Police say they are confident that the arrest of a man suspected of being the so-called BTK serial killer will end 30 years of terror, and a source said he confessed to some killings.
Dennis L. Rader, the churchgoing family man arrested Friday, confessed to six killings, the source close to the investigation told The Associated Press on Sunday.
"The guy is telling us about the murders," the source said on condition of anonymity.
Rader, 59, was being held in lieu of $10 million bail in the deaths of 10 people between 1974 and 1991. Police had long linked eight murders to BTK — the killer's self-coined nickname that stands for "Bind, Torture, Kill" — but added two more on Saturday after Rader's arrest and said their investigation was continuing.
Rader could appear in court via video as early as Monday so prosecutors could recite yet-to-be-filed criminal charges against him and the judge could review bail. However, the hearing was likely to be postponed until Tuesday, the district attorney's office said Sunday. It was unclear whether Rader had a lawyer.
The source said investigators also were looking at three other killings as linked to the BTK killer. But Police Chief Norman Williams on Monday angrily criticized news media reports as complicating "an already complex investigation."
Williams did not go into specifics and refused to take any questions.
Prosecutors had said initially they could not pursue the death penalty against Rader because the murders linked to BTK occurred when Kansas did not have the death penalty. But it appears that
After years of silence, the BTK killer re-emerged over the last year, taunting police with letters and packages sent to media outlets.
Rader, a married father of two, a Cub Scout leader and an active member of a Lutheran church, was anything but a recluse.
At his most recent job as a city code enforcement supervisor, Rader issued citations for the smallest infractions, such as unmowed grass, reports Bowers.
Before becoming a municipal employee, Rader worked for a home-security company, where he held several positions that allowed him access to customers' homes, including a role as installation manager. He worked for ADT Security Systems from 1974 to 1989 — the same time as a majority of the BTK killings.
Mike Tavares, who worked with Rader at ADT, described him as a "by-the-books" employee who would often draw diagrams of houses and personally make sure technicians installed systems correctly.
While Rader was known as a blunt person and rubbed some people the wrong way, he never struck co-workers as anything other than businesslike.
"I've spoken to some co-workers who were around then, and everybody is very numb," said Tavares, who left the company in 2001.
At his church and around town, many expressed shock that Rader was accused of being the BTK killer.
"I never would have guessed in a million years," said a tearful Carole Nelson, a member of Christ Lutheran church, where Rader was an usher and the president of the church council.
The church's pastor, Michael Clark, said in an
"I saw Dennis as a very quiet person, not withdrawn, but not real outgoing, very friendly," said Clark. "He responded to people."
Clark also said that Rader's family was in a state of shock when he visited them.
"They're handling it very difficultly," Clark said. "It's been tough on all of them. His mother, his wife."
Police disclosed little about how they identified Rader as a suspect and have said they will not comment further on the case, but bits and pieces of the investigation have filtered out.
Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius told The Associated Press that DNA evidence was key to cracking the case. It was unclear whether BTK's letters helped lead to the arrest. Police have said they obtained semen from the crime scenes even though the killer did not sexually assault his victims.
Wichita television station KAKE, citing sources it did not name, reported that DNA from Rader's daughter, Kerri, was instrumental in his capture, though KAKE anchor Larry Hatteberg said it did not appear the daughter turned in her father.
Parts of the profile released earlier by police seemed to match up. Investigators said they believed the killer was familiar with a professor at Wichita State University. Rader graduated from the university in 1979.
In the 1970s, Rader worked at a nearby Coleman camping gear plant where two of the BTK victims were employed.