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Archive for Friday, July 8, 2005

BTK killer blames his ‘dark side’ for murders

July 8, 2005

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— Confessed BTK serial killer Dennis Rader blames a "demon" that got inside him at a young age for the murders that terrorized the city for three decades.

In his first interview since pleading guilty to killing 10 people in the Wichita area from 1974 to 1991, Rader offered to KAKE-TV an explanation for what drove him to kill.

"I just know it's a dark side of me. It kind of controls me. I personally think it's a - and I know it is not very Christian - but I actually think it's a demon that's within me. ... At some point and time it entered me when I was very young," Rader, who was once president at the Lutheran church he attended, told KAKE.

Rader called KAKE reporter Larry Hatteberg at home Saturday and met with him later for a jailhouse interview, which was not recorded.

"There are some things you can learn from this," Rader said in the telephone interview. "I am not trying to profit from it. You know I am going to pay for it with a life sentence. The final victims are my ... family."

BTK - Rader's self-styled moniker, which stands for "Bind, Torture, Kill" - taunted media and police with cryptic messages that became increasingly frequent in the months before his arrest. Even before his capture, the BTK killer communicated with the Wichita television station. In a letter to KAKE in the 1970s, BTK said "Factor X" drove him to kill.

The interview was the first time Rader has publicly expressed remorse for his crimes, saying he felt for Dale Fox when he saw him cry on television when talking about his daughter's murder. Rader has admitted strangling Fox's daughter Nancy in December 1977.

"I have a lot of remorse. I'm very sorry for them. It is something I wouldn't want to happen to my family," Rader said.

In a nearly hourlong confession of guilt, Rader told the court last week that sexual fantasies drove him to kill. Rader told KAKE he was "totally unprepared" for the court's request for details of the crimes: "I just wanted to get the facts out as quick as I could, try to not get too emotionally involved."

Rader said he began having problems in grade school, saying his sexual fantasies were "just a little bit weirder" than those of other people.

"You know, somewhere along the line, someone had to pick something up from me somewhere that there was a problem," Rader said. "They should have identified it."

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