Suspect in BTK killings arrested after 25 years in hiding

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Saturday, February 26, 2005

Wichita, Kansas — Wichita Police today arrested Dennis Rader, who is suspected of being the BTK killer. BTK, an acronym for "Bind, torture, kill," was the name the serial killer gave himself after killing eight people between 1974 and 1986 in that manner. The killer was thought to have disappeared for 25 years before he resurfaced in March of 2004. He was later linked to two unsolved murders, which took place in 1985 and 1991. Police Chief Norman Williams publicly announced the guilt of Mr. Rader prior to any trial preparations when he said to reporters "The bottom line, BTK is arrested."

The commander of the task force investigating the BTK killings, Lt. Ken Landwehr, said Rader had been arrested after being pulled over in a routine traffic stop. Authorities had questioned a "person of interest" Friday, which led them to a Park City home just outside Wichita and eventually to the identity of BTK.

BTK was notorious not only for his brutal way of killing people, but for taunting police and other investigators with letters throughout his 12-year killing spree. Investigators had run out of leads until police received a letter from BTK in March of last year.

Police have said they charge Rader with eight counts of first-degree murder and two other homicide charges. According to CNN, police were able to use Rader's daughter's DNA to find Rader. DNA of close family members has been used in a few previous cases to identify suspects, through a new technique known as familial searching.