BTK serial killer Dennis Rader cooperating on a book about murders

Dennis Rader, the BTK killer, during an arraignment in 2005, is working on a book about the murders.
( AFP/ Getty Images)

Dennis Rader, the Kansas serial killer known as the “BTK killer,” told a Wichita newspaper that he’s cooperating with Katherine Ramsland, an author writing a book about his crimes.

Rader murdered 10 people in the Wichita area from 1974 to 1991, and his victims ranged in ages from 9 to 62. He gave himself the nickname “BTK,” which he said stood for “bind, torture, kill.” Rader is serving 10 consecutive life sentences for the slayings, and won’t be eligible for parole until 2180.

In a letter to Wichita reporter Roy Wenzl, Rader claims he’s cooperating with the book project in order to help his victims’ families. It’s his first public comment on the crimes since his sentencing nine years ago.


Rader’s letter comes less than two weeks after his daughter, Kerri Rawson, sharply criticized author Stephen King for writing the novella “A Good Marriage,” which appeared in his 2010 book “Full Dark, No Stars.” The novella, based on the BTK murders, has been adapted into a movie, for which King wrote the screenplay.

“[King is] exploiting my father’s 10 victims and their families,” Rawson said. “Great -- now Stephen King is giving my father a big head. Thanks for that. That’s the last thing my dad should get.”

King is visiting Wichita next month on tour for his new book, “Revival.” In his letter, Rader wrote, “I figure with Mr. King coming to Wichita, once more ‘BTK’ will be in the spotlight.”

A percentage of the profits of a book by Ramsland and Rader will go to a fund for the affected families, according to a lawyer representing many of the relatives of the victims.

Rader says he’s trying to help the only way he can. In the letter, he writes: “I can never replace their love ones, my deeds too ‘dark’ to understand, the book or movies, etc. is the only way to help them ... People like me, need to be under stood, so the criminal professional field, can better under stand, the criminal mind. That would be my way helping debt to society.”