Cultural Revolutions

BTK Killer

Dennis Rader, the disgusting, twisted pervert who flattered himself with the moniker "BTK" (for "bind, torture, and kill"), is a living witness to the existence of the Devil. On August 18,2005, he was sentenced to 175 consecutive years in prison for ten grisly murders—the harshest sentence that Judge Gregory Waller of the Wichita district court could issue under Kansas law. Before Judge Waller read his sentence, members of the victims' families struggled through statements of rage and bitter sorrow, after which Mr. Rader offered them a 20-minute retrospective on their loved ones, whom he had terrorized and brutalized before executing them and engaging in acts of sexual perversion before their corpses. With diabolical fondness and tenderness, he recalled how much he shared in common with each of his victims. "Joseph Otero was in the Air Force," he said. "I was in the Air Force. He was a husband. I was a husband. So our threads are close."

Mr. Rader showed little emotion when, in almost the same breath, he described victim Nancy Fox as a "wonderful young lady," then admitted that he "track[ed] her just like a predator." However, he choked back tears when he recalled his childhood fondness for puppies. "Joseph Otero, too—he was just like me at one time, a boy and a dog."

Mr. Rader carefully planned each of his unspeakable acts, calling them...

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