Dennis Rader Known As 'BTK' Considered Suspect In Pawhuska Woman's Disappearance, OCSO Says

A search was conducted by the Osage County Sheriff’s Office at the former residence of Dennis Rader, also known as the BTK Killer, in Park City, Kansas.

Wednesday, August 23rd 2023, 6:17 pm

By: News On 6, CBS News


A search was conducted by the Osage County Sheriff’s Office at the former residence of Dennis Rader, also known as the BTK Killer, in Park City, Kansas.

At this time, Rader is considered a prime suspect in the Cynthia Dawn Kinney missing persons case from Pawhuska, OCSO said.

Related Story: Oklahoma Authorities Name The BTK Killer As Prime Suspect In Unsolved Cases

OCSO said the operation aimed to collect evidence based on specific leads that the department had received in regards to a missing persons case.

Sheriff Eddie Virden led a team of investigators from the OCSO to Park City, a suburb of Wichita, in collaboration with the Park City Police Department on Aug. 23, OCSO said.

The focus of the search was closely tied to the disappearance of Cynthia Dawn Kinney from Pawhuska, Oklahoma, dating back to 1976, according to OCSO.

During the search, items of interest were recovered at Rader's former residence, OCSO said. The items will be examined to determine their potential relation to the ongoing investigations, OCSO said.

The ongoing investigation has uncovered potential connections to other missing persons cases and unsolved murders in the Kansas and Missouri areas, which are possibly linked to Rader, OCSO said.

OCSO said they have been working alongside the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI), sharing crucial information and collaborating on this case.

Sheriff Eddie Virden and his team will continue their efforts to bring closure to these cases and provide answers to the families seeking justice, OCSO said.

BTK serial killer suspect Dennis Rader pleaded guilty in 2005 to 10 counts of murder, including that of Delores Davis, a 62-year-old woman who was abducted from her home in 1991 and found nearly two weeks later strangled under a bridge.

Rader, 60, of Park City, had been accused of killing 10 people in the Wichita area between 1974 and 1991. Davis' murder was the last one attributed to the BTK Killer.

There was no plea deal.

BTK stands for "Bind, Torture, Kill." In messages to the press and police, the serial killer used the initials to describe how he treated his victims: Bind them, torture them, kill them.

BTK sent letters to media about the crimes in the 1970s, but stopped for more than two decades before re-establishing contact in March of 2004 with a letter about an unsolved 1986 killing.

Since then, authorities said the killer had sent at least eight letters to the media or police, including three packages containing jewelry that police believed may have been taken from BTK's victims. One letter contained the driver's license of victim Nancy Fox.

CBS News Correspondent Cynthia Bowers reported the killer teased police with cryptic clues that may be true or not: that he was born in 1939, raised by a widowed mother and is obsessed with railroads. A week before the arrest, three packages were sent to a local TV station containing jewelry that could have been from a victim.

The letters sent chills through Wichita, but also rekindled hope that modern forensic science could find some clue that would finally lead police to a killer most thought was dead or safely locked in prison for some other crime.

Thousands of tips poured in, and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation conducted hundreds of DNA swabs in connection with the BTK investigation.

A source with knowledge of the investigation who spoke on condition of anonymity said surveillance gave police their "first big piece" of recent evidence, leading authorities to a vehicle and the suspect.

One of the victims newly identified by police, 53-year-old Marine Hedge, lived on Rader's street in Park City. She was abducted from her home in 1985, and her body was found eight days later along a dirt road.

"This has not been an easy task," Wichita Mayor Carlos Mayans said. "Our fine police department has been, at times, questioned. Their competence was questioned, and their actions were often second-guessed. But all the while, these officers were steadfast in their commitment to solve the biggest police case in Wichita's history."

The BTK slayings began in 1974 with the strangulations of Joseph Otero, 38, his wife, Julie, 34, and their two children.

The letters began that same year, with poems and graphic descriptions of the crimes. The killer even called police with details of Nancy Fox's 1977 slaying.

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