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Analysis of Arrest of BTK Suspect

Aired February 28, 2005 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight: Is the 30-year reign of terror finally over in Wichita, Kansas? Fifty-nine-year-old Dennis Rader is accused of being the notorious BTK killer connected with 10 murders. Who is he? We'll ask his neighbor, Brent Swank. His mother used to date the BTK suspect. Plus, Charlie Otero. His mother, father, sister and brother were BTK's first known victims in 1974. Amy Davis -- grandmother believed abducted and murdered by BTK in 1991. Larry Hatteberg, the Wichita anchorman who tried to communicate with the killer on the air. Wichita attorney Robert Beattie, writing a book about the case.
And then abduction or something else? Hundreds of volunteers, few clues, as a desperate search continues for 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford, last seen in her bedroom Wednesday night. We'll go to Homosassa Springs to get the latest with her mother. Angie Bryant is with us. There'll also be other family members. It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

We'll spend the opening moments of the show with Chief Norman Williams, chief of the Wichita Police Department. Fifty-nine-year-old Dennis Rader, church-going family man and city code enforcement supervisor, remains in custody -- $10 million bail. That's $1 million for each of the persons he allegedly killed.

How did you break this case, Chief?

CHIEF NORMAN WILLIAMS, WICHITA, KANSAS, POLICE DEPARTMENT: Well, Larry, since this investigation is ongoing, I can't go into a lot of details, but it's a result of a lot of hard work and dedication by law enforcement agencies from different agencies, like the FBI, the KBI, and of course, the Wichita Police Department. We've received almost 5,000 tips over the last 11 months that we tried to work through, and over the last few weeks, we were able to get information that helped steer us in the right direction.

KING: Can we say, Chief, that part of his downfall, if that's the correct word, was communicating again?

WILLIAMS: I wouldn't say it was his downfall. I think it was an advantage for law enforcement because he had gone 27 years without communication, and he felt the need to communicate with us on a regular basis, and that worked to our advantage.

KING: What made it so hard years ago? What made this such a tough case? WILLIAMS: I think if you look at the communications over the last few years, they were very sporadic, versus the last 11 months. We received close to about 11 different communications from him, whereas prior to that, you would get maybe one or two every few years. So the more he communicated, it was an advantage for law enforcement.

KING: Had he not communicated at all, had he gotten away with these things?

WILLIAMS: Well, that's something we would never know. Thank God that he decided to communicate with us because that proved to be very beneficial to us as of the last 11 months.

KING: Chief, does he have an attorney yet?

WILLIAMS: Pardon me?

KING: Does he have an attorney?

WILLIAMS: Not as of yet. He'll probably have one appointed to him tomorrow.

KING: Now, is tomorrow, what, an arraignment?

WILLIAMS: Tomorrow morning at 11:00 o'clock, he'll be officially arraigned on 10 counts of homicide here in the city of Wichita.

KING: What was it like for you to make that announcement Saturday morning? What was it like for you personally?

WILLIAMS: Well, it was a relief for the community, more than anything, to know that we were able to make an arrest after 31 years of being under caution and concern and even fear. And so to be able to get that weight off your shoulders was a tremendous relief for the community.

KING: Where were you 31 years ago?

WILLIAMS: Thirty-one years ago, I was working as assistant director at McAdams Recreation Center.

KING: You criticized the media earlier today, some of the media coverage. Would you explain what it was that angered you?

WILLIAMS: Well, the fact that inaccurate and inappropriate information was being released. For instance, the media was saying that he's been connected with 13 cases, and that was totally inaccurate. He has only been connected with 10 cases throughout our investigation. And it's that type of inaccuracy that adds to the complication of this investigation.

KING: Also, I guess you see this all over the country, not just here -- there's an awful lot of media speculation on trials and arrests and things. Does that hamper the police?

WILLIAMS: That hampers us because now we have to respond to inaccurate information, when we could be focusing on following up on solid leads.

KING: The investigation is still ongoing, or are you completed with that end?

WILLIAMS: No, the investigation will be ongoing all the way up to the trial and even during the trial because you never know what's going to come out in the trial. So we have not completed our investigation. It's constantly ongoing.

KING: The governor has told the Associated Press that DNA evidence was a key to cracking the case. Would you agree with her?

WILLIAMS: Well, I can't respond to that because this is an ongoing investigation. And I haven't seen anything where the governor made a statement, so I can't respond.

KING: Do you have a thought that he wanted to get caught, as some are speculating?

WILLIAMS: Pardon me?

KING: Do you have a thought that he wanted to get caught?

WILLIAMS: Only he can answer that question. And as we move through the trial process, he may be able to answer that question.

KING: All right, just a couple of other quick things. His status right now? Where is he, and how is he responding to his imprisonment?

WILLIAMS: Currently, he's being held in the Sedgwick County jail on a $10 million bond. He's been observed very closely by the staff there at the jail during his stay over there.

KING: Is he talking about the crimes?

WILLIAMS: There again, I can't respond to those types of questions because the investigation is ongoing. I realize that you want -- you know, the public, as well as yourself, would like to know that, but we've got an ongoing investigation.

KING: All right. One other thing. Has he been hostile in any way?

WILLIAMS: Pardon me?

KING: Has he been hostile in any way?

WILLIAMS: There has not been any indication that he's been hostile.

KING: Thanks, Chief. Chief Norman Williams, chief of the Wichita Police Department.

Let's bring our panel in, and they'll be with us through most of the hour, until we get back to that tragic case in Florida later. And hope we get a happy ending there. But let's meet the panel assembled. In Wichita is Larry Hatteberg. He's the anchor for KAKE-TV. You've seen him everywhere. Robert Beattie is the attorney and author. He's written a soon-to-be-published book on this case.

Amy Davis is in New Orleans. Authorities believe that her grandmother, Delores Davis, was abducted and murdered by BTK in January of 1991. Charlie Otero, who's been with us before -- he's in Albuquerque. His father, mother and two of his younger siblings were the first known victims of the BTK killer. Charlie came home from school to find his parents strangled in the bedroom of their Wichita home. Brent Swank is a neighbor of Dennis Rader, the BTK suspect. He's been to his home several times, gave him a citation, in fact -- Rader gave Swank citations for his dogs. His mother dated Rader many years ago. We also expect to hear from Pastor Michael Clark.

Brent Swank, were you shocked?

BRENT SWANK, SUSPECT'S NEIGHBOR: Oh, yes. It was a -- I don't know how you say -- it was just a crazy thing to find out he lived right across the street from my father-in-law and a block from my house, even.

KING: How well did you know him?

SWANK: We joked around about it. He's been in my house about five times because I have cars, I have dogs, I have kids. So I've been complaining about everything.

KING: Did he -- what did he...

SWANK: He's talked to me many times.

KING: What did he give you a citation for?

SWANK: I was trying to do a little yard work, and he didn't agree with my yard work.

KING: Did he seem like a reasonably -- a reasonable person? He seemed like a good father? He had children, wife. Did he seem like a regular member of the community?

SWANK: Yes. He was kind of a stickler for the law, I guess you could say. He didn't like it if you did something wrong. He would get you for it and give you a citation for it.

KING: In other words, he was...

SWANK: As far as being a parent, I don't really know.

KING: Letter of the law guy.


KING: OK, we'll take a break, come back, bring everybody in the panel into this, including your phone calls later. Don't go away.


MAYOR CARLOS MAYANS, WICHITA, KANSAS: It has been a very long journey that has brought us to this day. The past year certainly has been a challenge.

WILLIAMS: The bottom line, BTK is arrested.


WILLIAMS: You know, this has been the most intense and challenging investigation in the entire history of the Wichita Police Department. But then when you look at what drove us to where we are today, it was a commitment that we made to the family and friends of our victims.



KING: Let's run down our panel now on this extraordinary series of events. Larry Hatteberg in Wichita, did the police chief have a point? Did some of the media go overboard?

LARRY HATTEBERG, KAKE-TV ANCHOR: Well, it's hard for me to say. I can only speak for our station. And the incident that he was talking about was an Associated Press report last night, where the Associated Press was reporting that perhaps three more murders, for a total of 13, had been committed by BTK. We did not report that. We reported it, and then coupled it with the fact that the local district attorney said there was absolutely nothing to that story. Obviously, when a story on the Associated Press moves like that, you do have to follow it up. But what we said was that the local district attorney was saying that their report was false.

KING: Robert Beattie, you've got a soon-to-be published book. Don't you have to hold up publication until the story unravels, the trial and everything?

ROBERT BEATTIE, ATTORNEY, AUTHOR, "SECRETS LONG HIDDEN": Well, my book was about the history of the case. I was writing it long before this guy showed up again, and certainly, before the arrest. The book's going to go to print pretty soon, although I'm really not here tonight to promote my book, Larry. This is a night to remember the victims and those who grieve for them and applaud the three generations of investigators whose work resulted in the end to this long nightmare in Wichita.

KING: Are you saying this was very good police work?

BEATTIE: This was good. My understanding is -- I've got pretty good sources -- it was good police work that solved the case. Any missteps in the past I think are going to be forgotten over the overwhelming evidence that has been amassed that I think will come out in court.

KING: Amy Davis, authorities believe that your grandmother, Delores Davis, was abducted and murdered by BTK in January of 1991. You're in New Orleans now. Did you live in Wichita then?

AMY DAVIS, HER GRANDMOTHER BELIEVED ABDUCTED, MURDERED BY BTK IN 1991: We had just moved from Wichita. We were actually in Orlando at the time.

KING: What happened to your grandmother?

DAVIS: She apparently was -- we found that she was missing on January 19, and on January 18 of 1991 is when she was actually murdered. The person who did this made it look like it was a break- in, and all evidence pointed -- it looked like the serial killer at the time. It was either a serial killer or someone she knew. And as far as everything else goes, we're all just as surprised as everyone else right now.

KING: Do you know the suspect?

DAVIS: No, we do not.

KING: Do you feel like it's over, or are you awaiting the trial and everything? I mean, in your own emotions.

DAVIS: We -- my family and I, we are not even near over. There's no sense of feeling -- the only relief we feel is that he's not doing this to anyone else. But we're basically reliving all the emotions and all the pain that we lived in '91 when she was murdered. So at this point, we're just waiting for trial and trying to be patient and using our faith and our strength in each other to hold onto what we're going through right now.

KING: A few years ago, the suspect, Dennis Rader appeared on a local TV station in Wichita to discuss his job in animal control. Watch.


DENNIS RADER, BTK SUSPECT: The dogs are somewhat territorial, as well as vicious. And we've been trying to round them up and corral them as best we can, working with the reporting parties of where the sheep were killed.


KING: Charlie Otero, your father, mother, two of your younger siblings were his first victims. You discovered them when you came home. How do you feel today?

CHARLIE OTERO, FATHER, MOTHER, SISTER, BROTHER BELIEVED TO BE BTK'S FIRST VICTIMS IN 1974: Oh, I'm overwhelmed with emotion. I started out with disbelief. That moved on to skepticism. That changed into anticipation. And now I feel very anxious over, you know, the possibility of finding out the reason behind my family's killings and what motivated this man to torture my family the way he did.

KING: So you do not have closure just because of the arrest. OTERO: Not at all. Not at all.

KING: Do you think you will ever learn the whys?

OTERO: I do hope that we learn the reasons. I don't believe that we'll learn them from him. He's already proved himself to be a murderer and a liar, so anything he says is just going to go right past me. I want to see evidence.

KING: Brent Swank, is it true that your brother's name is Dennis and that he was named Dennis after Mr. Rader?

SWANK: Yes. My mom dated him, like, right out of high school and named my brother Dennis after Dennis.

KING: This has to be asked. How does that make your father feel?

SWANK: I don't know. He doesn't say much about it.

KING: I mean, she dates the guy and they break up. She marries, she has a couple of children, names one after the guy she dated. You'd think that might bother him.

SWANK: Yes. I don't think she ever told my dad why she named him after (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and just -- I think the name just popped in her head, she told him.

KING: What is she saying to you now, your mom, about him?

SWANK: She said he was the nicest guy you ever met, and she can't believe it's him. She's, like, just in awe. She doesn't understand why he would do it. And she's telling me that he was the nicest guy she ever met.

KING: Larry, are you running into people in Wichita who knew him and are -- anyone who's saying, I should have -- there was signs I think I could have recognized?

HATTEBERG: Well, I think there are people who are doing that, but predominantly, there are people -- for example, he was president of his church congregation, and he was known in the church as the worker bee. He would do anything in that church -- pass the collection plate, he would run the sound system. Whatever needed to be done would be done. And the members of that church cannot believe that the man that the police have is the same man who went to church with them every day. They are absolutely stunned at this.

And it's like he had a Jekyll-Hyde personality. In church, he was somebody else. When he put the badge on and went to work in Park City as a compliance officer, he was someone else And then he had this third personality, this incredibly evil personality, if, in fact, he is the man. He is still a suspect and we have to remember that. So people saw him in many different ways, and it kind of depends on who you talk to.

KING: Can he get a fair trial in Wichita? One would think they will ask for some sort of change of venue.

HATTEBERG: I think that's a possibility that they would ask for that. Can he get a fair trial in Wichita? I think the lawyers will be talking about very soon. And that is a question. I hope the trial does occur in Wichita. I think Wichita needs that closure here. And I think after 30 years of being terrified now, two generations of Wichitans have been terrified, and I think Wichita needs closure on this. And if it were moved away, I think that that would be a terrible thing for Wichita. I think Wichita needs to have that closure.

KING: Robert, you're an attorney, as well as an author. Can he get, logically, a fair trial where all of these crimes occurred?

BEATTIE: Well, I took an oath to defend the Constitution when I was admitted to the bar. The 6th Amendment guarantees a fair trial. I think that's a stretch. I'll be surprised if the trial is in Wichita. I think it's more likely it'll be moved to a different venue.

KING: We'll take a break and come back with more. We'll also be including your phone calls. Don't go away.


STEVE RELFORD, SON OF BTK VICTIM: I've waited 28 years for this day.

JEFF DAVIS, SON OF BTK VICTIM: All of a sudden, this devil masquerading as a human being had a face, and it made me sick to my stomach.

RUTH FOX, NANCY FOX'S MOTHER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) look at his eyes and see in his eyes that, you know, he was a cruel person. I could tell by the look (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in his eyes.




WILLIAMS: At this present time, Dennis Rader has been connected with only 10 -- only 10 -- homicides that have spanned 31 years. So please make sure you disseminate that information that he is only connected with 10 cases as of this date.


KING: Mr. Rader is scheduled for court appearance tomorrow, will be seen via video, by the way. He will remain in his cell for some reason. Prosecutors will outline the criminal charges, which have not yet been filed. The judge could review the bail arraignment, and it's possible an attorney may be appointed for Mr. Rader tomorrow. As of now, according to Chief Williams, he does not have an attorney. Larry Hatteberg, before we go to some calls, I know you have inside sources here. Is it true, do you hear, that he is in some sense cooperating?

HATTEBERG: We hear that he is talking, and he's talking quite a bit to the investigators, both the Wichita Police Department and the FBI. We have some reports that he has confessed to some of those murders. So we know he is talking. Just how many he's confessed to, we don't exactly know. But we know that he is talking, and talking apparently quite a bit.

KING: Savannah, Georgia. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry.


CALLER: Hi. I wanted to echo what Mr. Beattie said about the commitment that the police department and the mayor have made to these families. I think it's tremendous. And my question is for Charlie and Amy. If you are called on to testify for the prosecution to help with this case, do you think you'd be able to do that? And also for the attorneys, do you -- would you recommend that?

KING: Well, Charlie, you are a possible witness, aren't you?

OTERO: I would imagine so.

KING: You were present. You came to the house. You found the bodies, right?

OTERO: Yes. That is correct.

KING: It's too early to tell, but you're aware you might be called.

OTERO: Yes, sir. I am aware that the possibility that I might be subpoenaed has arisen.

KING: Amy, do you think you might be, or you were not at the crime scene?

DAVIS: Yes, I would testify. We were actually there right before Christmas, and my family is convinced that while we were staying there, that the murderer of my grandmother actually came to the house that night. He was unaware that we were there that night. So we had an actual incident where he came, something was thrown against the house to coerce -- you know, to get her outside, and this person fled, so...

KING: But you didn't see him?

DAVIS: We didn't see the person, no. No.

KING: So all you could testify to is someone threw something at the house. DAVIS: Right. And it was right before -- just a few weeks before her murder.

KING: Dexter, Iowa. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. Thanks for taking my call.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: I was wondering if you could tell me -- if someone on the panel could tell me if he was married to the same woman 31 years ago.

KING: Do we know, Larry?

HATTEBERG: I believe he was married to the same woman 31 years ago. I'd have to go back and consult my notes, but I believe that's accurate. Mr. Beattie may have different information, but I think that's accurate.

KING: Robert, do you know?

BEATTIE: I've heard the same thing. I haven't got it from a source that knows firsthand, but that's what I've heard.

KING: How old are his children, Robert?

BEATTIE: They're in their 20s, is my understanding. From what I've been told from good sources, check voter registration, he's lived at this same address at least since 1975, a church goer, registered Republican, never been in any trouble with the law. When I was your guest earlier this month, I think I told you about the psychologist profile said he would wear the mask of sanity, would never be a suspect in his daily life, but he would have a much different internal life. And that seems to be consistent with what we're learning about this man.

KING: Brent, do you know if they were married 31 years? Have they been married that long?

SWANK: As far as I know, they have.

KING: Do you think they have?

SWANK: Yes. I guess he was hitting on my mom when he was married to her for, like, five or six years.

KING: Oh, I see. So he was hitting on your mom after he was married?


KING: Baltimore, Maryland. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. I have a question for Larry Hatteberg.

KING: Yes. Go ahead.

CALLER: I read on the Internet today that this guy worked for an alarm company, home alarm company, before he became the compliance officer, and that, supposedly, he was drawing diagrams of all these houses in the area. And I was wondering if they were able to ascertain whether any of the victims were people whose homes that he drew diagrams of.

HATTEBERG: Well, that's a very good point. And I know that the Wichita Police Department is obviously checking that out right now. But as you heard Chief Norman Williams earlier, they are keeping all this information very close to their vest. And he did work for a local alarm company, and he was fired from that job. So we don't know exactly what evidence the Wichita Police Department has, but that's a very good point, and I know the Wichita Police Department is certainly checking that out, and so will we be.

KING: Excellent question. We'll take a break and be back for more. I'll reintroduce the panel, as well. And we'll be discussing the missing girl in Florida later. Don't go away.



PASTOR MICHAEL CLARK, CHRIST LUTHERAN CHURCH, PARK CITY, KS: They came in, they went to my office and presented the search warrant. And in the process, identified Dennis Rader as the one who was a suspect and was under arrest. From that point on, the officer presented the materials that he had and gained access to the church building until they were completely finished with the search.


KING: Let's re-meet our panel. They are in Wichita, Larry Hatteberg, anchor for KAKE-TV. Received several communications from the alleged killer. Larry has been at that TV station for more than 40 years and has been covering this story from the get-go.

Also in Wichita is Robert Beattie, attorney and author, has written a soon-to-be published book on this case, "Secrets Long Hidden: The Hunt for the BTK Strangler."

In New Orleans is Amy Davis. Authorities believe that her grandmother, Delores Davis, was abducted and murdered by BTK in January of 1991.

In Albuquerque is Charlie Otero. His father, mother and two of his younger siblings were BTK's first known victims. Charlie came home from school, January 15th, 1974. He found his parents strangled in the bedroom of their home. His 11-year-old sister and 9-year-old brother were murdered in the home as well.

And Brent Swank is a neighbor of Dennis Rader, the BTK suspect. Rader has been to his home several times. He even gave him a citation once. His mother dated Rader many years ago, and indeed his brother was named Dennis, was named after the suspect.

Let's go back to some calls. Wichita, hello.

CALLER: How are you, Larry.

KING: Fine.

CALLER: I had a question for Larry Hatteberg.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: First of all, my heart goes out to all the victims through all this tragedy. And Larry, back in the '70s, they also had a reporter that was also communicating. I was just wondering if you were scared at any time you were communicating with him during all this when he resurfaced in March of 2004?

HATTEBERG: Well, I would have to tell you that I was never scared or anything like that. I would have been scared had he communicated, like, to my house. That would have been terribly frightening. But all of the communications came right to KAKE-TV here in Wichita. They weren't direct communications to a specific individual. There was no address to a specific individual. Had he -- had the address contained my name and he asked for me specifically, that would have been frightening, and that would have been very scary.

KING: How will the arraignment be covered tomorrow, Larry?

HATTEBERG: The arraignment will be covered live by our television station. We will carry it live, and we will have reporters in the courtroom, outside the courtroom and covering every aspect of the case.

KING: Is it true that Mr. Rader will remain in his cell for the arraignment or will he be brought into court?

HATTEBERG: He will remain in his cell for the arraignment. That is the normal way those are handled here in the Wichita courtrooms.

KING: And if he doesn't have an attorney by that time, the judge will supply him with one, right? Appoint one?

HATTEBERG: That would be correct. That would be correct. He would get a public defender unless a private attorney has been arranged for him. But so far we don't believe that's happened.

KING: Sometimes in capital cases, though, Larry, rather than a public defender's office, the judge calls on one of the prominent criminal attorneys in the community to do things like that. And the judge can almost order it.

HATTEBERG: Right. And that can certainly happen tomorrow. As a matter of fact, anything can happen tomorrow. So it's going to be a very interesting day in the courtroom. And all eyes are going to be on that courtroom tomorrow morning at 11:00 here in Wichita.

KING: Honolulu, Hawaii, hello.

CALLER: Yeah, how are you doing? I wanted to know, first of all, if there's ever going to be a trial, considering that the guy already confessed to six of the murders. And also, do you feel that maybe there was an accomplice in these murders, considering for the first murder, that there were three or four killed at one time? Thank you very much.

KING: We don't know if there's confessions. There's reports of confessions. We don't know if there's confessions. Of course, if there's full confessions, there wouldn't be a trial. Something would be worked on.

Do we know, Amy, if anyone else might have been involved?

DAVIS: As far as we know, we haven't heard of anything like that. And we personally don't believe that. We think he acted alone. These are well-thought, calculated murders that he planned. So we think he was on his own.

KING: Charlie, you came upon the scene. Did it look like it might have been more than one person?

OTERO: I've always believed that there was more than one person, and I will continue to believe so until I'm shown evidence that there wasn't.

KING: What do you base it on?

OTERO: The fact that my father was an air commando, a Golden Gloves boxer. My mother was a judo expert. We had an attack dog. My little brother and sister were both judo experts. And I just don't believe that this guy did that by himself.

KING: What do you make of that, Larry?

HATTEBERG: Well, as the police chief said, that investigation is ongoing. Anything could happen. They could uncover new evidence. We have not heard anything like that. None of that evidence or none of that information has come to the forefront at any point. As far as we know -- but, of course, this case can change in a moment, depending on what the current suspect who they have in custody says -- but at the moment, it appears he acted alone.

KING: But Charlie has a point, does he not?

HATTEBERG: Yes, Charlie does have a point. Charlie knew his family better than anyone else. And I'm sure that the Wichita Police Department is looking into that. And it will be interesting to see if the suspect is talking, what he's saying, because you know that the Wichita Police Department have to be asking him about that. Is there anyone else involved at any point, back in the '70s or '80s, or is there anyone involved now who actually knew what he was doing? It's a great question, and it's a question we do not have the answer to.

KING: Brent, since Saturday, have you spoken to other people who know the suspect?

SWANK: Yeah, my father-in-law lives right across the street from him, and he was just astounded. He didn't know what to say. He was -- he goes out of town, and he was going to leave his keys to his house with him so he could take care of his dog while he was out of town, so, it's -- I don't know what to say. That guy is...

KING: Some story. Branson, Missouri. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry.


CALLER: This question is for Mr. Hatteberg. I grew up in Wichita and am familiar with the neighborhood where most of these early killings took place. Was it surprising to know that he was living in Park City, actually right outside of Wichita, and not actually in the city itself? Thank you.

HATTEBERG: Well, Park City is really a suburb, a very close suburb of Wichita. And it really was not surprising to know that he was living in a suburb. I remember former Wichita Police Chief Richard Lamunyon has always said that he felt -- and many of the early investigators felt -- that the person who was BTK was living right among us, that he was shopping with us, that he was going to the movies with us, he was going to the grocery store with us. He was living right among us. And sure enough, he apparently was, if this man is BTK. He is still a suspect. So he was living amongst us.

I'm not surprised at all, because it's just a few minutes' drive into Wichita. It's not a long drive at all.

KING: Robert, in your research, the study of people who do things like this, have you got any clear understanding of why people kill people they don't know?

BEATTIE: Well, again, it goes back to his fantasy life. One of the, you know, he sent in his own book table of contents. And one of them was fantasy world. What he seemed to be indicating in the communications he sent was that he had a fantasy about bondage and torture and killing. And he lived those fantasies out.

If I may, the question about his -- earlier question about whether there's more than one killer. Captain Al Stuart (ph), head of the special investigative unit known as the Ghostbusters that investigated this from '84 to '86, was never wholly convinced that he committed all these crimes by himself. A lot of -- the Hillside Stranglers turned out to be two people, Bittaker and Norris.

A significant percentage of serial killers, only kill as a team. Now with the discovery of Maureen Hedge, as one of the victims, there's always been a question. And there's a real question now about how the cars were moved around. Her car was found many miles away from Park City. They don't know how he got back home.

KING: So it could have been a, what, copy cat? BEATTIE: Well, there -- no, there could have been somebody helping him. Somebody giving him a ride. There's questions that -- genuine questions that remain.

KING: We, certainly, Charlie believes as well. Thank you all very much. Larry Hatteberg, Robert Beattie, Amy Davis, Charlie Otero, and Brent Swank.

And when we come back, we still have a little 9-year-old girl missing down in Homosassa, Florida. We'll meet members of her family right after this.


KING: After five days, authorities in Homosassa, Florida are now scaling back their search for 9-year-old Jessica Marie Lunsford who disappeared from her bedroom, some time between late Wednesday evening and early Thursday morning. Hundreds of volunteers have been combing the area. Authorities have very few clues. The Citrus County Sheriff, has said that Jessie's disappearance has not been confirmed as an abduction. No scenario ruled out.

Joining us, another visit with her father, Mark Lunsford, her aunt -- her aunt, Susan Lunsford, who is Mark's sister, and Angie Bryant is there with us tonight. She is Jessica Lunsford's mother. She was not with us last time. She lives -- she -- where do you live, Angie?

ANGIE BRYANT, JESSICA LUNSFORD'S MOTHER: On the other side of Cincinnati, Ohio.

KING: And you and Mark are divorced, right?


KING: And Jessica was living with him and other children are with you. Is that it?

BRYANT: Jessica lives with him, and we don't have any other children but Jessica together.

KING: OK, do you have other children since marrying someone else?

BRYANT: Yes, I do. I have a 5-year-old son.

KING: How, Angie, did you hear about Jessica's disappearance?

BRYANT: I heard about it last Friday. My husband now come home and told me my mother had seen it on TV. The detective come to my house afterwards.

KING: Were you close to your daughter?

BRYANT: Pretty much, yes. I always kept her close to my heart. I talked to her on the phone when I could, when I could stay in contact with her father.

KING: Have you come down to Homosassa Springs to lend support?

BRYANT: Yes, I'm her mom. I'm going to be here for her when she comes home. And make sure that I'm always here for her.

KING: Mark, is there -- authorities are holding it open to anything.

Is there a possibility Jessica ran away?

MARK LUNSFORD, FATHER OF JESSICA: No. There's just no possibility of that. You've guys have got some new pictures here that I'm holding. They took some pictures of them. And you can just see how happy this little girl is.

KING: I think we can get -- either we have the pictures or the camera. Will you hold them up a little? Are you holding them in your hand?


KING: OK, lets see if we can -- we'll set a cam camera and focus in on them. What do you make -- there are pictures with Santa Claus and, obviously, a very happy little girl. As each day goes by, you have to get more and more and more worried, Mark. You have heard nothing from anyone? What do the authorities tell you?

M. LUNSFORD: Well, what they tell me is, like, these are my own words, now. What they've been doing for the last five days is, like, let's call it phase one. There's not been much result, so now it's time to move to phase two. I mean, these are just my expressions. They have their own way of doing things. But It's Just the way I explain it to myself and try to explain to you what's going on.

KING: They put you, yourself through voice tests and stress analysis, right? I guess you had to understand...

M. LUNSFORD: Oh, yes.

KING: ... that anyone's a suspect in something like this.

M. LUNSFORD: And you just have to. And the only thing you can do, is just do it. I mean, because -- if you know -- If you're any kind of a parent, there won't be a problem with it. You'll just do it.

KING: Damn, right. Did they hook you up to a machine?

M. LUNSFORD: They sure did. And they -- I mean, they run me through the ringers just like I was anybody else. You know, I -- when it comes to interrogating and process of elimination, everybody has to go through it, including me.

KING: Susan, what do you make of all of this? You're Mark's sister, her aunt, know her very well. What do you make of this, Susan?

SUSAN LUNSFORD, AUNT OF JESSICA: I don't even know. I just -- more than anything, I want Jessie to come home. She's a very wonderful young lady, and I know that you've been able to see the pictures and see what a happy child she was. And she made us all happy too. And we just want the opportunity to be able to have her back home safe.

KING: No sign of a break in, right, Susan?

S. LUNSFORD: No, none.

KING: No Mark -- Mark, no evidence at all of anything -- of anything -- is anything missing, other than your daughter. I guess, a doll, something, a dog.

M. LUNSFORD: Right, right. It's not a doll. It's not a doll, it's a stuffed animal. It's actually a stuffed purple dolphin that we won at the fair. And ever since she won it, she held it very close. The little pink hat you see in some of the pictures that are out with the Citrus County Sheriff's Office, that they're using to show you. I mean, we're just doing everything we can. There's a Web page. It's There's a bulletin board. You can leave a prayer. You can leave Jessie a note for when she comes homes.

Also on this Web page, I'll be posting a phone number to -- for people to contact for making contributions for a reward. There's another Web page, a guy named Steve Nicks, he -- I was very fortunate to have him grab that right away. Unfortunately, we do have bad things that happen on the Internet. This man took, and I can't help but to believe that he reserved that for me, to make sure that nobody else could get ahold of it and do bad things. I've heard rumors, that he wants to get ahold of me and turn that domain over to me. And I just can't tell him thank you enough for being so quick.

KING: It should not be hard to reach you.

M. LUNSFORD: Unfortunately, it shouldn't. And Larry, I just can't thank you enough, sir. I mean, you, your crew, your people are wonderful. And I can't thank everybody enough.

KING: As long as we get Jessica back. Let's take a break and come back. Maybe we'll have a few phone calls. Again, that's We'll be right back.


KING: Let's include some phone calls for Angie Bryant, Jessica Lunsford's mother, Mark Lunsford, her father, and Susan Lunsford, her aunt. Lawton, Oklahoma, hello.

CALLER: Have any other members of the family taken lie detector tests, and would you be kind enough to tell us who? Would you mind telling us who?

KING: Mark, lie detector tests for members of the family?

M. LUNSFORD: As far as I know, it was just me and my dad. And I'm sorry, it's just me and my dad. I'm done with all that. They're going to finish up with my dad. It's just a process of elimination. That's all it is. Everybody will go through it.

KING: And Angie, you were not in Homosassa Springs at the time, right?

BRYANT: At this time?

KING: No, at the time that Jessica was taken or left?

BRYANT: No, sir, no, I wasn't. Like I said, I live in Ohio, many miles away.

KING: King, North Carolina, hello.

CALLER: Yeah, I wanted to know why, now that they know for sure that this family is not involved in any way, that they would be scaling back this investigation rather than stepping it up?

KING: Good question. Mark, why are they scaling back?

M. LUNSFORD: Thank you, Larry. I don't consider it scaling back. OK? Try to believe the way I do. They have to move on to other resources, other things that they can do to try to get a lead on something. It's just a -- they've covered the area they wanted to cover here. Now it's time to move onto the next stage, to where if you can't find something this way, well, let's try it this way. Maybe we'll find something.

KING: Have they rounded up known kind of perverts in the area or convicted people who have bothered children?

M. LUNSFORD: They have definitely done that. They've done everything that you can imagine and more. It's unreal. It's just unbelievable.

KING: The only thing, Susan, that's missing, is the stuffed animal?

S. LUNSFORD: Yes. There wasn't any other clothes or shoes or anything.

KING: And what, Mark, was she wearing?

M. LUNSFORD: She was wearing a pink nightgown with a pair of white silk shorts.

KING: Is she a resourceful kid?

M. LUNSFORD: I believe she is. I mean, you know, when you say resourceful, I may take it different than you do, but she can do for herself. She knows how to take care of things.

KING: That's what I mean. That's...


KING: That's a compliment. In other words, she can think quick.

M. LUNSFORD: She is good. She's good at that. Sometimes she has to do some quick thinking for me.

KING: All right, give me the Web site again.

M. LUNSFORD: It's You can leave a prayer, leave a note for Jessie. You can -- there's a bulletin board. And like I said, there will be a number for contributions for a reward. That was not my idea. A guy named Mike with the Atlanta Braves, he didn't ask people to do that, but by him doing it, everybody else is following.

KING: The great pitcher Mike Hampton. Mike Hampton. He also put up some money.

M. LUNSFORD: Yes, yes, yes.

KING: Great pitcher.


KING: Thank you all very much. We'll stay on top of this. Hope the next time we see you it's when Jessica is one of our guests.

M. LUNSFORD: Thank you, Larry.

KING: Thank you, guys.

M. LUNSFORD: And we know that she is coming home.

BRYANT: Thank you.

KING: I'll be back in a couple of minutes. Don't go away.


KING: Aaron Brown is going to host "NEWSNIGHT" in New York. They're going to do something very different tonight they rarely do. Complete hour devoted to one topic. The topic we've all been talking about, the BTK killer. Aaron, I know that's a puzzlement.

AARON BROWN, HOST, "NEWSNIGHT": There's just a lot of things that sort of don't quite make sense, and when you get to the end, if the police are right, you go, the guy is so ordinary, if the police are right. We'll get on with it, Larry. It's good to see you.


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