tv City in Fear BTK Killer MSNBC August 18, 2012 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
due to graphic subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. it says he's sexually motivated to commit these murders and he will murder again. >> his family, his job, all that, those were just props. >> the worst part is just knowing that somebody that i went to church with, somebody that i communed with, was capable of this. >> they were strangled. they were laying face down. >> he didn't just choke them. he choked them multiple times. >> told them they were going to die within a few minutes and tortured them and brought them back to life. >> the thing that all of us remembered was that particular
line, saying how many more people do i have to kill before i get my name in the newspaper? >> "city in fear." >> "city in fear." here's john seigenthaler. >> for more than 30 years, a serial killer tormented and terrified e citizens of wichita, kansas. his cruelty devastated the lives of his family, victims and friends. he left everyone in the community with the nagging fear that they could be next. who was this man responsible for the callus murders of at least ten innocent people?
determined to go down in infamy, he named himself btk. >> wichita is a very unique, wonderful place to live. and when you come here, it's like an island in the middle of a prairie. >> we have a lot of people from different backgrounds that come here. of course, are located exactly in the middle of the nation, so, therefore, you have people from the east, the west, the north, and the south that all seem to congregate in a community called wichita, kansas. >> in the 1970s, wichita is a typical mid-western bible belt city, rich with family values and a hard work ethic. >> i think it's that time on tv we were watching "welcome back kotter" and "all in the family," "the jeffersons," things like that. we didn't have reality tv. we didn't worry too much about locking our doors.
we didn't worry about where we went out at night. it was just a very innocent time. no real fears. >> things that happened in new york, things that happened in l.a. did not happen in wichita, kansas. we basically thought we were insulated from everything else. well, that all changed when the oteros were murdered. we lost our innocence in 1974, and we've never gained it back. >> on the cold winter morning of january 15th, a murder shocked the community of wichita. >> well, the oteros parents were found in the bedroom fully clothed. they were strangled. they were lying face down. >> 38-year-old mechanic and former air force master sergeant joseph otero and his wife are savagely killed. >> joseph was on the floor. the mother was on the bed. they had both been strangled. they had bags over their heads. and they were bound with their hands behind them, and their feet were bound.
>> they pulled the bags off their faces. they went to the phone to call for help. the phone line was dead. >> upon returning from school, the oteros teenage children discovered their parents' bodies. the police are the ones who find the mutilated body of 9-year-old joseph jr. >> little joseph was found in a bedroom, fully clothed, but he was bound extremely tight with his hands behind his back. was lying on his stomach. and he had bags over his head. he'd been strangled around his throat. and there was semen found in his room. >> the otero's 11-year-old daughter josephine is found in the basement. >> the officer literally bumped into josie otero who was hanging just immediately inside the door. so he walked in, it was dark, with a flashlight, he wasn't touching anything, and he bumped into her. >> little josephine had been bound with her hands behind her back and her ankles were bound.
>> the injuries to the throat of a lot of these victims were so severe that the cops pretty much knew all along that he didn't just choke them. he choked them multiple times. >> even seasoned homicide detectives were stunned at the brutality of the crime scene and baffled as to who could have committed these atrocities. >> i think at the time the investigators, chief hahnen and charlie stewart and the others that were directly involved in it, i don't think they had ever seen anything like it, and their first reaction was that it was probably a drug-related thing, some kind of revenge thing because they had worked literally hundreds of homicides and they knew there had to be a logical explanation for this. there had to be some reason that someone would come into a home in wichita, kansas, in january 1974 and wipe out four members of the family. i mean this just didn't happen here. >> charles stewart, now
deceased, was the first homicide detective assigned to the case. his son, dan, recalls his father's reaction to the crime scene. >> pop was a marine, and he had been at iwo jima, and he had seen some terrible things, and he always said that it was the worst thing he had ever seen in his life. how somebody could do that, sit and pull up a chair and turn it around where you're sitting with your legs straddling, watch a little boy die, to put a bag over their head and watch them suffocate and die, he couldn't comprehend that. he just -- he couldn't comprehend it. it hurt him. it hurt him. and the longer it went, the more it hurt him because he didn't solve it. >> so haunted by the otero murder scene, charles stewart would never again sleep in his own bed. his son dan remembers his father sitting by the front door of their house at night, armed with a shotgun. >> i don't think it was out of
fear as much as it was out of i'm going to protect my family, and i'm going to do whatever it takes to protect my family, and so i'll just sleep in the recliner by the door. >> when the news breaks of the vicious mass murder, citizens of wichita are horrified. >> the whole city was frightened. women used to have their boyfriend or their husbands come and meet them at work late at night to have them walk them home. you would walk into your door when you'd come home from a day at work and you'd check closets. you'd check the basement. >> there was just a shock syndrome that literally went through the city. >> it was just -- it was really terrifying. it was -- i was like immobilized. >> to the bone it's petrifying. it's like who do you -- who do you trust? >> the police department didn't want to release a lot of extra information because they wanted to obviously keep it under their vest and use it as part of the investigation. but i think in many ways, too, they were afraid in some cases to let the people know just how
brutal it was because it would scare a lot of people in wichita. >> the city was shocked, but still, i don't think it was to the extent that they would become later, in later years. >> the people of wichita could never have known the terror that would haunt them for years to come. up next -- >> he liked to tie people up, and he liked to torture them, and he liked to kill them. >> evil gives itself a name. that's why we're supplying natural gas to generate cleaner electricity... that has around 50% fewer co2 emissions than coal. and it's also why, with our partner in brazil, shell is producing ethanol - a biofuel made from renewable sugarcane. >>a minute, mom! let's broaden the world's energy mix. let's go.
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it is the mid 1970s. and after the otero family is slain by an unknown killer, citizens in wichita begin to feel a sense of fear because the killer has not been apprehended. >> i just remember, you know, double-checking my locks, and for the first time i started having my dog sleep in the house instead of sleeping in the yard. so i really started watching myself. >> it was one of those tragedies
that everyone felt really bad about. it took several years for us to really realize the horror that was about to unfold. >> investigators were desperate to find the perpetrator and go over every clue. then the killer strikes again. on april 4th, 1974, less than a mile and a half from the otero home, 21-year-old kathryn bright and her brother, 19-year-old kevin, returned to kathryn's apartment around 1:00 p.m. >> in that particular case, her brother came home with her, which was totally unexpected. >> and a man came out of kathryn's bedroom and confronted them with a gun. he said, look, i'm going to tie you up, take your keys and money and get out of here. >> then the intruder forces kevin to tie up his sister. >> kevin tied up his sister. then went to another room. then he was tied by this man. but once he was tied, the killer immediately started trying to strangle kevin. >> kevin broke free, and there
was a fight that ensued, and he shot kevin in the head with a small caliber weapon. kevin falls to the floor. he thought he was dead, so he went back in to deal with kathy. >> kevin woke up. he was not dead. struggled with this guy. he's shot in the head again, this time in the face. went back to assaulting kathryn. >> kevin gets up, makes his way to the front door and starts staggering down the street screaming for help. at that point, he panics and instead of strangling kathy, he stabs her several times, and then picks up his paraphernalia that he had brought with him and left the scene. >> kevin bright calls the police. when they arrive at the scene, kathryn is clinging to life, but a few hours later, she dies in the hospital. kevin survives his injuries. investigators do not immediately
connect kathryn bright's murder with the otero family killings. >> the m.o. was different. she wasn't strangled. all the evidence that was there was gathered, but there was nothing there that would tie it to the previous murders. we received, obviously, hundreds and hundreds of tips to follow up on, and, of course, we were unsuccessful. >> "the wichita eagle," a local newspaper, received a strange phone call from a man regarding a letter. >> what he did was he wrote a long letter, which was rambling and silly and incomprehensible at places. he put it in a book at the public library and then called up somebody at "the wichita eagle" and said, hey, there's this book. >> the newspaper contacts the police, who later finds the man's letter. >> he explained to us that he had this demon within him. he made reference that there
would be additional victims in the future. >> he suggests a name for himself, btk, and defines the meaning of each letter. >> he said it stood for bind, torture, and kill. he liked to tie people up, he liked to torture them, and he liked to kill them. >> since the letter described undisclosed details from the otero crime scene, investigators are certain they have just received their first clue from the killer himself. >> the biggest thing he wanted to make sure that we understood as law enforcement is, this was his kill and he wanted credit for it. >> mindful of their duty to protect the citizens of wichita, police have a tough choice to make. >> the decision was made at that point, do we go public, do we not go public? and the conscious decision was made not to go public with the idea that if we don't, he will communicate with us because he wants credit for it. >> however, another newspaper in town, "the wichita sun" learns about the letter from an undisclosed source and runs the story. >> the main reason that "the sun" decided to put it out there
while the police were keeping it quiet was the guy said he was going to do it again. >> btk follows through with the terrifying threat in his letter to kill again. his next victim is 26-year-old mother of three shirley vian. >> march 17th, 1977, a little before noon, a man comes to shirley vian's home. her three children are home from school. she was ill. >> and so he put the children in the bathroom, tied them, not individually, but tied the door shut. >> he took her into a bedroom, tied her up, strangled her, tortured her, put a plastic bag over her head, and she died of suffocation. >> shirley's son, steve, would later tell investigators he had witnessed his mother's murder. >> the oldest child was able to
actually see what was going on through a crack in the door and, you know, was screaming and pleading for his mother's life, and broke the window out in the bathroom. then the phone rang about that same time, and i think that's why he left when he did. >> the homicide detectives immediately recognized that the vian and otero killings bear the same hideous btk characteristics. >> he always liked to lay his victims face down, and then he would strangle them from the back. he didn't, i don't think, like looking at them in the face. i don't think he liked that part of it. but it was the same m.o., and the investigators, they were confident it was the same person. >> detectives believe shirley vian was not, in fact, btk's intended victim. >> we believe that he had another target across the street that he went to kill, and that person was gone. >> in her 20s at the time, judy skirell is convinced that she or
her roommate cheryl sarcosi were btk's true target. >> shirley vian lived about three houses from us. and yes, that close. >> a few weeks after the vian murder, judy and her roommate reported terrifying incidents to police. >> i remember coming in and flipping on the light, and there was a guy, 15, 20 feet in front of me, standing there, peering in the window. a male, caucasian, 5'10"-ish, dark hair, brown hair. glasses. my roommate remembered what he was wearing, which was a green army jacket. and terrifying us. the man at the window, i believe, was btk. >> coming up -- >> i've been to a lot of funerals. i had never seen a body that had been treated so heinously as what had happened to this beautiful young girl.
>> the police are caught in a desperate race against time as btk's killing spree intensifies. . great grains cereal starts whole and stays whole. . see the seam? more processed flakes look nothing like natural grains. i'm eating what i know is better nutrition. mmmm. great grains. search great grains and see for yourself.
by the mid 1970s, btk has killed six people, four members of the otero family, kathryn bright, and shirley vian. when a local newspaper reveals his maniacal intentions to bind, torture, and kill more innocent victims, the citizens of wichita are terrified. >> i actually bought a taser and mace, the type of mace that the policemen use. >> we actually immediately went out and got a security system, had one ever since, and i bought a shotgun. >> whenever friends dropped me off, we would walk around and make sure everything was okay. >> in december 1977, a few months after shirley vian's murder, btk kills again. this time his victim is
25-year-old nancy jo fox. >> she was a very nice, young woman. very professional. fun-loving. young. she had her whole life in front of her. i liked her a lot. i liked her a lot. i think a lot of people did. >> cindy duckett worked with nancy jo at a local jewelry store. >> it was a cold december evening. so i'm sure we were bundled up, or at least sweaters at the very least. and we just walked out to the car just talking about normal things. we said, you know, i'll see you saturday. something like that. she got in her car, and she went one way, and i went the other way about equal distance, and i never saw her again alive. i'm probably -- i've been told -- the last person who probably saw her alive other than her killer. >> the next morning the wichita police receive a chilling phone call. >> december 9th, the police receive a telephone call through the operator. man uses a pay phone, calls the operator, asks to talk to the police.
>> you will find a homicide at 843 south pershing street, nancy fox. >> a police officer is immediately dispatched to the house. >> we received a call just shortly after 8:00, about 8:20 from an individual that said there's a homicide at 843 south pershing and hung up the phone. officers came out, and we have checked, and we do have a young lady that's a victim of a homicide. >> he checks the residence, goes around, finds the telephone line cut and the back window smashed. somebody has broken into this place. the front door is unlocked. he goes inside and finds the body of nancy jo fox. she is lying face down on her bed with her hands tied behind her back. >> was she shot or stabbed? >> no. she appears to have been strangled this time. >> the condition of nancy jo's body and other physical evidence
left at the crime scene lead investigators to some more disturbing conclusions. >> what he was doing when he was strangling her and she was dying, he would release the belt that he was strangling her with and let her come back to life. it was during that period of time that he was -- he was getting gratification for himself. >> for the family and friends of nancy jo fox, their years of anguish and anger had just begun. what had been done to her physically was so horrific, my first thought was, it couldn't be human. human beings don't do this kind of thing. >> a few weeks later on january 31st, 1978, btk sends another frightening letter. this time, to a local tv station. kake. >> inside's three pieces of paper. one of them is a drawing, an accurate drawing of how nancy fox is on her -- found on her bed.
takes responsibility for seven wichita murders. says he's sexually motivated to commit these murders, and he will murder again. >> when we received that letter, the thing that all of us remembered was that particular line, saying how many more people do i have to kill before i get my name in the newspaper? that's a scary line. it's a very scary line, and everybody here took it very seriously. >> he wanted attention, and he was taunting the police. can't you see, these murders are all linked? the same guy is committing these murders. well, the police had not linked them until btk linked them himself. >> fearing for the safety of his city, the police chief makes an unprecedented appearance on live television. >> after reviewing the contents of the letters, absolutely no question that the only person who would have the type of information that was included in the letter would have to be the killer himself. >> clearly give him credit, give
him a name with the idea that that would satisfy him and that he would continue to communicate with us through written communications and not through sending us more bodies. >> the news that a serial killer called btk is roaming the city, stalking his next victim, leaves the community stunned. >> as far as they were concerned, btk was right around the corner. so there was a significant fear factor. >> the sales of alarm systems went up. locks, deadbolts. you couldn't buy one in wichita because everybody wanted to make sure that their house was safe. women would come home in the evening hours, the first thing that they would do is they'd open their door and they'd go to the telephone to make sure that they had a dial tone because one of btk's tactics was to cut the phone wires. >> then something happens no one expects. btk seems to disappear leaving the people of wichita with a false sense of security. >> to have the police come out
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i'm richard lui. mitt romney is campaigning on cape cod today. they think they'll raise just shy of $700 this weekend. president obama is in new hampshire today. this is the third time he's been there this year. this ohio, nearly 300 dogs were rers k rescued from inhumane living conditions. the couple who ran the kennel had had just stopped caring for the animals. now back to "city of fear." once again, john seigenthaler. >> the serial killer who named himself btk committed seven shocking murders in the 1970s. to satisfy his insatiable need for attention, he sent letters
to local newspapers and tv stations, boasting about his crimes. as the public learns of his intentions to continue the wave of terror, citizens of wichita are hurled into a collective nightmare that persists into the 1980s. >> desperate to alleviate the fear in the city, investigators scramble to find btk before he can murder again. >> when he realizes the serial crime, that there's a sense of urgency because there's always the possibility that he will kill again. and if you don't stop him, he's not going to stop. if you don't solve that crime, there's a good possibility that there will be another victim. >> in 1983 authorities in wichita set up a secret task force made up of 11 seasoned detectives dedicated to the capture and conviction of the btk killer. their code name is ghost busters.
>> the intent of the task force was twofold. number one, to identify who this person was, and short of that, to make sure that we put everything together in such a way that if in the future, this person ever came back or we were ever able to identify him, that everything in those cases would be solid. the ghostbuster task force pores over thousands of old and new leads. they obtain a census of everyone who lives in wichita between 1974 and 1983 and look at every male resident within a quarter mile of the btk murder scene. >> we were looking at people that lived close to the oteros to start with and that we would then head out from there and look for people that had left the area. >> we were convinced, based on the communications, that we were looking at a possible police officer or wannabe-type police officer. >> limited by the technology in the mid 1980s, the task force compares blood samples taken
from a list of suspects with the physical evidence left by the killer. unable to identify, find and capture btk, the ghostbuster task force is disbanded in the fall of 1986. however, investigators believe they have made important progress in the case. >> we came to the conclusion that we weren't dealing with a loner, we were dealing with a member of this community. and the reason we couldn't find him is because he was one of us. he was right out in the open. and that was the difficulty of it. we were dealing with one of our people who was walking around the street. he was shopping at the same grocery stores. he was the guy next door. >> detectives in the 1980s have another major problem. the man who has a seemingly unquenchable need for notoriety last made contact with them ten years earlier in the late 1970s. >> i don't know what was going on in his mind at that time.
it seemed odd, why he wouldn't communicate. this just shows the pattern of how inconsistent he was. >> with the investigation drawing a blank and no new contact from btk, the fear among the people of wichita begins to subside. >> they knew that btk had never been captured ,and yet i think in the back of their minds, they thought he had died or that he had moved away. >> then 20 years later, an article appears in the wichita eagle commemorating the 30-year anniversary of the otero family murders, and the release of lawyer robert beattie's book, "nightmare in wichita." >> there's a front page story showing some notes from my book that i'm writing about btk. and in march of 2004, exactly two months later, he sends a letter to "the wichita eagle" saying he's back. >> the return address says bill thomas killman, whose initials
would be btk. under that there's a return address, which turned out later to be fake, something numbered old manor drive, or old manor avenue which if you look at it, old man. >> the contents of the letter are shocking. >> it's three pictures of a woman lying on the floor and she looks like she's either dead or dying. beside these three images is a photocopy of a driver's license. vicki wegerle. >> "eagle" reporters immediately call the police. detectives open their cold case file on the september 16th, 1986, unsolved murder of vicky wegerle. >> vicky wegerle was a stay-at-home mom. entry was made through the front door. she was bound, tied, and her car was removed. >> detectives find a vital clue under one of her fingernails. >> she fought back, d she scratched him because she was, in her mind, defending her own
life and her son's. her 2-year-old son brandon was there. so in 2003 we had that dna profile of that unknown male contributor. >> the dna sample from the wegerle crime scene proves an exact match to the dna evidence found at the nancy fox murder scene in the late 1970s. investigators conclude that the same person, a male, murdered both women. in a bold bid to catch btk, a new task force, now led by the lieutenant goes on the offense. >> the strategy was to keep him communicating. keep him inactive and communicating. so that he doesn't give us any more victims. >> the local media work hand in hand with the btk task force and try to provoke the killer into making contact. kake-tv leads the charge. >> it puts a lot of weight, if you will, on the news department.
a lot of pressure on the news department. you don't want to lose your editorial control over information that you are getting. at the same time, you are part of this community. we all live in this community, and we have a serial killer threatening this community. it's important that we find who that is and bring that person to justice. former police chief richard lamunyon, i remember him saying, and saying it very clearly, that he believed always that btk was among us, that he was going to the restaurants with us, he was going to the movies with us, he was shopping with us, and that he was the guy next door. and, boy, was he right. >> up next -- >> even though we couldn't see and identify who he was, we knew that he was at least a person that was dropping this package. we could see it on the video. >> police set a trap for btk. but when joint pain and stiffness from psoriatic arthritis hit, even the smallest things became difficult. i finally understood what serious joint pain is like. i talked to my rheumatologist and he prescribed enbrel. enbrel can help relieve pain, stiffness, and stop joint damage.
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wichita, kansas, spring 2004. detectives feel they are closing in on btk, the serial killer who is now known to have committed eight savage murders over the past 30 years. police have initiated a "high stakes keep him talking" strategy. the conversation with the killer is conducted publicly through the local media. >> since last march, btk has sent numerous communications to the media and the police. in these letters, he has provided certain background information about himself, which he claims is accurate. >> we tried to keep him communicating, not to punch any buttons on him to make him go active, and, of course, make the public aware that they need to be watchful and mindful, that this gentleman probably is now in his 50s or 60s, and that those people need to be suspicious characters now. >> with btk in the news almost daily in 2004, the people of
wichita are scared that he may strike again. >> btk terrorized two generations of wichitans, and it reanimated the fear all over again. >> this umbrella of fear was over the city like, oh, no, he killed all these innocent people last time. how many people is he going to kill this time? >> the investigators' risky strategy soon pays off. kake-tv receives the bulk of btk's new round of letters. >> he liked kake-tv. he had watched kake-tv from the 1950s. so kake-tv was his television station of choice, if you will. >> lieutenant landwehr asked the local news station to conduct interviews with victims and family members to try to coax btk to communicate. >> right after i did my first victim interview, sure enough we got a letter from btk. kake-tv got a letter from btk about a week later. it was one of the most frightening experiences of my career. so to get these letters was
surreal because you knew the hand that wrote it was also a hand that brutally strangled his victims, brutally told them that they were going to die within a few minutes, and tortured them, brought them back to life. >> on may 5th, 2004, a new letter from btk arrives at the kake-tv studios. inside is a word puzzle. >> it was basically a child's word puzzle. it took the fbi 45 minutes to find every word in the word puzzle. basically it wasn't anything cryptic. it did not have his name. it did not have his address. >> the disturbing letters from btk keep arriving through 2004 and newscasters find themselves on the frontline in the battle to catch him. but then it gets personal. >> dear kake-tv, here are a few more clues. by the way, i hope susan and
jeff's colds get better. i didn't want to come to work that day because you know he's watching us. you never know how much publicity he wants. i mean it would be a lot of publicity if his next victim was a member of the media. my husband told me, don't do any more interviews about btk. it's your job. you have to do it. so i continued on, saying to ss myself, there's no way he's going to kill someone from the media. there's no way. there's no way. so i continued to pursue the victims' families. well, this is something this guy had waited for 27 years to talk about, and he at one time was an angry 34-year-old, during the interview, and like that he changed to a crying 5-year-old. and you could see his face change to being 5 years old again. and it just broke your heart. >> none of this was your fault. you couldn't have done anything
to change this. >> i know. but i didn't have to open the door for him. >> btk takes the bait, and the disturbing communications from him increase. >> for most of 30 years, we wanted -- people wanted to know more about this guy. and then when finally he starts talking, we can't shut him up. nobody can shut him up. he sent messages everywhere. >> btk sends packages to the press and news stations, as well as leaving them at random locations throughout the city. inside, investigators find letters, poems, pictures, and drawings. in october 2004, they receive a photo of a yet-to-be identified woman. she is bound, gagged, and looking directly into the camera. two months later, the killer sends a package containing a copy of nancy fox's driver's license tied to the ankles of a doll. nancy was murdered back
in 1977. then in january 2005, police catch a break. btk leaves a package in the back of a pickup truck parked outside a home improvement store. >> we caught him on video. even though we couldn't see and identity who he was, we knew that he was at least a person that was dropping this package. we could see it on the video. >> although police can't identify btk's face from the surveillance video, they see that he drives a dark, late model jeep cherokee. >> everyone was ecstatic. every one of us would look at that hundreds of times. if he would have just pulled to the front of the parking lot we would have got his tag. but, no, he turned around and went back. >> at the same time, police are secretly communicating with btk in classified ads placed in the "wichita eagle." in one ad btk asks the lieutenant if computer disks are traceable. the homicide detectives responds
in code, rex, it will be okay. >> we told him he could not trace any computer disks. he ended up sending us a computer disk. within an hour, we had him identified as who he was. >> february 16th, 2005, investigators examine a floppy disk sent by btk. they find a document plus a key piece of evidence that's about to unlock the killer's true identity. >> he printed a document because he had to keep a copy of what he was going to send to us. so he printed the document that he had on the floppy. and when he printed that, it printed out at christ lutheran church, and it had his name as the one that opened the program in microsoft word. >> detectives run a simple internet key word search using the name dennis and christ lutheran church. >> and when they typed those in on google, the first name that came up was dennis rader, president of the congregation at christ lutheran church. four detectives and two cars
then drove past his home. when they drove past his home, they saw a black jeep cherokee in the driveway. >> i think the worst part is just knowing that somebody that i went to church with, somebody that i communed with, somebody that attended my son's wedding, that i attended his daughter's wedding is capable of this. >> when we return, after 31 years of horror, btk is unmasked. ♪ why should saturday night have all the fun? get two times the points on dining in restaurants, with chase sapphire preferred. a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain
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the police included a computer disk, which authorities quickly traced to the christ lutheran church in the quiet suburban neighborhood of park city. the author of a document on the disk is 59-year-old dennis rader, a husband and father of two and president of the congregation. police are now convinced they have their man. after staking out rader's house for days, on february 26, 2005, police move in to make the arrest. >> he was obsessively compulsive. he left for lunch every day at 12:15. we knew that from our surveillance. at 12:15 that day he left. we took him down about a block away from his house. he went without incident and was put in a transport vehicle where i was waiting. >> after three hours of interrogation, dennis rader confesses to his crime. >> agents from the fbi and members of the wichita police department arrested dennis rader. >> it was unbelievable. it was something that every
police officer in wichita, kansas, since 1974 had wanted to catch this guy. we knew beyond any doubt at all, there was not just reasonable doubt, we knew beyond any doubt because we had dna from three different scenes. we knew it was him. after he admits to being btk, he was very upset about the fact that i had lied to him about the floppy disk. and he says, ken, why did you lie to me? and i looked at him and said it was because i was trying to catch you. he honestly thought that i enjoyed communicating with this serial killer and that this was going to go on forever. and he did not have any comprehension of the fact that my job was to put him in jail for the rest of his life. >> searches of rader's house and office uncover evidence in files and boxes that he calls his mother lode. rader has religiously recorded every murder that he had or wanted to commit. he has also kept copies of each terrifying letter he has ever written.
police confirmed their suspicions when they discovered that rader is responsible for two more unsolved wichita murders. on april 27, 1985, he murdered one of his neighbors, 53-year-old marine hedge. rader's 10th victim is 62-year-old grandmother dolores davis. she had retired just a few weeks prior to her murder, on january 19th, 1991. the news of dennis rader's arrest stuns wichita. >> he looked like an average joe. he didn't look like a scary guy. >> very shocking just in the sense that the whole time that he was living right here. >> i think the worst part is knowing somebody that i went to church with, somebody that i communed with, somebody that i attended his daughter's wedding and he attended my son's wedding was capable of this. >> his life was basically a play. his family, his job, all that, those were just props.
he was a killing machine, but he needed those props in order to look normal, and normal he looked. >> the people of wichita unfortunately have one more btk horror to endure. on june 27th, 2005, dennis rader is arraigned in a wichita courthouse. fully aware that the world is watching, he takes the opportunity to coldly and callously confess to his crimes in excruciating detail. >> yes, i had some sexual fantasies, but that was after she was gone. and i strangled josephine. she passed out. i thought she was dead. >> when i heard him stand up in court and start, you know, giving the confessions, what he conveniently left out, the way in which he killed his poor, innocent victims and the way they suffered and the torture. as he's going through this self-serving dissertation, you
know, i just feel this anger well up in you as any human being would, and you just want to reach out and just say, you know, let me explain truly, truly how mean and evil this person really is. >> on august 17th, 2005, rader is given the maximum sentence allowed under kansas law. >> i would ask that you stand, mr. rader. it will be the judgment, order, and sentence of the court that you, dennis l. rader be taken by the sheriff of sedgwick county, kansas, and by him delivered to the custody of the secretary of corrections to serve a term of life. >> after the judge hands down the sentence, family and friends of those whose lives rader mercilessly took finally had the opportunity to confront him. >> your honor, my name is kevin bright. i'm here representing my late sister kathy. her execution by that monster was, you know -- he's got to go
on and live his life 31 years now, raising a family, children, and career and everything. and, you know, he snuffed out ten people's lives that had done nothing. >> my name is steve ralford. shirley vian was my mother. i'd just like for him to suffer for the rest of his life and, you know, i -- that's all. >> ma'am, you are stephanie klein? >> yes, your honor. my name is stephanie klein. my mother is vicky wegerle. i'm speaking to you today on behalf of myself and my brother, brandon. it's been almost 19 years now that my brother and i had the most important woman in our lives taken from us. >> i'm jeffrey davis, son of dolores davis. for the last 5,326 days, i have
wondered what it would be like to confront the walking cesspool that took my mother's precious life. i could think of nothing but savoring the bittersweet taste of revenge as justice is served upon this social sewage here before us today. your despicable actions will not defeat us. you have now lost everything, and you will forever remain nothing. >> they looked at this monster, and they said to him, you cannot have our lives. we're going to continue to live our lives. you have damaged us, you have hurt us, but you have not destroyed us. >> it's going to take wichita a long time to be known for something else. wichita's a great place. wichita has great, good people in it. and we also had dennis rader. it's going to take time to heal that wound. >> dennis rader was sentenced to a minimum of 175 years and is currently in prison at the el dorado correctional facility outside of wichita.