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Archive for Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Brother of accused serial killer says family still in denial

March 1, 2005

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— He can't believe his brother did it.

No one in the family can believe it. But if he did it, Jeff Rader said, "may God have mercy on his soul."

Jeff Rader came to the door Monday and said he never closely followed the news about the BTK killings.

He first knew something was up with the family Friday afternoon, when two Wichita detectives visited him at the plumbing business where he works.

They refused to tell him anything except that it was a criminal investigation. They took him to City Hall, he said. They and an FBI agent began asking questions.

"The first questions were, who's your mother, your brothers, your grandparents and so on," Jeff Rader said. "Then they asked: Does your brother have a fascination with trains?

"Not that I know of," Jeff Rader told them. "But I do. I used to play on trains at the train yard when I was a kid."

The detectives sat there.

"And then one of them just couldn't hold back any longer," Rader said. "He said, 'Your brother is BTK.'"

"I laughed at them," Jeff Rader said.

"I said, 'NO WAY. You got the wrong guy."'

"But they just shook their heads. And one of them said, 'We're sure.'"

Jeff Rader told this story from the front porch of his mother's home in Park City.

He told the newspaper people that they could not come in to see his mother, Dorthea.

"It's too hard on my mother," he said. "But I'll talk with you for a minute.

"I don't think my brother is BTK," he said. "But if he is -- if that's the truth -- then let the truth be the truth. And may God have mercy on his soul."

The family never saw any sign that his brother could be a killer, he said. He still loves his brother, and so does his mother.

"My mother still can't believe it," he said. "She's still very much in denial. And so am I. But maybe, with me, acceptance is starting to creep in."

Police have denied requests from him and his mother to go see Dennis, he said. No one in the family has talked to his brother since the arrest.

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