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BTK Eludes Capture and Taunts Police for 31 years
code 2004 BTK Strangler communication
After 31 years of eluding capture, the Wichita police believe they have found the BTK Strangler. Dennis L. Rader of Park City, Kansas, a suburb of Wichita, was taken into custody on February 25, 2005. BTK who just resurfaced shortly after the 30th anniversary of the Otero murders had sent 11 communications between 2004 and 2005 – he finally slipped up. It is said police had a surveillance tape identifying Rader’s vehicle in the parking lot of a Home Depot where BTK made a communications drop, found evidence on a computer CD tracing back to Rader’s church in Wichita, and that they secretly obtained a 90% DNA match from a tissue sample in his daughter’s medical records. Just 45 minutes after police start searching Rader’s house, FBI agents were in Farmington, Michigan conducting an interview with Rader's 26 year-old daughter, Kerri. It is also said they obtained yet another DNA sample from her at that time, possibly to confirm that was in fact her DNA.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) obtained DNA before Rader's arrest from a tissue sample that came from Kerri Rader's medical records without her knowledge. It is still unknown from what medical facility (although previously it was said in Wichita) and whether the tissue sample was from her Pap smear (although that is the logical conclusion). " What kind of tissue tied to a woman's medical records could be kept on file at a lab? Bruce Bammel, a Wichita doctor in the field of obstetrics and gynecology, said that could include various tissue samples - everything from a skin biopsy to a pap smear - that can be preserved indefinitely and provide DNA. Pap smears, which are cells taken from a woman's cervix to screen for cervical cancer, are recommended annually for women starting around age 21 (The Wichita Eagle)."

Mar 03, 2005. Cops covertly acquired tissue of BTK suspect's relative -- from medical lab. Declan McCullagh, Politech: Politics and Technology

also see "PIPEDA: The Privacy Law Blog", the author of this blog, David T.S. Fraser, is a Canadian privacy lawyer
Mar. 02, 2005. Investigators obtained suspect's DNA through daughter, sources say. Tim Potter & Ron Sylvester, Knight Ridder/Tribune

Concerns over Daughter’s DNA in BTK Case

"...Legal experts say how that DNA was obtained could be a crucial part of the case. The 4th Amendment protects us from 'unreasonable search and seizure.' Additionally, HIPPA regulations federally protect the privacy of our medical records. However, it is possible for prosecutors to get those medical records but they must follow very specific procedures for the evidence to hold up in court. Failure to follow HIPPA regulations in obtaining Rader’s daughters’ DNA could allow the case to be thrown out. Wichita Attorney Kiehl Rathbun says he knows that only a subpoena from the District Attorney’s office was used to get Rader’s daughters’ medical file. But HIPPA regulations require a protective order from the court in addition to the subpoena...The medical records for Rader’s daughter may have given police probable cause to arrest her father which in turn lead to his reported confession.The daughter’s DNA may also have given police probable cause to search the Rader home. But if the District Attorney obtained the DNA unlawfully all of the evidence might never be allowed in court. 'Everything coming from the arrest is suppressed, everything coming from the searches is suppressed. That means there is no confession, there is no evidence,' said Rathbun. However it is possible the daughter volunteered the use of her private records. but no one is commenting on this possibility at this time (Randall Kamm, KSN News)."

Mar 18, 2005. Concerns over Daughter’s DNA in BTK Case. Randall Kamm, KSN News

Computer Disk Led to Arrest in Killings, Pastor Says

“Mr. Clark said that the police told him they used information on the computer disk in B.T.K.'s final mailing on Feb. 16 to trace it back to a computer at ChristBTK  cd computer disk dennis rader Lutheran Church, where Mr. Clark is the pastor. Mr. Rader, the president of the church council, had used the church's computer a few weeks earlier, Mr. Clark said, to print the agenda for a council meeting he was to preside over. "I remember showing him how to use the computer, how to use the printer, because his wasn't working at home," said Mr. Clark, whose church office was searched by the police last week, a day before the police announced the arrest (March 2, 2005. Monica Davey, NY Times).”

Case Resources & Overviews

Johnsonville  Blogspot
BTK Wichita Serial Killer
Nightmare in Wichita: The Hunt for the BTK Strangler, Robert Beattie
FBI Forensics Handbook (.pdf file)


Arrest is 'answer' for son's 14 years of wondering (3/1/2005)
Pastor: Disk gave police key clue (3/2/2005)
Eagle, KAKE disclose info (3/2/2005)
Search and find (3/2/2005)
Puzzle sent to KAKE (.pdf) (3/2/2005)
Postcards sent to KAKE (.pdf) (3/2/2005)
Classified ads published in The Eagle (3/2/2005)
Did police use ads to talk to BTK? (3/2/2005)
Foulston will avoid inflammatory words (3/2/2005)
Source: Daughter's records were subpoenaed (3/3/2005)
How private are your medical records? (3/4/2005)
Judge seals files in Rader case (3/4/2005)
A glimpse of BTK's 10 victims (3/6/2005)
BTK suspect doesn't fit many of the theories (3/6/2005)
Motion asks, what happens to DNA? (3/9/2005)
Rader's hearing delayed by weeks (3/11/2005)
Rader's tour of duty (3/16/2005)
Lab processing, storage likely to be challenged in BTK case (3/17/2005)

Links to other BTK pages
B.T.K. Suspect is Charged with 10 Murder Counts
Who is Dennis L. Rader?
BTK Eludes Capture and Taunts Police for 31 years
Jan. 15, 1974 - The Oteros
BTK Stands for Bind, Torture, and Kill
“An Inch Thick Document for a Couple Of $25 Dog Fines!!”
BTK Breaks his Silence: Communications 2004 - 2005

See the BTK Suspect's handwriting sample

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