Dennis Rader’s decades-long killing spree highlighted on ID special BTK: Chasing A Serial Killer

Dennis Rader photo
Dennis Rader, who is known as BTK, murdered 10 people in Wichita, Kansas. Pic Credit: El Dorado Police Department

BTK: Chasing A Serial Killer on Investigation Discovery recounts the murders committed by Dennis Rader, who dubbed himself BTK, meaning bind, torture, and kill.

Rader was a former United States Air Force veteran and a Wichita State University graduate who lived an ordinary life with his wife and children in Wichita, Kansas.

He worked as a code compliance officer at the Park City Library and led the Christ Lutheran Church.

However, what no one knew was that Rader was hiding a dark, murderous past.

From 1974 to 1991, Rader brutally tortured and murdered 10 people, including two children.

Rader wrote taunting letters to police and the local media between the killings, which ultimately led to his arrest.

In early 2005, Rader sent a message to a Wichita TV station, claiming to have left a package at a Home Depot.

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When police located the package, they found documents inside containing planned murders and a note that questioned: “Would it be secure for the murderer to communicate with police via a floppy disk? Be honest.” 

Two weeks later, the station received a package with a floppy disk inside with the words “this is a test” written on it. 

Police uncovered that the disk had been saved by someone named Dennis and that it was used at Christ Lutheran Church and the Park City Library.

FBI then used a subpoena to gain access to Rader’s daughter Kerri Rawson’s medical records for a DNA sample.

When it matched the DNA found at the 1974 murder scene, he was arrested on February 25, 2005.

Photo of Steve Relford
Steve Relford the son of Shirley Vian, one of the many victims. Pic credit: Investigation Discovery

Rader pled guilty to 10 counts of first-degree murder in the BTK slayings of Dolores Davis, Julie Otero, Joseph Otero Jr., Kathryn Bright, Nancy Fox, Vicki Wegerle, Marine Hedge, Joseph Otero, Shirley Vian Relford, and Josephine Otero.

Judge Gregory Waller sentenced Rader to 10 consecutive life terms with a minimum of 175 years at the maximum-security El Dorado Correctional Facility near Wichita.

The BTK Killer has also featured on the Netflix show Mindhunter, where the FBI behavioral experts investigating him were the focus.

 BTK: Chasing A Serial Killer airs on September 4th at 9/8ct  on Investigation Discovery.

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