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Crime News This Day In Crime History

August 18, 2005: The BTK Killer Receives 10 Consecutive Life Sentences

He terrorized the Wichita, Kansas area for decades and when his identity was revealed it stunned his community.

Dennis Rader

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On August 18, 2005 Dennis Rader, also known as the BTK killer, received 10 consecutive life sentences for a series of murders.  The serial killer’s moniker stood for "bind, torture, and kill.” He terrorized the Wichita, Kansas area for decades and when his identity was revealed it stunned his community: The seemingly normal Rader was married with children, a Boy Scout troop leader and an active church member. But he had a much darker side.

In 1974 he strangled four members of the Oteros family in their home.

After the killings, he began toying with police and the media, and seeking out fame for his crimes. He placed a letter in a public library book, claiming responsibility for killing the Otero family. In it, he wrote: "It's hard to control myself. You probably call me 'psychotic with sexual perversion hang-up.'" He announced in his first note that he wanted to be called the "BTK Strangler.”

He strangled two women in 1977. Rader reported the second crime to the police himself, and penned a poem about the first murder before sending it to a local newspaper.

In all, he killed 10 people. He murdered his last victim in 1991, but in 2004 he began seeking out media attention again, which ultimately led to his arrest.

Rader pled guilty to murdering 10 people on June 27, 2005. As part of his plea, he recounted all the details of his crimes in court. In his long-winded explanation, he appeared to lack remorse. The prosecutor in the case compared his 30-minute monologue to that of an Academy Awards acceptance speech.

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