- The Washington Times - Friday, August 19, 2005

WICHITA, Kan. — Evil incarnate. A demon. A depraved predator. So evil that Stephen King couldn’t have created a more monstrous character.

BTK serial killer Dennis Rader was ordered to serve 10 consecutive life terms yesterday during a hearing that let family members unleash decades of pent-up anger at the man who stabbed and strangled their loved ones while terrorizing the Wichita area starting in the 1970s.

“Nancy’s death is a like a deep wound that will never, ever heal,” Beverly Plapp, sister of victim Nancy Fox, testified. “As far as I’m concerned, Dennis Rader does not deserve to live. I want him to suffer as much as he made his victims suffer.

“This man needs to be thrown in a deep, dark hole and left to rot,” she said. “He should never, ever see the light of day … On the day he dies, Nancy and all of his victims will be waiting with God and watching him as he burns in hell.”

The sentence — a minimum of 175 years without a chance of parole — was the longest that Judge Gregory Waller could mete out. Kansas had no death penalty at the time of the killings.



The two-day hearing featured graphic testimony from detectives and sobbing relatives. It culminated with rambling testimony from Rader, who said he had been dishonest to his family and victims.

Rader offered biblical quotes, thanks to police and an apology to victims’ relatives before he was sentenced. Some family members walked out of court during Rader’s speech, saying they did not want to give him the time of day.

“A dark side is there, but now I think light is beginning to shine,” Rader said. “Hopefully, someday God will accept me.”

Rader, 60, a former church congregation president and Boy Scout leader, led a double life, calling himself BTK for “bind, torture and kill.” He was arrested in February and pleaded guilty in June to 10 murders from 1974 to 1991.

“I know the victims’ families will never be able to forgive me,” Rader said in his half-hour address to the courtroom. “I hope somewhere deep down, eventually that will happen.”

Rader also admitted he tracked his victims “like a predator.”

Jeff Davis — whose mother, Dolores, was strangled — called Rader’s speech a “pathetic, rambling diatribe.”

“It’s beyond comprehension. It was that pathetic,” he said at a press conference with other family members. “He just nauseates me. I just want them to put the cockroach away.”

Nola Foulston, Sedgwick County district attorney, asked the judge that Rader be refused anything in prison, such as markers or crayons, that could be used to draw or write about human or animal forms or anything that might be used to further his sexual fantasies.

Prosecutors earlier had flashed a photograph of Rader wearing a mask, tied to a chair and donning a woman’s blond wig. They also showed other pictures that the killer took in which he had bound himself and was wearing a dress he had taken from a victim’s house — apparently reliving the ecstasy of the murder.

Investigators testified that Rader kept hundreds of pictures from magazines and circulars mounted on index cards — with details of the sexual fantasies that he dreamed of carrying out.

Lt. Ken Landwehr, who coordinated the Wichita Police Department’s investigation into BTK, said the index cards were some of the evidence of Rader’s long history of terror that was found at the killer’s office, camper and small suburban home.

Rader’s files also included copies of nearly all his messages to police and the press, documents Lt. Landwehr said the killer had planned to eventually scan and digitally store. Containers kept in a closet and elsewhere at his home also held what Rader called “hit kits” — bags with rubber gloves, rope, tape, handcuffs and bandannas.

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