Brutal Killer Explains Why He Murdered 10 People in Chilling New Doc

The BTK killer terrorized the people of Wichita, Kansas, for 31 years.

btk killer
Dennis L. Rader (L), the man admitting to be the BTK serial killer, is escorted into the El Dorado Correctional Facility on August 19, 2005 in El Dorado, Kansas. (Jeff Tuttle-Pool/Getty Images)

For 31 years, a serial killer stalked and terrorized the people of Wichita Kansas. Starting in 1974, the killer murdered 10 people, taunted police with clues about his next victims and sent clues to the media about his own identity. All his victims, which he called “projects,” were selected at random and included a 9-year-old boy, a 62-year-old grandmother and a 21-year-old woman. He would stalk his victims, then break into their homes to kill them by strangulation, stabbing or hanging.

The case remained cold for decades. There were no links between the victims and no clear motive. But in 2005, investigators traced a floppy disk from the killer back to Dennis Rader, a father of two, Boy Scout troop leader and local Lutheran church president. In letters to the media during his killing spree, Rader called himself “BTK,” an acronym for “bind, torture, kill,” writes Esquire. Now, thanks to Snapped, a two-hour special on Oxygen airing on September 2, we can hear audio interviews with Rader himself, in which he describes what he did and why.

“I can live a normal life and quickly switch from one gear to the next. I can become emotionally involved,” he says in the special, according to Esquire. “I can be cold at it. I guess that’s why I survived all those 30 years or 31 years.”

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