Man Who Met BTK Serial Killer Speaks Out

ByABC News via logo
February 4, 2005, 8:18 AM

Feb. 4, 2005 — -- The apparent re-emergence of the elusive BTK -- Bind, Torture, Kill -- serial killer over the past year has aggravated a wound that may never heal in Stephen Relford. In March 1977, Relford, then 5, was locked in a bathroom as BTK allegedly killed his mother.

Now, Relford is speaking out for the first time about his horrific ordeal.

"I remember seeing my mama being stripped, her hands behind her back, plastic bag over her head, rope tied around her neck," Relford told ABC News affiliate KAKE-TV in Wichita, Kan.

Relford's mother, Shirley Vian, is believed to be BTK's fifth victim. BTK has been linked to eight unsolved homicides that occurred in Wichita between 1974 and 1986. The killer remained silent for 25 years until last March, when authorities believe he sent The Wichita Eagle a letter that detailed an unsolved 1986 slaying and contained the victim's driver's license and photos of her body. BTK has since sent various letters to police and the media that have been authenticated by the FBI.

BTK's apparent messages have given Relford hope that police will find the killer.

"It's been 28 years, and I hope to hell I meet this [expletive] face-to-face," Relford told KAKE-TV.

Relford is haunted by his mother's killing, especially since he says he was the one who let BTK into their home. Relford and his two siblings were home, he said, when BTK knocked on their door and asked Relford if his parents were there. When Relford told BTK his mother was sick in bed, BTK came in and turned off the TV.

BTK, Relford said, then pulled down the blinds and pulled out a pistol. Then the phone rang, and Relford asked his mother if she wanted him to answer it. BTK told him not to, and his mother told him to do as BTK said.

BTK then told Vian to put blankets and toys in the bathroom, Relford said.