Dennis L Rader
- Category : Passions-Criminal-Perpetrator-Homicide-serial
- Type : MGP
- Profile : 3/5 - Martyr / Heretic
- Definition : Split - Small (9,42,48,60)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Rulership 1
American charged with the murder of ten people, including seven women, over the course of 27 years. Before Rader’s arrest, the killer was known as B.T.K. for his method of binding, torturing and killing his victims.
The eldest of four boys, Rader grew up in the blue collar neighborhood of Wichita, KS. His father, who died in 1996, worked at a generating station of a utility company. He was described as strict but not cruel. Indeed, Rader’s childhood seemed to be unexceptional and reasonably happy. After he graduated high school, he attended college but did not complete his education at that time. Instead, he joined the Air Force where he learned to repair wire and antenna systems. In 1970, he returned to Wichita after his four years in the military. He married Paula Dietz (born May 5, 1948) on May 22, 1971 and worked on an assembly line while he resumed his college education. He and his wife had two children, a boy Brian (born July 27, 1975) and a girl Kerri (born June 13, 1978 and now married). Rader earned his bachelor’s degree in 1979 in criminal justice.
B.T.K.’s first victims, a family of four, were killed on January 15, 1974 in their Wichita home. The young parents and their two small children, ages 11 and 9, were strangled in their home with a cord from the Venetian blinds. Although semen was found at the scene, and the wife was found only partially clothed, neither the mother nor the little girl had been sexually assaulted. His other victims were all women, from 21 to 62 years old. In between murders, the killer would write tormented letters to the police, complete with poor spelling and grammar. One quoted in the New York Times said, “I can’t stop it so the monster goes on, and hurt me as well as society.” It goes on to say that he would be “waiting in the dark, waiting, waiting” and the postscript added “The code words for me will be ….Bind them, toture them, kill them, B.T.K., you see he at it again. They will be on the next victim.” In April that year, a woman was found, bound and stabbed.
During the 1970s, Rader was working at a security company, ADT. Although he worked in the office, he had to visit installations of alarm systems so that he could sign off on them. By the late 1970s, the killer had snuffed out the lives of seven people and continued to send letters to police and the media until 1980, when the correspondence suddenly stopped. In the meantime, Rader lived a “normal” life, a good employee with a loving wife and his two children. He became a Boy Scout Leader, teaching young boys how to tie knots in preparation for their Boy Scout badges. Rader and his family were church-goers, and he was a past president of his Lutheran congregation.
The last victim was abducted from her home and likely killed on January 19, 1991. In May 1991, Rader was hired as a Park City compliance officer. Some residents complained about his “reign of terror” in which he would sometimes sit in his truck waiting for something to go wrong so he could cite the homeowner. Some people insisted that he let out homeowners’ dogs surreptitiously so that he could then cite the owners for their off-leash pets. He paid attention to every detail, even measuring people’s lawns with his yardstick. At the same time, he won the affection of other residents, who told of his helpfulness and effectiveness on the job.
In January 2005, 14 years after the last murder, the Wichita Eagle published an article about B.T.K. Two months later, the killer, whom many thought had died or moved or just stopped, wrote a letter, then another, then a flurry of notes and packages in which he included items he had snatched from his victims—a photograph, a necklace, a driver’s license.
A computer disk that was sent to a news station led police to Rader. With DNA evidence from Rader’s daughter, the police arrested him on February 25 2005 at about 12:15 PM at a traffic stop. Two days later, news media reported that he confessed to at least some of killings.
List of victims and dates (from CNN):
The Otero Family, found strangled in their home on January 15, 1974: Joseph Otero, 38; Julie Otero, 34; Josephine Otero, 11; and Joseph Otero II, 9
Kathryn Bright, 21, found stabbed in her home on April 4, 1974
Shirley Vian, 24, found strangled in her home on March 18, 1977
Nancy Fox, 25, strangled with nylon stockings in her home on December 9, 1977
Marine Hedge, 53, abducted from her home on April 27, 1985; her body was found eight days later on a dirt road.
Vicki Wegerle, 28, found her strangled in her home on September 16, 1986.
Delores Davis, 62, abducted from her home on January 19, 1991; her body was found 13 days later under a bridge