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Other BTK investigators keep silent about case

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, March 14, 2007, at 8:24 a.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, March 27, 2012, at 11:59 a.m.

A day after lead BTK investigator Lt. Ken Landwehr released four hours' worth of details about the case to the media, other investigators declined to discuss it in detail.

The silence was an order by Police Chief Norman Williams, they said.

One investigator who helped with the BTK case said Saturday that he could not discuss it because he is not a supervisor.

In general, officers and detectives in the department need permission from a supervisor before granting interviews.

The investigator said it was exciting to work the case and that he was glad Landwehr released details about Rader's arrest.

"I'm glad it's all out there," he said. "People may as well know. Nothing should be secret."

Williams' order wasn't the first meant to keep people from talking.

In early March, the week after Dennis Rader's arrest, employees of Wichita, Park City and Sedgwick County all received memos ordering them not to discuss the case. One memo threatened them with jail time.

Wichita police Sgt. Chester Pinkston, who was listed in a planning document as one of 28 members of the BTK Task Force, said he helped follow up on phone and e-mail tips.

Pinkston said he couldn't discuss the case, but he was privileged to be on the task force.

Pinkston has worked for the department for 15 years, long enough to witness half of the time go by between the first murders and the guilty plea.

"I know many detectives that worked on this in different eras. I clearly understand the magnitude that this case has had on the department," he said.

Detective Kelly Otis, one of the core members of the BTK task force, said he couldn't have been dragged away from working the case.

"I had all confidence in our abilities to solve that case," he said. "We were very excited and it was very fulfilling when we did."

Wichita police were also quiet about Rader's arrest before it was made.

Park City Police Chief Bill Ball said he didn't know anything about it until after Rader was in custody.

That's probably because Wichita police had no guarantees that someone would not leak the plans to Rader, Ball said.

"It's a small city. My assumption is that they did not want someone to say something to him," he said.

"I'd have kept my mouth shut if I'd have been them, too."

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