Monday, August 15, 2005


Dennis Rader, the serial killer more infamously known as BTK, has already pleaded guilty to murdering several people in Kansas. But the sorriest details of his crimes have yet to emerge fully.

Former News-Leader writer Ron Sylvester -- now plying his trade in Wichita -- has a compelling read on some of those once-secret details. The story even comes with a "reader discretion" warning. Bonus.

From Sylvester's piece, this passage about victim Nancy Fox, and how Rader described her killing in a letter to cops:

"I spotted Nancy one day while cruising the area," the letter read. "Found out her name by checking her mail box and tracked her to work."

Fox worked at a jewelry store. After killing Fox, Rader wrote that he stole jewelry that "I gave to another girl friend."

As Rader did with other victims, he stalked Fox and broke into her house when she wasn't there. On Dec. 8, 1977, he waited for her to come home.

Rader didn't charm women or manhandle them. He packed two pistols, a knife, a homemade brass knuckle. He cut the phone lines.

When confronted, Rader wrote that Fox acted like she expected to be raped. But Rader didn't rape. He aroused himself by the sight of them helplessly fighting for their lives. He would describe in other letters how he gained gratification as Josephine Otero tried to fight off the fate of the rope around her neck, leaving behind DNA which years later would identify him.

Three years after the Otero murders, Rader handcuffed Fox to her bed and began removing her clothes. Then "she asks me not too," Rader wrote in his typically poor English.

"I was becoming sexual aroused when tying her ankle, and approached her rear I pulled down her panties, quickly slip my belt over her head and on to the neck and pulled tight but not the final strangle hold,"
the letter read.

Rader would strangle people until they reached the point of passing out, then he would loosen his grip and let them regain consciousness. He would repeat the strangling, as if they were dying repeated deaths, only to recover and relive the horror.

"I spoke softly into her left ear," the letter continued. "I was wanted for the Oteros and others murders and she was next. She began to really struggle then, and I did the final hold, this my torture mental and restrangle."

The arousal would reach its peak with the last gasp of life, and Rader would find his sexual release over the corpse.

We're 100-percent against the death penalty, even when guys like Rader appear to make it tough. Given Rader's huge ego, it's best to lock him up for life and forget about him. Dennis Rader craves publicity. Being forgotten will be his worst punishment on this plane.

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