BTK Poetry

There are three BTK poems, sent to the media in the following order:

1) "Shirley Locks" -- BTK sent a letter to The Wichita Eagle on Jan. 31, 1978 that contained a poem that began: "SHIRLEYLOCKS SHIRLEYLOCKS WILT THOU BE MINE"

The poem was based on the nursey rhyme "Curley Locks." Police Chief William Cornwell said the poem was about BTK's feeling about the killing of Shirley Relford (Vian). He said that the next poem would be about Fox, referring to Nancy Fox who was murdered on Dec. 8, 1977

Here is the original "Curley Locks" nursery rhyme: Curley Locks, Curley Locks, Wilt thou be mine? Thou shalt not wash dishes, Nor yet feed the swine, But sit on a cushion And sew a fine seam, And feed upon strawberries, Sugar and cream

2) "O, Death to Nancy" based on the 1920's folk song. Wichita Police Lt. Ken Landwehr said FBI profilers have confirmed a connection between a letter police received in May, former Wichita State University professor Dr. P.J. Wyatt and the folk song "Oh, Death." This poem was "dedicated" to his victim, Nancy Fox.

Comparison of 1920's "Oh, Death" and BTK's "Oh, Death to Nancy

Oh, Death (1920s)

Well what is this that I can't see
With ice cold hands taking hold of me
Well I am death none can excel
I'll open the door to heaven or hell
Whoa death someone would pray
Could you wait to call me til another day
The children pray the preacher preached
Time and mercy is out of your reach
I'll fix your feet til you can't walk
I'll lock your jaw til you can't talk
I'll close your eyes so you can't see
This very hour come and go with me
In death I come to take the soul
Leave the body and leave it cold
To drop the flesh off of the frame
The earth and worms both have a claim
Oh death
Oh death
Won't you spare me over til another year
My mother came to my bed
Place a cold towel upon my head
My head is warm my feet are cold
Death is a movin upon my soul
Oh death how you're treatin me
You close my eyes so I can't see
Well you're hurtin my body you make me cold
You run my life right out of my soul
Oh death please consider my age
Please don't take me at this stage
My wealth is all at your command
If you'll remove your icy hands
Oh the young the rich or poor
All alike to me you know
No wealth no land no silver or gold
Nothin satisfies my but your soul

These are the lyrics, as published on bluegrasslyrics.com

In the letter to police in February 1978, BTK included his own version of the poem:

Oh! Death to Nancy

What is this taht (sic) I can see
Cold icy hands taking hold of me
for Death has come, you all can see.

Hell has open it,s (sic) gate to trick me.

Oh! Death, Oh! Death, can't you spare

me, over for another year!

I'll stuff your jaws till you can't talk
I'll blind (sic) your leg's (sic) till you can't walk
I'll tie your hands till you can't make a

And finally I'll close your eyes so you
can't see
I'll bring sexual death unto you for me.


3)On April 28, 1978, BTK broke into the home of Anna Williams. She was not home. BTK waited impatiently and when she didn't come home, he left, taking with him several personal articles. In June of the same year, Anna received a letter containing a poem from BTK, a sketch and some of the items he had stolen. The darkly erotic poem that BTK wrote to Anna is called "Oh, Anna Why Didn't You Appear."

Critical examination of the "Oh, Anna Why Didn't You Appear," Click Here

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