Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The BTK Story

In Rader's Own Words

NBC released some excerpts from the taped interview aired on August 12, 2005 (Dateline NBC's, "Secret Confessions of BTK"):

On the "B" in Bind, Torture and Kill

Rader: You have to have the control, which is the bonding. That's been a big thing with me.  My sexual fantasy is ... if I'm going to kill a victim or do something to the victim, is having them bound and tied. In my dreams, I had what they called torture chambers. And to relieve your sexual fantasies you have to go to the kill.

On how he saw his victims as objects

Rader: I don't think it was actually the person that I was after, I think it was the dream.  I know that's not really nice to say about a person, but they were basically an object. They were just an object. That's all they were. I had more satisfaction building up to it and afterwards than I did the actual killing of the person.

On the "Factor X" and what caused him to kill

Rader:  Factor X is probably something I'll never know. I actually think it may be possessed with demons. Uh, I was dropped on my head when I was a kid...

Mendoza You can't stop it.

Rader:I can't stop it...it controls me, you know, it's like in the driver's seat. That's probably the reason we're sitting here. You know, if I could just say, "No, I don't want to do this, and go crawl into a hole."  But it's driving me.

During an August 12th airing of the Today Show, Dateline NBC's Edie Magnus revealed more insight into Dennis Rader's murderous behavior, which included excerpts from the exclusive two-hour interview that was to be shown later that evening. During Mendoza's taped interview, Rader claimed, "I'm BTK, I'm the guy they're after, 100%." Rader confessed that the fantasies he described as having were "almost like a picture show," one, which he said he wanted to "produce," "direct" and go through with "no matter what the costs or the consequences."

Magnus said that Rader would often dismiss his victims as "a project," one, which began by stalking. Rader said during the taped interview that, "the stalking stage is when you start learning more about your victims (or) potential victims." He said, "I went to the library and looked up their names, address, cross reference and called them a couple of times, drove by there whenever I could." When he was ready to make his move Rader came armed with what he called his "hit kit," which included "plastic bags, rope, tape, knife, gun." It was the very tools he claimed he used to murder his victims.

If all goes well on August 17th, Rader will never get the chance to destroy lives again. It is expected that he will be sentenced to life behind bars. At least, that is what the families of his victims hope.

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