These Are The Crime Scene Photos From The BTK Killer’s Twisted Murders

Serial killer Dennis Rader went unnoticed in the city he terrorized for more than 30 years. 

Warning: This article has graphic content that may be disturbing to some viewers.

From 1974 to 1991, serial killer Dennis Rader murdered 10 people under the moniker BTK Killer, standing for "Bind, Torture, Kill." Around his hometown of Wichita, Kansas, Rader was known as a family man and church leader, and no one suspected he was the man sending taunting letters to police and media detailing his brutal, twisted crimes.

After his final murder, Rader took a 13-year hiatus, and by 2004, the BTK killings were considered a cold case. It wasn't until a local newspaper ran an anniversary story about the Otero family murders — Rader's first killings — that he reopened communication with media. His letters and packages ultimately led to his arrest in 2005, and police were able to unearth hundreds of disturbing crime scene photos from Rader's “hidey holes” scattered throughout Wichita.
Several of these photos — featured in Oxygen's "Snapped: Notorious BTK Killer" — were able to shed light on the serial killer who went unnoticed in the city he terrorized for more than 30 years. Scroll down to see what authorities uncovered.

[Photo: Oxygen]

The Otero family murders. On the morning of January 15, 1974, Rader forced his way inside the Otero family home and murdered 33-year-old Julie Otero, her husband Joseph, 38, and their 9-year-old son, Joseph Jr., and 11-year-old daughter, Josephine.

[Photo: Oxygen]

Julie Otero. Rader later told investigators that he held the family at gunpoint, tied them up and strangled them one by one. 

[Photo: Oxygen]

Sketch of BTK Killer. On April 4, 1974, Rader broke into 21-year-old Kathryn Bright's home while she was out. When she returned with her 19-year-old brother Kevin, Rader held them at gunpoint and had them tie each other up. Both Bright siblings tried to fight off their attacker. He ended up shooting Kevin, who got away and survived, and fatally stabbed Kathryn 11 times in the torso and back. Kevin was able to describe their attacker to police, who created a suspect sketch. 

[Photo: Oxygen]

The first letter. In October 1974, Rader left his first letter to the media inside an engineering textbook at the Wichita Public Library. It described the Otero family murders in graphic detail and was signed, “YOURS, TRULY GUILTILY." In its post-script, he wrote, “The code words for me will be… Bind them, Torture them, Kill them, B.T.K., you see be at it again. They will be on the next victim.”

[Photo: Oxygen]

Shirley Vian. On March 17, 1977, Rader forced his way inside the home of 24-year-old Shirley Vian, tied her up, put a plastic bag over her head and strangled her with a rope. 

[Photo: Oxygen]

Vian's bathroom. Vian's three young children were home at the time of her murder, and Rader locked them in the bathroom. 

[Photo: Oxygen]

Payphone where Rader called police. On December 8, 1977, Rader broke into the apartment of 25-year-old Nancy Fox after cutting her phone lines. He strangled Fox with a belt and later called police to report the murder from a downtown payphone. Police were able to track the location, but they could not identify a suspect.

[Photo: Oxygen]

BTK's letter to media. In February 1978, Rader sent a two-page letter to KAKE-TV, claiming responsibility for the BTK murders, including Vian and Fox. 

[Photo: Oxygen]

Marine Hedge. Rader targeted Marine Hedge, 53, who lived just up the street from the Rader family, on April 27, 1985. He broke into her home and strangled her. Rader then took Hedge's nude body to Christ Lutheran Church, where he posed her in various bondage positions and took photographs of her before hastily burying her in a ditch.

[Photo: Oxygen]

Drawing of Hedge's home. Since they were neighbors, Hedge's house had a similar layout the Rader family's home. Rader drew a map of her home while planning the attack.

[Photo: Oxygen]

Photos of Vicki Wegerle that Rader sent to media in 2004. On September 16, 1986, Rader dressed up as a telephone repairman and knocked on the door of 28-year-old Vicki Wegerle. He choked her with a nylon stocking before taking photographs of her corpse and stealing her car. 

[Photo: Oxygen]

Mask found with Dolores Davis. The BTK Killer’s tenth and final victim was 62-year-old Dolores Davis. Rader threw a concrete block through a plate glass window to gain entry to her home on January 19, 1991. After tying her up, he strangled her with a pair of pantyhose. He later placed a mask on her face and hid her body underneath a bridge.

BTK's Barbie doll. In December 2004, a viewer of KAKE-TV called the station to report a suspicious package in a local park. They recovered a box containing a bound Barbie doll made to mimic the murder of Josephine Otero (she had been hanged from a basement pipe) and Nancy Fox's driver's license.

[Photo: Oxygen]

Cereal box from BTK. On January 25, 2005, KAKE-TV received a postcard from the BTK Killer listing the location of a cereal box. Inside the box, he left a note asking, "Can I communicate with Floppy [disk] and not be traced to a computer. Be honest." If so, Rader asked them to run a message in the paper saying, "Rex, it will be OK."

[Photo: Oxygen]

The Floppy disk. Police responded as Rader asked, placing an ad saying, "Rex, it will be OK." On the floppy disk, which Rader sent to Wichita’s KSAS-TV, police were able to retrieve metadata from a deleted document that tied him to the murders. 

[Photo: Oxygen]

Evidence found at Rader's property. Rader eventually confessed to being the BTK Killer, sharing details of the killings and telling detectives where they could find evidence in his “hidey holes,” scattered throughout Wichita.

[Photo: Oxygen]

Rader's bondage selfies. Police also found several photographs Rader had taken of himself in bondage. According to CBS News, Rader would often relive "the ecstasy of the murder" by taking photographs of himself in the victims' clothing and recreating the murders.

To hear more about the BTK Killer, watch "Snapped: Notorious BTK Killer" on Oxygen.

[Photo: Oxygen]

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