Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The BTK Story

Mounting Evidence

By Rachael Bell

Dennis Rader in Court listening to evidence presented during the sentencing phase of his trial
Dennis Rader in Court listening to evidence presented during the sentencing phase of his trial
On August 17th, the court heard more evidence, concerning Rader's narcissistic and psychopathic sexual fantasies. According to testimony, Rader believed that in the afterlife the Otero family would serve him as slaves. Lori O'Toole Buselt reported that Rader hoped that Joseph Otero would be his bodyguard, Julie his bathroom servant, their son Joey his "sex toy and boy servant" and Josephine he would "teach sex and bondage to."

Kansas Bureau of Investigation's (KBI) Assistant Dir. Larry Thomas testified that Rader sat in a chair next to Joey and watched him die as he strangled him with a rope. KWCH 12 Eyewitness News correspondent Liz Collins reported that Rader "told Thomas that it was extremely hard to kill someone by strangulation and that he'd never done it before on a person but he had strangled cats and dogs before." Other evidence introduced from the Otero case included a Barbie-like doll with pubic hair and eyelashes drawn on it, which prosecutors claimed Rader altered to look like Josephine, Buselt reported. The doll was bound much like Josephine had been prior to her murder.

Wichita Police Department Detective Clint Snyder also testified, providing details concerning the murder of Kathryn Bright, 21, who Rader randomly selected to be his victim in the spring of 1974. Rader told Snyder that he gained entry to Kathryn's home when he knocked on her door asking for her help finding a neighbor's house. He didn't expect Kathryn's brother Kevin would be at her home with her but he didn't let that deter him. Rader tied them both up in separate bedrooms. When Kevin struggled, Rader shot him twice in the head. He then turned his attention to Kathryn.   

Rader told Snyder that Kathryn fought, "like a hell cat," making it almost impossible for him to do what "he wanted to do with her," Collins reported. Fed up with the struggle, Rader decided to "put her down" by stabbing her 11 times. Rader told Snyder that he was surprised by the amount of blood and the mess it made. Rader quickly left the scene after he killed Kathryn because Kevin managed to make a daring escape, despite his wounds. Astoundingly, Kevin survived but his sister wasn't so lucky.


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