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Some of the more suspicious unsolved murder cases possibly related to BTK

Sherry Baker - college student stabbed to death in her apartment in 1974

Denise Rathbun - disappeared from laundromat near the Otero home, found dead in creek after Nancy Fox murder

Hattie Smith and Deanna Law - both found dead in bathtubs a decade apart

Carol Mould - housewife found murdered and burned inside front door in 2004

Linda Shawn Casey

Linda Shawn Casey

Linda Shawn Casey was murdered on June 29,1985, just two months after BTK victim Marine Hedge.  She lived in Wichita, as did the majority of his victims.  At the time, BTK was partly discounted as the perpetrator because he had not been heard from for years.  However, the crime has many similarities to other victims, above all the senselessness of it all.  There was an attempt at sexual assault in this case, probably with a wine bottle.  The crime was well-timed by someone who apparently knew her routines.  The fact that he washed up in a disabled sink indicates he may not have been in that apartment previously.  The killer gained access to her household without forced entry, another common BTK trait.  Of the cold cases, this one is considered among the most suspicious in terms of BTK.

Newspaper articles follow from the time of the murder:

Wichitan Found Slain in Her Home
The Wichita Eagle  
July 1, 1985
By Bill Hirschman

Authorities say they have no suspects in the murder of a Wichita woman who was bound, beaten, sexually assaulted, stabbed and who then bled to death after her throat was slashed Saturday night.

The partially clad body of Linda Shawn Casey, a 31-year-old college student, was found on the floor of her bedroom at 356 N. Spruce at 7:56 p.m. Saturday, said Capt. John Dotson of the Special Investigations Squad.

Casey was found by a friend, Randall Bobbitt, who had come by to visit, according to police reports.

Investigators had no suspects, but they worked around-the-clock processing evidence, Dotson said Sunday afternoon. A knife found nearby is being examined as a possible murder weapon, he said.

“It’s a tough case,” Dotson said. “We have a lot to do a lot of checking of her background and contacting acquaintances.”

An investigative source said the woman had been bound and partly undressed. He said she had been sexually assaulted, stabbed in the abdomen and the back and beaten with a blunt instrument on her face and head, and her throat had been slashed.

Casey died from a loss of blood and could have been attacked as early as 4 p.m Saturday, although investigators were still trying to pinpoint the time of the attack, Dotson said.

But her landlord, Bill Cunningham, placed the time between about 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Two of Casey’s friends told Cunningham that they talked to Casey by telephone at 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

At 5:30 p.m., tenants in the basement knocked on her door to complain that water from a bathroom sink was dripping into their apartment, Cunningham said.

They received no answer. The sink has not had a drainpipe for some time and Casey knew not to run enough water to flood the floor, Cunningham said.

“It looks like it was someone she knew,” he said.

Casey was a student at Wichita State University pursuing degrees in anthropology and philosophy, and planned to graduate at the end of the fall semester, acquaintances said.

She worked part time since May as a canvasser for the Electric Shock Coalition, a consumer advocacy organization.

“She was a vivacious lady, kind of a free spirit,” said Coalition spokeswoman Mary Abbot-Mills. “Shawn is the type of person who everybody knows on a casual basis, but nobody knows real well.”

Matt Foley, a close friend, described her as “a very attractive woman with dark brown hair, lively eyes and a nice smile.”

“She had an appreciation of art. After college, she wanted to move to New Mexico and open a gallery,” Foley said.

“She was a connoisseur of fine touring bicycles, and she had a hell of a green thumb. She could grow something with a broken leaf.”

Casey was her surname from the first of two former marriages. Her maiden name was Bullock, and her relatives live in Kansas City, Tulsa and Cushing, Okla.

She had lived about a year in an apartment in a converted, rambling one-story clapboard house in a residential neighborhood a few blocks east of the Canal Route.

Life, Potential Taken by Killer, Friends Say
The Wichita Eagle
July 7, 1985
By Sharon Hamric

In the guest register Wednesday at Hackler Funeral Home in Cushing, Okla., for the viewing of Linda Shawn Casey, one signature was smeared and scribbled.

E. Paul Leavell signed his name “Grandfather Peck.” She’d never called him anything else.

“It’s hard to say that anyone might be too good to be true, but for her you could say it,” Leavell said through tears at his murdered granddaughter’s graveside. “There wasn’t a lazy bone in her body.”

Linda Shawn Casey was a woman who loved polar bears and gardenias and her French racing bicycle, who baked cookies for neighborhood kids, quoted Jean-Paul Sartre and adopted stray cats, who like nothing better than having her friends over for Chinese dinner, who played the flute and twirled flaming batons in her high school band, who transformed weed patches into clusters of zucchini and tomatoes, who dreamed of going on archaeological digs in South America, who braided red, gold and green Christmas ribbon together to make prettier packages, who put herself through college by selling cosmetics, framing pictures and working seven different waitress jobs she detested, by all accounts a homebody, a small-town girl who hated living in a neighborhood where doors needed locks and keys.

Police suspect the killer who spent some time in Shawn’s east Wichita apartment on Saturday, June 29, exactly one week after her 31st birthday, was someone with a background in butchery.

The killer was someone strong, possibly someone known to her, since there were no signs of forced entry either at the front door on North Spruce or the side door on Third.

Police have been unusually tight-lipped about the case.

Friends and family, though, provided details of what happened to Shawn Casey that afternoon at 356 N. Spruce.

The killer gagged her, bound her hands behind her back, slit her throat with a knife, stabbed her repeatedly in the back, abdomen and vagina, and smashed her face and head with the wine bottle the used to prop open the bedroom window.

The killer pulled the telephone line taut with his bloodied hands, then slashed the line with the same bloody, bent knife.

Police say the professional-size butcher’s knife matched the victim’s cutlery set, but friends and former roommates say the weapon was not hers.

“I never saw her use that knife, and we were over there all the time,” says Dave Warren. “She wouldn’t even have had a knife like that, because the only meat she ever ate was chicken.”

The killer washed up in the bathroom, either forgetting or not knowing that the sink wasn’t used because it had no drainpipe and would overflow and drip into the basement apartment.

When the downstairs neighbors banged on the ceiling at 5:30 p.m. to complain about the leaking ceiling, the water stopped.

From a hook in the closet, the killer took, and probably wore, a pair of pants owned by Shawn’s boyfriend, Randall Bobbitt. The murdered presumably carried away his own clothes.

Then he left Linda Shawn Casey to bleed to death.

He might have still been inside at 5 p.m. when Warren and Cynthia Perry dropped by to see whether Shawn had gotten the two-for-one tickets to Saturday night’s Tom Petty concert.

“We talked to her about 4 o’clock,” Warren remembers. “She said Randall was coming over for dinner. She was going to call (the ticket agency) and see if the tickets were still two for one. We said we’d stop by to see if they wanted to go with us.

“We banged and banged on the window, but she didn’t come. You could always see in her window. She wanted the light for her plants. But the window was covered up. There was something hanging there, and you couldn’t see anything.

“We stood there pounding on the window for about five or 10 minutes. We decided she must have gone off somewhere else, so we left.”

When Randall Bobbitt let himself into the apartment just before 8 p.m. and found his girlfriend heaped in a corner of the bedroom with the wine bottle posed in a grotesque position on her body, her torso was so mutilated he wasn’t sure it was the same woman he’d kissed goodbye seven hours earlier.

Bobbitt got in his car and drove to the corner of Hillside and Central. He walked to the pay telephone inside Spangles, the place Shawn always said had the best salad bar in town.

Bobbitt, 30, an art history student who had romanced Shawn off and on for several years, who had lived with her previously, supported her, shared Easter dinner at her grandparent’s home in Oklahoma, was so shaken he gave police the wrong address.

He remembers only that it was a combination of his address and hers.

He drove back to the apartment and waited for police on the front porch. After 15 or 20 minutes, he called police again from a neighbor’s telephone.

Bobbitt’s voice cracks and trembles when he talks about what was “sacred between us.” Friends and family say he has suffered more than anyone else.

Bobbitt calls their relationship “an odd pairing” because Shawn was “so social, she talked a blue streak,” while he is introverted and painfully shy.

“She was really a good person. I really don’t understand. She had lots of friends. She was an open book. There was nothing mysterious about her, nothing in her life that would call this thing down on her.

“That afternoon … everything was fine. I was supposed to have dinner with her. She was cooking when that monster…”

Dennis Rader had previously worked in the meat department of a supermarket.


 
If you know anything about this crime or any other, call Crime Stoppers right away at (316) 267-2111. You don’t have to give your name and if your tip leads to an arrest you could be eligible for a cash reward. Crime Stoppers is a non-profit organization of citizens against crime.

See also:  Sherry Baker

  Denise Rathbun

  Hattie Smith and Deanna Law

  Carol Mould

Back to:  The BTK Site

For more reading on Dennis Rader BTK see:  Dennis Rader - BTK Killer - a Biography