Shirley Vian Relford's house.
Crime Scene Location in Wichita, Kansas, United States.
This is the house where "the BTK Killer" Dennis Rader murdered 26-year-old Shirley Vian Relford.
Rader strangled the young mother to death with a rope after he locked her three terrified children in the bathroom.
On March 17th, 1977, BTK drove to this neighborhood in Linwood and parked his car at a Dillons grocery store on East Lincoln Street. At the time, he was stalking a woman who he had spotted at a bar. After watching his target's house for a while, he finally picked up the nerve to knock on her front door. However, no one was home at the time - much to his frustration.
By that stage, he was so "keyed up" and excited about the prospect of attacking a new victim that he decided to troll around the area for someone else.
As Rader was walking along South Hydraulic Avenue, he came across Shirley Relford's young son Steve, who was coming back from a nearby grocery store. Upon meeting him, Rader produced a photograph of his own wife and son and asked the boy if he knew where they were.
During their short exchange, Steve politely told Rader that he didn't know who they were. He then continued on his journey home.
At that stage, Rader continued to watch the young boy until he saw him entering this house at 1311 South Hydraulic Avenue.
Shortly after Steve went inside, there was a knock at the front door. When Steve and his brother Bud answered it, they saw Rader standing on the porch. He was holding up the same photograph and claiming to be a private detective.
However, this ruse of his did not last for long. As soon as Rader spotted his opportunity, he forced his way into the house and produced a .357 Magnum handgun.
Once inside, Rader quickly pulled down the blinds and turned off the television. At that stage, the children's mother Shirley came out of her bedroom and was shocked to find a strange man standing in her living room.
Although Rader attempted to tie the three children up, he soon realized that it was proving to be too difficult. As a result, he put them into the bathroom with some toys and blankets.
To prevent the children from escaping, he tied the door handle shut with a rope and then pushed one of the beds up against the bathroom door.
While BTK was holding Shirley Vian at gunpoint, he explained to her that he had a "problem with sexual fantasies" and that he was going to tie her up. He also stated that he had done it before.
All in all, it seems as though Shirley was under the illusion that she would survive the encounter if she complied with his demands. That or she was in such a state of shock that she didn't know how to react.
According to Rader, he had to fetch her a glass of water because she vomited at one point.
Once the kids were locked away, he tied Shirley to the bed, put a plastic bag over her head and then strangled her to death using a rope.
During his court confession in 2005, he recalled how the three children were shouting and banging on the bathroom door while the crime was taking place.
Following the murder, Rader cleaned up his "tools" and left the house as quickly as possible. He then walked back to his car at the Dillons parking lot.
Where did Shirley Vian Relford live?
Below, you will find the address and the GPS coordinates for this location.
The GPS coordinates for the house are as follows.
- Latitude: 37.669483
- Longitude: -97.317458
Open 37.669483, -97.317458 in Google Maps to view directions on how to get there.
The full address for this location is:
1311 South Hydraulic Ave
Private property warning.
This is a private property. It is not a public place. Therefore, you should be respectful and not step foot on the property without permission.
Trivia about the house.
- The house was built in 1930.
- It has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.
- It is 1,183 sqft in size.
Photos of the house and other related images.
The house in 2022.
A Google Street View image of the property. This was taken in January of 2022.
This aerial view shows how close Shirley's house was to the Dillons grocery store where BTK parked his car. The route only takes about a minute to travel by foot.
That day, Shirley was feeling sick. As a result, she sent her son Steve to the grocery store to buy some soup.
BTK parked at Dillons.
This is the lot where Dillons once stood. It is situated at the intersection between Lincoln Street and Hydraulic Avenue.
Nowadays, it is home to a QuikTrip convenience store.
During his confession, Dennis Rader claimed that he originally parked his car at this lot in order to scope out one of his "projects". However, she was not home at the time.
Coordinates: 37.671270, -97.317725
An aerial photograph of the area from 1975. We have circled the two locations in red.
The newspaper clipping above is from The Salina Journal newspaper. It was published on March 18th, 1977 - the day after Relford's murder.
A number of online articles state that Shirley was 24 years old. However, she was actually 26. She also went by a number of different names, such as Shirley Vian, Shirley Relford and Shirley Walker.
Initially, the media reported that the three young children had described BTK as a heavy white man who was about 40 years old.
However, in later articles, it was reported that he was six feet tall, in his early thirties and carrying a briefcase. This description was pretty accurate. At the time of the murder, Rader had recently turned 32.
The briefcase in question contained Rader's "hit kit", which consisted of gloves, a flashlight, rope, tape and tools for breaking into people's homes.
The photo on the left shows police bringing Shirley Vian's body out of 1311 South Hydraulic Avenue. The image on the right is from Google Street View.
Other locations that are relatively close to this place.
Roughly 3 miles away.
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