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November 22, 2004
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Request For Kan. Police DNA For Serial Killer Investigation Causes Controversy

The Associated Press

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Investigators looking for Wichita's most notorious serial killer are asking former Wichita police officers to provide samples of their DNA.

In a newsletter to retired police officers, lead detective Lt. Ken Landwehr said officials will use the samples to exonerate officers who worked during the time of the BTK killings. Specifically, Landwehr said, investigators want to head off potential legal maneuvers once a suspect has been arrested.

BTK, which stands for "Bind, Torture, Kill," is the nickname self-coined by a serial killer connected with eight unsolved homicides between 1974 and 1986. BTK resurfaced in March after sending letters to area news media, Wichita police and other officials.

One former police officer has balked at providing a DNA sample because he says it's an invasion of privacy - not just his, but that of his family and generations of descendants.

Retired Detective Frank Cummins, 71, said he is concerned the department could use the samples to develop a permanent database of DNA for all of his family, without giving family members a choice.

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