Dennis Lynn Rader (born March 9, 1945) is an American serial killer who murdered ten people in Sedgwick County, Kansas between 1974 and 1991.
He is also known as the BTK Killer or the BTK Strangler. “BTK” stands for “Bind, Torture, Kill”, which was his infamous signature. He sent letters describing the details of the murders to police and local news outlets before his arrest. After a decade-long hiatus, Rader resumed sending letters in 2004, leading to his 2005 arrest and subsequent guilty plea. He is currently serving ten consecutive life sentences at El Dorado Correctional Facility in Kansas.
All of Rader’s known crimes occurred in Kansas. He killed ten people in total and collected items from each murder scene. He also intended to kill others, notably Anna Williams, who in 1979 aged 63, escaped death by returning home much later than he expected. Rader explained during his confession that he became obsessed with Williams and was “absolutely livid” when she evaded him. He spent hours waiting at her home but became impatient and left when she did not return home from visiting friends. Two of the women Rader had stalked in the 1980s and one he had stalked in the mid-1990s filed restraining orders against him; one of them also moved away.
Rader admitted in his interrogation that he had been planning to kill again. He had set a date, October 2004, and was stalking his intended victim.
With the exception of Hedge and Davis, all victims’ bodies were found on the date and at the location of death. Hedge was found eight days later on May 5, 1985, at East 53rd Street North between North Webb Road and North Greenwich Road in Wichita. Davis was found 13 days later on February 1, 1991, at West 117th Street North and North Meridian Street in Sedgwick.