Rader gave details in letters

07/10/2005 12:00 AM

03/27/2012 12:09 PM

Dennis Rader said he wore rubber gloves to keep from leaving fingerprints, and turned up the heat before leaving his crime scenes — apparently so that the bodies would decompose more rapidly, information released Friday by Wichita police shows.

In communications with police over the past 12 months, Rader also claimed that he once targeted the late Wichita State University professor P.J. Wyatt — who has frequently been mentioned in the investigation — and that in the 1970s he "trolled" the Twin Lakes area and once tried to kidnap a bank teller there.

The admissions were included in letters Rader sent to local media or left in packages deposited in local parks or along roadsides.

Among the information that came out for the first time Friday was a chilling account of the murder Dec. 8, 1977, of Nancy Fox, which was included in a package found Dec. 14 at Murdock Park.

"I visited the store where she worked, asking for some jewelry on display and bought some cheap jewelry... I started stalking her whenever I had time and learned her routine. I case her apartment from outside a few times and ran a dress rehearse once or twice, each time I was ready if everything was a go."

He then wrote that Fox met the "BTK PJ Codes." Rader already has said in court that he referred to his victims as projects. The codes, according to the letter, were:

"I could get her alone.

"Had a routine.

"No Male present most of the time.

"Cute and age was right, she had the BTK Victim profile look.

"Neighborhood. I could blend in.

"She gave the appearance that I could control the situation under her duress.

"A place I could break in without being discovered and no sound problem from victim."

In that letter, Rader noted that Fox was allowed to use the bathroom before she was murdered.

"When she came out (of the bathroom) she noticed my rubber glove and asked about them. I told her I was wanted in other states and didn't want to leave prints."

Rader wrote that he wrapped a belt around her neck and pulled until she passed out. When she later came to, he told her that he had killed the Joseph Otero family, then strangled her to death.

Afterward, "I checked the apartment and turn the thermostat up high for quicker post mode-on her body."

In a package found Jan. 25 on North Seneca, Rader made similar comments about the murders Jan. 15, 1974, of four members of the Otero family.

"BTK checked the house once again and turned the thermostat up high for quicker Post-Mode-on their bodies," he wrote.

It was in the communication left at the Home Depot that Rader alleged his relationship with Wyatt. Police say they found out in interviews with Rader that he did not know Wyatt.

"I use to hang around the Student Center, Library and watch Co-eds and follow some," he wrote. "I met Wyatt (She reminded me of Anna my 1st real Sex partner) and I tired many times to lure her into my snare. I also prowled around her areas many times, finally gave up became just a good friend with here. We spoke about folk lore and poems-etc. I needed a Catchy Code Name for the many addresses or people that I pursued. PJ was perfect for Projects and I named it after her."

It was in that letter that Rader mentioned his 1970s "trolling" activities in the Twin Lakes area, and that in January 1974 he tried to kidnap a bank clerk who fought back and turned the attack into a "no go."

During that communication, Rader included a final naive question that eventually proved to be his undoing.

"Can I communicate with Floppy and not be traced to a computer? Be honest," he wrote on a separate sheet of paper.

The note asked police to take out a newspaper classified ad with the words "Rex, it will be OK" to indicate that he could safely communicate with a computer diskette.

Police ran the ad, and a diskette sent to Fox Kansas on Feb. 16 was quickly traced to Rader.

After his arrest, Rader chastised police Lt. Ken Landwehr for lying to him.

Join the Discussion

The Wichita Eagle is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service