Eagle, 2004]

  • Other Maps:
    1. Known murders and home invasion locations
    2. Unsolved murders with similar MO
    3. Known and unsolved with similar MO
    4. Aerial photo-map of the Otero neighborhood. Local landmarks: The Bridal & Saddle, Bruce Farm, Edgemoor Armory across street (photo), Edgemoor Park (photo), and Dillons are shown.
    5. Location of BTK message #8 and unsolved murders (Davis, Hedge, Mould) north of Wichita.
    • All eight confirmed victims (five crime scenes) had the number 3 in their address.
    • All lived in older homes from the 1940s or ’50s.

    Police Sketches
    -of what BTK might look like according to eyewitnesses:
    • Sketch #1 was done after the Kathryn Bright murder, description given by her brother, Kevin Bright. "Suspect described as a white male, 5 foot 10 inches, of stocky build with dark brown or black hair and a black moustache." 4-23-74. Might be the best of all sketches/descriptions.

    newspaper image of BTK sketch based on Kevin Bright descriptionnewspaper image of BTK sketch based on Kevin Bright description
    • Sketch #2 was done in reference to the Otero murders. "A late bulletin from police Wednesday said a white male about 5-feet-10 to 6 feet, slender build wearing a dark top coat or trench coat with dark shaggy hair cut below his ears was observed in front of the Otero residence at 8:45 a.m. Tuesday. He was not wearing a hat according to Chief Hannon, and was dark-complexioned. He is believed to be of foreign extraction." 1-17-74. Copy of sketch from old newspaper. Sketch enhancement with color.
    • Sketch #3 is the so called "hitchhiker" sketch and it is generally considered to have a very weak connection to the case. Description as quoted from the Wichita Eagle January 10, 1978:
    The suspect described by the woman is 20 to 22 years old, 5-foot-5 to 5-foot-7 and about 130 pounds. He has dark brown, shoulder-length hair, a thin beard and minor acne.
    Wichita Eagle / 31-Mar-04:
    A KILLER'S FACE-Witnesses of 30 years ago failed to capture BTK's description

    Wichita Eagle / 28-Mar-04:
    Do you know BTK? He's smart, and he probably fits right in. From the clues he's left, the killer tells us about who he is.

    Jan. 15, 1974 -- Joseph and Julie Otero are strangled in their home at 803 N. Edgemoor along with two of their children, Josephine, 11, and Joseph II, 9. The family car is later found at the Dillons store at Central and Oliver.

    Original 1974 Wichita Eagle stories:
    Four in Wichita family found slain at home [16-Jan-74]
    Victims' children return home; clues sought [Jan-74]
    Police baffled on motive in mass killing [17-Jan-74]

    April 4, 1974 -- Kathryn Bright, 21, is found stabbed to death in her home at 3217 E. 13th St. Police later conclude she was a BTK victim. (As of February 12, 1978 the police still had not confirmed the BTK connection)

    October 1974 -- The Wichita Eagle-Beacon receives a letter from a person claiming to have killed the Oteros. The letter included details of the crime scene that only the killer could have known.

    March 17, 1977 -- Shirley Vian, 24, is found tied up and strangled in her house at 1311 S. Hydraulic.

    Dec. 8, 1977 -- Nancy Fox, 25, is tied up and strangled in her home at 843 S. Pershing. BTK's voice is captured on tape when he calls a dispatcher at 8:20 am the morning of December 9th to report the homicide.

    Jan. 31, 1978 -- A poem written with a child's printing set on an index card arrives at The Wichita Eagle-Beacon. The poem, which is patterned after a "Curley Locks" nursery rhyme, refers to the Vian homicide.

    Feb. 10, 1978 -- A letter from BTK arrives at KAKE-TV claiming responsibility for the deaths of Vian and Fox, as well as another unnamed victim. At a hastily arranged news conference, Police Chief Richard LaMunyon announces that a serial killer is at large and has threatened to strike again.

    Original 1978 Wichita Eagle stories:
    'BTK' made first contact through newspaper in '74 [11-Feb-78]
    Shirley Vian: Mother killed March 17, 1977 [11-Feb-78]
    City's 'BTK Strangler' claims he's killed 7 [11-Feb-78]
    Nancy Fox: Found slain Dec. 9, 1977 [11-Feb-78]
    Was girl 7th victim? Police seek connection [12-Feb-78]

    April 28, 1979 -- The killer waits inside a home at 615 South Pinecrest, but leaves before 63-year-old, Anna Williams, the homeowner returns. Police think the killer might actually have been watching and targeting Anna's granddaughter

    June 15, 1979 -- BTK mails Anna Williams an 8 ½ by 11-inch manila envelope that was addressed in neatly printed block letters and contained a 19-line typewritten poem, a sketch, an article of the woman's clothing and an article of jewelry. A similar package is received by KAKE-TV on the morning of June 16th.

    BTK is back; intended victim gets poem [17-Jun-79]

    Aug. 15, 1979 -- Wichitans listen to repeated radio and television broadcasts of the voice of the BTK strangler from the 1977 phone call. Police receive 110 tips during the first day the broadcasts air.

    Tape of BTK call aired; police are hoping for ID [15-Aug-79]

    1984 -- A new secret BTK investigation is opened by a group known as "The Ghostbusters," who spend three years employing new techniques including DNA testing, computer database searches and psychological profiles. The investigative unit was disbanded in 1987.

    Sept. 16, 1986 -- Vicki Wegerle, 28, is strangled in her home at 2404 W. 13th St. The family car is found two blocks away in the 1300 block of North Edwards.

    January 1988 -- Mary Fager, the wife of murder victim Phillip Fager receives a letter from a man claiming to be BTK. The letter talked about the killing of Fager and his two daughters, but the writer did not take credit for the killings. BTK experts disagree whether it actually was from BTK. A local contractor, William Thomas Butterworth, is tried and acquitted of the crime.

    Twenty years after first inspiring fear, BTK strangler inspires frustration [15-Jan-94]
    BTK case unsolved, 30 years later [17-Jan-04]

    March 19, 2004 -- A letter arrives at The Wichita Eagle containing a photocopy of Wegerle's driver's license and three pictures that apparently were taken by the killer. Relatives say the license was the only thing missing from Wegerle's home.

    March 25, 2004 -- The Wichita Police Department announces they are re-opening the BTK cold case as a full-time top priority investigation.

    Wichita Police Investigate Cold Case [Wichita Police Dept. press release, March 25, 2004]
    BTK resurfaces after 25 years [Wichita Eagle, March 25, 2004]
    Cold Case Investigation Continues [Wichita Police Dept., March 29, 2004]
    Police Ask for Help on Otero Homicides [Wichita Police Dept., April 2, 2004]
    Startup paper was first to tell public of BTK [Wichita Eagle, April 1, 2004]
    Police on BTK case take DNA [Wichita Eagle, April 2, 2004]
    Analysis of DNA won't go quickly [Wichita Eagle, April 6, 2004]
    Cold-case murders eyed for BTK link [Wichita Eagle, April 12, 2004]

    April 21, 2004 -- Investigators working on the BTK serial killer case subpoena Knight Ridder seeking information about six people who have posted messages on the Wichita Eagle Internet website that was started after the killer re-emerged.

    Subpoena seeks info from BTK Net forum [Wichita Eagle, April 22, 2004]
    DA comments on news article appearing in the Wichita Eagle [, April 22, 2004]
    Eagle responds to DA's comments [Wichita Eagle, April 23, 2004]

    May 5, 2004 -- A letter arrives at a local television station, KAKE. It is purportedly written by the BTK Strangler. The KAKE letter contained three pages. It was turned over to the FBI for further examination.

    FBI combs letter, seeks ties to BTK [Wichita Eagle, May 11, 2004]

    June 17, 2004 -- Police received a third letter from BTK. They say it contained writings about the Otero family murders.

    June 24, 2004 -- The FBI confirms that a letter received by KAKE-TV and turned over to the Wichita PD on Wednesday, May 5, is an authentic BTK communication.

    FBI confirms BTK letter [Wichita Police Dept. press release, June 24, 2004]
    'Monumental' surge floods BTK Web sites [The Wichita Eagle, June 25, 2004]
    2 more letters are from BTK, FBI says [The Wichita Eagle, June 25, 2004]

    July 9, 2004 -- NBC Dateline does BTK story: “Out of the Past”

    NBC BTK transcript (scroll down) []

    July 17, 2004 -- BTK left a letter (4th of year) in a drop box at the Wichita Public Library's main branch. Police say a worker there found the letter and called police.

    BTK again haunting library? [The Wichita Eagle, July 18, 2004]
    BTK still angers son of victims [The Wichita Eagle, July 19, 2004]
    BTK author: Parcel may be killer's [The Wichita Eagle, July 20, 2004]

    WPD/FBI Investigate suspicious letter [Wichita Police Dept. press release, July 22, 2004]
    Wichita Police Department news release about BTK [The Wichita Eagle, July 22, 2004]
    BTK letter prompts security warnings [The Wichita Eagle, July 23, 2004]

    Longshot odds dog police sifting through DNA data [The Wichita Eagle, Aug. 15, 2004]
    Search for BTK touches others [The Wichita Eagle, Aug. 15, 2004]

    August 20, 2004 -- The Wichita Police issue a press release saying the FBI confirmed a link between a BTK poem and a former WSU professor, Dr. P.J. Wyatt. She taught an English literature class at Wichita State University during the 1970s. Dr. Wyatt died in 1991.

    FBI confirms link between BTK poem and former college professor [Wichita Police Dept. press release, Aug. 20, 2004]
    Folklore teacher was loved by students [The Wichita Eagle, Aug. 21, 2004]
    DID YOU TAKE ANY OF THESE COURSES? [The Wichita Eagle, Aug. 21, 2004]
    Who was P.J. Wyatt? [The Wichita Eagle, Aug. 21, 2004]
    Police seek tips on BTK-professor link [The Wichita Eagle, Aug. 21, 2004]
    Song 'Oh, Death' dates back to the late 1920s and before [The Wichita Eagle, Aug. 21, 2004]
    Police believe poem to be an original [Wichita Police Dept. press release, Aug. 26, 2004]

    Death penalty unlikely for BTK [The Wichita Eagle, Sept. 5, 2004]
    Letters on BTK put WSU on alert [The Wichita Eagle, Sept. 9, 2004]
    Sweeps of DNA faulted [The Wichita Eagle, Sept. 11, 2004]
    In serial-killer class, BTK is off-limits [The Wichita Eagle, Sept. 14, 2004]

    Sept 2004 -- British clairvoyant, Dennis McKenzie, age 50 from Cambridge, England visits Wichita to film a documentary about himself and the search for BTK. He makes sketches of what BTK might look like: sketch 1, sketch 2, sketch 3.

    BTK case lures British clairvoyant [The Wichita Eagle, Sept. 29, 2004]

    October 21, 2004 -- BTK left a letter (5th of year) in the UPS drop box outside the Omni Center at 250 N. Kansas Street in Wichita. Police say it contained some biographical information on BTK.

    New letter might be from BTK, police say [The Wichita Eagle, Oct. 27, 2004]
    Staff: BTK likely used UPS drop [The Wichita Eagle, Oct. 28, 2004]

    DNA of retired police sought in BTK probe [The Wichita Eagle, Nov. 21, 2004]

    Nov. 30, 2004 -- 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.

    After BTK's return, victims' son back in public eye [The Wichita Eagle, Nov. 30, 2004]

    Nov. 30, 2004 -- The Wichita Police release significant new information about the purported background of the BTK serial killer.

    **BTK describes his background** [Wichita Police Dept. press release, Nov. 30, 2004]

    Briefing on BTK sparks speculation [The Wichita Eagle, Nov. 30, 2004]
    Police release details about BTK's past [The Wichita Eagle, Nov. 30, 2004]
    Killer's language raises doubts about his military background [The Wichita Eagle, Dec. 1, 2004]
    Mayor got first look at startling details [The Wichita Eagle, Dec. 1, 2004]
    Internet board's abuzz with news of information [The Wichita Eagle, Dec. 1, 2004]
    BTK delivers self-portrait [The Wichita Eagle, Dec. 1, 2004]
    BTK's background, as he describes it [The Wichita Eagle, Dec. 1, 2004]

    Dec. 1, 2004 -- Wichita Police arrest Roger Valadez on a minor trespassing charge at 7:30 pm and search his house in south Wichita. A couple of details about Mr. Valadez match the BTK description the police released Nov. 30th. Media and internet speculation runs wild that he is the BTK.

    Dec. 2, 2004 -- Wichita Police are frustrated over the media circus that now surrounds their every move in the BTK case. Police Chief Norman Williams holds a press conference and complains. He says: "When you look at the attention that we've gotten in regards to the media, it has taken away from our ability to focus on following up on different tips and leads."

    Verbatim transcript of Police Chief Norman Williams' remarks [The Wichita Eagle, Dec. 2, 2004]
    Police Appreciate Public’s Help [Wichita Police Dept. press release, Dec. 2, 2004]

    Dec. 2, 2004 -- the Tasheff family issued a statement saying that Petra Tasheff, known as "Tedde," in their family is not the same Petra mentioned by the BTK. The Tasheff family is of Bulgarian descent, not Hispanic, and has never lived near a railroad; and their Petra Tasheff has no younger sister.

    Family with names BTK mentioned denies any tie [The Wichita Eagle, Dec. 3, 2004]
    Son of arrested man says dad shouldn't be a BTK suspect [The Wichita Eagle, Dec. 3, 2004]
    BTK 'clues' breed theories [The Wichita Eagle, Dec. 3, 2004]
    Police: Arrest not tied to BTK [The Wichita Eagle, Dec. 3, 2004]
    Why Eagle editors chose to play story as they did [The Wichita Eagle, Dec. 3, 2004]
    National media zero in on Wichita after arrest (story background) [The Wichita Eagle, Dec. 3, 2004]
    Man cleared in BTK case [The Wichita Eagle, Dec. 5, 2004]
    BTK may have altered his routine, FBI says [The Wichita Eagle, Dec. 8, 2004]

    Dec. 11, 2004 -- The TV show America's Most Wanted airs a feature about the BTK Strangler.

    BTK, Phone Home []
    National Attention "America's Most Wanted" [KAKE-TV, Dec. 3, 2004]

    Dec. 14, 2004 -- A package from the BTK is found in a white plastic bag in Murdock Park, Wichita. The sixth BTK communique in 2004. The package reportedly contained an original driver's license that bore the name and photo of Nancy Fox, a BTK victim on Dec. 8, 1977. Also included: a list of chapters of a possible autobiographical book, "The BTK Story." The "book" chapters with some minor changes are the same as in a letter sent to KAKE-TV on May 5, 2004.

    Police Submit Package Contents to FBI [Wichita Police Dept. press release, Dec. 15, 2004]
    Park parcel may be from BTK [The Wichita Eagle, Dec. 15, 2004]
    Residents fearful after park search [The Wichita Eagle, Dec. 16, 2004]
    Friend believes license is Fox's [The Wichita Eagle, Dec. 16, 2004]

    Jan. 5, 2005 -- The Wichita Police believe that that the BTK strangler took a necklace belonging to Nancy Fox after he murdered her. The necklace in question is described as a gold chain with two pearls that were set vertically. Police also believe it is possible that BTK may have given the necklace to a woman he was dating at the time.

    Police ask for help in locating necklace
    [Wichita Police Dept. press release, Jan. 5, 2005]
    Missing jewelry may be BTK clue [Wichita Eagle, Jan. 6, 2005]
    Christians gather to pray for BTK's surrender [Wichita Eagle, Jan. 14, 2005]
    Statement from District Attorney Nola Foulston regarding BTK investigation [, Jan. 14, 2005]
    4,000 swabbed in BTK search [Wichita Eagle, Jan. 15, 2005]
    Chief reveals details in BTK probe [Wichita Eagle, Jan. 21, 2005]

    Jan. 25, 2005 -- Television station, KAKE-TV, and police are lured by a postcard to a BTK package - "Communication #: 8," left beside a dirt road north of the city. KAKE-TV found the package, a Post Toasties cereal box, propped up against a road sign and weighed down with a brick. It was located on North Seneca Street, a dirt road that runs between 69th and 77th Streets.

    Jan. 26, 2005 -- A BTK package (#7) is found at an undisclosed location.

    A new message from BTK? [Wichita Eagle, Jan. 26, 2005]
    Police Submit Package Contents to FBI [Wichita Police Dept. PR, Jan. 27, 2005]
    More BTK victims? [Wichita Eagle, Jan. 27, 2005]
    Police confirm finding 2nd item [Wichita Eagle, Jan. 28, 2005]
    BTK survivor [Vian murder] recounts mother's slaying [Wichita Eagle, Feb. 3, 2005]

    Feb. 3, 2005 -- A suspected BTK postcard was received by KAKE-TV. The card, postmarked Feb. 2, appeared similar to other recent communications possibly from the killer. Like a previous communication, it had a stamp of Carlsbad Caverns.

    BTK Back: A Message To KAKE [KAKE-TV, Feb. 3, 2005]
    Neighbor wasn't home, missed BTK [Wichita Eagle, Feb. 4, 2005]

    Feb. 16, 2005 -- KSAS, the Fox affiliate in Wichita receives a suspected BTK package. A card inside the envelope stated that the communication was the 11th from BTK.

    Station gets potential BTK package [Wichita Eagle, Feb. 17, 2005]
    FBI Confirms BTK Letters [WPD, Feb. 17, 2005]
    Police 'pleased' by ongoing dialogue with BTK [Wichita Eagle, Feb. 18, 2005]

    Feb. 25, 2005 -- Police take a "person of interest" into custody, he lives in Park City, Kansas near the intersection of I-135 and 61st Street North (on Indenpendence?). KAKE-TV reports the "person of interest" being questioned in connection with the BTK case is 59-years-old. Wichita State University records show he graduated in 1979 with a degree in Administration of Justice.

    Feb. 26, 2005 -- At a nationally televised press conference Wichita authorities announce that Dennis L. Rader was arrested for ten BTK serial killings between 1974 and 1991. The cold case Park City, Kansas, murders of Marine Hedge in April 1985 and Delores "Dee" Davis in January 1991 are now attributed to BTK/Rader.

    Police: BTK is arrested; Dennis Rader named as suspect in killings [Wichita Eagle, Feb. 26, 2005]
    Who is Dennis Rader? [Wichita Eagle, Feb. 26, 2005]
    Park City man held in 17-year killing spree [Wichita Eagle, Feb. 27, 2005]

    Cold Cases with possible BTK connection

    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, was found stabbed to death in her apartment at 603 New York. Her hands were tied behind her back with a coiled telephone cord, and she was stabbed with a pair of scissors. There was no sign of forced entry.

    Police have said a copy of a BTK letter came from a copy machine at the WSU Library.

    June 29, 1985: Linda Shawn Casey, 31, another WSU student, was found dead on the bedroom floor of her home at 356 N. Spruce. She had been bound, beaten, sexually assaulted and stabbed repeatedly.

    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. Frederick's clothed body was lying on a bedroom floor.

    List of Wichita Cold Cases with possible BTK connection.

    Possible BTK Victims []

    Cold case of interest after BTK left a package at Murdock park on Dec. 14, 2004:

    • Oct. 30, 1996 --Avanthea Williams, 20. Her body was found in an abandoned, boarded up apartment building scheduled for demolition at 10th and Minnesota (just a block north of Murdock Park) by a demolition crew. Her body was thought to have been in the building for at least two months.

    Murder cases of interest following BTK messages #7 and #8 found in rural Sedgwick County Jan. 25-26, 2004:

    • Park City homicide, April 27, 1985, Marine Hedge, 53, was abducted from her home at 6254 Independence in Park City. Her body was found eight days later along a dirt road near 143rd Street East and 37th Street North. Although her hands weren't tied, a knotted pair of pantyhose was found nearby. An autopsy showed that Hedge was strangled. More info.

    • Park City homicide, Jan. 19, 1991, Delores "Dee" Davis, 62, was abducted from her home a half-mile east of town. She was found 13 days later under a bridge in northern Sedgwick County on an unpaved stretch of 117th Street North near Meridian. An autopsy report said that Davis was strangled, and that her feet, hands and knees were bound with pantyhose. The killer cut her outside phone line, then threw a brick through a glass door at the rear of her home to get inside.

    Carol Mould, 43, was found dead Sept. 22, 2004 in her Benton home under suspicious circumstances.

    BTK Letters and Communiques (transcripts)

    From the Otero letter, October 1974. Eagle-Beacon Director of Community Affairs, Don Granger received an anonymous telephone call, telling him where the letter was. In an interview with Ken Stephens, a former Eagle reporter, Granger described the telephone call as follows:
    The caller did not identify himself as BTK. He said "Listen and listen good, I'm only gonna say this once," Granger said. He then said there was a letter about the Otero case in a book in the public library. He identified the book, possibly by number. Granger then called the police and they went and got it. Granger never saw or touched the letter. Granger recalls the voice as being "hard and aggressive." No accent. Definitely Midwestern U.S. Seemed to be 25 to 35, also seemed to be someone "who seemed to be used to giving orders. Not someone who wanted to give orders. Someone who was used to giving orders."
    The letter is found in a mechanical engineering textbook in the Wichita Public Library and later traced to a copier at Wichita State University. It is addressed to the Wichita Eagle and Beacon "Secret Witness Program." The poorly typed letter was full of grammatical errors and misspellings. The killer headed the Otero letter with "Otero Case" in block capitals.

    The details shown in italic had been withheld by the authorities for over 30 years. They were released by Tom Voigt at on Jan. 25, 2005. The line breaks and page break now used come from the transcript. Originally police/media reports said the BTK provided precise details of the Otero crime-down to the colors of each victim’s clothing and how the bodies were positioned. A fact police had not realized was also released- he had stolen Joseph Otero's watch: "I needed, one so I took it. Runs good." Additionally, the BTK's comment about the Otero's vehicle being less than neat was paraphrased in earlier press reports. [small photo of letter]:

    I write this letter to you for the sake of the tax payer as well as your
    time. Those three dude you have in custody are just talking to get pub-
    licity for the Otero murders. They know nothing at all. I did it by
    myself and with [with omitted] no ones help. There has been no talk either. Let's put this [lets put it] straight.....
    Position: Southwest bedroom, feet tie to the bed. Head pointed in a
    southerly direction.
    Bondage: Window blind cord.
    Garrote: Blind cord, brown belt.
    Death: The old bag trick and strangulation with clothes line rope.
    Clothed: White sweat shirt, green pants.
    Comments: He threw up at one time. Had rib injury from wreck few week
    before. Laying on coat.
    Position: Laying on her back crosswise on the bed pointed in southwest-
    ern direction. Face cover with a pillow.
    Bondage: Blind cord.
    Garrote: Clothes line cord tie in a clove-hitch.
    Death : Strangulation twice.
    Clothes: Blue house coat, black slack, white sock.
    Comments:Blood on face from too much pressure on the neck, bed unmade.

    Position: Hanging by the neck in the northwest part of the basement.
    Dryer or freezer north of her body.
    Bondage: Hand tie with blind cord. Feet and lower knees, upper knees
    and waist with clothes line cord. All one lenght.
    Garrote: Rough hemp rope 1/4 dia., noose with four or five turns.
    Clothes: Dark bra cut in the middle, sock.
    Death: Strangulation once, hung.
    Comments: Most of her clothes at the bottom of the stairs, green pants,
    and panties. Her glasses in the southwest bedroom.
    Position: In the east bedroom laying on his back pointed in eastern
    Bondage: Blind cord.
    Garrote: Three hoods; white T-shirt, white plastic bag,another T-shirt
    Clothes line cord with clove-hitch.
    Death: Suffocation once, stranglation-suffocation with the old bag
    Clothes: Brown pants, yellow-brown stripe T-shirt
    Comments: His radio is blaring .
    All victims had their hand s tie behind their backs. Gags of pillow
    case material. Slip knotts on Joe and Joseph neck to hold leg down
    or was at one time. Purse contents south of the table. Spilled drink
    in that area also, kids making lunches. Door shade in red chair in the
    living room. Otero's watch missing. I needed one so I took it. Runsgood.
    Themostat turn down.Car was dirty inside, out of gas.


    I'm sorry this happen to society. They are the ones who suffer the
    most. It hard to control myself. You probably call me "psychotic with
    sexual perversion hang-up". When [Where used according to] this monster enter my brain I will
    never know. But, it here to stay. How does one cure himself? If you
    ask for help, that you have killed four people they will laugh or hit
    the panic button and call the cops.
    I can't stop it so the monster goes on, and hurt me [hurtm] as well as society.
    Society can be thankful [thankfull] that there are ways for people like me to
    relieve myself at time by day dreams of some victims [victim] being torture and
    being mine. It a big compicated game my friend of the monster play
    putting victims number down, follow them, checking up on them, waiting
    in the dark, waiting, waiting... the pressure is great and sometimes [some times]
    he run the game to his liking. Maybe you can stop him. I can't.
    He has aready chosen his next victim or victims. I don't who they are
    yet. The next day after I read the paper, I will know, but it to late.
    Good luck hunting.
    [The letter was unsigned, however, BTK placed a distinctive mark on the letter that police will not describe. On Mar. 8, 2005, The Wichita Eagle released details about the secret BTK mark. It has appeared on other notes they believe to be authentic. There was a postscript:]
    P.S. Since sex criminals do not change their
    M.O. or by nature cannot do so, I will not
    change mine. The code words for me will be...
    Bind them, toture [Torture] them, kill [Kill] them, B.T.K., you
    see he at it again. They will be on the next
    The Vian letter, Jan 31, 1976. The Eagle receives a poem on a 3 by 5 index card inside an envelope. It was address to "Eagle Beacon, 825 E. Douglas, City." It was printed with a child's rubber-stamping/printing set. It refers to the Vian homicide. The poem is very short, only seven lines long, and is patterned after a "Curley Locks" nursery rhyme; each line rhymes. Deputy Police Chief Cornwell said the poem "describes his feeling of the killing." Before signing the poem, the BTK Strangler wrote: "A poem for Fox is next." The killer signed it "BTK". The poem begins as follows:
    Feb 10, 1978. KAKE-TV receives a two-page, single-spaced letter from BTK claiming responsibility for the Vian and Fox murders as well as an additional unnamed victim (thought to be Kathryn Bright). Enclosed with the letter was a poem entitled Oh! Death to Nancy. Also included with the letter was a detailed drawing of the Fox murder scene that virtually matched a lab photo of the crime scene. KAKE-TV executive news producer Ron Loewen described the letter as "well organized." Publicly released excerpts(exact order unclear):
    I find the newspaper not writing about the poem on 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?

    It's hard for me to control myself. When this monster entered my brain, I will never know. Maybe you can stop him. I can't.
    And then speaking about himself in the third person, BKT wrote, "He has already chosen his next victim."
    Do the cop think that all those deaths are not related? Yes, the M.O. is different in each, but look at the pattern that is developing. The victims are tie up _ most have been women _ phone cut _ bring some bondage mater sadist tendencies _ no struggle, outside the death spot _ no wntness except the Vian's kids.

    You guess the motive and the victims.

    After a thing like Fox, I come home and go about life like anyone else. And I will be like that until the urge hits me again
    [more details omitted by police, next reference is to the three Vian children]
    They were very lucky; a phone call save them. I was going to tape the boys and put platics bag over there head like I did Joseph, and Shirley. And then hang the girl. God-oh God what a beautiful sexual relief this would been. . .

    You don't understand these things because your not under the influence of factor x. The same thing that made Son of Sam, Jack The Ripper, Havery Glatman, Boston Strangler, Dr. H.H. Holmes Panty Hose Strangler of Florida, Hillside Strangler, Ted of The West Coast and many more infamous character kill. . . It seems senseless but we cannot help it, There is no help, no cure, except death or being caught and put away...

    P.S. How about some name for me, its time: 7 down and many more to go. I like the following. How about you? 'THE B.T.K STRANGLER, 'WICHITA STRANGLER', 'POETIC STRANGLER', 'THE BONDAGE STRANGER' OR 'PSYCHO', 'THE WICHITA HANGMAN', THE WICHITA EXECUTIONER, 'THE GAROTE PHATHOM', 'THE ASPHYXIATER'.
    KAKE news director Ron Loewen adds: He (BTK) said that, in fact, he was stalking a victim right now. He had picked his next victim. He indicated how he was going to kill that person. And then the last sentence was "maybe it’s you".

    • On August 20, 2004 the Wichita Police issued a press release with additional information about the Feb. 10, 1977 BTK letter and a request for help from the public:

    On February 10, 1978, BTK sent a letter claiming responsibility for the murders of Shirley Vian, Nancy Fox and another unknown victim. Enclosed with the letter was a poem titled Oh! Death to Nancy. BTK simply added a few personal embellishments to Oh Death, an old American folk song that was recently repopularized by the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? The poem had been typewritten then photocopied. Contrasting the BTK poem with original version.

    On May 5, 2004, BTK sent another letter, which contained an enclosure entitled the BTK Story that included a chapter titled "PJ's". Investigation has determined that the folklore song Oh Death had been used in an English literature class at Wichita State University during the 1970s, which was taught by Dr. P.J. Wyatt. [Picture of Dr. P.J. Wyatt]

    “We are looking for the public’s help on identifying anyone who had used this obscure folk song and had contact with Dr. P.J. Wyatt. Dr. Wyatt died in 1991,”

    BTK used a Xerox machine in the basement of the Life Sciences Building, now Hubbard Hall, to make fifth-generation copies of the letter that included the "Oh! Death to Nancy" poem. The Life Sciences Building is also where P.J. Wyatt taught folk song workshops.

    Folklore Classes Taught By Professor PJ Wyatt at Wichita State University in the 1970's

    What is this taht (sic) I can see,
    Cold icy hands taking hold of me,
    For Death has come, you all can see.
    Hell has open it,s (sic) gate to trick me.
    Oh! Death, Oh! Death, can’t you spare
    me, over for another year!

    I’ll stuff your jaws till you can’t talk
    I’ll blind (sic) your leg’s (sic) till you can’t walk
    I’ll tie your hands till you can’t make a

    And finally I’ll close your eyes so you
    can’t see
    I’ll bring sexual death unto you for me.

    • On August 26, 2004 the Wichita Police Department issued a press release regarding a June 1979 letter from the BTK Strangler:

    On April 28, 1979, a burglary occurred at 615 S. Pinecrest. In June 1979, a local television station received a mailing that included a poem authored by BTK titled Oh Anna, Why Didn’t You Appear. Along with the poem BTK sent a note and one of her scarves. In the note he wrote (only publicly released portion):
    "Be glad you weren't here, because I was."
    Based on the Wichita Police Department’s investigation, this poem appears to be an original writing as an extensive search has not found this to be a known, published work, said Lt. Ken Landwehr.

    The copy of the poem Oh Anna, Why Didn’t You Appear that was sent to the television station back in 1979 was a photocopy. “We want to talk to anyone who may have seen the original poem, or has any other knowledge of the poem,” said Lt. Landwehr.
    Oh, Anna Why Didn’t You Appear

    T’ was perfect plan of deviant pleasure so bold on that Spring nite
    My inner felling hot with propension of the new awakening season

    Warn, wet with inner fear and rapture, my pleasure of entanglement,
    like new vines at night

    Oh, Anna, Why Didn’t You Appear
    Drop of fear fresh Spring rain would roll down from your nakedness
    to scent to lofty fever that burns within,
    In that small world of longing, fear, rapture, and desparation,
    the game we play, fall on devil ears
    Fantasy spring forth, mounts, to storm fury, then winter clam at
    the end.

    Oh, Anna Why Didn’t You Appear
    Alone, now in another time span I lay with sweet enrapture garments
    across most private thought
    Bed of Spring moist grass, clean before the sun, enslaved with
    control, warm wind scenting the air, sun light sparkle tears
    in eyes so deep and clear.

    Alone again I trod in pass memory of mirrors, and ponder why for
    number eight was not.
    Oh, Anna Why Didn’t You Appear
    • On May 5, 2004 KAKE-TV, Wichita, received a letter from BTK. KAKE-TV 10 and the station's address was typed on a label. The return address is from Thomas B. King, 408 Clayton Street in Wichita, an address that does not exist. Inside the envelope were three pieces of paper.

    The first page said The BTK Story. It was typed, and included titles for a list of chapters. The list of chapters was probably taken from David Lohr's original internet Crime Library story about BTK. [photo of first page]

    The second page had the title "Chapter 8" and contained encrypted word puzzles filled with letters in vertical rows. Some spelled out words, some numbers were intertwined. The TV station showed a close up of it ONCE, it was captured on video, and copies have made their way to the Internet. A copy of the letter "puzzle" was not released during the BTK manhunt.

    BTK Puzzle Photo: Grid 1&2, Grid 3, full photo
    BTK Puzzle Grid: #1, #2, #3

    -BTK Word Puzzle Baffled Police - Did the Cops Botch An Early Clue? [Radok News, Mar. 2, 2005]
    -Full BTK "Chapter 8" Puzzle Grid (.pdf) [sent to KAKE, released March 2005]
    -BTK Puzzle (.jpg)
    -BTK Clues Revealed [KAKE, Mar. 1, 2005]
    -Search and find [Wichita Eagle, Mar. 2, 2005]

    -Known words in the word puzzle []
    -Word puzzle adds to mystery of killer [LA Times]
    -Wichita Attorney, Robert Beattie, who is writing a book about BTK, studied the latest letter with his Mensa group. He said he was inclined to believe, but was not convinced, that it was authentic.

    The third page contains a photocopy of an open billfold. Inside is the business card of a retired Southwestern Bell employee, arranged so that it might look like the top of an official ID badge. Also visible is a poorly made fake ID, purportedly from the Wichita public schools; the name typed on it matches that of a former employee who died years ago. The SW Bell employee had no idea how a copy of his photo identification card could have been obtained by anyone.

    Photocopy of IDs mailed to KAKE-TV [link]

    David Lohr's original Crime Library outline:
    1. All American City
    2. A Chilling Discovery
    3. Bind Them, Torture Them, Kill Them
    4. Different Worlds Collide
    5. Vanishing Act
    6. Ghost Busters
    7. The Next Step
    8. Cold Case Squad
    9. Profile
    10. Aftermath
    11. BTK Returns
    12. Will There Be More?
    The BTK's autobiographical book outline. Page one of the letter received on May 5, 2004:

    1. A SERIAL KILLER __________
    2. DAWN
    3. FETISH
    7. PJ's
    8. MO-ID RUSE
    9. HITS
    12. DUSK
    13. WILL THERE MORE (sic)
    Police believe Chapter 7 entitled "PJ's" refers to Dr. P.J. Wyatt, a former English Literature professor at WSU. Authorities believe BTK knew Wyatt taught the folklore song Oh Death in her classes. That's where police believe BTK's poem Oh Death to Nancy came from.

    The Dec. 14, 2004 package appears to have the same chapter list except Chapters 1, 2, and 8 were left blank and the last chapter was altered to read "WILL THERE BE MORE."

    • June 17, 2004 -- Police received a third letter from BTK. They say it contained writings about the Otero family murders.

    • July 17, 2004 --BTK left a letter (4th of year) in a drop box at the Wichita Public Library's main branch. Police say a worker there found the letter and called police. Photo of drop box.

    • October 21, 2004 -- BTK left a letter (5th of year) in the UPS drop box outside the Omni Center at 250 N. Kansas Street in Wichita. Police say it contained some biographical information on BTK. Photo of drop box.

    • Dec. 14, 2004 -- A BTK package is found in a white plastic bag ("The Plastic Bag Letter") at Murdock Park, Wichita. It included the driver's license of Nancy Fox, murdered Dec. 8, 1977. In March 2005 it is revealed that the package also contained a doll, a doll with a bag over i'ts head and it's feet bound by panty hose. It is Barbie doll, more specifically a "PJ" doll. "PJ" was the name of a doll sold as a friend of Barbie, made from 1969 to 1985. Photo of license. Photo of bag & package. Photo of package.

    BTK Back [KAKE-TV, Dec. 14, 2004]
    New Clues From BTK? [AMW, Dec. 15, 2004]

    • Jan. 25, 2005 -- A postcard sent to KAKE-TV leads to a BTK message found in a ceral box (Post Toasties) weighed down with a brick. It is proped up by a road sign on North Seneca (a rural dirt road) between 69th and 77th streets north, near Park City, in Sedgwick County. Police reported on Feb. 17, 2005, that jewelry was included in the Post Toasties box. BTK called this "Communication #: 8" - Photos: ceral box #1, box #2, box #3, box #4, and road sign. Postcard front, postcard back, postcard back -released March 2005 (.pdf).

    • Jan. 26, 2005 -- Police find another BTK package (#7) at an undisclosed location. Police reported on Feb. 17, 2005 that it contained a piece of jewelry. In March 2005 it is revealed that package #7 was left at a Home Depot drop site on Jan. 8, 2005.

    • Feb. 3, 2005 -- A suspected BTK postcard (#9) was received by KAKE-TV. BTK writes: "Sorry about Susan's and Jeff's colds."
    Photos: postcard front, postcard back. Postcard, full back -released March 2005 (.pdf).

    • Feb. 16, 2005 -- KSAS, the Fox affiliate in Wichita receives a suspected BTK package (#11): a small, reinforced manila envelope containing a piece of jewelry and a letter. After Rader's arrest KSAS revealed the package also contained: a photocopied cover of the 1989 novel: "Rules of Prey," by John Sandford (pen name of John Camp), and a computer disk that was key in breaking the case. The jewelry was a pendant necklace. The name P.J. Fox was above the return address (KSAS-TV's address). BTK has communicated primarily with Wichita's KAKE-TV, but the letter in this package suggested the killer wanted to spread his correspondence to other stations. The letter read in part:
    "KAKE is a good station, but I feel they are starting to be single (sic) out, because of me, and causing problems among the people. Let's help the news media and WPD [Wichita Police Department] by using this package as a start."
    photos: package #11, letter, computer disk & jewelry, Photocopied cover of John Camp's novel "Rules of Prey".

    BTK Message Boards

  • BTK Strangler Case Discussion []

  • Message Board at [run by Tom Voigt]

  • BTK Strangler case [run by Wichita Eagle]

  • BTK Killer []

  • BTK Forum [America's Most Wanted]

  • The Wichita Eagle, owned by Knight-Ridder, operator of the BTK Strangler message board was subpoenaed on April 21, 2004 and ordered to provide information on six persons using the message board. Presumably as possible leads in the BTK investigtion.

    Subpoena seeks info from BTK Net forum [Wichita Eagle, April 22, 2004]

    Related BTK Links:
    BTK killer []
    Special Package: BTK Strangler [Wichita Eagle]
    Chronicle of a killer [Wichita Eagle's vivid April 4, 2004 summary of murders]
    BTK Killer [America's Most Wanted]
    BTK Story [Crime Library]
    When the Killer Came Back []
    Serial Killer Communiques [Tomas Guillen - Seattle University]
    BTK News Bulletin Archive [Wichita Police Dept. - copy]
    BTK coverage [KWCH-TV Wichita]
    BTK coverage [KAKE-TV Wichita]
    BTK Photo Archive
    BTK Wichita Serial Killer blog

    related Johnsville News BTK coverage:
    Dennis L. Rader arrested as Wichita BTK Serial Killer [Feb. 26, 2005]
    Beginning of the end: Did they finally catch BTK? [Feb. 25, 2005]
    BTK Strangler Postcards & Victims Speak Out [Feb. 4, 2005]
    Finding the BTK Strangler: The DMV Numbers Game [Jan. 30, 2005]
    New Clues in the Wichita BTK Strangler Case [Jan. 26, 2005]
    BTK's Latest Communique [Dec. 16, 2004]
    Person of Interest Held in Wichita BTK Strangler Case [Dec. 2, 2004]
    The BTK Strangler case update [Nov. 30, 2004]
    Wichita BTK Strangler [Oct. 5, 2004]
    BTK Strangler Update [April 30, 2004]
    Bookmarking the BTK Strangler [April 25, 2004]
    BTK Manhunt: Lead generation [April 23, 2004]
    What do police want from the 'suspicious six'? [April 23, 2004]
    Is the BTK Strangler lurking on the Internet? [April 22, 2004]
    Wichita, Kansas: 5 Star American Gothic Town [April 21, 2004]
    From: BTK Strangler to Wichita Police Dept. - Thank you [April 21, 2004]
    Son of BTK? [April 15, 2004]
    BTK Update [April 12, 2004]
    Wichita BTK Serial Killer Update [April 6,2004]
    Help Wanted: Need Fresh Investigative "Muscle" For BTK Case [April 5, 2004]
    Serial Killer Sampling [April 5, 2004]
    BTK Serial Killer Manhunt Update [April 2, 2004]
    BTK Cold Case Investigation Continues [March 31, 2004]
    BTK Serial Killer Clue Update [March 29, 2004]
    Cold Case gets Hot: The Kansas BTK Serial Killer is Back [March 26, 2004]

    Update: The last update to this BTK info was on Apr. 2, 2005 - This page now serves as a historical summary of BTK case information that was known prior to the arrest of the BTK, Dennis L. Rader, on Feb. 25, 2005. Unfortunately many of the links on this page have been broken. Check the Wichita Eagle archives at or if you are researching the case.

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