As the Michael Jackson trial continues, the next sensational media court frenzy begins next week in the case of Wichita’s “BTK” serial killer suspect, USA Today reports. A preliminary hearing for Dennis Rader, a former Cub Scout leader and suburban dogcatcher, starts Tuesday. Prosecutors plans to reveal for the first time, evidence linking Rader to 10 unsolved murders dating back to 1974. The killer tortured and strangled most of his victims, typically single women. Their deaths, and the search for the killer, terrified the state’s largest city.
Public defender Steve Osburn says Rader, 60, does not intend to plead guilty. Non-stop media coverage has raised concerns about whether Rader can get a fair trial. Dozens of out-of-town news organizations will cover the preliminary hearing. A trial is months or even a year away. Robert Beattie, a Wichita lawyer who was in high school when BTK first struck, rushed into print a book, “Wichita: The Hunt for the BTK Strangler.” that debuted last week at No. 4 on The New York Times bestseller list.