“It was the first time he ever dropped his mask and became BTK in front of me,” said Kerri Rawson, who offered her assistance to investigators who also searched her father’s property again earlier this week.
Authorities have named Dennis Rader, also known as the BTK Killer, as the “prime suspect” in at least two unsolved murders in both Oklahoma and Missouri.
On Wednesday, the Osage County Sheriff’s Office in Oklahoma confirmed they searched his former residence in Park City, Kansas to “collect items of evidentiary value based on specific leads” they received (above right). The Sheriff’s Office said the search was “closely tied” to disappearance of Cynthia Dawn Kinney, a 16-year-old cheerleader who went missing from Pawhuska, Oklahoma in 1976.
Her case was reopened back in December and, according to Sheriff Eddie Virden, the investigation “spiraled out from there.”
“This ongoing investigation has uncovered potential connections to other missing persons cases and unsolved murders in the Kansas and Missouri areas, which are possibly linked to Dennis Rader,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a press release. “At this stage, Dennis Rader is considered a prime suspect in these unsolved cases,” they added.
Though she wasn’t named in the press release, Undersheriff Gary Upton later told The Associated Press that Rader is also the prime suspect in the death of 22-year-old Shawna Beth Garber, whose body was found in 1990 but wasn’t identified until 2021. She had been raped and strangled.
Rader, now 78, is currently behind bars serving 10 consecutive life terms after confessing to 10 brutal killings from the 1970s into the 1990s. He dubbed himself BTK, which stands for “bind, torture, kill,” and taunted police and media throughout his spree before he was finally apprehended in 2005. He has reportedly denied involvement in Garber’s death, while Missouri officials have said there’s “no direct evidence” linking Rader and their case.
Kerri Rawson, Rader’s daughter, posted to X this week that she knew authorities were at the “site where my childhood home originally stood,” after learning of both Kinney and Garber’s cases earlier this year. She explained that after learning about the unsolved murders, she reached out to authorities in Missouri and Oklahoma to offer her assistance and was “promptly flown to Osage County, OK, to assist on both cases.”
That assistance included two visits to her father behind bars at the El Dorado Correctional Facility, after having a “Do Not Contact Order” legally lifted. Speaking with NewsNation, Rawson said it was the first time she had seen her father in 18 years.
“First, we just had a reunion, I hadn’t seen him in 18 years, he hadn’t seen me. We had been cut off for two years, it had been letters all that time before that,” she explained. “It took him a minute to process who I was.”
“He’s lost like 7 inches, he’s in a wheelchair, he’s pretty much rotting to his core,” she continued. “We had to have a family reunion and then I laid it out, I was there with Osage investigators … we were there to talk about serious things. It was the first time he ever dropped his mask and became BTK in front of me.”
She couldn’t get into too many specifics, but said he “was running me down rabbit holes” during their conversations, claiming he gave her different theories about the murders as well as an alibi — an alibi she claims others on her team could prove was fabricated. She also said he was offered an immunity deal in which he could confess to other violent crimes he may have committed and not be charged, to give families “long-sought answers,” but it doesn’t seem like he was too keen on the offer.
“My father does not want to be put in a van and woken up in Oklahoma in a holding cell for, you know, the kidnapping of Cynthia Kinney. He wants to live his life out at the prison that he’s at,” she said, adding it might be time for some hard ball with a man she calls a “pathological liar.”
“So that’s one pressing point, that if he’s not going to cooperate, then we’re going to do this the legit hard way and he’s going to wake up some morning somewhere he doesn’t want to be,” she concluded.
The investigation remains ongoing.