BTK killer named as prime suspect in at least two murders

Authorities have linked Dennis Rader to several unsolved murders

Bevan Hurley
Thursday 24 August 2023 20:53 BST
BTK Killer Named as Prime Suspect in 2 Other Cases

BTK serial killer Dennis Rader has been named as a prime suspect in at least two unsolved murders.

The Osage County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement the 78-year-old had been linked to Cythia “Cyndi” Dawn Kinney’s unsolved disappearance and several other murders in Kansas and Missouri.

The bombshell development came one day after deputies found “pantyhose ligature” during a fresh search of Rader’s former home in Park City, Kansas.

“The primary focus of the search is closely tied to the Cynthia Dawn Kinney missing persons case from Pawhuska, Oklahoma, dating back to 1976,” undersheriff Gary Upton said.

“This ongoing investigation has uncovered potential connections to other missing persons cases and unsolved murders in the Kansas and Missouri areas, which are possibly linked to Dennis Rader.”

Osage County Sheriff Eddie Virden revealed that investigators had found “several items of interest” as they dug up the property looking for “trophies” this week.

Cythia Kinney was last seen leaving a laundromat in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, in 1976, aged 16, when she got into a 1965 faded beige Plymouth with two women, according to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System.

Sheriff Virden told KOCO that he was “100 per cent certain” that Rader was involved in her abduction and murder.

Convicted BTK killer Dennis Rader listens during a court proceeding, Oct. 12, 2005, in El Dorado, Kansas

Another cold case under investigation is the rape and murder of Shawna Beth Garber, 22, whose body was discovered in 1990 in McDonald County, Missouri. Her remains were only identified in 2021.

Rader, who referred to himself as the “bind torture kill” killer, is serving 10 consecutive life terms after his 2005 confession to the brutal murders of 10 women in the Wichita area between 1974 and 1991.

Rader’s daughter Kerri Rawson revealed on Wednesday that she was assisting law enforcement with an investigation into Kinney’s disappearance and several other unsolved murders.

The site where Dennis Rader’s former property once stood after investigators dug in Park City, Kansas, on 22 August

The true crime author offered to volunteer to help law enforcement after learning that the unsolved cases had been linked to her father.

As part of that work, she said applied to lift a “do not contact order” banning all contact with her father and visited him twice at the El Dorado Correctional Facility where he is incarcerated.

It’s not known which other murders riders been linked to, but Ms Rawson said on Wednesday that authorities were investigating violent crimes he may have committed between the early 1960s and his arrest in 2005.

In an interview with NewsNation, Ms Rawson said Rader was “seething” at being linked to the murder cases.

“He’s very unhappy with what’s going on,” Ms Rawson said.

She added that her father had refused an immunity deal to admit guilt in the unsolved cases, and was effectively “rotting” in prison.

“He’s lost like seven inches, and he’s in a wheelchair,” she told host Ashleigh Banfield. “It was the first time he ever dropped his mask and became BTK in front of me.”

Rader, a married, church-going father of two, stalked, raped and killed his victims. In 2005, he confessed to the murders of 10 women in the Wichita area between 1974 and 1991.

Investigators have long believed he was responsible for other murders.

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