Archive for Monday, February 28, 2005

Baldwin chief pleased with arrest of BTK

February 28, 2005

By Mike Belt

News of an arrest Saturday in Wichita's BTK case ended many years of wondering for Baldwin Police Chief Mike McKenna.

McKenna, who was involved in the BTK investigation during his years with the Wichita Police Department, happened to be visiting in Wichita this weekend when the news broke. As did many throughout the state, he watched the police news conference on television.

"It is a great day," McKenna said in a telephone interview from Wichita. "I'm so happy for everybody involved in this, past and present. I'm just almost at a loss for words."

McKenna said he didn't recognize the name of the suspect, Park City resident Dennis Rader. The combined efforts of police, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the FBI paid off in the investigation, he said. Moreover, McKenna thinks publicity about a book being written about BTK may have spurred him to renew his written messages to the media and police.

"I felt for sometime that if they could just keep him writing to them that he would be caught, and that is what happened," McKenna said. "At least the nightmare for Wichita is over."

The BTK arrest was all anyone was talking about Saturday in Wichita, McKenna said.

"You hear it at the tables in the restaurants, and you hear it in the stores," he said. "People are talking to each other and remarking about how happy they are that this guy has been caught. It is like the whole city is celebrating."

There will be another story on McKenna's ties to BTK in Thursday's Baldwin City Signal.

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