A church council president turning out to be the murderer of 10 people in his community is practically unheard of. That is, sadly, the tale of Mr. Dennis Lynn Rader, a serial murderer who, between 1974 and 1991, murdered ten persons in and around Wichita, Kansas. He was harsh; he provided the police with information about his death so they could partially credit him for the crime; even the officers were shocked. Dennis installed security systems for residents in his neighborhood, which provided him access to information about the whereabouts of homeowners. Before his imprisonment, he resided with his family at 6220 Independence in Park City. Their home was sold at auction for $90,000 in March 2007.
If you’re wondering whether Denni had a wife or kids, the answer is yes. His wife filed for divorce from him in 2005 after he was found guilty. His two children are Brian Rader, who has been silent ever since his father’s terrible death, and Kerri Rader, who, following her 1999 marriage to Darian Rawson, now goes by the name Kerri Rawson.
Dennis put his family in a difficult situation since he led a second life and publicly admitted that they were pawns in his scheme. What is Dennis’s tale then? Let’s go over some quick information regarding Dennis before we continue.
Dennis Lynn Rader Life Timeline
The answer to the question of whether Denni had a wife or even children is yes. When he was found guilty in 2005, his wife filed for divorce from him. Brian Rader, who has been silent ever since his father’s terrible death, and Kerri Rader, who married Darian Rawson in 1999, now go by the name Kerri Rawson, are his two children.
By leading a double life and openly admitting that his family was a pawn in his game, Dennis put his family in an uncomfortable situation. Thus, what is Dennis’s tale? Let’s run through a few basic facts about Dennis before we get to that.
Due to his subpar academic performance, he left Kansas Wesleyan University in his first year in 1966 and enlisted in the United States Air Force.
He went to Park City, a suburb of Wichita, and worked in the meat department at I.G.A. grocery, where his mother worked as a bookkeeper. He served in the United States Air Force from 1966 to 1970.
He wed Paula Dietz in 1971; the couple has two children together.
He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in administration of justice from Wichita State University after continuing his education there after receiving an associate’s degree in electronics from Butler County Community College in 1973. Thereafter, he was hired by the Coleman Corporation, a manufacturer of camping gear, as an assembler. He was fired in the same year.
To support himself, Dennis had a job at the ADT Security Services office in Wichita in 1974. Not realizing Dennis was responsible for the massacre, he placed security alarms for the homeowners who wished to take security precautions in the wake of the B.T.K. deaths.
Rader began his murderous rampage in 1974, beginning a string of slayings in Kansas that lasted for 17 years.
Dennis had Brian Rader as his first kid on July 27, 1975.
Dennis had Kerri Rader as his second kid in 1978.
He quit his position with ADT Security Services in 1988, and before the 1990 federal census, in 1989, he was hired as a supervisor of census field operations for the Wichita region.
Rader started working for Park City, Kansas, as a compliance and animal control officer in May 1991. He had a reputation for being a dictator. As a compliance officer, Rader was accused of killing a neighbor’s dog without cause.
Rader was taken into custody by the Kansas police on February 25, 2005. Rader enters a guilty plea on June 27, 2005, to 10 first-degree murder charges.
Rader was given ten consecutive life sentences without the possibility of release on August 18, 2005.
Dennis Lynn Rader’s Crime Chronology: How it all began and ended
Dennis’s crime records began a year after he was fired from his electrician position at Coleman Company in 1973, four years after he left the U.S. Airforce. The business didn’t
- He murdered Joseph Otero, 38, his wife Julie, 34, a Coleman employee, and their two children, Joseph II, 9, and Josephine, 11, in their Wichita, Kansas, home on January 15, 1974. He killed Joseph after forcing the kids to see him kill their parents by strangulation. Josephine was carried to the cellar where she was stripped of her clothing and strangled to death by being hanging from a sewer pipe. He told the young girl as he masturbated that she would be in heaven with her family when she questioned what would happen to her. He kept her undergarments as a memento of his first murder.
- He murdered fellow Coleman employee Kathryn Bright, 21, at her home on April 4, 1974. When Dennis broke into her home, her brother Kevin Bright assaulted him but managed to flee after being shot. Dennis then started stabbing Kathryn repeatedly. Dennis penned an article after killing Kathryn that begins, “Those three dudes you have in custody are merely talking to attract press… The secret phrases for me will be… B.T.K., you see he’s at it again, bind them, torture them, murder them. They will attack the following victim.
- Instead of sending it directly to the police, he placed it in an engineering book at the Wichita Public Library and then called the Wichita Eagle to let them know where it was so they could find it and give him credit. Although three individuals had previously claimed the kill and were in detention, they had yet to give him credit or mention. The brother of Kathyrn who lived said Dennis had insane eyes.
- Dennis paused after killing Kathryn to welcome Brain Rader, who was born on July 27, 1975.
- He murdered Shirley Vian, 24, in her house on March 17, 1977. He sexually assaulted Shirley Vian while allowing her kids to see and afterward flee. The following line from his poem Shirley Locks, which is part of it: “Shirley Locks, Shirley Locks. You must not scream but rather lie on a cushion and contemplate my passing instead.
- He locked her kids in the bathroom on December 8, 1977, and then killed 25-year-old Nancy Jo Fox in her own house. He noted this killing with the poem “Oh! Death to Nancy” and then called the police to report it.
- Dennis left the boy scout troop he was in charge of on April 27, 1985, and strangled Marine Wallace Hedge, 53, with a rope. He showed up at his son’s scout camp the next morning without leaving any evidence that he had killed anyone. Dennis used to say hello to Marine as he entered the chapel each morning. Dennis even went over to the family after she passed away to comfort them and assure them that “we’re secure.”
- When Dennis realized that neither the police nor the media would give him credit for his crimes, he wrote a letter to a local television station, KAKE, asking, “How many people do I have to kill before I get my name in the paper or some national attention?” before listing several potential moniker suggestions, such as “The Asphyxiator,” “The Wichita Hangman,” and “The B.T.K. Strangler.”
- stating his past transgressions Dennis offered the moniker B.T.K. in his letter to KAKE.
- He murdered Vicki Lynn Wegerle, age 28, in her home on September 16, 1986, while her toddler watched from a playpen. Initially, the authorities blamed Vicki’s husband Bill for the crime; but, after additional investigation, Dennis was identified as the murderer.
- He murdered Dolores Earline Johnson Davis, 62, on January 19, 1991, and dumped her body at the intersection of West 117th North and North Meridian Street in Park City.
Dennis Rader Arrest
If Dennis had ceased killing in 1991, it might have taken the law longer to catch up, but Dennis did not like that the police and media stopped talking about him when they pronounced him dead. To preserve his reputation, Dennis started mailing police packages in 2004 that contained evidence from his crime scenes.
Dolls that resembled his victims were bound and gagged in the parcel, and another had a proposal for the autobiographical book he planned to publish, The B.T.K. Story.
He was abandoned by the meta-data of a manuscript on a floppy drive.
B.T.K. wrote a letter to the police in a cereal box in January 2005 asking if they could identify him from a letter he wanted to send over on a Floppy disk. In a classified ad, the cops stated that they could not.
Dennis, a serial killer, delivered the floppy disk to the police with assurance but failed to completely clean it. The police discovered the metadata of a lost Microsoft Word document on the floppy disk. The author of the document, the council president, was identified as the Christ Lutheran Church. Guess who that was then? Robert Rader.
That wasn’t enough. When D.N.A. samples from crime scenes matched the sample from Dennis’ daughter’s pap smear, the police were summoned to his home and he was taken into custody.
On February 25, 2005, Dennis Rader was kidnapped from his house in front of his family. He attempted to maintain a comforting demeanor while leading a double life as a father and assured his daughter that everything will be resolved shortly. But he was aware that he was lost. When questioned if he knew why he had been detained, Denni responded, “Well, I have suspicions why,” as he was being transferred.
In a recent connected case, Bryan Kohberger, 28, an alleged Idaho murderer, was taking classes from Dr. Katherine Ramsland, a serial killer specialist who had a close friendship with Dennis Lynn Rader.