Born in in Pittsburg, Kansas, Dennis Rader went on to live a double life: Devoted family and company man by day, he also terrorized the Wichita, Kansas, area as the "BTK killer" — for "bind, torture, kill" — with 10 murders and brazen correspondence with authorities between and Rader's alter ego resurfaced in , but his penchant for leaving clues led to his arrest and life imprisonment the following year. Rader was born on March 9, , in Pittsburg, Kansas, and grew up in Wichita. The oldest of four sons, he enjoyed a seemingly normal childhood, reportedly masking such disturbing behavior as hanging stray animals. Rader dropped out of college and joined the U. Air Force in the mids. After returning to Wichita, he married his wife, Paula, in , and worked for an outdoor-supply company for about a year. On January 15, , Rader strangled to death four members of the Otero family in their Wichita home—parents Joseph and Julie, and two of their children, Josephine and Joseph Jr. Strangulation and souvenir-taking would become part of his modus operandi, or pattern of behavior.
Who was Dennis Rader?
“I had to learn how to grieve a man that was not dead," his daughter told 20/20.
While one nightmare was ending for the town, the personal nightmare for Kerri Rawson was just beginning. Rader, now 73, was arrested in February and pleaded guilty on June 27, , to 10 counts of first-degree murder. He is currently serving 10 consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole. Rader's killing spree began in January , when he targeted four members of the Otero family , killing Joseph and Julie Otero and two of their five children. In April , Rader murdered his eighth victim and neighbor, Marine Hedge, who lived just six doors down. Five years passed, and then in January , Rader murdered his 10th victim, Dolores Davis. According to her book, in the months leading up to his plea, Rawson and her father exchanged letters about his court proceedings, reading the Bible and how their family was doing. Rader often wrote matter-of-factly about what his daily life was like behind bars. He also spoke longingly about wanting his family to write him and used the words "forgive me" several times.
Kerri Rawson is the daughter of notorious "BTK" serial killer Dennis Rader.
Anyone who has watched Mindhunter on Netflix knows that the show's first season was sprinkled with a series of perplexing vignettes that seemingly had nothing to do with the plot of the show. He seems a little bit off, but why, we can't totally be sure. In the newly released Mindhunter season 2, those vignettes continue. This time, they're much more bone-chilling — and it becomes obvious that the man we're seeing in these short scenes is the infamous BTK Killer. Still, though, Mindhunter takes place in the late s and early s, when the BTK Killer was not in prison, but very much in the midst of his violent crime spree.
Kerri Rawson , the daughter of the notorious "BTK" serial killer Dennis Rader , said she has been in an "extended period of trying to recover" after releasing her best-selling memoir about her struggle and personal journey after learning her father is a murderer. I still have ongoing battles with PTSD but am hopeful that I can continue to heal with time and peace. She said her mother also had reached out to her to say that she had read her daughter's book. Reading my book helped her and has also helped my family continue to deal with trauma of the past 14 years. For the first 26 years of her life, Rawson said, she knew her father as a family man who could be a gruff at times , but who loved her. She knew her father as a man who was the president of his church, a Boy Scout troop leader and an Air Force veteran; a man who was nearly 60 by that point, balding and wore glasses. That image of him was shattered on Feb. The "BTK" killer haunted the community in and around Wichita, Kansas, for more than 30 years, largely in the '70s and '80s, torturing and murdering 10 people, including two children.