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Friday, March 26, 2004

Reopening Old Wounds 

I've discussed here on the blog before that perhaps the one unsolved case that I think about the most is that of the BTK Strangler, who killed several people in Wichita in the 1970s. He had last been heard from in 1979, when he sent a letter to law enforcement with details only the killer could know and taunting them to catch him. After that, nothing, although there were rumors that he had killed others in the interim.

Now, BTK is back, having sent two letters to the Wichita Eagle on March 17 with details on the 1986 murder of Vicki Wegerle. Evidently, the letter included a photocopy of Wegerle's driver's license and crime scene photos. Police are "100% sure" it's authentic. And like everyone else in the Wichita area, I have to ask--why now? Why break two decades of silence?

If I had to guess, I wonder if it might have anything to do with rumors that had circulated on the Crime and Justice Bulletin board that BTK was going to be unmasked as someone who has been deceased for nearly a decade, and it's certainly not beyond the realm of possibility that the killer might have been aware of the discussion--especially considering his previous penchant for following any and all media coverage about him when the frenzy was at a high several decades ago.

I hope they catch him, and I hope he doesn't strike again. But we'll see if either of those best-case scenarios actually play out.

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