The daughter of serial killer Dennis Rader believes that Idaho quadruple-murder suspect could have had contact with her father after ‘close’ relationship with criminology professor was revealed.
Kerri Rawson, daughter of Rader – who is better known as the BTK killer – said it was ‘possible’ that there had been letters between her father and Bryan Kohberger.
The 28-year-old was arrested on Friday and charged with four counts of murder and one count of felony burglary.
Kerri Rawson, daughter of Rader – who is better known as the BTK killer – said it was ‘possible’ that there had been letters between her father and Bryan Kohberger
Bryan Kohberger could have had contact with serial killer BTK after ‘close’ relationship with a criminology professor was revealed
Graduate PhD student Kohberger had previously studied under a professor in Pennsylvania known for her expertise on serial killers and was studying criminology at Washington State University at the time of the slayings – just minutes from the crime scene.
Rawson told NewsNation she fears that Kohberger could have been in contact with her father, after discovering that he had been taught by Dr Katherine Ramsland while at DeSales University.
Ramsland has declined to comment on the arrest but spent decades researching serial killers and mass murderers – writing both ‘The Mind of a Murderer’ and ‘How to Catch a Killer’.
She is best known for developing a close relationship with serial murderer Dennis Rader – known as BTK.
Rawson said: ‘My first reaction was my stomach churned and I literally physically got ill. I’ve been pretty invested in the Idaho case, and I was shocked to see there was a connection to Ramsland and my father.
‘There is potentially a connection to my father, but we’re going to have to wait and see. Kohberger could have had communication with my father.
Rawson, pictured with her father, said she was ‘shocked’ to see how far Kohberger had come in the criminology field
She added that after discovering the connection between Kohberger and Dr Katherine Ramsland she thought there could be a link between BTK and the alleged quadruple killer
Authorities searched his office on the University of Washington Pullman campus, DailyMail.com can reveal
‘It’s very common for criminal justice students and in general the true crime community or fans to contact my father via mail and occasionally speak on the phone.
‘Knowing how personally connected Ramsland is to my father, I would not be surprised if at the very least Kohberger tried to write to him.
‘If he has contacted my father there would be letters in his house and in my father’s jail cell. It’s hard to be the kid of this guy and live with this.
‘And then see somebody else go do this and wonder did your dad influence this? Did my dad talk to him?
‘Was he studying my father outside of academics? Am I ever going to get answers to that, I don’t know.’
Rawson also said she thinks the Kohberger family is ‘going through hell’ after his arrest, pointing out that there is currently ‘no reason to suspect that they knew’.
Investigators have yet to outline a motive in the murders of the four students, but those who knew Kohberger say he had a deep interest in the psychology of criminals
Dennis Rader (left) and Joseph James DeAngelo (right) – known as the Golden State Killer – both had criminology degrees.
The crime took place six weeks ago, 2,500 miles from where Kohberger was arrested. His father flew to meet his son in Washington and drove with him back to their Pennsylvania home
She added that she is ‘shocked’ at how far Kohberger made it into the criminology field, before comparing him to other major serial killers – including her father.
Dennis Rader (BTK) and Joseph James DeAngelo – known as the Golden State Killer – both had criminology degrees.
Rason added: ‘I’m shocked how far he’s made it into the criminology field – but it’s happened before.
‘My father has a criminology degree, the Golden State Killer he has one. Bundy I believe studied criminal law so it happens.
‘I mean you can be an expert on psychopaths and they’re still going to trick you.’
Investigators have yet to outline a motive in the murders of the four students, but those who knew Kohberger say he had a deep interest in the psychology of criminals.
Friends from high school claim that he struggled with heroin addiction in his younger years but appeared to have moved past it.
Idaho police said the four University of Idaho students were murdered in their sleep between 3am and 4am. Pictured: Victims Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Maddie Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and 20-year-old Ethan Chapin
The suspect was attending college in nearby Washington State, where he pursued criminology
Forensic teams and police work at the apartment of Kohberger nearby Washington State University in Pullman, Washington
Kohberger earned a psychology degree at community college in 2018, before studying psychology and criminal justice at DeSales University.
A student who was in Kohberger’s criminology class said that he would ‘often interrupt’ Ramsland – ‘as if he knew more about the subject matter than her’ according to Law and Crime.
Federal and state investigators are now combing through his background, financial records and electronic communications as they work to identify a motive and build the case.
The investigators are also interviewing people who knew Kohberger, including those at Washington State University.
Another former professor of his from Washington State University told DailyMail.com that she was ‘shocked as s***’ by his arrest.
Kohberger was allegedly stalking the students in the weeks leading up to the murders. Pictured is the home where the murders took place, just over eight miles from where he worked as a PhD student and teaching assistant
Police were on the hunt for Kohberger’s white Hyundai Elantra, which officials began tracking around Christmas time as the suspect drove across the country
In an exclusive interview, DeSales University Professor Michelle Bolger said she’s in absolute shock after hearing what her former student has been accused of.
‘He’s a brilliant student,’ she told DailyMail.com exclusively from her house in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania.
‘I’m shocked as s**t at what he’s been accused of. I don’t believe it, but I get it,’ she said.
Kohberger has been charged with four counts of murder and one count of federal burglary – with Moscow Chief of Police James Fry saying he broke into the student home with the ‘intent to commit murder.’
Police confiscated a white Hyundai Elantra, the same model Moscow police had been hunting for after being spotted close to the crime scene, from outside Kohberger’s home.
Kohberger was taken into custody in Albrightsville, Pennsylvania, a small town in the heart of the Poconos Mountains more than 2,000 miles from where the gruesome killings took place
Kaylee and Madison were found on the top floor of the Moscow, Idaho home. College lovers Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle were found in a second-floor bedroom while survivors Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke were sleeping on the first floor
He had been home for the festive holidays after his father flew 2,000 miles from Pennsylvania to Idaho to drive with his son.
It is unclear if Kohberger’s father, who went bankrupt in 2010, or the rest of his family were aware of the murders.
Law enforcement officials confirmed that his DNA was found at the scene of the crime, though he has no criminal record, which would put his DNA on file.
Investigators were able to match genetic evidence to a family member of the suspect using genealogy databases, CNN reported, citing a source.
Kohberger may possibly face the death penalty in the state – in which his family can’t afford to hire an attorney to fight.
Investigators are still trying to locate the murder weapon more than six weeks after the murders, which they believe was a large knife.
Kohberger’s family addressed the charges on Sunday and asked for people to refrain from judgment.
Moscow Chief of Police James Fry refused to rule out that the killer had an accomplice.
Details of the killings, and the motive for them, are yet to be released, with law enforcement saying a sealed arrest affidavit will be released once Kohberger is extradited back to Idaho.
Friday’s arrest is the first major break in the case – with Kohberger asking if ‘anyone else was arrested’ when he was taken into custody. An extradition hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.
He is currently in custody at Monroe County Jail in Pennsylvania until a hearing on January 3.