Notorious Criminals: Dennis Lynn Rader, the BTK Killer
Posted by dorian on April 20, 2009
BTK: The Devil Made Me Do It
Dennis Rader blamed a “demon” that got inside him at an early age for the murders that terrorized the Wichita area for three decades.
On Friday, February 25, 2005 suspected BTK Strangler, Dennis Lynn Rader, was arrested in Park City, Kansas and later charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder. The day following his arrest Wichita Police Chief Norman Williams announced in a press conference, “the bottom line is that BTK has been arrested.”
Rader’s Early Years:
Rader was one of four sons to parents William and Dorothea Rader. The family lived in Wichita where Rader attended Wichita Heights High School. After a brief attendance in 1964 to Wichita State University, Rader joined the U.S. Air Force. He spent the next four years as a mechanic for the Air Force and was stationed abroad in South Korea, Turkey, Greece and Okinawa.
Rader Leaves the Air Force:
After the Air Force he returned home and began working on obtaining his college degree. He first attended Butler County Community College in El Dorado then transferred to Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina. In the fall of 1973 he returned to Wichita State University where in 1979 he graduated with a major in Administration of Justice.
A Work History With A Common Thread – Access:
While at Wichita State he worked part time in the meat department at an IGA in Park City.
From 1970 to 1973 he was an assembler at the Coleman Company, assembling camping gear and equipment.
From November 1974 to July 1988 he worked for a home security company, ADT Security Services, where he had access to homes as an installation manager. It has also been noted that the business increased as community fear of the BTK killer increased.
From 1990 until his arrest in 2005, Rader was a supervisor of the Compliance Department at Park City, a two-manned, multi-functional department in charge of “animal control, housing problems, zoning, general permit enforcement and a variety of nuisance cases.” His performance in his position was described as “overzealous and extremely strict” by neighbors.
He also served as a census field operations supervisor in 1989.
Active in Church and a Club Scout Leader:
Radar married Paula Dietz in May, 1971 and had two children after the murders began. They had a son in 1975 and a daughter in 1978. For 30 years he was a member of the Christ Lutheran Church and was an elected president of the Congregation Council. He was also a Cub Scout leader and was remembered for teaching how to make secure knots.
The Trail That Led Police To Rader’s Door:
Enclosed in a padded envelope sent to the KSAS-TV station in Wichita was a purple 1.44-megabyte Memorex computer disk that the FBI was able to trace to Rader. Also during this time a tissue sample of Rader’s daughter was seized and submitted for DNA testing. The sample was a familial match to the semen collected at one of the BTK crime scene.
The Arrest of Dennis Rader:
On February 25, 2005 Rader was stopped by authorities while in route to his home. At that point several law enforcement agencies converged on Rader’s home and began searching for evidence to link Rader to the BTK murders. They also searched the church he belonged to and his office at City Hall. Computers were removed at both his office and his home along with a pair of black pantyhose and a cylindrical container.
Rader is Charged With 10 BTK Murders:
On March 1, 2005 Dennis Rader was officially charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and his bond set at $10 million. Rader appeared before Judge Gregory Waller via video conference from his jail cell and listened to the 10 counts of murder read against him, while family members of his victims and some of his neighbors watched from the courtroom.
It is believed that Paula Rader, who has been described as a gentle and soft spoken woman, was shocked and devastated by the events that transpired with the arrest of her husband as were her two children. As of this writing, Mrs. Rader has not been to visit Dennis Rader in prison and she and her daughter are reportedly out of state in seclusion.
Update: On June 27, 2005, Dennis Rader plead guilty to 10 counts of first-degree murder then calmly told the court the chilling details of the “Bind, Torture, Kill” slayings that terrorized the Wichita, Kansas area between 1974 and 1991.
Unholy Messenger by Stephen Singular
Inside the Mind of Btk by John Douglas
Extra: How to recognize a Psychopathic Personality
The following characteristics of a psychopath, defined by Hervery M. Cleckley in the book Mask of Sanity include:
Superficial charm and average intelligence.
Absence of delusions and other signs of irrational thinking.
Absence of nervousness or neurotic manifestations.
Untruthfulness and insincerity.
Lack of remorse or shame.
Antisocial behavior without apparent compunction.
Poor judgement and failure to learn from experience.
Pathological egocentricity and incapacity to love.
General poverty in major affective reactions.
Specific loss of insight.
Unresponsiveness in general interpersonal relations.
Fantastic and uninviting behavior with drink, and sometimes without.
Suicide threats rarely carried out.
Sex life impersonal, trivial, and poorly integrated.
Failure to follow any life plan.
Conventional Treatment Empowers the Psychopath
There are different degrees of psychopathic behavior and different types including the sexual psychopath and the work psychopath. Most studies indicate that there are no conventional methods available which cures psychopathic behavior. On the contrary, when conventional methods have been used, the psychopath becomes empowered, and reacts by improving their cunning, manipulative methods and their ability to conceal their true personality, even from trained eyes.
Since the psychopath has no real emotions, they develop their own personality throughout their life by mimicking those around them. Their inability to control inappropriate outburst of anger and hostility often results in loss of jobs, disassociation with friends and family and divorce. This in itself is filtered by the psychopath into a justification process for more aggressive behavior.
Because of their inability to gauge when their actions are being perceived as dishonest, deceitful or dangerous, they also fail to accept that there are consequences for their actions. They always maintain a belief that they can outwit those who pursue them and that they will never be caught. Once caught, they believe they will find a way back out.
The study of the psychopath reveals an individual who is incapable of feeling guilt, remorse or empathy for their actions. They are generally cunning, manipulative and know the difference between right and wrong but dismiss it as applying to them.
They are incapable of normal emotions such as love, generally react without considering the consequences of their actions and show extreme egocentric and narcissistic behavior.
Charles Montaldo About.com
next week in the notorious criminals series: The Zodiac Killer