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Archive for Saturday, February 26, 2005

Police to discuss BTK developments

TV station reports ‘person of interest’ questioned

February 26, 2005

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— City officials planned a news conference for Saturday to discuss developments in the BTK serial killer investigation while a television station reported that authorities were questioning a "person of interest" in the case.

Meanwhile, investigators searched a house on Friday afternoon in suburban Park City in a residential area near Interstate 135, seven miles north of Wichita, seizing computer equipment. Police, prosecutors and the FBI all declined to comment about the activity or any possible connection to the BTK case.

Wichita television station KAKE, without citing a source, reported Friday that police were questioning a "person of interest" in the serial killer case. The station is one of several news outlets that has received communications believed to be from the killer.

Wichita Mayor Carlos Mayans announced plans for the news conference but would not elaborate.

Police said the news conference would be at 10 a.m. in the city council chambers and would be attended by Mayans, as well as city council members, Sedgwick County Dist. Atty. Nola Foulston, Kansas Bureau of Investigation Director Larry Welch, FBI officials and U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt.

The killer known as BTK -- which stands for "Bind, Torture, Kill" -- has been linked to eight unsolved killings in Wichita from 1974 through 1986. BTK resurfaced last March with letters to Wichita media and police.

In December, the arrest of a Wichita resident on minor charges sparked widespread speculation of a possible link to the BTK serial killings. That man, who had no connection to the case, later filed a lawsuit alleging defamation against the media outlets that named him.

After taunting police with letters to news organizations throughout the 1970s, BTK disappeared before resurfacing a year ago, when he sent a letter to The Wichita Eagle claiming responsibility for an eighth killing in 1986.

In that letter, the killer included a copy of the victim's driver's license and photos of her slain body.

Police said they have received more than 5,000 tips from the public since BTK resurfaced.

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