'BTK' made first contact through newspaper in '74

The first contact from the BTK Strangler was made in October 1974, when he said in a letter that he was responsible for the slayings of four members of the Joseph Otero family and warned: "The monster goes on."

The letter was addressed to The Wichita Eagle and Beacon "Secret Witness Program" and was immediately given to police. Despite several appeals for the letter writer to re-establish contact, nothing further was received.

Under the Secret Witness Program, persons with information concerning a crime could pass on information to the police through the newspaper without divulging their identity.

The poorly typed and badly misspelled letter provided details on the four Otero slayings that police said at the time could only have been known to someone who had been present at the scene.

Police have requested that many of the details of the letter not be released. The letter begins by claiming that three persons being questioned by police at the time had nothing to do with the slayings.

The following excerpts contain BTK's misspellings:

"I write this letter to you for the sake of the tax payer as well as your time. Those three dude you have in custody are just talking to get publicity for the Otero murders. They know nothing at all. I did it by myself and with no ones help. There has been no talk either. Let's put this straight... ."

"The writer of the letter would have had to be inside the house when the crime was committed or participated in the crime," said Floyd Hannon, then chief of police.

After giving the details, the letter continued:

"I'm sorry this happen to society. They are the ones who suffer the most. It hard to control myself. You probably call me 'psychotic with sexual perversion hang-up.' When this monster enter my brain I will never know. But, it here to stay. How does one cure himself? If you ask for help, that you have killed four people they will laugh or hit the panic button and call the cops.

"I can't stop it so the monster goes on, and hurt me as well as society. Society can be thankful that there are ways for people like me to relieve myself at time by day dreams of some victims being torture and being mine. It a big compicated game my friend of the monster play putting victims number down, follow them, checking up on them waiting in the dark, waiting, waiting... the pressure is great and sometimes he run the game to his liking. Maybe you can stop him. I can't. He has aready chosen his next victim or victims. I don't who they are yet. The next day after I read the paper, I will know, but it to late. Good luck hunting.


The letter was not signed, but there was a postscript:

"P.S. Since sex criminals do not change their M.O. or by nature cannot do so, I will not change mine. The code words for me will be... Bind them, toture them, kill them, B.T.K., you see he at it again. They will be on the next victim."

Nearly 30 Kansas doctors used the letter to compile a personality profile of BTK, concluding that he was "a very sick man... who had a fetish for bondage. His reaction sexually is to be bound, to bind other people," Hannon said at the time.

Police asked the Eagle and Beacon's community relations director, Don Granger, to address a plea to the letter writer.

Granger placed a classified ad in the papers. It drew no response. Granger pleaded again in his column for the killer to contact him, even by calling him at home if he wanted. There was no response.

Police at the time emphasized that BTK would not be harmed.

The Secret Witness Program was discontinued several years ago.