WICHITA, Kan Lt. Ken Landwehr, the Wichita Police investigator credited with breaking the BTK case, has died.
Wichita Police said Landwehr died Monday afternoon at his home following a battle with kidney cancer. He was 59 years old.
Chief Norman Williams said, “The passing of Lt. Ken Landwehr is a true loss for his family, the Wichita Police Department and the City of Wichita. He was a highly skilled investigator and a tireless advocate for victims and their loved ones."
Some of his most high profile accomplishments include solving two quadruple homicides within a week of each other in 2000. The second of those was the infamous Carr brothers' murders.
Perhaps his most famous accomplishment as lead homicide detective was overseeing the BTK case, which led to the arrest of serial killer Dennis Rader in 2005. Rader was charged with 10 murders between 1974 and 1991, and later pleaded guilty.
“When I did my interview to get on the police department, they always ask you one question, 'how far do you want to go in the department,' and at that interview I said I want to command homicide,” Lt. Ken Landwehr said.
Lt. Ken Landwehr accomplished that goal in 1992 and spent the next 20 years overseeing 600 murder investigations.
“Those victims cannot speak for themselves so that's probably the only reason why I picked homicide,” Lt. Landwehr said.
“There's been over 600 cases and to think that one is more important than the other: it really isn't, because they are all victims, they all needed our help and hopefully we've been able to give them that help,” Lt. Landwehr said.
Landwehr's wife however, tells us she remembers all too well the case that thrust her husband into the national spotlight..
“BTK was the one that bothered me the most, that was a hard 11 months for me to not be able to share that with anyone, not even my family so I was very relieved when that was over,” Cindy Landwehr said.
Lt. Landwehr retired from the police force in May, 2012. He served Wichita for 35 years.
"On behalf of the Wichita Police Department, I would like to express our deepest sympathy and support to his family and friends during this difficult time,” Chief Williams said.