A hidden electronic code on a computer diskette helped lead police to Dennis Rader, the suspect in the BTK serial killings, according to the pastor of Rader's church and a retired Wichita police supervisor.
WICHITA, Kan. — A hidden electronic code on a computer diskette helped lead police to Dennis Rader, the suspect in the BTK serial killings, according to the pastor of Rader’s church and a retired Wichita police supervisor.
The Rev. Michael Clark, pastor of Christ Lutheran Church in suburban Park City, said Tuesday that police searched the church and found that a 3.5-inch diskette containing what is alleged to be communication from BTK once had been used in the computer in the church office.
Rader, charged with the 10 slayings tied to BTK, was president of the church council and had used the computer at least once to print out a meeting agenda, Clark said.
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He said he could not disclose what items were taken from the church in the police search but could confirm that police did not take the computer or any disks from the premises.
The computer disk now linked to Christ Lutheran Church was sent to KSAS, the local Fox affiliate, on Feb. 16. The package also contained a necklace and a copy of the cover of a novel about a killer who bound and gagged his victims.
The station turned the computer disk over to police, who have not revealed the contents of the communication.
“As I understand it, [the disk] had a number or [electronic] thumbprint on it,” that showed it had been used in the church computer, Clark said. He said media reports that the disk contained a list of church members’ names were inaccurate.
He said police asked him for a list of people who might have used the computer, which he provided.
As president of the church council, Rader was responsible for printing the agenda for council meetings. The printer Rader used at home was broken, so he had saved the agenda on a floppy disk and brought it to the church to print, Clark said.
Retired Wichita police Lt. Charles Liles said sources within the department told him the disk had been a major break for investigators.
He said he was told that the disk had been reformatted, but “the FBI took that disk and found information leading to the church, which led to [Rader].”