The Devil in Dennis L. Rader, a truth glasses look at BTK

Dennis Rader
Dennis Rader (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
       Historically, very few serial killers can compare to the person, known as BTK.  While many have tried and indeed surpassed the heinousness of brutality, such as John Wayne Gacy or recently passed away Richard Ramirez, few actually entered a position in a house of God (if any of them) and presumed a role there while planning the next victim and while thirsting for having their ego stroked, in the public eye as one to be feared, a duality of persona at its core.   Now behind bars till he is at least 235 years old, receiving 10 consecutive life sentences, due to a law that had not passed or was not in place as of 1994, when the previous killings took place.  Many thanks to our project manager here, for having me stay still long enough to watch a program concerning this murderer and in turn, as thanks for my “hey Scott” moment, our truth glasses will now take a chilling look at some of the aspects that make this particular killer, one to study, one to keep incarcerated and one who may be a benefit to medical science when death does invade him, by studying the brain and blood chemistry, all that aside, Truth Glasses on and focused we boldly go into the conscious thoughts of BTK.

            January 15, 1974, a 15 year old boy arrived home from school to one of the worst scenes 
imaginable; his siblings face down and bound on the floor or hanging partially clothed, were discovered by him and by the police; he rushed out from his home paralyzed in fear.  The investigation revealed some victims had been gagged and the cord used a mini blind cord not from the house where the victims were discovered.  There was no forced entry, a purse dumped on a floor and a missing watch.  The brutality and inhumane placements caused investigators initially to look at the victims to see what would warrant such a brutal way to die, what investigators learned, the victims were good people, well liked and more than capable of self defense because the husband was into boxing and the like, while the wife had excessive training in Judo and both were seemingly subdued with relative ease, given the body location and number of victims.
            It was theorized that the killer studied the location, knew when the victims would be home and when, and likely moved on them with precise timing, further witness statements would say a dark man had drove off in their family vehicle, later found at a store not far from the victims home, which left police with little to start building a case on.  The family was active in the community, nice people, lots of dreams and hopes and the only one left, a fifteen year old boy who witnessed the aftermath of their demise, first hand, detectives knew immediately they were dealing with someone who was intelligent, patient and had a fetish, complete with semen spread throughout the multiple victims within the house and yet none sexually assaulted.  Then in a bold step, the killer contacts law enforcement, directing them to a note in a book in a library that lead to details only the killer would know and it promised more victims.  The killer was keen enough to send it to the “Secret Witness Program” to state that those currently being questioned were not involved; the program allows persons to give information to the police through the media, anonymously.  This would be the start of what would take till 2005, 31 years later, to pinpoint and make an arrest and Dennis L. Rader, would be that killer.
            “…since sex criminals do not change their M.O. or by nature cannot do so, I will not change mine…the code word for me will be…Bind them, torture them, kill them, B.T.K., you see he at it again.  They will be on the next victim” Excerpt of letter sent by BTK
            If your truth glasses are sharp, you will have noted a spelling error in that message, that is one thing that stayed with this man his whole life, while even being formally college educated, it became a staple in all of his writings while he was feeding the press and the police.  This murderer, who attempted the “perfect” killings in his eyes, had a flaw, the English language itself.  Just three short months after the discovery of the Otero family deaths, another death to which “Kevin” (whom survived the attack) was able to give them a description that at the time did not point to BTK, Kevin’s sister unfortunately died at the hospital 5 hours later from stab wounds to the abdomen and had ligature marks around her neck. Three years later, a woman was found bound with the signature cord, draped in a plastic bag complete with ligature marks and was discovered only after the children who were locked in a closet were able to free themselves and call the police.  The killer again left signs that the murder was premeditated as the children told police he showed them a photograph of one of the family members, claiming to be looking for their house, I for one cannot imagine what those children witnessed at the hands of BTK and just like myself, this only made police more inquisitive, to find the person responsible.
            December, 1977 dispatchers receive a call instructing them to go to a specific residence, there, police discover another of BTK’s victims, this one, fully clothed, nylon stockings tied around her neck, semen samples around the room and again, no sexual assault. Nancy Fox became the next victim and similar to earlier victims, an item was taken; police theorized these items as mementos or trophies of his accomplishments, maybe as a reward for his actions. Pausing a moment to keep track, so far our killer has committed 7 premeditated murders as of this date in 1977 and each with their own sets of questions for police to answer.  Then there was silence for a while, as though the notorious killer had vanished, that is until February of 1978 when an angry BTK wrote a letter to the media, stating, “How many people do I have to kill before I get my name in the paper or some national attention.”  This was provoked by a earlier letter that was routed to another department by mistake that had gone unanswered, the killer had also wrote that a demon had entered his mind which included a chilling warning that his next victim had already been chosen, April 28, 1979 would be that date, this time, the proposed victim was left a note, the 63 year old had been told, “Be glad you weren’t here, I was”, cold and calculated, a miss that no doubt had divine intervention, BTK would not be denied in his warning.
            July of 1984, investigators turned up the intensity by pouring over the evidence, the DNA, the murders and with the help of an IBM computer discovered a fact, that all of those killings happened within about 3 and ½ miles of one another, this told investigators that their suspect was killing within a comfort zone, explaining the ease of which he was able to study his victims, by being familiar with the area and maybe even the victims.  What was left was finding out, whom the killer actually was and with the help of lab tests of the semen samples, investigators learned that less than six percent of males had those DNA signatures and out of 225 persons, only a handful would match, a tiny glimmer of hope in the darkness.
            1997, Investigators, still not done searching for BTK, enlist Robert Ressler to help shape a profile of BTK.  Items that would be uncovered as police studied this killer would be that due to his lingo in some of the letters and apparent taunting, he must have had some formal knowledge of law enforcement or legal items.  Police over the decades began to piece together the outline of who BTK might be, during this time, other killings took place that later lead to the acquittal of a contractor, what made it unique, allegedly BTK wrote a letter claiming to be a fan of the killing that took place, but denounced actually performing it, police though thorough in their investigation, did not have BTK in their hands, determined, they pushed forward.  Along the decade’s long quest, several investigators retired; all somewhat disappointed they could not solve the crimes nor locate the person responsible.  The killer, came back in March of 2004 with a letter from BTK, claiming responsibility for a death in 1986, investigators deemed it authentic as that it matched conditions conducive to the crime. 
            On a blunder, though it did bring excitement, in 2004 a man was arrested whom was thought to be BTK, research and evidence soon cleared his name and police became inundated with questions and took a chance by announcing to the public, just who it was they were looking for, through a series of media blitzes that were intended to raise the stakes and assault the intellect of BTK, by never naming a clear name and making brash direct “subliminal” messages, the psychological break down took its toll and in a error of judgment, BTK actually placed trust in investigators to not deceive him and mailed in a piece of evidence that would be his undoing, a single floppy disk.  This disk, found to be unique to a specific computer located in a church, was used in conjunction with controversial DNA evidence; the controversy coming from a time line of collection, not of matching profile, which pointed to one person.  The totalitarianism of the evidence came to a head in February of 2005, when BTK, Dennis L. Rader was arrested at a traffic light, after being watched by authorities of all sorts, seemingly without incident.  What would unfold next is as bizarre as it is heinous, once in custody after denying any involvement, when confronted with the DNA evidence, BTK, that is, Dennis, began to talk and talk…and talk for 30 consecutive hours, revealing details and items to things that the police already had learned and thus, finally, BTK was in custody and the fear surrounding a town, came to a close. 
BTK – Dennis L. Rader
            If one were to look at Dennis, aside from his killing instinct, many complicated facets would come too light, that otherwise suggests he leads a normal life, with normal functions and debts in society, carrying an array of education and work experience, with a wife and even children, whom genuinely loved him.  The oldest of 4 and being baptized in a Lutheran church in Pittsburg, his father William, a member of the US Marines, his mother, Dorethea moved early to Wichita. Dennis while attending Riverview Elementary School, was noted as being, “withdrawn” with mediocre tendencies and admitted to having fantasies about bondage in grade school, expressing an interest in one Annette Funicello, as one of his imaginary favorite targets. He killed many cats and dogs and learned at a very young age how to do so while keeping it a secret, and he discovered, he was good at it.
            In his younger years, several persons who personally knew him, expressed how polite and homely he was, well mannered and even over helpful, still others that knew him, stated that he was well spoken, choosing his words carefully and when he was speaking to you, he gave you his full attention and still others stated, he utterly lacked a complete sense of humor.  Graduating from Wichita Heights High School, his earliest job was working in a grocery store.    Entering college in 1965, Dennis had struggles including his grades and in the summer of 1966, Dennis joined the Air Force, possibly in an attempt in avoiding being “drafted” into an escalating Vietnam War.  While enlisted, his travels took him through Texas (basic training and technical training), Alabama, Okinawa, Japan, Greece and Turkey, while only attaining the rank of sergeant and working on installing equipment.  Decorated while serving by receiving the Good Conduct Medal, small arms expert marksmanship ribbon and the National Defense service medal, his buddy in service was totally shocked to hear that Dennis was actually BTK. 
            Love was in the air upon Dennis’s return to civilian life, marrying one Paula Dietz within about a year of his return; Dennis was working in the meat department of an IGA food store, while his bride to be was a bookkeeper.     On to working at Coleman, then Cessna, Dennis eventually found himself in Butler College, earning an Associate’s Degree in Electronics.  A bad student at Wichita State (by his own words due to his non mastery of English) he would have to work through 6 years of study to earn his next degree, a bachelor’s in administration of justice; in 1973 Cessna let Dennis go from their company. From 1974 to 1988 Dennis worked at ADT, the security company, installing corporate systems where it is believed Dennis learned how to disable the very same. Other notable items include that Dennis, earned several prestigious positions in nearly each of his employs, and those recognitions were just a small part of him.  Dennis, a member of the Lutheran Church for several decades, would also be elected as president of the congregation council.  All of these things seemed to paint a very different picture of Dennis, one who would be involved in the community, one to be respected (and sometimes hated and called too strict), Dennis’s life started to become unraveled. Being unemployed and frustrated, while his wife worked at the VA, Dennis set his sights on fulfilling his ultimate fantasy, what would it be like to kill someone, to torture them and watch them die?  Sadly, the Otero family, a newly Hispanic family would be the answer to that question.
Mugshot taken of Dennis Rader, taken following...
Mugshot taken of Dennis Rader, taken following his arrest. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
      So far, we have seen Dennis the upstanding citizen, one who would “blend” in and we have seen Dennis the BTK murderer, cold, calculated and thirsting to fulfill fantasies, which started at a very young age.  BTK, that is, Dennis, before receiving his sentence of 10 consecutive life sentences was questioned by the judge, the prosecutors and the like about the many killings that had taken place; this is what BTK, Dennis L. Rader had to say:
- Otero Family:  “First of all, Mr. Otero was strangled…a bag put over his head and strangled him.  Then I thought he was going down.  Then I went over and strangled Mrs. Otero.  Then I strangled Josephine and she was down and then I went over to Jr. and put a bag on his head.  After that Mrs. Otero woke back up and you know, she was pretty upset with what’s going on and at that point in time, I strangled her…the death strangle at that time.”
-Kevin and Katherine Bright: (at the time he heard Kevin’s escape) “all of a sudden the front door of the house was open and he (Kevin) was gone, and oh, I tell you what I thought: I thought the police were coming at that time, that was it.  I stepped out there; I could see him running down the street, so I quickly cleaned up everything I could and left.”
-Shirley Vian Relford: “We tied one of the bathroom doors shut so they couldn’t open it (the kids) and she went back and helped me shove the bed against the other bathroom door.  I proceeded to tie her up.  She got sick, threw up.  I got her a glass of water, comforted her a little bit then went ahead and put a bag over her head and strangled her.”
-Nancy Fox: “After I strangled her with the belt, I took the belt off and retied that with panty hose, real tight, removed the handcuffs and tied those with panty hose.  I can’t remember the colors right now.  I think I may have retied her feet.  They were probably already tied, her feet were.  And then I masturbated.”
-Marine Hedge: “After that, since I was still in the sexual fantasy, I went ahead and stripped her.  I am not sure if I tied her up at that point in time, but she was nude.  I put her on a blanket, went through her purse and personal items in the house.  I figured out how I was going to get her out of there.  Eventually I moved her to the trunk of the car – the trunk of her car – and took the car over to Christ Lutheran Church; this was the older church and took some pictures of her…in different forms of bondage.”
-Vicki Wegerle: (fatally injured from strangulation) “There was a lot of commotion.  She had mentioned something about her husband coming home so I got out of there pretty quick.  The dogs were raising a lot of Cain in the back, the doors and windows were all open in the house and a lot of noise when we were fighting.  So I left pretty quickly after that, put everything in the briefcase and I had already gone through her purse and got the keys to the car and used it.”
-Dolores Davis: (Body was dumped under a bridge) “I think she was still handcuffed.  I went back and checked out where the car was, simulated getting some food, odds and ends in the house like I was leaving, went back, removed her handcuffs, then tied her up, and then eventually strangled her.”
            At the end of the vast confessions, the judge directly asked Dennis, “So, all of these incidents, these ten counts occurred, because you wanted to satisfy sexual fantasies?”  Dennis’s answer, “Yes” and with all of this wrapped up and the cold hard fact before the court, Dennis was sentenced to 10 counts of premeditated murder and in total, 10 consecutive life sentences, crying “crocodile tears” during the sentencing phase.  When Dennis’s home was raided, items included in the find were: Binders with cut out pictures of starlets, such as Meg Ryan, index cards with child swimsuit models on them (complete with sexual fantasies written on them), jewelry and clothing from his victims, newspaper clippings, a doll collection and his “hit kit”.  Among the photographs uncovered, were “selfies” of Rader wearing a made up mask and lying in a grave, the grave was intended for Davis, but Rader didn’t have time, he was late to a boy scout meeting.  As we can see, Dennis L. Rader, aka BTK was no saint, even if a long standing member of a Lutheran Church, he was no ordinary citizen, even if well educated and adept at excelling at his workplace, he was NOT overtaken by some demon when he was young. What he was and is, is a serial killer, a cold hearted murderer who took 10 known lives, who psychologically affected children who watched their parents die,  has suspicious ties to other killings and who while in court, surprised the world by trying to stay in control by meticulously netting together a speech that none of the victim’s families will hear or want to believe any part of it and knowing that now, instead of the devil being in Dennis L. Rader, the devil must wait for his chance at a punishment that will last eternally and not ever be near as harsh as BTK himself was toward his victims, at least the devil announces his intents.
 http://members.dodo.com.au/kbears/statessummaryoftheevidence.pdf (Warning, Contains Graphic Descriptions)

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