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Rader ruled out in 1977 slaying

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, March 14, 2007, at 8:24 a.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, March 27, 2012, at 11:57 a.m.

BTK serial killer Dennis Rader has been ruled out as a suspect in an unsolved 1977 homicide in Reno County, Sheriff Randy Henderson said Friday.

After Wichita police arrested Rader in February, the Reno County Sheriff's Department asked the Kansas Bureau of Investigation to compare evidence from the BTK case with evidence from the Gayle Sorenson murder case, Henderson said.

"We received results this week that evidence does not match. Therefore, Mr. Rader would not be considered a suspect in the Sorenson case," Henderson said in a statement.

He would not discuss what evidence had been compared.

Rader pleaded guilty last month to 10 counts of first-degree murder for crimes from 1974 to 1991 in and around Wichita and Park City. He awaits an Aug. 17 sentencing.

Authorities think Sorenson, 23, of Hutchinson, was killed Feb. 11, 1977. Her body was found two days later just east of K-61 at the Arkansas River. She had a knife wound. Her vehicle had been found at a Dillons store parking lot at Fourth and Pershing in Hutchinson.

Investigators wondered whether the homicide could be linked to the BTK case, partly because it occurred during the period of other BTK killings and because, as with some BTK crimes, it involved a body being found near a river, Henderson said.

He asked that anyone with information about Sorenson case call sheriff's Capt. Dennis Radke at 620-694-2735.

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