Serial Killer, Silent for 25 Years, Claims 1986 Killing

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A serial killer who terrorized Wichita during the 1970s by committing a series of seven murders has claimed responsibility for an eighth slaying and is probably now living in Wichita, the Wichita Eagle reports.

A letter The Wichita Eagle received a week ago suggests that the BTK strangler was responsible for the Sept. 16, 1986, strangulation death of Vicki Wegerle, who was found dead in her home at 2404 W. 13th St. The crime was never solved.

The letter contained a single sheet of paper with a photocopy of Wegerle’s driver’s license and three pictures that apparently were taken of her body. Each picture shows the victim in a slightly different pose and with her clothing arranged in a slightly different manner.

The letter was postmarked from Wichita on March 17.

The victim’s relatives said Wednesday that the driver’s license was the only thing they know of that was missing from the home.

Police said there were no crime scene photographs of Wegerle’s body because it was removed by EMS workers before police arrived. At that time, police said, EMS policy was to transport injured people to the hospital as quickly as possible even if there was no pulse.

“The photographs appear to be authentic,” said Lt. Ken Landwehr, who has been working on the BTK case for 20 years. “I’m 100 percent sure it’s BTK. There’s no doubt that that’s Vicki Wegerle’s picture.”

He said evidence from the Wegerle homicide also has been sent to the forensic center and is being processed using technology that was not available in 1986. He said detectives planned to run any evidence they find through national fingerprint and DNA databases.

Landwehr said detectives also would be studying other unsolved homicides to see whether there may be more BTK victims.

The return address on the letter said it was from Bill Thomas Killman — initials BTK — with the address in the 1600 block of Oldmanor.

“There has never been a Bill Thomas Killman,” Landwehr said.

There is no Oldmanor street in Wichita, although there is an Old Manor. An apartment at that address on Old Manor, which is in a group of brick four-plexes, is vacant, Landwehr said. He said he did not know whether the address had any significance.

Link: http://www.kansas.com/mld/kansas/8268103.htm?template=contentModules/printstory.jsp

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