Wichita police question motorists passing through a roadblock in front of the Otero house, where some family members were killed by the BTK killer in 1974. file photo Eagle file photo
Wichita police question motorists passing through a roadblock in front of the Otero house, where some family members were killed by the BTK killer in 1974. file photo Eagle file photo

BTK

Former Wichita cop, BTK investigator dies in Oklahoma crash

January 12, 2017 2:25 PM

A former Wichita Police Department captain who spent years investigating the infamous “BTK” murders has died.

Bernard Drowatzky of Kaw City, Okla., died on Tuesday, according to an obituary notice on the Trout Funeral Home & Crematory website.

Through a post on the Ponca City News’ Facebook page from Wednesday, the Oklahoma newspaper reported that Drowatzky, 83, died following a one-vehicle accident on a highway just west of Kaw City.

Drowatzky retired from the Wichita department as a captain in September 1986 after serving the city for two decades.

According to previous stories in The Wichita Eagle, Drowatzky worked on several high-profile Wichita-area murder cases, including a number of the murders eventually attributed to Dennis Rader, the convicted BTK killer.

More about BTK | Photos: Growing up with BTK | Dennis Rader’s testimony | Four boys who grew up to catch a monster | When your father is the BTK serial killer, forgiveness is not tidy

Drowatzky also worked on the investigation of four murders – known by many as the “Dayton Street murders” – that took place in west Wichita in 1974. The efforts by Drowatzky and others led to the arrests of Gary Duvall and Eddie Bell in that case.

After leaving the police force in Wichita, Drowatzky worked in several other law enforcement roles in Oklahoma. He worked for the Kay County Sheriff’s Office and was the Kaw City police chief for a time, according to a post on the office’s Facebook page.

The Ponca City News reported that Drowatzky worked in law enforcement for more than 50 years.

He was driving a 2001 Lincoln Town Car on Tuesday when it left the roadway, eventually landing in a “dry creek bed,” according to the newspaper’s Facebook post.

Rader was arrested in 2005 for the murders of 10 people in Sedgwick County between 1974 and 1991. He is serving a sentence of 10 consecutive life terms at the El Dorado Correctional Facility.

Who is BTK?

Dennis Rader was a husband, a sexual pervert, a Boy Scout volunteer, a murderer, church leader, child killer, stalker. He terrorized Wichita for 31 years. (video by Jaime Green)

jgreen@wichitaeagle.com

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