The BTK Killer
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The BTK Killer

*I do not include pictures or videos of any crime scene or victim after their death. I find it very disrespectful to the victims and their families. Also, some people would feel uncomfortable or sickened by some of the visuals. If you would like to see pictures or videos, you can find them easily with a Google search. I also tend to avoid cases that involve young children. If it does involve a young child, a warning will be provided for the faint of heart.

The BTK Killer

For a more in-depth version of Rader's childhood, life outside of crime, and victims check out: BTK - Rader Under the Radar

Background Story/Childhood

Dennis Lynn Rader was born on March 9th, 1945. He was born in Pittsburg, Kansas, but grew up in Wichita, Kansas - the same area that he would later on terrorize. He was the oldest of four brothers who all lived a "normal" childhood. Dennis, though, showed signs of being disturbed at a young age when he began to hang stray animals. After high school, Dennis went to college but then dropped out in the 1960s, joining the U.S. Air Force. When he returned home to Wichita, he married his wife, Paula, in 1971. He began working at an outdoor-supply company in 1971, but then became an employee of ADT Security Services in 1974. People described him as a "devoted family and company man". 1974 was the beginning of Dennis's "killing spree", where he murdered 10 people from 1974 to 1991.

For more information regarding Dennis's life before crime, check out: Dennis Rader


For more information regarding Rader's childhood/"double-life" and the murders, check out: Dennis Rader

January 15, 1974 - Dennis Rader broke into the Otero family home in Wichita, Kansas, strangling both parents, Joseph and Julie, and two children, Josephine and Joseph Jr., to death. After strangling the family, he stole a watch and a radio and left. It was noted that he left semen at the scene, later admitting he got sexual pleasure from the killing. Joseph and Julie had three other children, Charles, Danny, and Carmen, who were not home at the time and returned later on in the day and discovered their parents and siblings.

For more information regarding the Otero family, check out: Joseph, Julie, Joey, and Josie Otero

*WARNING, graphic content* An Eagle transcript some of Dennis Rader's court testimony in regards to the Otero family: The Otero family

BTK Confession, Part 1 - the Otero Family Murders

April 4, 1974 - Dennis Rader broke into the apartment of Kathryn Bright, where he waited for her to return home. When she returned, he stabbed and strangled her. During this conflict, Dennis also shot her brother, Kevin, twice. Kevin survived and described Dennis as "an average-sized guy, bushy mustache, 'psychotic' eyes."

*WARNING, graphic content* Dennis Rader describes Kathryn Bright's murder

October 1974 - Dennis Rader wrote a letter claiming responsibility for the deaths of the Otero family and left it in a public library book. This letter was eventually discovered and turned into the local newspaper. The police requested that the newspaper not release certain details of the letter.

The following are some passages from the letter that Dennis wrote, including his poor vocabulary skills:

"I'm sorry this happen to society. They are the ones who suffer the most. It is hard to control myself. You probably call me 'psychotic with sexual perversion hang-up.' When this monster enters my brain I will never know. But, it here to stay. How does one cure himself? If you ask for help, that you have killed four people they will laugh or hit the panic button and call the cops."

"P.S. Since sex criminals do not change their M.O. or by nature cannot do so, I will not change mine. The code words for me will be... Bind them, torture them, kill them, B.T.K., you see him at it again. They will be on the next victim."

For more information regarding this letter, check out: 'BTK' made first contact through newspaper in '74

1975 - Dennis's son, Brian Rader, was born.

March 1977 - Dennis broke into the home of Shirley Vian and locked her kids in the bathroom. He then tied up and strangled Shirley.

*WARNING, graphic content* Dennis Rader describes Shirley Vian's murder

BTK Confession Part 3 Shirley Vian

December 1997 - Dennis broke into the home of Nancy Fox and then strangled her to death. After he left, he called the police and reported the incident.

*WARNING, graphic content* Dennis Rader describes Nancy Fox's murder

BTK Confession Part 4 - Nancy Fox

January 1978 - Dennis wrote a poem about killing Shirley and then sent it to the local newspaper. A few weeks later, he wrote a letter about killing Shirley, Nancy, and another unknown victim and sent it to a local TV station.

Poems by Dennis Rader

1978 - Dennis's daughter, Kerri Rawson, was born.

1979 - Dennis graduated with a degree in the administration of justice from Wichita State University.

April 1979 - Dennis broke into the home of an elderly woman and waited for her to return home. He became impatient and left before she returned. He wrote and sent her a letter about him being there.

Poems by Dennis Rader

1979 - the authorities released a recording of the phone call Dennis made to the police after the death of Nancy Fox in 1977, with a hope that someone would recognize the voice.

BTK Killer Reports the Murder of Nancy Fox

1980s - Dennis left ADT.

April 27, 1985 - Dennis killed his neighbor, Marine Hedge, whose body was found alongside the road a few days later.

*WARNING, graphic content* Dennis Rader describes Marine Hedge's murder

BTK Confession Part 5 - Marine Hedge, Vicki Wegerle

1986 - Dennis broke into the home of Vicki Wegerle and killed her.

*WARNING, graphic content* Dennis Rader describes Vicki Wegerle's murder

BTK Confession Part 5 - Marine Hedge, Vicki Wegerle

January 19, 1991 - Dennis murdered his final (known) victim. He kidnapped Dolores Davis from her own home and killed her.

*WARNING, graphic content* Dennis Rader describes Dolores Davis' murder

BTK Confession Part 6 - Dolores Davis


1991 - Dennis "dropped off the map" after the death of Dolores Davis in 1991 to focus on his family and work life. He started working as a compliance supervisor for Park City. His duties were to measure the height of people's lawns and chase stray animals. People mentioned that he enjoyed having authority, or "control" over his neighbors and fellow community members. He also became a Boy Scout troop leader and the president of his church council.

2004 - The 30th anniversary of the Otero murders. Dennis decided to make a "come-back" and sent local newspapers, TV stations, and authorities several letters filled with evidence related to his crimes. This includes but is not limited to: pictures, a word puzzle, an outline for the "BTK Story", and a computer disk that ultimately led authorities to the church that Rader worked for. All of these clues eventually led to the arrest of Dennis Rader, after police collected a DNA sample from Dennis's daughter that grounded the case against him.


Dennis Rader was arrested on February 25th, 2005. He was charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and plead guilty to all of the charges. BTK Confession, the Full Version. Rader was sent to El Dorado Correctional Facility to serve his 10 life sentences.

For more information regarding Rader's trial/sentencing, check out: Dennis Rader

Ending Statement:

*If you have any suggestions you can contact me via:

Instagram – @crime.and.comedy ~OR~ @chienneherman

Email –

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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