Dennis Rader was a serial killer and pervert who killed 10 people in and around Wichita, Kansas. Having a twisted mind since a young age, he enjoyed torturing animals – the first warning sign of later delinquency, violence and criminal behavior. Dennis Rader was a coward and an attention seeking vicious killer who suggested a number of possible nicknames for himself, including the one that stuck: BTK, which stands for his infamous signature: Bind, Torture, Kill. Constantly seeking attention, he left taunting clues on the streets and sent letters describing the details of the killings to authorities and news outlets. Rader had a seemingly harmless but strange fetish - he liked to wear women’s underwear. But instead of going to the Sears women’s underwear department like any other crossdresser, BTK wore the underwear of his victims. He then tied himself up in all sorts of ways while taking photos such as those above. During his years as a boy scout leader he was nearly caught when he couldn’t escape his own bonds, but eventually worked himself loose.
He was a well-respected man in the community, the elected president of a church council and a Cub Scout leader. Working for a home security company, BTK had good knowledge of his victims. He installed security alarms as a part of his job. Many of his clients, frightened of BTK terrorizing the Wichita area, booked him to prevent the killer from entering their homes, unaware of the fact that BTK himself was installing them.
The murder spree started in 1971 when BTK killed the Otero family.
BTK was after the mother, Julie Otero, and her 11-year-old daughter Josephine. But upon entering the home he was surprised to find Joseph Otero with his family. Being unprepared, he panicked but managed to gain control of the situation and was able to bind, torture and kill the Otero family, just as his signature preached. He left 11-year-old Josephine Otero for last, and hanged her from a drainage pipe. After killing the little girl the sick pervert ejaculated over her legs and a pipe behind her.
During this time DNA testing was not available for forensic scientists, but police carefully saved samples and they were later matched against other BTK crimes and eventually against Dennis Rader himself.
In addition to the Otero family, BTK’s victims were: Kathryn Bright, 21 / Shirley Vian, 24 / Nancy Fox, 25 / Marine Hedge, 53 / Vicki Wegerle, 28 / Dolores E. Davis, 62.
Most of his victims were suffocated or strangled using various items such as plastic bags, ropes, belts, nylon stockings and even pantyhose. BTK held Wichita under his reign of terror for 17 years, taking long periods of time between his killings, most likely because he was satisfied with the mementos he took and kept himself busy taunting the police and media.
In his many letters to police, Rader once naively asked if his writings on a floppy disk could be traced or not. Police were astonished by the question and decided to play along. The documents on the disk had embedded metadata in a Microsoft Word document which contained ‘Christ Lutheran Church’ and were last modified by ‘Dennis’. A simple Internet search determined that Dennis Rader, a family man and president of the church council, was the notorious BTK. When he was arrested on February 25, 2005, police uncovered stashes of writings, photos, artwork and other assorted items he had kept over the years related to his crimes.
BTK was charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and got 10 consecutive life sentences. The sick man is still alive, and by his own account is trying to repay his “debt to society” by writing a book about his murders to help raise money for the victims’ families.