Saturday, February 26, 2005

BTK Killer Arrested

No Place Is Safe Anymore

According to the Kansas City Star via the Wichita Eagle, Dennis Rader of Park City, a suburb of Wichita, Kansas, was arrested Friday, February 25 on eight counts of first degree murder:

Law enforcement officials took Rader into custody shortly after noon, he said, after a car stop was made on East Kechi Road. There was no incident, he said.

Williams also said that work on the case brings BTK's victim total to 10.

The other two victims in 1985 were 62 and 65 year old women.

More information and links in the inner sanctum.

Interesting, from the news conference, something I didn't know: Kansas did not have the death penalty until 1990 and it was successfully challenged and placed in abeyance in 1994. There is no death penalty in Kansas. Color me surprised. However, there is also no statute of limitations for the crime of murder so, if Mr. Rader thought that now was a good time to come forward because he was under some mistaken idea that the crimes were too old, he obviously got a big surprise.

Modern technology lends its hand again in solving what was once "cold cases" with little opportunity to be solved.

Mayans said this morning that he received a call late last night from police officials saying DNA of the man brought in Friday for questioning is a match to evidence gathered at the scene of at least one BTK murder.

Tests were done Friday.

Once the killer began his correspondence again, certain information was released to the public in hopes of receiving tips, one of which must have led the police to him.

Who Is the BTK Killer?

Reviewing the list, he seems to follow the basic pattern of many serial killers. His father was dead and his mother raised him. She worked a lot and probably gave him little attention. Another man entered the picture. The man was a strong authoritary figure. Most likely he exhibited a number of other patterns that were unknown at the time.

The police and FBI have successfully tied him to eight murders and two more are pending. Based on other information, Rader had worked repairing copiers and other business machines. This had him traveling and away for extended periods. I imagine that the FBI is running a larger search via VICAP to see if he matches any other unsolved murders within the area that he serviced for his job. I say this because he went on little spree's within the Wichita area, killing five in 1974, then was dormant until 1977, killing two more and killing his final Wichita victim in 1986. All things considered, it is very unlikely that a serial killer either started out with four people, nor escalated to that degree and then just stopped killing. Based on information, he was in the military in the early 60's and discharged in 1966.

Other information seems to be differing from a few details of the killer's self description. For instance, according to the AP, he is 59, not 64.

Speculation #1: According to his self desription, his father died in WWII, based on his age, the killer would have had to have been born in 1946 which would have made it nearly impossible for his father to have died before he was even conceived. Considering his penchant for prostitutes and his mother "working at or near a railroad" where she eventually "dated" a railroad detective, could it be that his mother was an unwed mother, possible even a prostitute at some point? Maybe she was was just promiscuous back in the day when it wasn't cool and this caused him some grief at school or with his friends? Other information has him attending church and Sunday school as a youth where his illegitimate birth and mother's behavior may have also caused him some discomfort.

Speculation #2: If I was the FBI, I'd be searching every cold case within the radius of every known residence this man has ever had, though he apparently lived in the Wichita area consistantly since 1966. Other crimes, possibly not even deaths, but assualts, could be tied to this man as serial killers usually begin with something much smaller. He admitted to frequenting prostitutes in his missives to the media and police, so it is likely that there may be other crimes against prostitutes that were never solved related to this man.

After he was apprehended, as in many small towns, the entire neighborhood turned out to watch as if at a live TV showing, some even bringing lawn chairs, as police, SWAT and bomb squad raided his home. That's small town Kansas for you. Nothing else that exciting going on in a long time.

Some small information that probably led to the killer's capture. He worked on copiers. He had a tendency to photo copy his victims' licenses. The Wichita City Library was closed on Friday for "undisclosed reasons". Kansas State Attorney, Phil Kline, noted that Congressman Teehart's endeavors to push certain legislation through congress and the existence of that legislation helped to solve the case (can you say PATRIOT ACT). Rader was pulled over by the police in his car.

Speculation #3: Stupid, old serial killer was making a copy of some evidence or a letter he intended to send again at the public library. Somebody saw him or he had made bad copies and threw them in the trash where somebody saw them. They immediately called the police after noting down his name from his library card or following him to the door where they noted his license plate number.

Speculation #4: Stupid, old serial killer was using the public library to check out certain information either in books, library microfiche or computerized records of newspaper clippings regarding his killings, composing his next missive to the media/police on the computer or using some other attribute of the library that pinged somebody. Since it happened so quickly, it is possible that his actions raised some awareness in the local library workers and they called the authorities (I don't think, in the state of Kansas, too many librarians have worried about "privacy" for their attendees. I could be wrong, but we aren't talking about extreme left librarians in the big city concerned about freedom of speech. Librarians in Kansas, particularly small towns, are usually pretty damned conservative)

Speculation #5: Stupid, old serial killer had already given himself away in some manner and the cops were tailing him. He went to the library and used a machine or checked out a book in the process of continuing his crimes. They say he had a penchant for poetry of a certain variety which he often quoted or spoofed in his missives to the media regarding the deaths of his victims. Using the Patriot Act, the police were able to ascertain his activities at the library which confirmed their suspicions. He was arrested shortly thereafter.

According to the Discussion Board, his own daughter may have tipped off the police and, according to the AP, surveillance led to the car and suspect.. Speculation #5 looks pretty good.

Other information points to the fact that he most recently was working as an Animal Control Officer. Note the recent picture in a uniform like shirt and tie. In which case, aside from the possibility of crimes being committed away from the main Wichita area, he may have gone dormant for long periods in between because he had a nother outlet for his anger and sadistic behavior. I wonder if there have been many cases of missing animals or dead animals that have been tortured or killed in the area? If so, wonder how many were put down to "ugly youth" or "satanic" worship?

Just a little thought, please note the glasses in the picture. Why is it that serial killers always seem to have big square glasses?

Second little thought, please note that the AP doesn't get it right. The Wichita Eagle says he was arrested after a traffic stop shortly around noon and AP says he was arrested at his home. While his home was searched, that's not where he was arrested. I can't believe these guys are that sloppy. Then again, I can.

These are all speculations as the DA and police refuse to give any other details regarding the investigation as they have placed a gag order and sealed files until the trial in order to insure that the case is prosecuted to the fullest and with little incidents. They say to stay tuned to the Kansas DA's website.

Of course, as usual, the neighbors thought he was a nice man, who was quiet and never caused any problems. Except for that one lady down the street who was murdered.

Scarily, his is the second serial killer caught in the Kansas and Missouri area in a year and the third one in the last three years. Last year, a man was arrested for the killing of six women, all within a year, whose bodies were found in abandoned lots, near empty homes or just unceremoniously dumped in high grass in a poor neighborhood of Kansas city. The women were known prostitutes, were all black and the killer was black and lived in the neighborhood. The other killer was the infamous internet player, John Robinson who lured women away from their homes, murdered them and put their bodies in barrels in a pond and storage unit that he kept. One of the women had a child which he arranged to have his brother adopt. Most of the women were on some sort of SSI or other benefit checks which he continued to receive and cash in their names, allaying family fears that the women were dead until somebody finally got suspicious.

On another historic note, the Lawrence Journal indicates that a family known as the "Benders" lived in Kansas in the 1890's and would lure men with money to their homes where they would sit them down to supper, crack their heads with a hammer and slash their throats. Neighbors became suspicious and the Benders eventually left town. When authorities went to their house, they found the bodies of their victims, some stacked up in the cellar waiting burial and others in the back yard.

I guess you don't really need scary movies to turn people into "killers". All this crap about death and violence in movies motivating youth to be more violent, I don't think so. Seems like people have been doing it for as long as there's been civilization. I'd also say that the Benders may have been the inspiration for a number of movies in the last 20 years.

Other links:

BTK Killer Arrested
news Conference
Complete Wichita Eagle Coverage of BTK
BTK discussion board

1 comment:

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

This was my post for today too. Kansas is a lot safer today than it was a few days ago, I'll say that much.