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Unholy Messenger

Unholy Messenger: The Life and Crimes of the BTK Serial Killer btkby Stephen Singular

Drawing from interviews with Rader's pastor, congregation, detectives, and psychologists who worked the case, and from his unnervingly detailed 32 hour confession, Singular delves into the life and crimes of BTK to explore the most dangerous and complex serial killer of our generation and the man who embodied, at once, astonishing extremes of normality and abnormality. Singular recounts the year the BTK killer reemerged, and the aftermath. Details of his crimes, elaborate schemes, bids for public attention, and the impact his deception had on his family, church, and community. A man considered a "spiritual leader" by his pastor and congregation, was the devil next door. A powerful examination of the intersection between good and evil, and of the psychology and spirituality of a killer in whom faith and bloodshed converged.

Nightmare in Wichita

Nightmare in Wichita: The Hunt for the BTK Strangler by Robert Beattie1

The tale of the BTK serial killer-written by the lawyer who assisted the police during the thirty-year search and was instrumental in the long-awaited arrest.

In 1974 a serial killer began a fourteen-year murder spree in Wichita, Kansas. Joining the ranks of Ted Bundy, the elusive sex murderer taunted authorities with clues, puzzles, and obscene letters. Then in 1988, he vanished, the killings stopped, and one of the longest and most baffling manhunts in the annals of crime came to a dead end. But in 2004, a letter- and a grisly clue-arrived at a local Wichita paper. And with it, a terrifying implication: BTK was back. Robert Beattie delves one of the most intriguing, and horrifying serial murder cases in American history.

- Afterword by the author with up-to-the-minute information-including the capture of the alleged killer
- Robert Beattie had access to the families of the victims
- Beattie has been following the case since the 1970s
- Some speculate that this book prompted the BTK killer to resume contact in 2004 after nearly 25 years of silence.

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Watch for new True Crime books as they are published!

Dennis Rader the BTK Killer

Shirley Vian Relford

Shirley Vian Relford, 26, always seemed happy and loved to sing in the church choir. She was a good mother to her three children, Bud, Steven and Stephanie. On March 17, 1977, she was found dead in her home. Her three children were home when she was murdered.

Dennis Rader saw himself as a James Bond type in his tweed jacket. He would later tell police is appearance was "spiffy." He was pursuing a target that ended up not being home when he randomly located Shirley.

“…I was all keyed up, so I just started going through the neighborhood.”

While casing the neighborhood for a victim, as a ruse (or as Rader pronounced it “russ”), he asked a 5 year old boy returning from the store to bring his sick mother soup if he'd ID pictures. (He used a photo of his own wife and infant son.) Then he stalked the little boy.

“… I watched where he went …I went to the house where he went in, knocked on the door told him I was a private detective...”

He entered the home, turned off the television, closed the blinds, and pulled a 357 Magnum gun out from under his jacket, frightening the little boy. The mother who appeared ill came out of the bedroom in her robe to beg him not to harm the children.

"I'm not going to ..."

He started to tie up the oldest child, who was 8.

“I told Ms. Vian that I had a problem with sexual fantasies... that I was going to tie her up and that I might have to tie the kids up and if she would cooperate with us... We went back. She was extremely nervous. “

Rader took her to the back porch.

He needed their mother to help him move the three crying children from the bedroom to the bathroom to tie them up. They attempted to make the children comfortable with blankets and toys. He wedged the door to the bathroom shut, and tied the other door closed. Their mother pleaded with them to stay in the bathroom. They did.

Shirley vomited as Rader tied her down. He brought her a glass of water, and comforted her before he continued tying her legs to the bedpost, working his way up, he looped the rope around her neck, placed a plastic bag over her head, and strangled her with the rope.

The children screamed and banged as their mother being murdered through an opening in the door. Rader planned on executing the children, similar to the Otero murders. When the little boy threatened to go get help, he threatened him:

"I'll shoot you, blow your head off."

Afterwards he placed Shirley on her bed, taped her feet and ankles, and tied her up with her arms crossed under the small of her back.

"In the bondage world, that's really high stuff."

A ringing telephone interrupted Rader's sexual fantasies about killing the children, saving their lives. Instead, he put a plastic bag over Shirley's head and tied it with a pink nightgown. He quickly gathered his briefcase, tape, ropes and anything he brought. He stole her panties, on his way out. (He did this at several killings). He would wear them, himself. He left in his car.

The children unsuccessfully attempted to escape by breaking the window. By time they got out the door Rader was gone, and their mother was dead. Her young son tried to untie her hands.

Young Steven gave police an accurate description of the attacker, but they weren’t confident that a child was a reliable witness. After seeing and hearing Rader at his first court appearance, Steve Relford said Rader is BTK.

Rader wrote poetry about Shirley based on the nursery rhyme "Curley Locks" titled "Shirley Locks." A card made from an index card and a child's printing set, was received by The Wichita Eagle-Beacon on Jan. 31, 1978.

"I'm a nice guy. I'm a nice guy." Rader told police, as he recounted the crime.

In Rader's afterlife paradise, Shirley would clean his house.

In December 1977, Rader killed Nancy Fox, his seventh victim.

June 26, 2006

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Copyright Kari Sable 1994-2006
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The BTK Murders: Inside the "Bind Torture Kill" Case that Terrified America's Heartland Search Now:by Carlton Smith. From 1974 to 1991, in Wichita someone was leaving behind slain tortured bodies who called himself “BTK” for “Bind, Torture, Kill.” For 14 years, he was silent. But he began sending letters again.. Police arrested Dennis Rader. He coldly described “his projects.” The tricks he used to trap victims, the puzzles he sent the media, and the role his daughter played in his arrest. one victim’s family member called him, “a black hole inside the shell of a human being”—and the worst American monster since Ted Bundy.

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