Article Overview:   The BTK Strangler is back in Wichita.    He or she is telling the city of 350,000 that the Beast of Terror is back in town.   What can we all do to protect ourselves from a serial killer?   How can we avoid being the next victim?


Friday, April 2, 2004—Ground Zero Plus 933
Wichita Stalked By Beast Of Binding -Torture-Killing Terror.

Cliff McKenzie

 GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--April 2, 2004 -- Wichita Kansas is a historic mid-west town of 350,000 best known for beef and corn, not for serial killers.    Thirty years ago, the BTK Strangler gripped the city in Terror.    At least seven brutal murders remain unsolved.  Each of the victims was bound, tortured and killed by strangulation.
      A generation ago the killing stopped.   No one knew why.  Speculation was that the killer may have died, or been locked up in an institution or prison.   No one really cared as long as he was gone and the children of the community and their parents felt safe.
      When he roamed the land, the BTK Strangler snuck into homes, cut the phone lines and waited for the victims.  Then he tied them up and slowly tortured them until death became a welcome rather than dreaded part of the process.
      Now, he's back. cast his shadow as the Beast of Terror over the city

The BTK Strangler has returned.....

        Like some B-Grade horror movie, the BTK Strangler has returned to cast his Beast of Terror shadow over the children of the children.    Those young people who grew up in the 70's looking under their bed and checking their closets not for some imaginary boogeyman but for a real, live human being who threatened families at random, now have children.    They are teaching their children to look under their beds and closets. 
      Many of the 110,000 homeowners and apartment dwellers are buying guns, learning how to shoot, installing security systems, shifting their "non-violence" philosophies to "kill-for-the-sake-of-protecting-my-children."
      All because of a letter.

The return address for the letter to The Wichita Eagle is for a Bill Thomas Killman, with B.T.K. initials, but the police say no such person exists, the paper reported.

        A few weeks ago, on March 17, a letter turned up at local newspaper bearing the earmarks of the BTK Strangler.    No one but police and the killer know about the special signature, so the letter was considered authentic.    In 1974 the BTK Strangler had used a variety of communications to alert police and the public of his intentions.
        What I find hard to comprehend is drawing a distinction between a serial killer and a Terrorist.

Shirley Vian's body is carried from her house in Wichita, in 1977.

        Many people apply many definitions to Terrorism, ultimately trying to squeeze Terrorism into a container marked "Political Agenda."
         But that's truly not the nature of Terrorism.
         Terrorism is far more universal, far more pungent than just an exercise in applying muscle and threats to seek some political agenda.
         Terrorism is about inflicting Fear, Intimidation and Complacency upon victims.    The BTK Strangler has one agenda--to turn a city into a state of fear, to drive a society into fearing its shadows, to turn all into suspects.
          The suicide bomber does not seek to Terrorize those he or she blows up.  That's not the point.  The point is to Terrorize the people who escaped.   To make them cower in Fear, to shrink in Intimidation, and to run and hide in Complacency over the powerlessness to fight back.
          The BTK Strangler seeks the same goal.   His or her mission is to infect the city of Wichita with theVirus of Terror, and, he or she is doing a great job of it a generation later--just when the citizens thought the cornfields were safe.

The body of one of the Otero family members is carried from their house in Wichita in 1974.

         I would like the world to revaluate its view of Terrorism.   The abusive father or mother who threatens children or physically harms them to control their behavior is a Terrorist.   If the children live in Fear of either verbal or physical abuse, or are Intimidated by the threat of parental abuse, or adult abuse, they tend to fall into the rut of Complacency, feeling powerless to act against the forces of oppression and tyranny that "torture" them into submission.

Terrorists kill the spirit of children

        In truth, Terrorists kill the spirit of children.   Those adults who use their power to threaten children, to make them shake in Fear at their presence, or to lower their heads in servitude because they don't meet the harsh expectations leveled upon them by the adult (s), parents, guardians, are binding and torturing the children just as surely as the BTK Strangler executes his modus operandi.   And, as far as the killing is concerned, there is a strangulation event.   Such Terror strangles the will of the child, strangles its self worth.    There is some death to some part of the soul.   The oxygen of Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for future generations is cut off by the Fingers of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.

The BTK Strangler is just another Beast of Terror

      The BTK Strangler is just another Beast of Terror.    He or she is symbolic of the worst possible twisting of human nature, but, he or she is no more threatening to the 350,000 citizens of Wichita than is the father or mother or teacher or grandfather or uncle or aunt who abuses children.
          Why we would fear the likes of a BTK Strangler more than fear the presence of an insidious Beast of Family Terror who might be abusing our children escapes me.  Our priorities as a nation must be much broader.  We must seek to see and defend the children from the Terror daily.
         If we are subscribers to the Pledge of Vigilance, we do not have to rush out and buy guns or worry about locking our houses or checking our dark corners.   We do those things naturally, because we never forget the Beast of Terror is lurking.
        Don't wait for a BTK Strangler to awaken you.    Open your eyes today.
        Become a Citizen of Vigilance, not a Victim of Terrorism.

                     Deadly timeline documents the BTK killings in Wichita
Jan. 15, 1974: Joseph and Julie Otero are strangled in their home along with two of their children, Josephine, 11, and Joseph II, 9.
April 4, 1974: Kathryn Bright, 21, is stabbed to death in her home. Police later conclude she was a BTK victim.
October 1974: The Wichita Eagle-Beacon receives a letter from a person claiming to have killed the Oteros, including details of the crime scene only the killer could have known.
March 17, 1977: Shirley Vian, 24, is found tied up and strangled at her house.
Dec. 8, 1977: Nancy Fox, 25, is found tied up and strangled in her home. The killer's Voice is captured on tape when he calls to report the crime.
Jan. 31, 1978: A poem, referring to the Vian killing, is sent to the Eagle-Beacon.
Feb. 10, 1978: A letter from BTK is sent to KAKE-TV claiming responsibility for the deaths of Vian, Fox, and an unnamed victim. Police Chief Richard LaMunyon announces a serial killer is at large.
April 28, 1979: BTK waits inside a home, but leaves before the 63-year-old woman who lives there returns. He later sends her a letter letting her know he was there.
Mid-1980s: A new BTK investigation is opened by a group known as "The Ghostbusters," who spend three years employing new techniques such as DNA testing, computer database searches and psychological profiles.
Sept. 16, 1986: Vicki Wegerle, 28, is strangled in her home.
March 19, 2004: A letter arrives at The Wichita Eagle containing a photocopy of Wegerle's driver's license and photos of her body. Police link it to BTK.



April 1--Widows Of Vigilance:  Are They Creating Terror or Healing It?

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