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Dennis Rader, The BTK Strangler, In His Own Words…

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The writing of the following entry could not have been done without the transcript of Dennis Rader’s open-court confessions to being the BTK Strangler on June 28th, 2005, in Wichita, Kansas. The transcript I am using for this entry can be found here, at KWCH.com.

The Oteros

Joseph, Julie, Josephine, and Joey Otero were murdered January 15, 1974, at 1834 Edgemoor. The Oteros were still new to Wichita, knew very few people there. It is not clear from the court transcript how Rader selected this family, but it is clear that he did not anticipate the presence of the senior Mr. Otero in the home, perhaps putting to rest theories I’ve read that Joseph Otero was actually the intended target. No, it is clear from the transcript that Rader was after Mrs. Otero and her 11-year-old daughter, Josephine.

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From the transcript… I have removed Judge Greg Waller’s questions to Rader to condense the narrative to Rader’s words only. Ellipses — (…) — indicate where I have redacted questions from Waller or extraneous comments by the defendant. His entire confession was delivered in the same droning, slightly nasal tenor, unaccented, bland:

Rader: I had done some thinking of what I should do to Mrs. Otero or Josephine. I went to the home and confronted the family and basically went from there…

When I got there I lost control. In the back of my mind I had a good idea of what I would do, but I basically panicked that first day…

I knew she was in the house and the two kids were in the house, but I didn’t realize Mr. Otero was in the house…

I came through the back door, cut the phone lines. I had reservations about even going in, but once the door opened, I didn’t turn back. I think one of the kids opened the door to let the dog out…

I confronted the family and pulled a pistol and confronted Mr. Otero. I told them I was wanted and told them to lie down in the living room. The dog was a real problem and one of the kids took the dog outside. I took the four members of the family in the back bedroom and tied them up. They started to complain about being tied up. I re-loosened the bonds a couple of times. I tried to make Mr. Otero as comfortable as possible. Mr. Otero had a cracked rib from a car accident, so I put a pillow by his head and put a coat underneath him. From there, I realized I didn’t have a mask on or anything, so he could I.D. me. So, I made a decision to put him down…

“Put him down…” Let that phrase ring in your head for a moment. Remember, when he was arrested, Dennis Rader was a code enforcement officer for Park City, Kansas. His duties included dog catching, which I would assume extended to his deciding what animals to euthanize, if necessary. Rader referred to Mr. Otero as if he were a dog about to be gassed. More from the transcript:

Rader: I put a plastic bag over his head and tightened it with some cords…

After that I did Mrs. Otero. I had never strangled anyone before, so I really didn’t know how long it would take. Both her hands and her feet were tied up…

Rader says he never strangled anyone before. This indicates that the Oteros were his first. He made the leap of a serial killer savant, not starting “small” with clubbing local girls as Ted Bundy did, but out of the gate with the slaughter of a family, two adults, two children. More, from the mouth of BTK:

Rader: …I worked pretty quick. I mean, I strangled Mrs. Otero and she went out. Then, I strangled Josephine. She passed out and I thought she was dead. Then, I went over and put a bag over Junior’s head and then, if I remember right, Mrs. Otero came back…

I went back and strangled her again, and finally, killed her…

Then, I went over and Josephine had woke (sic) back up. I took her to the basement and hung her…

…I had some sexual fantasies, but that was after she was hung…

I cleaned up and went from room to room. I went back and took a radio (and a watch). I have no idea why I took them. I took the keys to the car and cleaned the house up and left through the front door and went over to their car, and went over to Dillon’s and eventually walked back to my car…

“…I had some sexual fantasies…” Curious that a man capable of methodically murdering four members of a family in one fell swoop couldn’t bring himself to say that he masturbated as he watched an 11-year-old girl slowly strangle to death in front of him. Because that is precisely what Dennis Rader did. If you look at the little trio of photos of Rader at the beginning of this blog entry, the photo on the left is circa 1973. That was basically how Rader looked that morning he brought hell into the little house at 1834 Edgemoor.

Kathryn Bright

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Kathryn Bright was stabbed to death on April 4, 1974, at her 3217 E. 13th St residence. Her brother Kevin was brutally assaulted, shot twice, but survived. Dennis Rader details his actions that day:

Rader: I had many projects. I had people I would watch around town. Kathryn Bright was one of the next targets. (I was) Just driving by one day and thought that would be a possibility. It was basically, a selection process. There were many places in the area. If it didn’t work out, I would just move on to something else. In my kind of person it was kind of a trolling stage and a stalking stage and I was in stalking stage when this happened. On this particular day, I broke into the house and waited for her to come home through the back door on the east side…

…Kevin and her came in. I didn’t expect him to be there, but found out later they were related. At that time, I approached them and told them I was wanted in California. Basically, the same thing I told the Otero’s. I tied up him or her first. I can’t remember right now…

…I moved her (Kathryn Bright) to another bedroom, but he (her brother, Kevin) was already secured there. I tied her up in the other bedroom and came back to tie him up again to the bedpost. I had two handguns. I started to strangle him and he broke out of his bonds and jumped out with his hands like this. I shot and it hit his head and I saw the blood and thought he was dead. Then, I went to strangle Kathryn and we started fighting because the bonds weren’t very good. I got the best of her and thought she was going down. I heard some movement in the other room so I went back and tried to re-strangle him at that time. We fought and he tried to get my gun in the shoulder holster(…) But I shot him a second time and thought he was down. I went back to Kathryn and strangling wasn’t working so I stabbed her two or three times underneath the ribs and in the back. At that point in time it was a total mess. I heard Kevin escape. The front door was open and he was gone. I thought the police were coming. I quickly cleaned up everything, and left…

Rader stated in response to a question from Judge Waller that he wore no mask for either the Otero or Bright attacks. As it was, it seems he never needed one. I’ve noted in the past a quality of Rader’s — how he seems to shift beneath the surface in every photograph I’ve seen. Never quite looking like the same man twice. It may perhaps be a perception born out of superstition about the genesis of men like Rader, or it may indicate a connection between someone’s inner workings and their surface appearance. It is almost as if something inside Dennis Rader was never moored, never stable. At least not until his arrest. Strangely, every photo taken of the man since that famous mugshot is unmistakably, in my mind, the face of BTK.

Shirley Vian-Relford

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Rader began by stating that the murder of Shirley Vian-Relford was more of a random act than his past “projects.” Vian-Relford was killed in her home at 1311 S. Hydraulic on March 17, 1977 while her children screamed and cried, locked in a bathroom next to her bedroom. An article published in the Wichita Eagle on March 7, 2005, remarked that Vian-Relford was, among other things, a member of her church choir. As was Rader’s own wife at the Rader family’s home church, Christ Lutheran, where BTK himself was church council president.

Rader droned on in court, sometimes seeming abashed, more like a man admitting he’d cheated at cards than a man confessing to a horrific series of murders:

Rader: …(S)omeone across from Dillon’s was my potential target. This one was called Project Green. I had project names for all of them. That particular day, I drove to the Dillons parking lot and followed the victim. I knocked and nobody answered, so I was all keyed up. So, I just started going through the neighborhood. I’d gone through the back alleys before. While I was going down Hydraulic I asked a boy to I-D some pictures and followed him back to feel it out. I called them potential hits in my world…

Color-coded. In Dennis Rader’s scheme of things — BTK’s scheme, his “world”, a potential “hit.” It was, as I’d assumed from very early on in my own study of the crimes, as much a game for him as anything. On one level, he was still a boy, playing some kind of awful make-believe, and using his “projects” as props… more, from the mouth of the shadow:

Rader: …I kind of forced my way in and showed them my .357 Magnum. I told Mrs. Vian I had a problem with a sexual fantasy and I took her to the back porch and explained I’d done this before. I think she smoked a cigarette because she was extremely nervous. She wasn’t feeling well because she had her night robe on. We went back to her bedroom and proceeded to tie the kids up and they started crying, so I said, ‘this isn’t going to work.’ We took the kids to the bathroom and she helped me put some toys and blankets and other odds and ends in the bathroom. We tied the door shut and we took another bed and shoved it up against the door. I took her back in the bedroom and tied her up. At that time she got sick and threw up. I got her a glass of water and tried to comfort her a little bit. I put a plastic bag over her head. I had tied her legs to the bedpost and used a rope to strangle her. The kids were screaming and banging and the telephone rang. They had talked about a neighbor coming to check on them. I had a briefcase and I threw everything in it and cleaned everything up and got out of there…

I called it my hit kit. My car was still at the Dillons at Lincoln and Hydraulic.

The perversity of BTK was deeper than anyone ever knew. Kevin Bright had alluded to it when he’d described in past interviews the killer’s calm demeanor when placing a pillow under Kevin’s head as he lay tied on the floor, but not until yesterday did we know that just prior to killing Shirley Vian-Relford, the killer had “comforted” her. It seems that when he was in his killing zone, Rader’s cruelty was boundless. The pretense of a kind of mercy prior to his killing Shirley Vian-Relford is a perfect example.

Nancy Fox

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Nancy Fox’s name is well-known as a victim of BTK because for many years the only concrete record in existence of the killer that was known to the general public was his robotic voice, the same voice droning out this awful litany of death in that Wichita courtroom yesterday, stating that he was reporting a “home-i-cide” — Nancy Fox, who lived at 843 S. Pershing. Hearing that recording of the killer’s call to an emergency operator today is all the more remarkable for how obvious it now is that the killer made no attempt to alter his voice.

This “project” of BTK’s was murdered on December 9, 1977. In his book Nightmare in Wichita, Robert Beattie gave us an odd detail about the killer’s entrance into Fox’s home — after breaking a window to get in, the killer apparently swept the glass on the floor into a “tidy pile” — yet more evidence of Rader/BTK’s compulsive need for order and control, even when planning the commission of the most unrestrained act of violence possible. Rader speaks:

Rader: Nancy Fox was another one of the projects. When I was trolling the neighborhood, I noticed her go home one night. I put her down as a potential victim…

If you’d read much about serial killers, they go through different phases. It could last months or years, but once you lock in on a victim, that’s it…

I felt that this was one of the most amazing statements made by Dennis Rader yesterday. He had a full, academic awareness of what he was. There was no unconscious action on his part, it seems — his memories of these crimes appear to be relatively clear and in some instances quite detailed. I have rarely, if ever, read such a frank statement of self-perception from another serial killer, even the few others who have appeared to freely admit what they were and what they did.

Rader continued relating his actions with Nancy Fox:

Rader: …I basically did some homework. I stopped by once to get her mail to see what her name was. I stopped by Helzberg’s once to size her up. The more I saw someone the more comfortable I got with them, so I tried it that particular night and it worked out. About two or three blocks away I parked my car and I walked to that residence. I knocked and nobody answered. I went around back and cut the phone lines. I broke in and waited for her to come home in the kitchen. I confronted her and told her I had sexual problems and I’d have to tie her up and have sex with her. She was a little upset. We talked for a while and she smoked a cigarette and I went through her purse. She finally said: ‘Well, let’s get this over with so I can call police.’ She asked if she could go to the bathroom and I said yes. She went to the bathroom and I told her to make sure she was undressed when she came out. When she came out I handcuffed her. I had her lying on the bed. I tied her up. I was also undressed partially, and got on top of her. Then I strangled her with a belt. I took the belt off and replaced them with pantyhose. Then at that time I masturbated. I dressed and took some of her personal belongings and left.

Rader had grown more comfortable as he spoke to the courtroom, and by the time he reached this portion of his story he freely admitted that Fox was yet another prop for his pleasure. Then again, Rader knows that an admitted child-killer and rapist is a marked man in prison, therefore he may have wanted to downplay his actions with little Josephine Otero as much as he could. Fox was 25 when she became a project for Dennis Rader, the BTK Strangler.

Something else I noted in Rader’s confessions was a classic trait said to be found in psychopaths — lack of insight into the emotions experienced by other people. He refers to Fox as “a little upset.” Rader either willingly decided to not acknowledge what his victims must have felt in order to continue on with his hobby, or he truly didn’t care. I believe the latter is closest to the truth, especially after watching his chillingly calm account of his crimes.

Marine Hedge

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Until Rader’s arrest, it was only assumed that Marine Hedge might be a victim of BTK. Police at the time relied too much on assuming BTK would slavishly follow his previous methods of operation. Rader varied his actions in many ways with Hedge, showing that he was all-in-all a classically “organized” serial killer, capable of learning from past actions, refining his M.O. as he went along, altering what he did if necessary.

Additionally, Hedge was a neighbor of Dennis Rader’s. She lived at 6254 North Independence in Park City, while Rader lived with his wife and kids at 6220 North Independence. Some theories about serial killers have stated that many of them find it necessary to depersonalize victims, and therefore those known to them personally are often relatively safe from their homicidal impulses. Rader’s murder of Marine Hedge seems to give lie to this:

Rader: …(K)ind of like the others, I went through the different phases and she was chosen. The stalking phase and since she lived down the street from me I could watch her quite easily. On that particular day, I had another commitment and took my car over to Woodlawn and 21st Street, that bowling alley over there, at that time. I changed my clothes. I went to the bowling alley and I had a bowling bag with me. I called a taxi and had the taxi take me to Park City. I pretended I was a little drunk. I swished some beer in my mouth and he could probably smell beer on me. I had him drop me off to get some fresh air near her home(…)6254 North Independence. As before, I was going to have sexual fantasies, so I brought my hit kit. I saw her car and she wasn’t supposed to be there. I very carefully snuck in her home, like a cat burglar, after checking she wasn’t there. About that time the door was rattled and I went back in the bedroom. She came in with a male visitor. They were there for maybe an hour or so. I waited until wee hours of the morning and proceeded to go into her bathroom and flipped the lights on. She screamed and I strangled her manually. I wasn’t wearing a mask at the time. She knew me casually. She liked to work in her yard, it was just a neighborly type thing…

Judge Waller asked Rader at this point, perhaps unnecessarily, if Hedge died. Rader responded:

…Yes. I went ahead and stripped her. She was nude and put her on a blanket. I went through some personal items at her house and figured out how to get her out of there. I eventually took her out to the trunk of the car and took her to the Christ Lutheran Church and took some pictures of her with a Polaroid. The police probably have those photographs. That was it. She was already dead, so I took some pictures of her in the bondage positions, and I think that’s what got me in trouble, was the bondage thing. After that, I moved her back out to the car and went east on 53rd…

I tried to find a place to hide her body. . . and yes, I found a place between Webb and Greenwich and I laid some brush on top of her body…

Note that though Rader could not legally be considered insane in the least — the clarity with which he narrated his past alone would indicate as much — his conception of his own reality was nonetheless altered. He “snuck in” like a “cat burglar.” Again, one has the sense of the cruel boy within, playing a game. Assuming a guise. For the psychopath, this kind of game-playing is the closest they come to actually feeling something. Another significant detail of his murder of Ms. Hedge is the location where he took his photos of her in “bondage positions.” Christ Lutheran, his home church. The contention of more than one person who has written about BTK’s reign of terror was that there was, in addition to the sexually sadistic psychopath, a bit of the domestic terrorist in this killer. Dennis Rader sitting in the parking lot of the church to which he was a faithful lay servant for many years taking photos of a woman he’d killed to satisfy his “sexual fantasy” was the essence of the homegrown terrorist, gleefully holding his middle finger up in front of the church where he posed weekly as a leader and man of faith. He was, in a sense, celebrating his evil that day.

Vicki Wegerle

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The murder of Vicki Wegerle was a mystery until BTK sent his first communication in more than 20 years to the press in March of 2004. Her husband had long been the main suspect, and a group of investigators who worked throughout the ’80s in secret to catch BTK agreed in a meeting shortly after Vicki Wegerle’s death that it couldn’t be a BTK murder. If one of Rader’s reasons, aside from his “sexual problems”, for his spree was the humiliation of the police department which did not accept him as an officer candidate even though he had a degree in criminal justice, then perhaps the killing of Wegerle was one of his most successful middle finger flips in the face of the law. His first letter to the Eagle that March, just over a year ago, was simply a photocopy of pictures of Wegerle, posed both before and after death, and a copy of her drivers license. With these brief images BTK announced his “return” and took credit for a murder not suspected to be his since its commission in 1986. Vicki Wegerle was murdered in her home at 2404 W. 13th St on September 16, 1986. In the killer’s own words:

Rader: …Vicki was one of the victims I went through those different phases and decided that day was the day. I used the telephone repairman ruse to get into her house. I went over there in my own personal car, approximately at lunch hour. I changed my clothes into what I called my hit clothes, things I’d need to get rid of later. I just called them hit clothes. I walked by one other address. As I approached the (Wegerle) house I heard a piano and told her I was fixing telephones in the area. I had a briefcase and a helmet. She let me in and I went over to the phone and simulated I was checking the phone. I had a make believe tool. She looked away and I drew a pistol on her. I took her back to the bedroom and she was kind of upset because I told her I was going to have to tie her up. I used some material from her bedroom and after I tied her hands, she started fighting. I finally got the hand on her and got the nylon stocking and started strangling her around the neck. I finally gained on her and thought she was dead, but she wasn’t. After I thought she was dead, I took three photos from her. She had mentioned something about her husband coming up. The dogs were going crazy. I had already gone through her purse and used her car to get away. I found out later that paramedics took her to the hospital, but she died…

“She was kind of upset…” Again — the woman was confronted with a strange man with a gun, who was about to tie her up and in her mind, most certainly rape her. Yet Rader states she was “kind of” upset. When I wrote early on about the kind of person I thought the BTK Strangler might be, I recall saying that I thought he might have a vestige of a conscience, but one that was stunted — by some definitions more sociopath than psychopath. But after reading Rader’s confessions I concluded he had nothing inside him. Nothing at all — not even a semblance of conscience.

Delores Davis

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Delores “Dee” Davis was Rader’s final admitted victim. She was abducted from her home at 117th Street North near Meridian, Kansas, and murdered on January 19, 1991 — just four days after the 17th anniversary of the Otero murders. Like Hedge and Wegerle, Davis’s murder wasn’t officially attributed to BTK until after Dennis Rader’s arrest. Once again the maturing killer changed his approach, the way he committed the crime and what he did with the victim. Here is how the man who called himself BTK described Davis’s fate:

Rader: On that particular day, I had some commitments. I left those and went to one place and changed my clothes, went to another place and left my car. I got my hit kit and walked to that residence. After spending some time in the residence, it was very cold. I finally threw something through the window and came on in…

She came out of the bedroom and said a car had hit her house. I told her I was on the run and needed some food and a car and a warm up. I handcuffed her and told her I wanted some food and the keys to her car and calmed her down a little bit. I think she was still handcuffed. I went back to see where the car was. I then went back, took the handcuffs off and tied her up and strangled her. I went back to her room and took some personal items. I strangled her with pantyhose, kind of like Mrs. Hedge. I put her on a blanket and put her in the trunk of her car. I really had a commitment I needed to go to, so I moved her to one spot and took her out of her car. This gets complicated. The stuff I had like my clothes and a gun. I dumped that off and took her car back to her house. In the meantime, I dropped my gun and I had to go back to the house to find my gun. I took her keys and threw them on top of the roof. I walked from her car back to my car. Took my car and picked her up and dropped her off underneath a bridge…

And there, the transcript that is currently available ends. Rader describes his attack and murder of Dee Davis then speaks as if dealing with her dead body afterwards is an inconvenience that will only make him late for a “commitment.” It was January. Perhaps one of his kids, who would still have been in school, had a play, or a concert, or an athletic event. Perhaps he had to attend a dinner at church, for as we know, Dennis Rader was a church-going, God-fearing registered Republican from the by-God heartland of America.

Rader’s Cancer

Responding in his odd, flat, innocuous voice to the judge yesterday, detailing decades of cold-blooded murder done in the service of what he called his “sexual problems”, Dennis Rader seemed to embody the “banality of evil” to which Hannah Arendt [wikipedia link] referred when writing of the trial of Nazi Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem in 1961.

He was a scout leader, a highly-respected and well-liked member of his church. He was a conscientious, if overly intense employee. Even those who disliked him in his everyday life described him as seeming like a good father to his children, Brian and Kerri. His wife Paula was, by all accounts, a kind and gentle woman who has been utterly devastated by his arrest, and now surely must be crushed by his hideous and revealing confessions. Devastated to discover what she was truly living with all those years and devastated that she may have loved a man incapable of love. Incapable of feeling. Capable only of moving through the shadows in his private time with those dead eyes, studying his “projects”, implementing his kills. Dealing with his “sexual problem.”

I believe Rader may have opted to go ahead and confess and plead guilty to spare his family a drawn-out trial process and perhaps even give Wichita some of the answers the city has sought all these years about its boogeyman, its phantom. That in his mind, the closest he comes to love is whatever it is he feels for his wife and children.

My wife wondered aloud about Rader’s confession, “what does it feel like to be in his family and hear that?”

I had to ask the same question myself. What would it be like to hear your father reveal his shadow self on TV, in the same tone of voice he might have used to read a bible verse in Sunday School, or say grace around the family table? What kind of nightmares does that bring?

Whatever Rader’s family and those friends who cared for him now feel pales beside the nightmares that have cursed people like Steven Relford, the son of Shirley Vian-Relford, the very boy to whom Rader showed his “ruse” photo that morning in March of ’77 — or Charlie Otero, the oldest son of Joe and Julie Otero, who saw his dead father’s tongue protruding between blue lips and realized in a lightning bolt moment that for him, there was no longer any God. Rader is not eligible under Kansas law for the death penalty, as his last murder was in 1991, and the death penalty was not reinstated in Kansas until 1994. So for Relford, Otero, and Kevin Bright, who looked Rader in the eye and survived two bullets in his face while his sister died a fearful and horrific death in the next room, there is no appropriate recompense. Rader’s cancerous evil now will perhaps continue to spread itself through their lives. Relford has lived a rough life, had problems with substance abuse and petty crime, Otero has himself done time in prison. Bright gives the appearance of a man who has struggled with a mortal fear every day, and even now that his sister’s killer is behind bars for life he may forever be looking over his shoulder. Now with the killer’s own bland and calm voice describing his actions in their minds these men will continue to struggle every day with moving past encounters with the true face of evil. There was a rumor shortly after Rader’s arrest that he was suffering from cancer. It was only a rumor. The truth was that Rader was himself like the disease, and with his confessions, we watched him metastasize.

Dennis Rader will now sit and field letters from those who think his soul can be saved — like Kristin Casarona, the woman from Topeka who is the subject of this article. Here’s how Casarona’s friendship with Rader is explained:

Faith led her to Dennis Rader.

That’s how a Topeka woman, Kristin Casarona, says she came to befriend the defendant in the BTK serial murder case.

Shortly after Rader’s arrest in late February, when she heard he was a church member who seemed to have a Christian faith, she began to think about reaching out to him, as she describes it, one Christian to another…

Rader will perhaps be interviewed by psychologists, psychiatrists, investigators. He will sit in the odd catbird seat our society reserves for serial killers — this strange place where we turn our fear of their actions into a bizarre kind of awe, where we obsess over their lives, how their minds work. Dennis Rader pleaded guilty to all 10 murders, gave details of those murders in front of surviving family members, and he will still live. Live for books to be written about him. While the living victims of Dennis Rader now have details to fill in the gaps and breaks in their worst dreams, their daylight nightmares.

In a way, he has what he wanted when he wrote, as the phantom BTK, “How many do I have to kill, before I get my name in the paper or some national attention?”

Apparently the answer to his question was 10.

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About Steve

  • Celeste Moon

    I know it’s all terribly interesting to everyone, but releasing the transcript and the Court TV program is a Pandora’s Box. It’s only a matter of time now before more young boys just coming to terms with their sexuality see this guy, with his lack of emotion and having got away with it for 30 years, as some sort of hero. Can’t go back now, but I so wish we hadn’t heard all this.

  • HW Saxton

    Steve, Maybe I missed it or it just was not ever brought up in all that I have heard about this creepy f**ker, but how did he pick his victims? There does not seem to be any discernible pattern that i can figure out.Was it just at random?

  • phybre

    What a bunch of melodramatic bullshit you’ve added to a useful transcript. There’d probably be less serial killers in the world if there were also less repressed creatures like you in the world. Personally, I think you have the makings of a serial killer yourself, just based on your obviously fake indignation at what this guy did. Why don’t you ham it up a little more, while you’re at it? Maybe in 10 years I’ll be profiling you.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Great port, Steve. Ignore the lunacy in comment 3…

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    port = post…

  • http://www.planethuff.com/darkside steve

    Thanks, RJ — I think it’s pretty funny that the lunatic in question only outed the real psycho by trying to infer someone else was one.

  • lsdoone

    Hey stranger. I’m from over at the Ks.com site. Did you give up on us?

    Just wanted to let you know what an incredible asset you have been re this case. Wherever I’ve read your thoughts, under what ever name, your intelligence shines.
    Thanks.
    This past monday, as Dennis Rader stood looking like any one of us, he commenced to ‘enlighten’ the judge and our community on his personal version of the idiots cliff notes of serial killing.
    I was so stunned by his cold tone that I barely comprehended what he was saying. His manner contrary to the bloodlust he had experienced over and over. Now he’s in the serial killer hall of fame.
    Anyway, take care of yourself and your creativity warms my soul.
    See you.
    lsdoone

  • G V

    very good article on BTK, and very accurate also, ignore the moron on post 3 above.
    Dennis Rader is a cold bastard and i think uve captured the essense of that, someone beyond rehabilitation, evil in the truest sense.

  • chris mankey

    Whatever Rader’s family and those friends who cared for him now feel pales beside the nightmares that have cursed people like Steven Relford, the son of Shirley Vian-Relford,

    Does it? Finding out the father you loved is a serial killer “pales in comparison” to the suffering of the other families? Not in a million years!

  • Ray from Columbus, OH

    Having lived under the shadow of a serial shooter here in Columbus, Ohio, I can only make a feeble attempt to empathize with the good people of Wichita, let alone relatives of the victims. I am overcome with a feeling of thankfulness to you for bringing this darkness to light. Anyone (including the person who posted their comments in #3) who does not appreciate what you have done, themselves live in darkness and WANT TO DO SO.

    Keep shining His light.

  • http://www.surdiefinnis.com surdiefinnis

    I am a Dutchmen. So British English/USA English is not my mother tongue. I have
    followed the case of Dennis L. R. since
    late June when it came in the Dutch Internet Press. In the Netherlands it is good practice not to name the entire name of the person who is arrested. This is to protect the family
    of that person.

    We in the Netherlands have not had
    much serial killers. Mostly they had
    a few victims. And over a short period of time. When such a person is arrested and convicted it will be
    to 20 Years or to life-sentence as you
    Americans call it. We don’t have the dead-penalty. And I am glad about that.
    In that way we find Americans barbarians. Even in this case of D.L.R.
    He is a sick man. He deserves punishment, but also treatment. In the Netherlands
    convicted criminals with the status of
    D.L.R. wil get life-sentence, but with
    treatment of psychologists en psychiatrists. We find it ridiculous to convict a person to 175 years. Our
    system is to convict a person to 20 years or to life-sentence. Why? A person lives about 75 years. Why
    give him a mathematcal sentence of 175 years? We are Europeans, sometimes we
    don’t understand some mad decisions from the arrogant Americans. Because that’s what you are in some way.

  • http://abusesanctuary.blogspot.com Barbara

    wonderful and chilling post.

    I am going to cite you on Psychopath-Research

    Just who is living right next door or in our homes?

  • Eileen

    “mad decisions from arrogant Americans” … don’t you love how supposedly non-arrogant Europeans like to sit in judgment on us. lol

    In America, we realize that serial-killers like Dennis Rader cannot be cured. So we warehouse them and study them in hopes of learning something we can use in future. Perhaps we should send them to the Netherlands where you can obviously work magic.

  • http://wichitak,s smoky

    living in wichita k,s was not easy living the terror and having to go to sleep at night not knowing if your btks next victim.not knowing who he was going for or were he was going next. i think btk should get death sentence because of the brutal and horrific things that he has done to the families and victims no one should ever go there that. hes a sick f**k who should suffer the way his victims have.and for the people in netherlands you dont know the fear we had to go threw.not knowing if that knock at your door was him or the telephone worker.i know one of the biggest fears i had and im sure others had to is that i wanted to come home to my family alive and not dead.It was not easy living with this fear.

    and to btks family stay strong and wish the best for you.

  • http://btk-profiles.blogspot.com/2005/04/hope-for-healing-human-evil.html tsktsk

    BTK and “The Banality of Evil” – the article here (Dennis Rader, The BTK Strangler, In His Own Words…) seems to have just borrowed someone else’s connection (link given).

  • paula

    ha ha Eileen, you are right, no amount of therapy is going to cure a serial killer and why should we care about their treatment or rehabilitation, just keep them away from human beings, personally, I don’t know if the death penalty is a good thing at all, but I’m not exactly crying my eyes out for the likes of Scott Peterson! it’s hard to pity those condemned to death when you know their deaths will be a hundred times easier than that of their victems, what i don’t understand is why is there so many serial killers in the us? presumably it’s because you are better at noticing when people dissappear, several women have gone missing on the east coast of Ireland in the last few years and no one seems to be wondering if the same nutcase is responsable….. and yes Smokey, god bless to his family, it must be absolutely shit to realize the depth of your own fathers heartless empty interior life…he may have been a church going man but i’d say there’s more humanity and decency in the little finger of the rest of us fornicators!

  • Gareth

    Hi,

    Great site and fascinating transcripts. They really do show the banality of evil… Or rather, the pathetic shallow existence of the psychopath who see’s none of the richness of love and feelings, able to connect only with objects and the limitations of his or her own restricted consciousness

  • Park City boring and raised

    I live around the block from where his house once stood I grew up in Park City on Ulysses street I know a lot of people will be like “yeah right” but he murdered 3 of my dogs and made it obvious like Hanna a -Bichon Frise- we came home from church on a Sunday and I went outside to get the dog and there she was tied up to the water spigot of the house perfectly wrapped around it with her feet just barely off the ground she was dead.
    The next one of his victims was a -Basset Hound- I don’t know what he did with it but I came home from church -once again it was a Sunday how ever he went to church I will never know- and his wire leashes was perfectly snippet off no bite marks no collar just snippet clean to make it obvious that it he was took and the last was a Sharpie named Bubba he bit one of my friends on the butt we had to call him when he came to the house the dog got violent and he said he had to put him down and after he got caught he said if he was watching you he made it obvious I remember all the times when I was a kid playing in the street he would drive by real slow and park at the end of the street.
    The city just knocked his house down like it never happened and the want to make it a walk way into to park – not much of a park may I add – how crazy is that I wont ever let my kids play in that park they will go down to Mclean.
    and off note….
    I love the Dutch “gedogen” I just got back from Amsterdam I’ll be going back in another 3 months also if I could get better at speaking writing Dutch I would try to live there they are very healthy people and they don’t seem to have the problems like we have. When I got back to Park City I never seen so many obese people in my life. People here in America are VERY ARROGANT, an example here in Kansas you don’t have a car people will drive by and honk at you and tell you “GET A CAR” out there they ride bikes, walk, take the tram, they even have a subway. I swear I saw a guy ride by on his bike two Dutch girls that were walking in front of me and he rang his bell and winked and the two girls looked like they were blushing out here try to mac a girl on a bike thats all I have to say, and one more thing the Dutch are known for there finger shaking ways -the death penalty is barbaric!- for all you Americans look up Dutch customs and etiquette in the Wikipedia Seriously it’s in there you might learn something!

    “Tot straks”

  • hahahahaha

    hell…………………..oooo oooooooooooooooo

  • hahahahaha

    if you’re 30 y.o. and watching ichigo mashimaro and they called you childish, im afraid yes you are. but then there’s nothing to worry about, you are not what you watch and in my opinion most drama storyline that available out-there is not much different then anime nowadays. DO NOT SUCCUMB to their influences, that what makes you weak. show them that anime can be mature

    show them hentai made them watch berserk, hellsing, monster and all that M to A-rated anime and let them decide whose the childish one

  • jade

    what the fuck

  • dave

    I have just watched a show on BTK, i can not understand how someone can look at those things and say the death-penalty is barbaric… the Lord gave permission for C.P. for and i cant say man, he is not, like BTK, why wouldnt someone as sick and F****** hopless as him not kill for he knows his life is a safe one, it almost makes me ill to think that if my daughter was hung and i sw her bloated face swinging that the person who does it is safe… and safe i mean protected by gov. i am a Christian, and love life, but it should not be for things like dennis, and for those who say he should be loked away… you just dont know

  • jonny

    dennis is the man!!

  • neal fleisher

    Dennis is a sick Mother_f____er he should of been put to death, or hung like he hung that poor young girl. Now it is costing us to house this ASSHOLE

  • rex

    btk is the best serial killer

  • stupid\

    i hate that stpid man!

  • Person

    I don’t understand how anyone could say that he is the best serial killer. He was a VERY messed up man, that shoud’ve been put to death.