February 26, 2005

The BTK killer

I had never heard of the BTK Killer until today (sorry, Kansas! I have no idea how I missed it ... but I did). It looks like they finally found the man responsible for a bunch of murders in the 1970s.

His name, apparently, is Dennis Rader, and he has just been arrested. Rader was known, in the 1970s in Kansas as "the BTK killer". He gave himself that nickname. BTK stands for "Bind, Torture, Kill". Nice. He wanted attention, headlines, front-page stuff. He called himself "BTK", but that was only because the damn apathetic MEDIA didn't give him a nickname and everyone knows that every self-respecting serial killer HAS to have some kind of nickname!

He sent a note to the Witchita Eagle-Beacon, bitching them out for not granting him some cool killer nickname: "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'".

So - dude is obviously a lunatic.

The article goes on to say:

The letters stopped in the late 1970s, but picked up last March, when a letter arrived at The Wichita Eagle with information on an unsolved 1986 killing, a copy of the victim's driver's license and photos of her slain body.

That's a long damn time ago. The late 1970s? To 2004? How on earth could this publicity hound hold himself back for so long? Did his thirst get slaked? From what I've read about these types, usually they WANT to get caught - especially the ones sending notes to newspapers, and screaming for fame, etc. They want to go into the record books of horrible killers, they demand recognition. I wonder why the letters just stopped?

Anyway, congratulations to the Wichita Police Department - sounds like they really hung in there with this one, even when the department was being doubted, criticized. They persevered. Job well done.

Here's some thoughts from someone much closer to this.

Posted by sheila

That guy really wanted to get caught. Apparently the trail was totally cold for almost 20 years, until he started writing to police last year.

It seems like a really stereotypical serial murder case.

Posted by: CW at February 26, 2005 09:14 PM

Wait- did he live in Kansas over the last 20 years? How did he control himself for that long? Or is it suspected that he just hasn't admitted other murders?

Posted by: Just1Beth at February 27, 2005 08:19 AM

I've heard that they are now looking into a number of other cold-cases in the area - that there is, in particular, a 1991 murder that looks like it's "his."

If this guy they caught actually is BTK, yay. One more sick f*** off the streets.

Posted by: ricki at February 28, 2005 09:50 AM

I read an article that stated serial killers do not want to get caught. They want the attention and notoriety. They also believe they are intellectually superior to the police and won't get caught.

Posted by: Al at March 5, 2005 09:22 PM