This is a partial transcript from On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, March 26, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.
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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Hurst Laviana is the "Wichita Eagle" newspaper reporter who received the letter allegedly from the BTK strangler. He joins us from Wichita, Kansas.
Hurst, what did that letter say?
HURST LAVIANA, "WICHITA EAGLE": There were no words at all in the letter. There were just three photographs and a photocopy of a driver's license. All of it was on one piece of paper, and the paper was in an envelope, and that was all there was to it.
VAN SUSTEREN: Hurst, is there any way that someone other than the killer could have gotten those photographs? Did police take similar photographs?
LAVIANA: There were no crime scene photographs of the body. When police arrived, the body had already been removed by EMS workers. Back in those days, it was the policy of EMS, if they had a warm body, they would transport, even if they didn't have a pulse. And that was the case in this case. They transported her to the -- her body to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead. There were never any crime scene photographs of the body. The only pictures of the body were taken by the killer, and those pictures were the ones that came to the newsroom a week ago.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did you -- I assume that you turned the letter over to the authorities, right, Hurst?
LAVIANA: Yes. I was on my way out the door to a meeting when I was handed the letter by my editor, Tim Rogers (ph). I made a photocopy of the letter and the envelope. I put the copies on my desk. I took the envelope over to City Hall, behind me, gave them to the police and told -- I thought at the time it was a hoax. I think they -- they at the time thought it was a hoax. And we left it at that, at that point.
VAN SUSTEREN: Have you been around Wichita long enough to know who this man was when this letter surfaced at your newspaper 20 years after the last killing?
LAVIANA: I've been here 20 years. I knew exactly who BTK was. I knew who Vicki Wegerle was. When I came back into the office later that day, looked at the photocopy, noticed that Vicki Wegerle's driver's license was on that photocopy, I immediately realized something was wrong. I looked at the -- closely at the pictures, the photographs. In the three photographs, the clothing was arranged differently in each picture. I thought we definitely had something different.
VAN SUSTEREN: And have the police confirmed that, indeed, that -- I mean, that they also believe that this is that serial killer has finally appeared again?
LAVIANA: Police say they're 100 percent certain this is BTK. They are not saying why they know it's BTK. There's something distinctive about that letter that was similar to other BTK letters that have been sent in the past. He sent at least three or four other letters, and apparently, most of them have certain characteristics that were -- that existed in this letter.
VAN SUSTEREN: OK. Postmark and any return address -- it's silly to ask for a return address, but what's the postmark on it? And what -- is there a return address on it?
LAVIANA: It was postmarked on the 17th, which was last Wednesday. It was mailed here in Wichita. Police say they have figured out where it was mailed. They won't disclose the location of where it was mailed. The return address was to an address on South Old Manor, 1600 block of South Old Manor. It comes back to vacant apartments. Police don't know why he picked that address. There may be some symbolism there. We haven't been able to figure it out. As far as I know, police haven't been able to figure it out, either.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, all these murders occurred within about three-and-a-half miles of each other. Is that return address, that vacant return address -- is that within that three-and-a-half-mile area?
LAVIANA: Yes, it's not far from some of the crime scenes, I'm guessing within half a mile. But again, I don't know if there's any significance to that address.
VAN SUSTEREN: What's the community -- how's the community reacting to this news? I mean, now that the guy has appeared again, apparently.
LAVIANA: Well, a lot of people are really nervous. I would think most Wichitans don't remember that. It was 25 -- it's been 25 years, almost 25 years since they've heard from this guy. Most people simply don't remember. The ones that do, I think, are very nervous. The sales of pepper spray and burglar alarms reportedly have gone up quite a bit since this letter surfaced.
VAN SUSTEREN: In at least one of the murders -- and I'm going to talk about it with another guest in a little bit -- is that one of the clues was a letter that was found in a book at Wichita State University, as well as there was some copying done on the letter at the Wichita State University library. Is that within this three-and-a-half-mile area?
LAVIANA: Actually, it was a Wichita public library. It was downtown. It was not close to the murder. The initial letter dealing with the Otero (ph) homicides was found in a mechanical engineering textbook at the Wichita public library. That was the first communication that we know of that BTK has made.
VAN SUSTEREN: Hurst, thank you very much for joining us. We're going to continue to follow this story. Thank you, sir.
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