Marine Hedge

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Unholy Messenger

Unholy Messenger: The Life and Crimes of the BTK Serial Killer btkby Stephen Singular

Drawing from interviews with Rader's pastor, congregation, detectives, and psychologists who worked the case, and from his unnervingly detailed 32 hour confession, Singular delves into the life and crimes of BTK to explore the most dangerous and complex serial killer of our generation and the man who embodied, at once, astonishing extremes of normality and abnormality. Singular recounts the year the BTK killer reemerged, and the aftermath. Details of his crimes, elaborate schemes, bids for public attention, and the impact his deception had on his family, church, and community. A man considered a "spiritual leader" by his pastor and congregation, was the devil next door. A powerful examination of the intersection between good and evil, and of the psychology and spirituality of a killer in whom faith and bloodshed converged.

Nightmare in Wichita

Nightmare in Wichita: The Hunt for the BTK Strangler by Robert BeattieKari Sable

The tale of the BTK serial killer-written by the lawyer who assisted the police during the thirty-year search and was instrumental in the long-awaited arrest.

In 1974 a serial killer began a fourteen-year murder spree in Wichita, Kansas. Joining the ranks of Ted Bundy, the elusive sex murderer taunted authorities with clues, puzzles, and obscene letters. Then in 1988, he vanished, the killings stopped, and one of the longest and most baffling manhunts in the annals of crime came to a dead end. But in 2004, a letter- and a grisly clue-arrived at a local Wichita paper. And with it, a terrifying implication: BTK was back. Robert Beattie delves one of the most intriguing, and horrifying serial murder cases in American history.

- Afterword by the author with up-to-the-minute information-including the capture of the alleged killer
- Robert Beattie had access to the families of the victims
- Beattie has been following the case since the 1970s
- Some speculate that this book prompted the BTK killer to resume contact in 2004 after nearly 25 years of silence.

 

True Crime Book Watch!
Watch for new True Crime books as they are published!

Dennis Rader the BTK Killer

Marine Hedge

Dennis Rader kept her under surveillance as "Project Cookie."

Marine Wallace Hedge, 53, was a quiet, dependable second-shift supervisor at the medical center coffee shop. Originally from Arkansas, she had moved to Kansas with her late husband. She was widowed the previous year. She was described as a kind, petite, well dressed woman with a charming southern voice. She was a devoted mother to her three daughters, one son, and grandchildren. She enjoyed bingo, yard work, and attending the Baptist Church.

She lived on the same block as Rader for over 30 years. He often noticed her working in her yard; not good with names he referred to her as “Marie.”

Rader slipped away unnoticed to fulfill this fantasy while with a Cub Scout camp-out. The camp weekend gave him a perfect alibi.

"It's a good cover for a guy like me to go camp out and slip away."

Rader parked his car at the bowling alley on April 27, 1985.

His “hit kit” was in his bowling bag and his mind was consumed with sexual fantasies. He gargled with beer so the taxi driver would think he was drunk. As the taxi neared Marine’s house, he told the driver to let him out for fresh air.

Rader didn't expect Marine to be home so soon, so he was surprised to find her 1976 Monte Carlo there already. He cut the telephone lines outside before he quietly entered her house. He looked throughout but she wasn’t inside. When he heard the door rattle, he hid in a bedroom closet.

Marine came home with a male friend she had known for years after an evening of bingo. Her friend stayed until 1 AM and reported that, "she was in real good spirits" when he left.

When she slept during the early morning hours Rader went into her bedroom. When he flipped on the bathroom lights so he could see her better, she woke-up and screamed. He immediately jumped on her bed to strangled her to death with his hands or "throttle" her as he called it.

He stripped her nude and put her on a blanket. As he went through her personal items he contemplated how he was going to get her out of the house to further indulge his sexual fantasies.

"Alive or dead, she was going to that church."

Rader moved her to the trunk of her car with plans to take her body to a barn, but instead he took her to Christ Lutheran Church where he had stashed away plastic to tape over the windows. Once the windows were covered, he laid Marine on the altar with her body tied up in sexually graphic forms of bondage and took photographs with a Polaroid camera.

He placed her back in the car while he drove around looking for a place to dispose of her body. He buried her body in a road side culvert, a dump site for dog carcasses; her body was covered with trees and brush.

When Marine didn’t show up for her job on Saturday, the coffee shop manager was concerned. The manager and Marine's longtime friend described her as, “A quiet, dependable person who stuck with routine. She's not impulsive. She's not the type of person who would suddenly do something without considering it."

Marine’s car was found on May 2, 1985, with a blanket and bedspread in the trunk, with weeds and mud. Police located her purse in a ditch on April 28, 1985; the identification cards were gone.

On May 5, 1985, her nude body was discovered beside a pair of pantyhose in knots seven miles from her home. Moving a body from the crime scene is a deviation from the BTK's previous killings. An autopsy confirmed she died of strangulation by hand.

Killing someone who lived so close to him was a conquest for Rader.

Neighbors initially believed the killer hid in the hedges surrounding the homes on the street. After the murder, every property owner on the street removed their hedges, except Rader.

Next: Vicki Wegerle

June 26, 2006

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