|Article Overview: The
BTK Strangler is back in Wichita. He or she is
telling the city of 350,000 that the Beast of Terror is back in town.
What can we all do to protect ourselves from a serial killer?
How can we avoid being the next victim?
Friday, April 2,
2004—Ground Zero Plus 933
Wichita Stalked By Beast Of Binding -Torture-Killing Terror.
GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--April 2, 2004 -- Wichita Kansas
is a historic mid-west town of 350,000 best known for beef and corn,
not for serial killers. Thirty years ago, the BTK
Strangler gripped the city in Terror. At least seven
brutal murders remain unsolved. Each of the victims was bound,
tortured and killed by strangulation.
A generation ago the killing stopped.
No one knew why. Speculation was that the killer may have died,
or been locked up in an institution or prison. No one
really cared as long as he was gone and the children of the community
and their parents felt safe.
When he roamed the land, the BTK Strangler snuck
into homes, cut the phone lines and waited for the victims. Then
he tied them up and slowly tortured them until death became a welcome
rather than dreaded part of the process.
Now, he's back.
his shadow as the Beast of Terror over the city
Strangler has returned.....
Like some B-Grade horror movie, the BTK Strangler has
returned to cast his Beast of Terror shadow over the children of the
children. Those young people who grew up in the 70's
looking under their bed and checking their closets not for some
imaginary boogeyman but for a real, live human being who threatened
families at random, now have children. They are
teaching their children to look under their beds and closets.
Many of the 110,000 homeowners and apartment
dwellers are buying guns, learning how to shoot, installing security
systems, shifting their "non-violence" philosophies to
All because of a letter.
The return address for the letter to The Wichita Eagle is for a
Bill Thomas Killman, with B.T.K. initials, but the police say no
such person exists, the paper reported.
A few weeks ago, on
March 17, a letter turned up at local newspaper bearing the earmarks
of the BTK Strangler. No one but police and the
killer know about the special signature, so the letter was considered
authentic. In 1974 the BTK Strangler had used a
variety of communications to alert police and the public of his
What I find hard to comprehend is
drawing a distinction between a serial killer and a Terrorist.
body is carried from her house in Wichita, in 1977.
Many people apply many definitions to Terrorism, ultimately
trying to squeeze Terrorism into a container marked "Political
But that's truly not the nature
Terrorism is far more
universal, far more pungent than just an exercise in applying muscle
and threats to seek some political agenda.
Terrorism is about inflicting
Fear, Intimidation and Complacency upon victims. The
BTK Strangler has one agenda--to turn a city into a state of fear, to
drive a society into fearing its shadows, to turn all into suspects.
The suicide bomber does
not seek to Terrorize those he or she blows up. That's not the
point. The point is to Terrorize the people who escaped.
To make them cower in Fear, to shrink in Intimidation, and to run and
hide in Complacency over the powerlessness to fight back.
The BTK Strangler seeks
the same goal. His or her mission is to infect the city of
Wichita with theVirus of Terror, and, he or she is doing a great job
of it a generation later--just when the citizens thought the
cornfields were safe.
The body of
one of the Otero family members is carried from their house in
Wichita in 1974.
I would like the
world to revaluate its view of Terrorism. The abusive
father or mother who threatens children or physically harms them to
control their behavior is a Terrorist. If the children
live in Fear of either verbal or physical abuse, or are Intimidated by
the threat of parental abuse, or adult abuse, they tend to fall into
the rut of Complacency, feeling powerless to act against the forces of
oppression and tyranny that "torture" them into submission.
kill the spirit of children
In truth, Terrorists kill the spirit of children.
Those adults who use their power to threaten children, to make them
shake in Fear at their presence, or to lower their heads in servitude
because they don't meet the harsh expectations leveled upon them by
the adult (s), parents, guardians, are binding and torturing the
children just as surely as the BTK Strangler executes his modus
operandi. And, as far as the killing is concerned, there
is a strangulation event. Such Terror strangles the will
of the child, strangles its self worth. There is
some death to some part of the soul. The oxygen of
Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for future generations is cut
off by the Fingers of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
The BTK Strangler is just another
Beast of Terror
The BTK Strangler is just another Beast of Terror.
He or she is symbolic of the worst possible twisting of human nature,
but, he or she is no more threatening to the 350,000 citizens of
Wichita than is the father or mother or teacher or grandfather or
uncle or aunt who abuses children.
Why we would fear the
likes of a BTK Strangler more than fear the presence of an insidious
Beast of Family Terror who might be abusing our children escapes me.
Our priorities as a nation must be much broader. We must seek to
see and defend the children from the Terror daily.
If we are subscribers to the
Pledge of Vigilance, we do not have to rush out and buy guns or worry
about locking our houses or checking our dark corners. We
do those things naturally, because we never forget the Beast of Terror
Don't wait for a BTK Strangler to
awaken you. Open your eyes today.
Become a Citizen of Vigilance, not a
Victim of Terrorism.
Deadly timeline documents the BTK killings in Wichita
|Jan. 15, 1974: Joseph and Julie Otero are
strangled in their home along with two of their
children, Josephine, 11, and Joseph II, 9.
April 4, 1974: Kathryn Bright, 21, is stabbed to death
in her home. Police later conclude she was a BTK
October 1974: The Wichita Eagle-Beacon receives a
letter from a person claiming to have killed the
Oteros, including details of the crime scene only the
killer could have known.
March 17, 1977: Shirley Vian, 24, is found tied up and
strangled at her house.
Dec. 8, 1977: Nancy Fox, 25, is found tied up and
strangled in her home. The killer's Voice is captured
on tape when he calls to report the crime.
Jan. 31, 1978: A poem, referring to the Vian killing,
is sent to the Eagle-Beacon.
Feb. 10, 1978: A letter from BTK is sent to KAKE-TV
claiming responsibility for the deaths of Vian, Fox,
and an unnamed victim. Police Chief Richard LaMunyon
announces a serial killer is at large.
April 28, 1979: BTK waits inside a home, but leaves
before the 63-year-old woman who lives there returns.
He later sends her a letter letting her know he was
Mid-1980s: A new BTK investigation is opened by a
group known as "The Ghostbusters," who spend three
years employing new techniques such as DNA testing,
computer database searches and psychological profiles.
Sept. 16, 1986: Vicki Wegerle, 28, is strangled in her
March 19, 2004: A letter arrives at The Wichita Eagle
containing a photocopy of Wegerle's driver's license
and photos of her body. Police link it to BTK.
April 1--Widows Of
Vigilance: Are They Creating Terror or Healing It?