Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The BTK Story

Sentencing

By Rachael Bell

On August 18, 2005, family members of the victims courageously stood before the man who murdered their loved ones and for the first time told him what they thought of him and his horrendous actions. Rader was repeatedly called a monster and a coward by most of the family members who asked the judge for the harshest sentence possible. Some of the family members were so overcome with emotion that they were unable to say what they felt. Rader's evil was beyond comprehension or words. During the statements, Rader showed signs of emotion, wiping his eyes periodically as if he were overcome with grief for what he had done. Many likely wondered why he never showed such "remorse" while he was murdering innocent people.

After the court heard from the families, Rader stood up and gave a 20-minute long rambling statement that the District Attorney Nola Foulston later likened to an awards ceremony speech. Rader said that what he'd done was selfish and narcissistic. He also tearfully thanked the defense, members of the jail staff, his social worker and pastor whom he called his "main man." Shockingly, Rader unashamedly compared himself to his victims, as if they were "peas of a pod." It was his final assault on the victims and their families. Yet, many of them weren't there to hear Rader because they got up and left the courtroom seconds into his speech.

In Rader's final struggle for power and control, he listed a series of complaints he had about alleged errors the DA and investigators made in their presentation of the case. It was clear during Rader's statements that he reveled in the attention. It was what he longed for. At the end of his speech Rader made a brief apology to the victims' families

When Rader finally concluded his speech, Foulston said that Rader cried "crocodile tears" and suggested he had no real remorse for the victims or their families. She asked once again that Judge Waller take into consideration the harshest possible penalty when sentencing Rader. She also asked that he impose additional restrictions on him, including limits against his having access to pictures of humans or animals or even having writing materials, which she suggested he could use to continue acting out his perverted fantasies. 

Finally, the long anticipated sentencing of Rader commenced. Judge Waller sentenced him to a total of 175 years, to be served consecutively. Specifically, he sentenced him to "nine life terms and gave him the Hard 40 sentence—40 years in prison with no chance of parole—for the Dee Davis murder, KAKE News reported. Judge Waller also ordered that he pay restitution to the families of his victims as well as court costs. It was the harshest sentence that he could give Rader under Kansas state law. 

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