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BTK Serial Killer
Dennis L. Rader

Dennis Rader's Handwriting:
Increasing Size - Click Here for F-8 Indicator Explanation Distorted Midzone Letters - Click Here for D-32 Indicator Explanation Muddiness - Click Here for D-15 Indicator Explanation Increasing Size - Click Here for F-8 Indicator Explanation Narrow Right Margin - Click Here for F-36 Indicator Explanation Narrow Right Margin - Click Here for F-36 Indicator Explanation Dot Grinding - Click Here for D-10 Indicator Explanation Muddiness - Click Here for D-15 Indicator Explanation Erratic center Zone Size - Click Here for F-7 Indicator Explanation Erratic Pressure - Click Here for D-14 Indicator Explanation Erratic center Zone Size - Click Here for F-7 Indicator Explanation Downhill baseline - Click Here for F-19 Indicator Explanation Dot Grinding - Click Here for D-10 Indicator Explanation Muddiness - Click Here for D-15 Indicator Explanation Distorted Midzone Letters - Click Here for D-32 Indicator Explanation Disintegration - Click Here for D-5 Indicator Explanation Erratic Pressure - Click Here for D-14 Indicator Explanation Erratic Pressure - Click Here for D-14 Indicator Explanation Increasing Size - Click Here for F-8 Indicator Explanation Downhill baseline - Click Here for F-19 Indicator Explanation Narrow Right Margin - Click Here for F-36 Indicator Explanation Downhill baseline - Click Here for F-19 Indicator Explanation Downhill baseline - Click Here for F-19 Indicator Explanation Unique Structures - Click Here for F-64 Indicator Explanation Erratic center Zone Size - Click Here for F-7 Indicator Explanation Unique Structures - Click Here for F-64 Indicator Explanation Exaggerated Upper Zone - Click Here for F-58 Indicator Explanation Erratic Pressure - Click Here for D-14 Indicator Explanation Erratic center Zone Size - Click Here for F-7 Indicator Explanation Distorted Midzone Letters - Click Here for D-32 Indicator Explanation Erratic Pressure - Click Here for D-14 Indicator Explanation Erratic Pressure - Click Here for D-14 Indicator Explanation Erratic center Zone Size - Click Here for F-7 Indicator Explanation Distorted Midzone Letters - Click Here for D-32 Indicator Explanation

BTK Serial Killer's Handwriting

Dennis Rader's printing in a formal report

BTK Serial Killer's Signature

Dennis Rader's signature [enlarged]

Summary of Events

      Dennis Rader, the man police believed was the BTK serial killer, hid for more than 30 years in plain sight.

      BTK, which stands for Bind, Torture, Kill, has been linked to 10 slayings from 1974 to 1991. The acronym is a moniker the killer gave himself when he terrorized the town in the 1970s.

      In October 1974, the newspaper received the first of a series of notes from someone claiming to be the killer.

      The letter, claims responsibility for the slaying of 28-year-old Vicki Wegerle, who died in 1986. Before now, the killer had not been linked to that crime.

      The death would be the eighth connected to BTK. The first killings took place in 1974 when a family of four was found strangled in their Wichita home. Later that year, a 21-year-old woman was found stabbed to death inside her home. Authorities said they had linked two additional victims to the serial killer, who resurfaced about a year ago with letters to the media and police after 25 years of silence.

      Two more women were found strangled in their homes in 1977. After the second homicide that year, the killer called police himself to report the crime.

      Rader lived with a wife and two children in a suburb of Wichita, the city he is suspected of terrorizing. He led a Cub Scout troop and was active in his Lutheran church.

      Rader was an ordinance enforcement officer for the local government in Park City, Kansas and had formerly worked for a Security Company.

      Some say Dennis Rader helped the elderly with yard work. But others say he was an unpleasant man who looked for reasons to cite them for city code violations.

      One man says he caught Rader filming the back of their house. Others say they saw him measuring the grass in front yards to see if it was too long.

      The jobs he had held aided him in his concealment, and allowed him access to homes without any struggle. Rader worked in the home security field and later as a code inspector and dog catcher. One of his duties was putting dogs to sleep for the city of Park City. A woman said she'd gone to his house for a garage sale a couple of years ago, and that he had about four boxes of dog collars from the dogs he had asphyxiated.

      Police say investigators in the 1970s did their job so well that detectives were able to use evidence collected decades ago. In addition, more than 4,000 DNA swabs were taken in the last 11 months.

      According to reports, Rader's daughter alerted authorities with her suspicions about her father and gave them a DNA sample, which helped police tie the murders to Rader.

Arrest and conviction

      Dennis Rader was arrested on Friday, February 25, 2005, near his home in Park City, Kansas and accused of the BTK killings. Rader pled guilty to his crimes on June 27, 2005. He detailed his crimes in court before the judge, jury and victims families. At the time of the murders, Kansas had no death penalty, so the judge gave Rader 10 consecutive life sentences (one life sentence per victim), without possibility of parole for 175 years, on August 18, 2005.

UPDATED: 20 OCTOBER 2004
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