Skip to main content
The Web    CNN.com      Powered by
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SERVICES
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SEARCH
Web CNN.com
powered by Yahoo!
Law

Victim's brother describes killing linked to BTK

Reluctant to say he could identify attacker


story.bright.jpg
Kevin Bright says BTK suspect Dennis Rader resembles the man who shot him and killed his sister.
more videoVIDEO
BTK killings suspect Dennis Rader appears in court via video

There were two sides to Dennis Rader -- two very different sides.

As a young boy, Steve Relford watched BTK kill his mom.
YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
Kansas
Murders

(CNN) -- The brother of a Wichita, Kansas, woman believed to have been killed by the BTK serial killer, was reluctant to say in an interview with CNN whether he could identify the man who shot him twice and strangled his sister.

The body of 21-year-old Kathryn Bright was found in her home April 4, 1974. She was bound with cord, partially dressed and had been stabbed several times in the abdomen and strangled.

Kevin Bright said on CNN's "Larry King Live" Monday that he and his sister were attacked as they entered her home. Kevin Bright was 19 at the time.

As they passed a bedroom, they heard a man say, " 'Hold it right there,' and we looked over and he had a gun," Bright said.

Dennis Rader, 59, has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder in connection with the BTK killings -- including the death of Kathryn Bright. The earliest slaying was in 1974; the last linked to BTK was in 1991.

When asked whether he could identify Rader as the attacker, Bright was hesitant.

"I'm thinking it is [Rader], but I haven't been shown any proof. He claims he wrote a letter years later and claimed seven victims, and he named six of them but he never said he killed my sister," Bright said.

But when pressed to say whether a photo of Rader looks like the attacker, Bright said, "There's a lot of resemblance, I mean, a lot of features, his eyes, shape of his face."

"I've seen a picture of him today ... his arrest picture, and I've seen a picture when he was graduated in 1963. So I haven't seen [a] picture of him at that time, '74. You know, when that happened in 1974, I haven't seen a picture at that time."

Bright said he told police the intruder was 5-feet-10-inches, 180 pounds and 25 to 30 years old with a mustache and dark hair.

'I played like I was dead'

He said that the man said he didn't want to hurt them; he just needed money and a car to drive to New York. But Bright said he then forced him to tie up his sister in the front bedroom, and the man tied him up in another bedroom.

After the man rummaged through the house, he returned with a knotted stocking and began trying to strangle Kevin Bright.

"I jumped up on my feet. He pulled a gun from his waistband," Bright said. According to Bright, he grabbed the gun from the attacker and pulled the trigger twice, but it didn't fire.

"He jerked it away from me and shot me," Bright said.

The intruder left for awhile, came back and shot Bright a second time. "I played like I was dead. He left." Bright said he was able to run out of the house. He approached two men across the street, one of whom took him to a hospital, and the other called police. Bright said he has lasting nerve damage.

He said he never saw his sister's body, and didn't learn of her death until several days after the attacks.

Rader meets attorneys

District Judge Greg Waller Tuesday formally set Rader's bail at $10 million and appointed the public defender's office to represent him at a preliminary hearing set for March 15. Rader met with two of the three public defenders assigned to his case after his first court appearance Tuesday, the Sedgwick County Public Defender's Office said Wednesday.

The office said that Charles Stephen Osburn and Sarah McKinnon met with Rader for most of the afternoon after his initial court appearance, which was made via a video signal from the Sedgwick County Jail.

Public defender Jama Mitchell has also been assigned to defend Rader, the office confirmed .Rader was visited Wednesday by the pastor of his church, Michael Clark, who would not divulge to CNN details of their 45-minute conversation or Rader's demeanor.

It was the first time Clark had seen the president of his church's council since his arrest last Friday.

"We had a good, good visit. I will be back to see him again," Clark said. "I went down there to be with him and to listen to him."

On Christ Lutheran Church's Web site, Clark says Rader has held leadership positions at the church for about 30 years. He also says church members are committed to cooperating in the investigation.

Clark, who also appeared on "Larry King Live" Tuesday, said he felt "total confusion ... a range of emotions from A to Z. Nothing makes sense."

He said he had spoken to Rader's wife, who was experiencing "total disbelief, confusion, a lot of pain and bewilderment."

"Dennis was very easy to work with. He was a church man. He was at church all the time, was available as needed. I found he had a very pleasant personality," Clark said. "I never saw any kind of anger or rage."

His congregation has expressed confusion over Rader's arrest.

"Some of them are angry. They feel a sense of betrayal, a sense of sadness and concern for Dennis' wife," Clark added.

He said in the years he's known Rader, the two of them never discussed the BTK killings.


Story Tools
Subscribe to Time for $1.99 cover
Top Stories
CNN/Money: Ex-Tyco CEO found guilty
Top Stories
CNN/Money: Security alert issued for 40 million credit cards

City:

International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
SEARCH
   The Web    CNN.com     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser.
CNN.com does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.