Serial Killer in the Library

This archived event was part of Everyday Ethics, a collaborative program from the Kansas Regional Library Systems and the State Library of Kansas.

Originally presented on May 6, 2010.

Sponsored by the South Central Kansas Library System

Paul Hawkins, Director, South Central Kansas Library System

On February 25, 2005, Dennis Rader was stopped near his Park City, Kansas home and taken into custody by law enforcement officials. Among the locations searched that day to obtain evidence in the infamous "Bind, Torture and Kill" (BTK) murders was the Park City Community Public Library.  When confronted by uniformed officers with a search warrant, Dawn Pilcher, Park City Public Library Director (retired), called the South Central Kansas Library System (SCKLS) for advice.    During the five-hour closing and search of the Park City Public Library in conjunction with Rader's arrest, Pilcher and SCKLS Director Paul Hawkins were able to communicate using cell phones.   As news spread of the arrest of a suspect in the BTK murders, local media and sightseers began converging on Park City.  Two helicopters could be seen overhead and a local television station truck set up for a live broadcast directly in front of the library.  In this stressful environment and in the media coverage to follow, the Park City Public Library upheld library ethics and did not compromise patron confidentiality.

Read Paul's article Serial Killer in the Library

A Serial Killer Visits the Library: Confidentiality and Coping with Law Enforcement Inquiries from State Library of Kansas on Vimeo.