Strange Puzzle May Link BTK Killer to Missing Teen

Puzzle sent by serial killer to TV station includes Cynthia Kinney's name, sheriff says
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2024 2:00 AM CDT

Since last year, authorities have been investigating a possible link between the BTK serial killer and Cynthia Kinney, who went missing in Oklahoma in 1976 at age 16. Now they're taking another look at a crossword puzzle sent by the convicted killer, Dennis Rader, to a TV station in 2004, the Guardian reports. He included names, places, or other words related to his victims, of which there were at least 10 between 1974 and 1991. Newly discovered words included in the puzzle, per KFOR:

  • "Cindy" and "Kinney"
  • "Kihekah," the name of the street from which Kinney disappeared
  • "Osage" and "Laundry Mat." Kinney was last seen at the Osage Laundry laundromat in Osage County.
  • "Pawhuska" and "Oklahoma," the names of the city and state where she was last seen

The puzzle, which can be viewed at KFOR, also includes the names of all 10 of Rader's known victims, his home address in Kansas, and map markings indicating times he traveled to Oklahoma. (He's confessed to those aforementioned 10 killings, but has not confessed to any involvement in Kinney's disappearance.) An anonymous woman sent the puzzle to the Osage County Sheriff's Office recently. "There's hints all the way through that can't be overlooked," the sheriff says. (More BTK Killer stories.)

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