BTK as Zodiaphile

Discussion of crimes & cases NOT RELATED to the Zodiac Killer

BTK as Zodiaphile

Postby doranchak » Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:00 pm

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entropy, Subject: BTK as Zodiaphile Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:28 pm

I've thought about starting this topic for a long time but never got around to it. I know there are others who followed the BTK case closely so perhaps a discussion of similarities and differences could be useful? For those unfamiliar with the BTK case, here's a good overview:

http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/seri ... dex_1.html

"BTK", a.k.a. Dennis Rader, terrorized Wichita, KS for decades beginning with the murder of 4 Otero family members in January 15, 1974. He went on to kill 10 victims up to 1991 but was largely unknown outside of Wichita, partially because of Wichita P.D.'s insistence on keeping every element of the case secret and sometimes even denying the existence of genuine BTK communications. On March 19, 2004, BTK sent a letter taking responsibility for an unconfirmed 1986 murder, confirming it with the driver's license of the victim, Nancy Jo Fox. Interestingly enough, BTK's first murder occurred exactly two weeks prior to Zodiac's final positively confirmed letter, the Exorcist letter. Exactly two weeks after BTK's return (4/2/04), S.F.P.D. decided to officially deactivate its Zodiac investigation. I've often wondered whether the hype over BTK's return didn't influence S.F.P.D.'s decision, anticipating the apparent similarities with BTK and the media circus which it inevitably created.

http://www.zodiackiller.com/CaseClosed.html

There was a time when many people (including myself) believed that "BTK" and Zodiac could actually be the same individual. The similarities of the two cases wasn't lost on LE despite the differences between them. I do actually wonder whether BTK didn't actually mention Zodiac by name at some point. In a 1978 letter, BTK lists other serial killers who share his "Factor X" or propensity to kill:

"You don't understand these things because your not under the influence of factor x). The same thing that made Son of Sam, Jack the Ripper, Havery Glatman, Boston Strangler, Dr. H.H. Holmes Panty Hose Strangler OF Florida, Hillside Strangler, Ted of the West Coast and many more infamous character kill."

He strangely mentions someone as obscure as Harvey Glatman yet apparently omits Zodiac, who was by far the most notorious at-large serial killer at the time. One of the chief BTK investigators, however, was quoted as saying that BTK complained about not receiving attention in the newspapers "like the Zodiac in California" (the quote can apparently no longer be found on-line).

BTK's method of killing was totally different than Z's. He patiently stalked specific female victims and gave them personal "project names". BTK was a sexual sadist, strangling women repeatedly and torturing them for his enjoyment while sometimes masturbating at the scene. His method of communication and taunting, however, was far more similar to Zodiac than any other serial killer I can think of. Communicating serial killers are fairly rare to begin with but BTK clearly emulated Zodiac, in my opinion, at least once he returned in 2004.

Let's look at some of the similarities between the two:

- Both BTK and Zodiac wrote directly to the media rather than police and wanted their messages broadcast to the public.

- Both complained that the media failed to give them the attention they deserved.

- Both offered their own signature name with BTK actually suggesting a number of possibilities:

"'THE B.T.K. STRANGLER', WICHITA STRANGLER', 'POETIC STRANGLER', 'THE BOND AGE STRANGLER' OR PSYCHO' THE WICHITA HANGMAN THE WICHITA EXECUTIONER, 'THE GAROTE PHATHOM', 'THE ASPHIXIATER', B.T.K".

- Both created their own personal symbols, which they sometimes used to confirm communications. In BTK's case, this symbol was never released to the public until the case was solved.

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- Both sent puzzles and ciphers, suggesting that the solutions would lead to their motivations and identities. BTK sent a word-search puzzle, code and number puzzle, none of which were initially released to the public. I'll discuss each in another post if anyone is interested. He also sent a chapter list for his "BTK Story" and a list of false personal information which ultimately led to the arrest of a totally innocent man. I've mentioned before having an extended email discussion with one of the main investigators of the BTK, who had suggested trying to solve an unsolved BTK code using Zodiac letter substitution from the 408 cipher. He clearly believed that BTK was a devoted Zodiaphile.

- Both repeatedly threatened more victims and seemed intent on terrorizing the community as well as their victims.

- Both attempted to attach themselves to local celebrities. For Zodiac, it was Paul Avery and Melvin Belli. For BTK's case, he specifically addressed well-known Wichita lawyer, Robert Beattie, and news anchors at KAKE TV.

- Both attempted to place phone calls directly to law enforcement.

-Both took "souvenirs" from their victims and utilized them to confirm their responsibility in the crimes.

- Both seemed to choose a specific media source that they could "trust" to present their message. Zodiac clearly read and responded to the SF Chronicle, BTK focused on local station KAKE, imploring them to relay his messages properly:

BTK: "KAKE is a good station, but I feel they are starting to be single out because of me, and causing problems among the people. Let's help the NEWS MEDIA and WPDby using this package as a start".

- Both showed an element of creativity in their communications- Zodiac with his collaged greeting cards, BTK with poetry and drawings of crime scenes and potential victims.

- Both had atrocious spelling despite apparently demonstrating a fair amount of intelligence in other areas. In the BTK case, many people found his spelling a little TOO bad and searched for clews in his misspellings. BTK turned out to be a college graduate but his spelling mistakes were the result of... crappy spelling ability. His wife had apparently found a poetry communication at one time and told him that he "spelled just like BTK" based on the limited communications release in the media.

- Both had the unusual ability or willingness to lay low and stay quiet for months or years at a time, which help them to avoid capture.

- Both cases remained unsolved for decades.

I'm sure there are plenty more similarities and many differences as well. There was also a HUGE difference in the way the cases were handled since Wichita P.D. was able to convince the media not to release most of BTK's communications. The public was asked for tips but actually knew very little about BTK because only selected information was provided to them and even his continued existence in the community was guarded when most believed he was either dead, in prison or perhaps moved away.

Just thought this might lead to some interesting discussion for those familiar with the case...


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Dreamnine, Subject: Re: BTK as Zodiaphile Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:59 pm

In 1968 to 1970 Rader was stationed in Japan, so definitely not Z but there are many similarities as you've pointed out above - BTK used guns, knives, rope and communicated with the authorities. It wasn't until quite late on - the 80s - that LE even knew they had a serial killer in Wichita.

Interesting to me is whether BTK killed the Fager family on 12/31/87. He certainly seemed to admire it from afar - sending a drawing to the mother in the mail a few days later.

http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/crim ... ics/7.html

And if not Rader then who was responsible? Not the suspect that LE had who was found not guilty at trial.

http://genealogytrails.com/kan/sedgwick/fagers.html

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entropy, Subject: Re: BTK as Zodiaphile Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:37 am

Dreamnine wrote:In 1968 to 1970 Rader was stationed in Japan, so definitely not Z but there are many similarities as you've pointed out above - BTK used guns, knives, rope and communicated with the authorities. It wasn't until quite late on - the 80s - that LE even knew they had a serial killer in Wichita.

Interesting to me is whether BTK killed the Fager family on 12/31/87. He certainly seemed to admire it from afar - sending a drawing to the mother in the mail a few days later.

http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/crim ... ics/7.html

And if not Rader then who was responsible? Not the suspect that LE had who was found not guilty at trial.

http://genealogytrails.com/kan/sedgwick/fagers.html


Hi Dreamnine...

Yes, Rader had a few family connections in California but the timeline clearly rules him out as Z. I really have questions about when Wichita P.D. knew they were dealing with a serial killer because of their almost pathological desire to keep every bit of information from the public.

I'm very familiar with the Fager case (or used to be) but am still on the fence regarding Rader's possible involvement. Bill Butterworth was a good suspect but was acquitted and continued to profess his innocence. BTK (Rader) did indeed send a drawing of one of the girls bound and a pathetic poem to Mary Fager shortly after the murders but the drawing was apparently inconsistent with the actual crime scene. WPD denied or dismissed any possibility that BTK was involved and flat out lied, IMHO, about whether the letter to Mary Fager came from BTK because they did want the public to know that BTK was still alive and living in the community at the time (1988). Det. Landwher is on record as denying any connection but later pretty much acknowledged that the letter was believed to have been sent by BTK. What WPD never acknowledged is that the drawing from BTK contained BTK's secret symbol, which had never been released to the public. Did they really not believe that this was sent by BTK? Bill Butterworth's lawyers attempted to have the letter from BTK submitted into evidence for his trial but this was rejected because... apparently a known serial killer attempting to take credit for the murder was irrelevant to the case. :shock: Gotta wonder if WPD's insistence on keeping BTK in the closet didn't influence that decision.

I have both the drawing sent by BTK with his symbol and the poem sent. The poem was never released to the public but is typewritten and is rather difficult to read but most of it can be discerned. I can dig it up and PM to you if you're interested. FWIW, Rader denied involvement both in the poem and in his interview with Det. Landwher after his arrest. He indicated that he was aroused by the media reports of the Fager girls being bound and sent his own fantasy representation, which I think is entirely possible. If that's the case, his implicit acceptance of responsibility and taunting for a crime he didn't commit certainly makes me think of Z and I think the psychological similarities are interesting to consider.



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Dreamnine, Subject: Re: BTK as Zodiaphile Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:16 am

I've been re-reading the book Bind, Torture, Kill by Roy Wenzl lately - it has that drawing, but not the poem plus quite a lot of Rader's odd communications with LE.


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I think part of the problem Landwehr had was how much or how little to go public with as they didn't want to incite BTK to commit yet more crimes, but they needed to hold his interest to trap him. Also difficult was the sheer number of other homicides they had - some multiple and others heart-wrenching like those of children.

The Fager case is very, very strange..I don't think it was Rader yet I don't believe it was Butterworth, either.



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entropy, Subject: Re: BTK as Zodiaphile Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:52 am

That is a really interesting book as I recall, Dreamnine, especially in regards to the interplay between law enforcement and the media about what to release and when. In general, the media in Wichita was complicit with allowing WPD to dictate what would be released and when. I understand the desire not to cause panic, especially after BTK's "return" in 2004, but I think it was at the expense of keeping the public informed in the early days.

Here's the drawing of the Fager scene sent by Rader (caution: somewhat graphic):

[img]C:\Documents%20and%20Settings\steve\My%20Documents\My%20Pictures\KTB\Fager%20drawing.jpg[/img]

Note the symbol in the bottom right, which is not exactly like the one from previous letter(s?) but similar enough to indicate that it was sent by the same person:

And the unreleased poem:

[img]C:\Documents%20and%20Settings\steve\My%20Documents\My%20Pictures\KTB\Fager%20poem%20two.jpg[/img]

Edited to add: Oops... the drawing link didn't work for some reason but probably just as well. It's a fairly crude drawing of a bound female by a hot tub, apparently representing Rader's warped imagination of the crime scene.

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Dreamnine, Subject: Re: BTK as Zodiaphile Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:33 pm

Yes, Rader was a very 'visual' criminal - even though he probably had nothing to do with the Fager murders, he would have applauded the killer and attempted to live out the crime vicariously, hence his drawing.

I also find it interesting that he took Polaroids of some of his own crimes - notably Wegerle - posed bodies with masks, moved bodies around and kept a journal of sorts which was dynamic ie. he would re-visit the Otero crimes 30 years later. And he was also into bondage and tying up his victims... He had that in common with Glatman who I'm sure he would have read about in his detective magazines.

I'm glad you started this thread, entropy, because I was going to start one just about the Fager murders. If that case had happened 20 years earlier, then it would have fit right in with the Percy/Bricca/Sims cases: http://zodiackillersite.forummotion.com ... er-6-25-68

The father worked in the aviation industry although this wasn't uncommon in Wichita.

I wonder, who the target was? The girls or the father? Was it a sexual crime and the father had to be eliminated? Is this why he was shot and they strangled/drowned? Did the killer know that the mother was absent that day?

Edit: This link has some good information on the hypnosis of Butterworth: http://ks.findacase.com/research/wfrmDo ... .KS.htm/qx

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entropy, Subject: Re: BTK as Zodiaphile Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:43 pm

I'm glad you started this thread, entropy, because I was going to start one just about the Fager murders. If that case had happened 20 years earlier, then it would have fit right in with the Percy/Bricca/Sims cases: http://zodiackillersite.forummotion.com ... er-6-25-68


You should go ahead and do that, Dreamnine. This group has dug up some good information on other cases totally unrelated to Z. It's a sad but interesting unsolved case. Unsolved but essentially closed because WPD obviously believes that they already prosecuted the right man. You might also be interested in this board, started by Paul Fecteau, author of a book about the Fager murders:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AShudder_in_Wichita/

It's not really an active discussion group but previous discussions are worth reading.

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Dreamnine, Subject: Re: BTK as Zodiaphile Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:51 pm

Thanks for that link - I often get interested in tangential cases.

Yes, LE did seem very sure they had the right man and his behaviour was odd.

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traveller1st, Subject: Re: BTK as Zodiaphile Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:29 pm

Yes, good thread.

I too would be interested in the psyche / psychology of Rader in regards Zodiac. Would be interesting as well to maybe transpose the various situational circumstances such as married, type of job, involved with church (quite comfortable socially, in himself anyway) etc etc. See how that might make us consider things differently about certain aspects of the Z case.

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entropy, Subject: Re: BTK as Zodiaphile Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:44 am

traveller1st wrote:I too would be interested in the psyche / psychology of Rader in regards Zodiac. Would be interesting as well to maybe transpose the various situational circumstances such as married, type of job, involved with church (quite comfortable socially, in himself anyway) etc etc. See how that might make us consider things differently about certain aspects of the Z case.


Rader was obviously a very different kind of killer than Z. He was a sexual sadist who gained pleasure out of binding and torturing his female victims. He stalked multiple "projects" (potential victims) at a time, keeping detailed records of each. He was a much more "hands on" killer than Z and seemed to very much care who his victims were, what they looked like etc. He was definitely driven by sexual fantasy and kept personal momentos from his victims to relive the murders, not just to prove his responsibility. It is the behavior surrounding his crimes (the communicating, taunting, deceptive game-playing) that was so much like Zodiac's that make me believe he was specifically emulating Zodiac to some extent.

From memory, Rader served in the Air Force during the late 60s. He was a lousy student but managed to graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice from Wichita State University (which is not only ironic but kind of fits him in the role of a law enforcement wannabe that some suspected). Despite the college degree, his spelling and grammar (which many thought may have been feigned) was genuinely atrocious. Rader was married in 1971 (three years before his first murders) and had two children. He worked a variety of jobs including installing alarms for ADT security company, census taker, dog catcher and Supervisor for the Park City Compliance Dept. All of these were probably selected to further his career as serial killer by giving him plenty of time out of the office and access to people's homes. He was often described as harassing and officious in his public roles and was accused of stalking or harassing several women.

Rader was very active in the community as a Boy Scout leader and with the Lutheran Church, where he was serving as Church President at the time of his arrest. Rader's integration in the community definitely helped him avoid suspicion as WPD spent time seeking out convicted sex offenders and various social misfits fingered by the public. He also clearly had read a good bit about historical serial killers and perhaps emulated certain qualities others "under the influence of Factor X".

Rader taunted police with letters, phone calls, personal items from his victims, dolls representing victims, puzzles, a code, drawings and cereal boxes. He alluded to more victims and took credit for unsolved crimes he (presumably) didn't commit including the Fager family and a 19 year-old boy, Jake Allen, who allegedly committed suicide by tying himself to railroad tracks. He also provided an entirely false personal history to provide "bussy work" for police. To my knowledge, there is no evidence of Rader specifically referencing Zodiac but, aside from all of the other similarities, he did claim during his court testimony that he believed the Otero family (his first victims) would serve as his slaves in the afterlife. Sound familiar?

http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/seri ... tk/46.html

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Dreamnine, Subject: Re: BTK as Zodiaphile Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:14 am

Here is a doll he made of one of his victims 30 years later which he left for LE to find.

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entropy, Subject: Re: BTK as Zodiaphile Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:08 am

Somewhat off topic but I've often wondered about this:

In 1997, about eight months after the famous abduction and murder of Jon Benet Ramsey in her home, someone left an elaborately tied up Barbie doll on the Ramsey's front lawn.

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The binding is very similar to Rader's doll with a gag, hands behind the back and multiple bindings on the legs. It's also very similar to the way Rader bound victim, Shirley Vian, and even himself at times.

http://www.freewebs.com/thebtksite/raderalltiedup1.jpg

Not suggesting that Rader killed Jon Benet Ramsey but I do wonder about the possibility that Rader may have traveled the 7 1/2 hours from Wichita to Boulder, CO to leave a taunting message for the Ramsey family after seeing this case on the news and being stimulated by the idea of a young girl abducted, bound and strangled in her home.

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Dreamnine, Subject: Re: BTK as Zodiaphile Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:13 pm

I really wouldn't be surprised at all - the multiple leg bindings are similar.

And while it's a long drive, it's still just one state away. Rader did say that he was bored once his kids had grown up and he clearly revelled in what he had done, and admired other crimes, especially those somewhat similar.

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entropy, Subject: Re: BTK as Zodiaphile Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:53 pm

What the heck...

While we're on the topic, here's another unreleased communication from BTK entitled "BTK's Haunts, Ks. Cities":
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It's clearly intended to represent a map of towns in Kansas that Rader had stalked victims with the central point (around the right edge of the central black line) representing his home, church or whatever he considered to be his home base. FWIW, the "265" in the upper left corner (265 miles Northwest of Wichita and somewhere in Northwestern Kansas) is almost exactly halfway toward Boulder, CO. At the least, it shows that Rader traveled fairly extensively while trolling for potential victims.

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Dreamnine, Subject: Re: BTK as Zodiaphile Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:07 pm

One poster on that yahoo group you linked noted all the similarities between the Clutter murders in Holcomb (1959) and Rader's killing of the Oteros in 1974 - as if BTK had studied that murder very closely before selecting the Oteros as his victims.

Some of it must just be stubborn coincidence, but I bet Rader knew that part of Western Kansas well and had visited the location - it would be around the 206 on the left of that map.

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entropy, Subject: Re: BTK as Zodiaphile Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:36 pm

Absolutely, Dreamnine. Many people have noted the similarities to the infamous Clutter family murders. I think I determined long ago that the numbers likely represent driving distances and that the "206" probably represented Garden City, KS but Holcomb is only a short distance away and could be 206 miles depending on the route taken. Perhaps one of BTK's "haunts" was revisiting the Clutter family murders, which Rader himself recognized the similarities with Otero family murders?

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Jem, Subject: Re: BTK as Zodiaphile Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:44 am

Does anyone know what the "BTK's Acronym List" was? It was in the cereal box with the doll, according the the picture posted by Dreamnine.

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traveller1st, Subject: Re: BTK as Zodiaphile Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:52 am

I started writing this yesterday as a reply but it got too longwinded even for me and I was struggling to bring it to a conclusion lol. It was really just thinking about this slaves, afterlife nonsense. Trying to weed out possible reason for it even being used and using Rader as a sounding board. Also just to consider things like the media terming these things as beliefs which is ok for lack of something better to call it but misleading if you are digging a little deeper into it's purpose and meaning to the killer himself.

entropy wrote:To my knowledge, there is no evidence of Rader specifically referencing Zodiac but, aside from all of the other similarities, he did claim during his court testimony that he believed the Otero family (his first victims) would serve as his slaves in the afterlife. Sound familiar?


Nope?

Joking of course lol.

Where does this come from? I mean, it's surely not copying or borrowing, or is it? Using a symbol, now that's a bit more understandable - in a normal sense it's cool although in this sense it's twisted. As guys we like cool things, always have and a logo or symbol falls into that category and even better - a super-duper, alter ego, superhero logo - all just little boys at heart. I don't know but as far as I'm aware I can't see a reason to exclude serial killers from this kind of reasoning when it comes to likes and dislikes. So I can see the idea of a moniker or logo or brand or calling card catching on among the ranks of serial killers, whether that be from movies & tv or from media reporting of other serial killers but ...

... Slaves in the afterlife? really?

That's not cool, it's cheesey, corny, lame or whatever. So why borrow it? certainly not for inspirational reasons, I wouldn't think. Maybe a half-assed attempt at an insanity plea? I'm just not sure that someone who thinks that monikers, symbols, ciphers are cool would feel the same way about something as hokey victims becoming slaves. Not the afterlife bit, the slaves bit. I think serial killers have quite analytically inclined minds and would probably find logistical and belief holes in it.

Talking of belief ...

... is it one?

It certainly could be but this is a lot less less cut n' dried than simply cool or not cool. Take Rader for example, he worked in the church, so that puts him in immediate contact with talk concerning belief and the afterlife. I would imagine if he simply believed that you could get slaves from people you kill, for the afterlife, then that would have been challenged in those surroundings either directly or simply by the complete lack of it ever being mentioned. You can doubt a belief. It could of course be pathological whereby he didn't even realize he had a conflicting belief but he did realize, only he lied to himself so much that he didn't have this conflict, that he actually started to believe that as truth and selectively and subconsciously filtered out any mention of the contrary to any aspect of that belief structure. In essence, he would lie to himself. Belief works on the basis of you taking something as truth, it's simple. The pathological equivalent is usually based on a lie and is much more complicated in its reasonings. It's technically the opposite of a belief in a traditional sense, whatever that is - probably anti-belief works well but ironically, in this context, so do non-belief and un-belief. So if it was pathological belief it's not even a belief. A delusion might be a more accurate term.

That's one aspect of it and I started with that one because it's the term the article on the interweb regarding Rader. "Rader believed ..." given Rader's known behavior, does it not seem reasonable that it was a fantasy rather than a belief or delusion? Fantasies need fuel though. The slaves bit, in this context, I get given the nature of his crimes and the strong sexual fantasy attached to them. This sexual element of his fantasy mind was so strong that it had to be gratified almost immediately in and through the crimes, it had to become a reality, and it did. To attach afterlife to that kind puts it on the longhaul or a lesser scale of urgency so I kinda wonder did this happen because he was quite often around talk of the afterlife given his job with the church? Did this "notion" just get "attached" to the dominant sexual fantasies simply as a result of repeated exposure - a kinda daydream level fantasy based in part on location/occupation etc?

Is that a bit too simple? I mean could we possibly transpose that to Zodiac's mentioning of slaves and afterlife and suggest that it too was borne out of repeated exposure to a source of talk of the afterlife?

This of course requires that Rader's reason for using this terminology had nothing to do with Zodiac having used it prior...but what if it was?

This for me is where it can get even more speculative because whilst perfectly possible the actual motivations for it can be vague and childish and without reason and in that respect, unless you are given a reason and an explanation, one guess is as good as another within reason of course.

A homage
Wanted people to wonder if he had been the Zodiac
Wanted people to wonder if he knew who the Zodiac was
Was making fun of Zodiac

All plausible

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entropy, Subject: Re: BTK as Zodiaphile Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:44 pm

Good questions/thoughts, traveller. I seem to recall Rader dismissing his afterlife fantasies as "blowing smoke" or something to that effect. I can't cite my source at this time, it's just from memory. The whole slaves in the afterlife business was never mentioned in any communication before his arrest or, to my knowledge, when he was interviewed after his arrest.

The "slaves in the afterlife" idea actually seems to make more sense to me coming from a guy like Rader, who enjoyed bondage, control, domination and personalizing his victims. He seemed to have genuine (or strongly held) religious beliefs so perhaps this was a real fantasy that he held before he was captured. I really doubt that he believes that this was something that motivated him to kill or that he actually believed that his victims would become slaves in the afterlife.

The big question to me is whether he actually created this idea himself or whether he borrowed it from Zodiac. If it was created independently, I think it's another interesting psychological similarity to Zodiac, but I honestly think that it's more likely to have been borrowed directly from Z in Rader's reading about historical serial killers. As I said, there's no evidence of Rader specifically mentioning Zodiac but keep in mind that LE wouldn't exactly want the public to latch on to any comparison to the most infamous at-large serial killer, Zodiac. If Rader ever acknowledged emulating Zodiac, we would probably never know about it.

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entropy, Subject: Re: BTK as Zodiaphile Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:17 pm

Jem wrote:Does anyone know what the "BTK's Acronym List" was? It was in the cereal box with the doll, according the the picture posted by Dreamnine.


Jem,

This was a bizarre list of abbreviations or acronyms Rader sent related to his activities. The only one I remember off-hand was SBT= "Sparky big time", which in Rader's adolescent mind referred to having an erection. Genius stuff... NOT!

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Dreamnine, Subject: Re: BTK as Zodiaphile Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:08 am

He had a number of acronyms which would only be relevant to him. One was AFLV, short for Afterlife Concept of Victim.

According to the book, BTK, Bind, Torture, Kill, when arrested he told LE that he fantasised about enslaving all his victims in the afterlife; they would each have various duties to him - Nancy Fox, for example, would be his main mistress.

Rader is very unusual amongst serial killers because what he did, and what he apparently believed in, was insane.

Yet he had a normal career, got married and raised a boy and a girl. He was active in his Church and Scouting, he was a registered Republican.

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Jem, Subject: Re: BTK as Zodiaphile Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:30 am

Thanks, Entropy and Dreamnine. No, Rader was no genius. Which makes it difficult to understand how he could have handled the extreme cognitive dissonance required to be able to commit these crimes while, at the same time, being so much involved with his church.

Whether or not he got the "slaves for afterlife" idea from Zodiac (probably did), I think he would have to have rationalized his behavior somehow. And that would require delusion. As in, "I'm such a great guy, father, husband, public servant and church member that God is giving me this gift - to be able to kill without suffering the consequences that other men would".

And, of course, the special dispensation of being allowed to fantasize about his afterlife with his slaves would be another perk for being such a wonderful human being, in his mind.

As for Zodiac, I don't think he believed in an afterlife. Rader did, though, and I'd bet he thought Z did, as well. So, one reason for Rader to identify with Zodiac - rationalize that Z not getting caught meant that serial killing was sanctioned by God for just a few very special people, like himself and Z. And then, to bolster his belief in this delusion, do other things that Z did, like letters and puzzles.

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entropy, Subject: Re: BTK as Zodiaphile Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:50 am

Hmm... it does seem that Rader's concept of "slaves in the afterlife" was rather prevalent. In reading through the Crime Library article, he does allude to having specific roles laid out for all of his victims in the afterlife and I forgot about the abbreviation he assigned to it. It's really hard to distinguish between reality, fantasy and lies with this guy.

Jem, you're right, the cognitive dissonance is pretty amazing. Rader did seem to define himself as an upstanding citizen and all-around nice guy... except for that unfortunate serial killing habit. I ran across this quote as just one example referring to the Shirley Vian case:

Rader told Gouge that if the kids hadn't fled from the house through a window in the bathroom, he would have killed them too. He was quoted as saying, "I probably would have hung the little girl. Like I said, I'm pretty mean or could be. But on the other hand I'm very -- you know, I'm a nice guy."

http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/seri ... tk/47.html

Another interesting Z connection is that Rader told Kathryn and Kevin Bright that he was wanted in California and was trying to get to New York. Interesting that he chose California but it's also reminiscent of Z's statement to Hartnell of being wanted in Montana and planning to escape to Mexico.

To my knowledge, Rader has blamed his killing on "Factor X" (whatever the hell that is...), fantasy impulses and even a demon named "Batter".

http://s424.beta.photobucket.com/user/y ... 2388233669

I also found this letter, presumably written while he was still in the local prison, kind of interesting:

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Can anyone read what's written at the top left?

Last thought for today: This page of the Crime Library pisses me off immensely...

http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/seri ... uad_8.html

Hmm... could that new lead that nobody will talk about possibly be the murder of Dolores Davis in 1991? Despite that and the letter to the Fagers in 1988 with the BTK symbol, the public was pretty much led to believe that BTK was dead, had moved or was institutionalized (note the denial of the Fager letter by Chief LaMunyon in 1998). Then we have famous FBI profiler, Robert Ressler, attempting to create a profile of BTK in 1997 and concluding:

Additionally, because his pattern of killings has not been seen in Wichita since the '70s, he has "left the area, died or is in a mental institution or prison," Ressler said.

Umm... it would have been nice to tell Mr. Ressler about a letter sent in 1988 and a possible new victim in 1991, don't ya think?

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Dreamnine, Subject: Re: BTK as Zodiaphile Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:08 am

Yes, people like Ressler don't advertise their failures.

Then again, the idea that BTK had stopped - or at least slowed right down - because he was busy parenting, or busy with his job just wouldn't have occured to anyone.

There seemed to be a lot of murders in Wichita at that time - more than would be expected for a city that size.

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soccer, Subject: Re: BTK as Zodiaphile Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:58 pm

Dreamnine wrote:Yes, people like Ressler don't advertise their failures.

Then again, the idea that BTK had stopped - or at least slowed right down - because he was busy parenting, or busy with his job just wouldn't have occured to anyone.

There seemed to be a lot of murders in Wichita at that time - more than would be expected for a city that size.


You should have seen Wichita on a Friday or Saturday night from 60's to just a few years ago It looked like serial killer heaven .

It is a creepy place to start with a couple of slow moving rivers ( that have bacteria and smell like urine ) snake thru the towns residential blue collar sections A lot of vice with heavy prostitution ,drugs . A slew of old motels like the Bates Motel . In the 70's -80's seemed like 1 dead hooker per weekend was the norm. Newsflash alot of Kansas gets very borring and people would desend upon Wichita on the weekends looking to get into some kind of trouble and contributed much of the revenue ,there fore tollerated I suspect .

Also untill early to mid eightys all Boeing airliners,Cessna where built there and employed 50k and another 10-12k at aircraft vender companies drawing young people for jobs . Now about 4000 are in aircraft jobs there.

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entropy, Subject: Re: BTK as Zodiaphile Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:30 pm

Can anyone help with a close-up version of the symbol on the letter above? My brain is reading "radians" but perhaps that's just my imagination?

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doranchak, Subject: Re: BTK as Zodiaphile Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:27 am

From http://serialkillersink.com/skistore/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=675:

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From http://serialkillersink.net/skistore/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=676:

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entropy, Subject: Re: BTK as Zodiaphile Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:40 pm

Thanks, Dave.

So that drawing at the top of the first letter is supposed to be a RADAR SCREEN. Get it? Radar (Rader) screen? This is brought to you by the same guy who thought leaving communications in cereal boxes (Get it? He's a cereal killer!) was witty genius. I thought it looked like it was representing some kind of angular measure using our favorite symbol but apparently not.

The letter shows Rader presenting himself as devout and whining about the media being "very negative" about his chances prior to his sentencing in 2005. They clearly are not seeing what a good guy Rader really is at heart.

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Welsh Chappie, Subject: Re: BTK as Zodiaphile Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:04 pm

Interesting comparison. I've often thought these two (BTK & Zodiac) shared a lot in common. For example, after Rader murdered Nancy Fox her wrote a poem...

Oh! Death to Nancy
What is this taht I can see
Cold icy hands taking hold of me
for Death has come, you all can see.
Hell has open it,s gate to trick me.
Oh! Death, Oh! Death, can't you spare me, over for another year!
I'll stuff your jaws till you can't talk
I'll blind your leg's till you can't walk
I'll tie your hands till you can't make a stand.
And finally I'll close your eyes so you can't see
I'll bring sexual death unto you for me.
B.T.K.

Similar to Zodiac's 'Little List' (albeit that was a poem from a known opera)

BTK accompanies this with a letter that, like Z's, is laced with spelling mistakes...

"How many do I have to Kill before I get a name in the paper or some national attention. Do the cop think that all those deaths are not related? Golly -gee, yes the M.O. is different in each, but look a pattern is developing." He ends the letter with "Before a murder or murders you will receive a copy of the initials B.T.K. , you keep that copy the original will show up some day on guess who?

May you not be the unluck one!
P.S.
How about some name for me, its time: 7 down and many more to go. I like the following How about you?

"'THE B.T.K. STRANGLER', WICHITA STRANGLER', 'POETIC STRANGLER', 'THE BOND AGE STRANGLER' OR PSYCHO' THE WICHITA HANGMAN THE WICHITA EXECUTIONER, 'THE GAROTE PHATHOM', 'THE ASPHIXIATER'.
B.T.K"


The 'Guess who' reference. The Garote Phantom reference. His using P.S at the end of the letter just to point to a few.

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entropy, Subject: GBSOAP... Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:53 am

Here's a challenge for our resident cipher whizzes. It came to mind from the discussion in another thread about Zodiac possibly using some sort of key in the 340 cipher. I'm not suggesting that's necessarily the case but I thought this was an interesting analogy...

GBSOAP7-TNLTRDEITBSFAV-14

This is a code sent by Dennis Rader (BTK) upon his "return" in 2004. It was sent along with photos of an unknown (at that time) victim and the victim's driver's license and was unsolved until Rader's arrest in 2005. In order to solve the code, one had to know Rader's keyword, which was PIANO, a "project name" for that particular victim. It involved arranging the keyword and code letters into a 5X5 matrix and the last portion (after the number 7) turned out to be a message to Robert Beattie, a Wichita lawyer who wrote a book about the case and ultimately solved at least the second part of the cipher.

P I A N O
G B S O A
P T N L T
D E I T S
W B A F V


Rader apparently explained that it was some sort of "German fractional code" that he had learned in the military but I'm not sure if that's true and he apparently was unable to explain how he had created it after his arrest. Thanks to doranchak for reproducing our discussion about it because I couldn't find anything about it on-line.

Any guesses at the solution?

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doranchak, Subject: Re: BTK as Zodiaphile Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:05 pm

The only references I know about are from the book "Bind, Torture, Kill: The Inside Story of BTK, the Serial Killer Next Door":

http://www.amazon.com/Bind-Torture-Kill-Inside-Serial/dp/0061373958

Here are excerpts of the references:

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...snip...

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entropy, Subject: Re: BTK as Zodiaphile Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:19 pm

Spoiler alert... Rader reveals part of the solution to this code in the excerpt doranchak posted. It's the first part and the numbers that still interest me and, unfortunately, like the creator of the code, I forget exactly how this was solved but can offer a few more clues.
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Re: BTK as Zodiaphile

Postby entropy » Sun Aug 25, 2013 1:45 pm

Hi Daniel...

The generally accepted solution of "LET BEATTIE KNOW" was actually figured out by Robert Beattie himself after Rader revealed the keyword and probably the general idea of how it was constructed, even though he couldn't reproduce the actual method. I think it is a correct solution but incomplete since it ignores the first part of the code (GBSOAP) and the numbers. The solution involves assigning ordinal positions in that 5X5 matrix above.

The full solution would read:

VAGIAN7-LETBEATTIEKNOW14

I believe that the first part was ignored and not publicized because it was presumed that this was Rader's misspelling of "vagina", which it certainly could be. The full solution is rather tantalizing because there were 7 known BTK victims when this communication was sent in 2004 and the code was sent along with the driver's license of a new victim, Vicki Wegerle, who had long been suspected to be a BTK victim but essentially written off by Wichita P.D.

LET BEATTIE KNOW- 14??? There are 10 total confirmed BTK victims, which Rader eventually confessed to but a number of others (such as the Fager family) which have been strongly suspected. Like Zodiac, "BTK" was a liar but I think he is implicitly claiming 14 victims here and I doubt he was ever questioned about this. Wichita P.D. seemed more motivated to wrap this case up and put it behind them than to investigate any other possible connections, despite the fact that Rader acknowledge stalking all over the state of Kansas and kept detailed journals about his activities. Like Zodiac, I don't accept his "scoreboard" at face value by any means but a claim of 14 victims would not be wild speculation considering that he acknowledged three new victims after his capture and, like Zodiac, took great enjoyment out of making LE guess who he had killed.
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Re: BTK as Zodiaphile

Postby entropy » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:31 am

Hi Daniel...

This link has information about BTK's 3/19/04 communication to the Wichita Eagle, which contained the "GBSOAP" code:

http://johnsville.blogspot.com/2004/04/ ... -info.html

It didn't contain any letter but contained information about the 1986 murder of Vicki Wegerle. Many people considered her a possible BTK victim but police had long suspected her husband of the murder. The letter contained copies of the victim's driver's license taken from the crime scene, photos of her body and the code. The return address on the envelope turned out to be a vacant lot and the name "Bill Thomas Killman" is an obvious allusion to "BTK".

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Re: BTK as Zodiaphile

Postby entropy » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:29 pm

Don't know if this code was on the same piece of paper as the other "information", Daniel. It was definitely stenciled.

As far as Rader playing dumb, I'm not so sure. He was (and probably still is) pretty dumb despite having a Criminal Justice degree from Wichita State (they must be so proud of that...) :oops: He readily shared the code word (PIANO) needed to solve the code and I believe attempted to recreate how he constructed it but was unable to do so. My guess is that he just didn't remember the exact method. I'm afraid I'm just as dumb because I haven't been able to reproduce the solution but the method used to come up with the "LETBEATTIEKNOW" solution is definitely correct. It was described in an old KSN.com article but this is no longer on-line.

For what it's worth, this is my description to doranchak when we discussed it awhile back. I emailed Mr. Beattie years ago to ask his thoughts about the solution being incomplete but never heard back. Perhaps you'll have better luck in reproducing the solution?

It's driving me nuts that I can't remember how this was solved. I know it had to do with creating a 5X5 matrix of the key word and code letters such as:

P I A N O
G B S O A
P T N L T
D E I T S
W B A F V

I think it entailed assigning an ordinal position for each letter and reorganizing the matrix alphabetically. The P, for instance would be considered (1,1):

(1,3) (2,5) (5,3) (2,2) (5,2)
(4,1) (4,2) (5,4) (2,1) (1,2)
(4,3) (3,4) (1,4) (3,3) (1,5)
(2,4) (1,1) (3,1) (2,3) (4,5)
(3,2) (3,5) (4,4) (5,5) (5,1)

This was then somehow used to convert the code based on this alphabet matrix to come up with the solution:

VAGIAN7-LETBEATTIEKNOW14

A B C D E
F G H I/J K
L M N O P
Q R S T U
V W X Y Z
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Re: BTK as Zodiaphile

Postby Tahoe27 » Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:29 pm

Why are psychos so alike? He is so full of himself, but he is smart in that he knows other weirdos would buy his "artwork".

Note the circled "i's"...and even the use of the word "Zodiac". --Never thought he was Zodiac, just that...similar minds have some of the same traits.

http://www.kansas.com/news/local/article154275709.html

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BTK serial killer planning his own ‘kick-the-bucket scenario’
BY ROY WENZL

The BTK serial killer, who planned the deaths of 10 victims, is planning for his own death now.

Dennis Rader, 72, had a recent cancer scare.

“I had two relatives died of colon cancer and I was sure it had found me,” Rader wrote The Wichita Eagle last week, from the El Dorado Correctional Facility. He’s serving time there for 10 counts of first-degree murder. The Kansas Department of Corrections lists his earliest possible release date as the year 2180 – 163 years from now.

Doctors cleared up the health problems in recent months and found no cancer, he wrote.

“Back to normal now,” he wrote. But it prompted him to renew plans for “a kick-the-bucket scenario” for himself, he said. His word choice here is telling: “Scenario” is a word he used in describing plans for some of his 10 victims.

Dennis Rader was a husband, a sexual pervert, a Boy Scout volunteer, a murderer, church leader, child killer, stalker. He terrorized Wichita for 31 years.

He plans to write a will. He worries about what will happen with his remains and belongings, including his art, poetry, his considerable writings. He doesn’t want them destroyed. He wants to “downsize” and clean out his “cave,” as he calls his prison cell.

He worries that his estranged wife, daughter and son won’t claim his body.

“The family knows I want to be cremated and where to scatter the ashes, assuming they claim my body,” he wrote last week. “If not, the (prison) facility will have it done, and I think the ashes (will be) place in a ‘niche’ at Hutchinson, KS. Which will greatly disappoint my soul or ghost!”

“I did write Kerri (Rawson, his daughter) and ask her and the family if they would like my left-over art, poetry, papers, log books, journal, etc.,” Rader wrote. “I gave them a couple of months to decide. I thought perhaps Kerri might like to work with someone to ‘chap book’ or a bio on me.”

All this prompted a groan from Rawson on Friday.

“That’s the normal BS from him,” she said, from her home in Michigan. Her mother, Paula Rader, disowned and divorced Rader immediately after his 2005 arrest for murdering 10 people. Rawson rarely communicates with her father, and only by letter.

“But we told him, as early as 12 years ago, that we’ll do what he wants us to do when the time comes,” Rawson said. “I don’t understand why he keeps bringing it up. Except I think my dad is just trying to get attention. He’s a controller, and what he still has left is boxes of stuff he wrote, so he’s trying to control that.

“I don’t know of anyone who has a father like mine.”

When your father is the BTK serial killer, everyone wants your story

BTK’s daughter: Book allows Rader to feed ego

When your father is the BTK serial killer, forgiveness is not tidy

She said the family will carry out his wishes as best they can. The one thing they don’t want is for his belongings to be sold or used in any way that would do more harm to victims.

Rader has physically deteriorated considerably since his arrest by Wichita police and FBI agents in Park City 12 years ago. Tim Relph, still a Wichita homicide detective, was one of the task force detectives who helped lure Rader into making mistakes that got him arrested for the murders. He went to El Dorado last year to question Rader in an unrelated criminal case and said Rader looks thin, elderly and frail.

“He’d lost a lot of weight – I swear he has shrunk to a shell of what he was,” Relph said in an interview several months ago. “He moves much more in that older person’s careful deliberation of movement, planting one foot in front of the other.

“Prison takes a piece out of you,” Relph said. “It’s taken a piece out of him.”

It took a lot out of his family, too.

“He’s talking about his own death,” Rawson said. “But he’s been dead to my mom for 12 years.”
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"...they may be dealing with one or more ersatz Zodiacs--other psychotics eager to get into the act, or perhaps even other murderers eager to lay their crimes at the real Zodiac's doorstep." L.A. Times, 1969
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Re: BTK as Zodiaphile

Postby Tahoe27 » Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:38 pm

Photos included in above story:
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"...they may be dealing with one or more ersatz Zodiacs--other psychotics eager to get into the act, or perhaps even other murderers eager to lay their crimes at the real Zodiac's doorstep." L.A. Times, 1969
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Re: BTK as Zodiaphile

Postby doranchak » Mon Jun 05, 2017 1:15 pm

Interesting - thanks for posting the article. You're right about there being many similarities between serial killers. Makes me wonder sometimes about certain folks who have hypergraphia but haven't been busted for anything yet. :)
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