Cape to consult Wichita on '77, '82 murders

Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Cape Girardeau police plan to contact authorities in Wichita, Kan., to investigate the remote possibility that suspect Dennis Rader could be connected to four unsolved murders that occurred here more than 20 years ago.

The cases in question are the killings of 58-year-old Mary Parsh and her daughter, 27-year-old Brenda Parsh, found shot to death in Mary Parsh's home in 1977; 57-year-old Margie Call, found strangled in her home in 1982; and 65-year-old Mildred Wallace, found shot to death in her home that same year.

Capt. Carl Kinnison with the Cape Girardeau Police Department said Monday that the crimes don't carry the mark of the BTK killer, but the department wants to check with those investigators just in case.

"It is something that, you don't want to leave any stone unturned, but the likelihood of it being that person is slim," Kinnison said. "Most serial killers have a particular method ... and from what I've read and seen, that method is significantly different from what we had."

The local murders didn't involve notes sent to media and police as in the BTK cases.

Kinnison said the department will wait a couple of weeks before calling Wichita in order to let things calm down because the Wichita police are inundated with work and phone calls right now.

The main ties between these unsolved murders and the BTK killings are the time frame and the proximity of Missouri and Kansas, said Kinnison.

"We see a serial killer fairly close to Cape and the first thing you think of is these were happening at about the same time we were having a series of murders of women," Kinnison said. "And you just wonder if there could be a relationship and a possible connection between those and ours. While it seems unlikely, we're going to check into it."

Wichita investigators could also possibly let Cape Girardeau police know whether BTK suspect Dennis Rader had any ties to Southeast Missouri. Rader allegedly killed at least 10 people in the Wichita area between 1974 and 1991.

In the cases of the Parshes and Wallace, a .38-caliber firearm was used. Both Wallace and Call were sexually assaulted before they were murdered.

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