Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Taunt or Desire
WICHITA (AP) — More than two decades have passed since a serial killer terrorized Wichita, strangling or stabbing seven victims and bragging about it to the media.

Police hadn't heard a peep from the killer in 25 years — until now.

On March 19, a letter arrived at The Wichita Eagle with information on an unsolved 1986 killing, a copy of the victim's driver's license and photos of her slain body.

The letter sent to the Eagle was the first clue that the 1986 killing of Vicki Wegerle might have been at the hands of BTK, an acronym the killer used for "bind, torture and kill."

Six of BTK's victims were strangled; one was stabbed to death. Four were members of one family — two children and their parents. Letters claiming responsibility for the slayings were sent to The Wichita Eagle and KAKE-TV.
Is this a taunt or has the killer gotten sloppy in his desire to be caught and punished? If sending the letter was meant as a further slight then it's likely that no fingerprints or DNA will be isolated from the current letter. However, renewed attention will likely result in analyses of the letters sent during his killing spree in the 70s and 80s and it is not probable that he would have thought to avoid licking the stamps and/or envelopes at that time. If the evidence has been preserved, there is a good chance that the killer's DNA profile will be obtained from one or more items of evidence. There's also a reasonable probability that in the interim he has been arrested for a crime for which his DNA profile was entered into the CODIS (CObined DNA Index System) offender database. Regardless of his motivation, taunt or guilt, his freedom may soon be at an end.


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