Since 1974 BTK Strangler Dennis Rader has been writing letters, to the media, police and more recently to his many pen-pals. It keeps him busy as he awaits sentencing on August 17, 2005 after pleading guilty to 10 counts of first degree murder. In fact, it was his own prolific prose and need to communicate that led to his arrest and downfall in February. He decided to put his thoughts on a computer diskette that was mailed to a Wichita, Kansas television station. The police promptly traced the diskette to the church Rader was the president of, and after checking a DNA sample secretly obtained of his daughter, they arrested the dog catcher of Park City, Kansas as the infamous BTK Strangler serial killer.
The sentencing on August 17 should be a big media event of its own. We are promised a fuller disclosure of what BTK did to his victims by prosecutors, as well as testimony from surviving victims family members.
BTK's letters were always peculiar in that they were so badly written it was thought the killer was trying to disguise his intelligence by appearing to be grammatically inept. Actually it was merely the way Rader, a college graduate, really does write in his everyday life.
During the 1970s he wrote three letters to police and media. All are quite graphic and were intended to prove he had committed these crimes and appear to boast of his accomphishments. The crimes referred to in these letters are the seven murders he was known to commit in 1974 and 1977, including the four members of the Otero family (Joe, 38; Julie, 34; daughter Josephine, 11; son Joseph II, 9); Kathryn Bright, 21; Shirley Vian, 24; and Nancy Fox, 25.
Here is a link to the first letter, which was written in October, 1974. It is a graphic description of what he did to the four Otero victims, and at the time was able to prove to police he was the actual perpetrator of this crime.
The second letter was received in 1978 and takes credit for the murders of Shirley Vian and Nancy Fox in 1977. There is a reference to a victim #5 which is not identified, but was later proven to be Kathryn Bright from 1974. Her brother Kevin survived that incident and BTK was reluctant to admit direct responsibility, apparently because there was a surviving witness. There is a reference to the hanging of Josephine Otero in this letter, his 11 year old victim.