I discuss the monster that is Dennis Rader, also known as BTK. In this episode I discuss his upbringing, his family life and his first to sets of murders. This guy is a huge moron and I also go through some of his thoughts as well. Cup of Taboo website · Surviving BTK
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Hello hello hello! Welcome to Cup of Taboo, I am your host, Tyler, all are welcomed here, except Dennis Rader, he is not ever welcome here! This is episode 5 of the show guys!! I would like to think that things are slowly getting better, hopefully they are, I still feel like an absolute noob, but onwards we go!! Today I will be talking about one of the most infamous serial killers the world has ever seen.. Dennis Rader, or as he would like to be called, BTK. This guy is bag of dicks don’t get me wrong, he is terrifying and the things he did were absolutely appalling, but, he is also probably the dumbest, dullest human being there is. Ugh, he’s gross. Also, this is definitely gonna be a 2 parter, because there is just so much to unpack here!
Before I get into it, please follow me on social media, Facebook is Cup of taboo, Instagram is @cupoftaboo_podcast and Please subscribe on Reason.fm, link is in the bio as well. I
Warning the following podcast contains extremely graphic descriptions of torture and murder, listener discression is advised.
OK Dennis Butthead Rader, that’s his actual name, Ok no, Its just Dennis Rader, But he is a butthead, soooo I am gonna stick with that. Dennis was born on 9 March 1945 in Kansas, mm Pisces, Side note, I read an article that the 4 most likely star sigs to become serial killers are Pisces, Gemini, Virgo and Sagittarius, just saying. He was the oldest of 4 boys and they grew up in a very Christian household. He apparently had a decent upbringing, no abuse that can be reported on and no violence by his parents or siblings, Dennis was said to have been withdrawn and a bit awkward of an awkward turtle but not a bad kid, it was mentioned that his sense of humour wasn’t really existent. He was a boy scout and also attended church regularly. It is said that he started having sexual fantasies at a young age, but instead of the usual “ooh nice, boobies!” it was “I want to strangle her” whhiiiich is a little terrifying to think about. He also said that as a youth he strangled and killed a few ani9mals to fulfil that fantasy. Rader was in the US airforce in the late 60s and early 70s. Now I absolutely hate to admit this, with every fibre in my being, but as a young man, Dennis asshole Rader, was actually not the worst looking human you have ever seen.. He seemed pretty normal and handsome, I mean, he became the caricature version of an old man in his age, which, I mean, still doesn’t help, because how can this cartoon character be such a monster, We will not ever know. On the 22nd of May 19671 he married Paula Dietz, a quite lady who Dennis was madly in love with. They settled in Park City which was close to Wichita.
So, Dennis decided to start off with a bang. He did not hold back at all, and I must let you know, Trigger warning, this first hit includes children. I got a lot of my source material from a book called Bind, Torture, Kill, which was written by a journalist and some policemen, It focuses on a lot of the behind the scene details, check it out! Anyway.
On 15 January 1974, Dennis Rader walked into the home of the Otero family and destroyed their lives forever. He had been stalking the family for weeks so he knew their schedules and he knew that the mom, Julie Otero should be home alone with her 2 youngest kids from about 8AM to 8.45Am. This was when he was going to strike. Josie Otero, who was 33 at the time, had 5 children, they were Charlie (15), Danny (14), Carmen (13), Josephine(11) and joseph Junior (9), she was married to Joseph Otero who was 38. They had moved to Wichita because Joseph got a job working on the aeroplanes, they moved from Puerto Rico in 1974, 2 months before Dennis Rader attacked.
Dennis said that he saw Josie and Josephine while he was driving his wife to work one day, because she did not like driving in the snow. Once he saw Josie and Josephine, he started stalking them, he took notes and learned all the details of their lives, which is why he decided that he would break in just after 8AM when the husband, Joseph was not home. At this time Rader was only 28 years old, I am 28 years old!! WTAF!? He was apparently obsessed with pornography and he had a nickname for his penis, I don’t think you are ready for what he called it… Sparky! Why denis!? He had some weird fantasies and daydreams that he was like a secret agent, super serial killer, he had the mind of a teenage boy.
He later claimed that Josephine Otero, the 11 year old girl, was perfect and made for SBT, Sparky Big Time.
When he arrived at the Otero house, he noticed that there were dog prints in the snow, which made him a little nervous, so he went around the back and tried to get in through the back door which was locked. He cut their phone li8ne with a hunting knife, and suddenly the back door opened, the small boy (Joseph Jr) was standing there with their dog. Dennis pulled a gun out of his pocket and pointed it at Joseph Jr, he ushed him into the house and saw that his father, Joseph snr was still at home. He had had a car accident and broken a few ribs so he could not work. Dennis was screwing this up royally! Nothing was going to plan! The dog was barking, the kids are freaking out, the parents are freaking out! Eventually he says that he is a wanted man and that if they listen to him, they will be fine, he just wants their things and their car and he will be on his way, lulling them into a false sense of security, which he later admitted he did because it made his victims easier to manage. The dog would not stop barking so he asked if they could please put him outside, which they did. He ties the adults up first, around their ankles and wrists, then the children. The family complained that the bindings were too tight, so he loosend them and redid them, because wow Dennis you’re so damn generous!! He even said proudly at his court hearing, that he laid down a jacket and pillow for Mr Otero because he had the accident and it hurt to lie on the floor.
Once everyone was bound he strangled them, but because he was a bumbling buffoon he was not even able to do this right, he strangled Mrs Otero and assumed that she was dead, he then put a plastic bag of Mr Otero’s head and tightened a chord around the neck, however Joseph was able to bite through the plastic bag, so Dennis had to put a t-shirt over his head and then a plastic bag so he was unable to bite through it again. At this point Josie was waking up again because he had not strangled her properly, so he strangled her again this time to death. He took Joseph Junior to a different room and tied put a t-shirt and plastic bag over his head and he tightened that with a chord, there were imprints on the carpet from where a chair was placed and it was speculated that he sat and watched as Joseph Junior suffocated to death, he does not mention this is the trial, but I saw a couple of sources that bring it up. Lastly he took Josephine Otero to the basement, he had strangled her, but only until she passed out, at this point he had made a noose and attached it to a pipe in the basement and had bound her hands and feet, He asked her if her dad had a camera and she said no, he then hanged her. He cut her bra down the middle, and he pulled her panties down. He then masturbated to the sight of her and orgasmed on her thigh and the floor. This is what he referred to as SBT sparky big time. He drove the Otero car to a nearby supermarket and parked it there (It was very low on as) and he wiped everything down and moved the seat forward so that there would be some confusion about his height. He then go back into his own car and realised that he had forgotten his knife at the scene!! This dumbass, somehow forgets a vital piece of evidence at the crime scene and somehow he manages to commit some of the worst crimes I have ever heard of! He drove back to the Otero house in his own car!! I the middle of the day!! And he found that he had left the knife outside after cutting the phone lines. Dumbass. He then went home to his wife who had no idea what he had done.
Overall Dennis Rader had spent 2 hours with the Otero family. He burnt his rope, drawings and plans in a field after he had done it. He later said in letters and interviews that he fantasized about enslaving the Otero family after death. He had also stolen Mr Otero’s watch and wore it often.
The 3 other Otero children arrived home from school that afternoon, the younger 2 went inside and the older one noticed that the dog was outside, which was weird to him because they never left him outside. He went inside and he noticed his mothers purse was lying strewn about and this was very odd. His younger siblings called him and said that their parents were playing a terrible trick on them, he walked in and saw that they were dead. He tried to call the police but the phone was dead, so he ran to his neighbours and asked them for help. All he kept saying was that they had to keep Joseph Jr and Josephine out of the house, that they couldn’t see what was inside. He did not see that they were already inside.
The police were stumped after this murder. They had a few suspicions (Spoiler warning, they were wrong) but they believed that this had been someone that the Otero family knew, or they thought perhaps there were drugs involved? Little did they know that this guy had just murdered 4 people in cold blood to get his rocks off, like a sick twisted monster. They published the murder in the newspaper and Dennis collected these articles and hit them in his “Hidey Holes” That’s what he called the places where he would stash his naughty material, I swear this guy talks and thinks like a small child. He calls these hidey holes, he can’t seem to pronounce or spell things properly, I will read a few passages from his notes as I go along so that you can see exactly what I mean.
Dennis never stopped fantasizing, he probably still fantasizes to this day (Yes he is still alive in prison), In the book Confession of a serial killer – The untold story of Dennis Rader, Dr Katherine Ramsland corresponds with Dennis through letters, in these letters he comments on how often he would imagine or fantasize about torturing or binding different women.
On April 4th 1974 Rader attacked again. After the Otero murders he was as he called it Trolling for a new victim, which he called a project, later he has different “project names” for each of his kills. He spotted Kathryn Bright one Day while he was out with his wife for lunch in his words “She fit my fantasy profile, a co-ed, dishwater blond, small. I saw her go in the house, and I thought, ‘That’s a possibility.’” Rader was obsessed with the number three and he realised that her address which was 3217 East Thirteenth Street had 2 threes in it, this got him excited. He decided to call Kathryn “Project Lights out”, in his stalking, he came to the conclusion that she lived alone with no men in the house, no children and no dog, this was what he wanted. He had a ruse that he was going to go up to her door under the guise of needing a tutor, genius plan Denis.
After the Otero murders he realised that his hands were not strong enough for the strangling, so he got a stress ball that he used to strengthen his hands (?), he had also done many sketches and collected a lot of pictures and other items to store away in his hidey holes.
On the 4th of April, Rader went to Kathryns home and saw that her car was there so he assumed that she was at home, he soon realised that she was not home and he needed to get into the house (Doesn’t think just does) he broke a window in the back and broke into the house, He accidentally shot one bullet from his gun like the moron that he is, and he recalls panicking that she would smell the gunpowder, he also realised that she might notice the glass when she got home so he cleaned that up and searched through the house, trying to find the spot that he would do his dirty deeds. Kathryn arrived home, but she was with a male, Rader did not expect this, it was her brother Kevin. As they entered the front door, Rader stood there and held out his gun and told them not to move. He panicked and used the same story that he used with the Oteros, that he was a wanted criminal and he wanted their car and money and he would be on his merry way. He did not bring his “hit-kit” (his bag with all his tools that he used to bind and kill people, because he thought that it would distract from his ruse and he thought that Kathryn would be alone so she would be “easy”.
Rader found things in the house to use like shirts, stockings, belts and ties. He tied Kevin to the bedpost and bound his hands and asked him if he had any money, to make him think it was just a robbery remember, no murdering intended today folks! Psych! He then went and tied Kathryn to a chair in another room, and turned the radio on super loud, to hide the strangling noises. (freaky). He decided that he needed to eliminate the bigger threat first so he went to Kevin and tried to strangle him with a nylon stocking, this is where it gets almost comical, because Dennis Rader cannot do anything right, Kevin broke free from his feet binds and charged at Rader, who got spooked and shot him in the head, Kevin fell to the floor, blood pouring out of his wound, but HE WASN’T DEAD! Rader went to Kathryn who was now in hysterics because she heard the gunshot and he tried to calm her down by saying that it wasn’t a fatal shot, just one to subdue him, but to be sure he went back to Kevin and kicked him to make sure that he was dead, and this is where Kevin the almighty jumped back up and charged at Rader again and they got into a bit of a struggle, Kevin grabbed Raders other gun which the moron had out into a shoulder holster because he thought it would look cool like in the old westerns, and he tried to shoot Dennis, Dennis claims that he stuck his finger in the shooty hole and the gun jammed, buuut I somehow doubt that the finger of a 20 something year old man would jam a Magnum, it probably just jammed on its own. Rader saw the opportunity and shot Kevin in the head again. Kevin fell to the floor again, and Dennis hit him hard in the head, causing 2 teeth to be broken out (!) just to be sure this time.
He ran back to where Kathryn was, and she was freaking out. He grabbed a cloth and tried to strangle her but she managed to break free from her bindings, they were now full on wrestling and Rader recalls her fighting like a hellcat, good for you Kathryn you freaking legend! He eventually pulled out his knife from his pocket and stabbed her in the back, he then turned her around and stabbed her in the stomach, he had read somewhere that stabbing up through the stomach into the lungs is the most effective way to kill someone so that is what he did, she carried on fighting. At this point Rader heard a noise coming from the other room and ran to see what it was, it was mother effing Kevin who STILL WAS NOT DEAD who managed to escape!! He was running down the street to go find help. Rader went back to check on Kathryn, who also was not dead yet, and she was on the floor moaning and in pain, bleeding everywhere.
Kevin had alerted 2 neighbours to what had happened and they called the police. When the police got there, Dennis was gone, and Kathryn was still alive, but barely. She was only 21 years old they found out, she died 4 hours later. Kevin managed to make a full recovery after being shot twice in the head!! In his statement he mentioned how much his attacker had been sweating which is just gross, and that he was tall with dark hair. The cops considered that this might have a connection to the Otero case, but the MO was slightly different, the phone line was not cut and the attacker did not use ropes or take anything with him. Also the fact that Kathryn was stabbed threw them off as well.
Rader had run to his car and drove to his parents house to change his clothes, he hid the blood stained clothes in a chicken coup and went back home to his unsuspecting wife and acted completely normal. He was sure he would be caught because Kevin had survived and had seen him, he waited for the police to arrive, but nothing. He saw reports on the murder and he cut Kathryns picture from the newspaper to add to his stash.
Several months later, 3 men had said that they knew about what had happened in the crimes while they were in prison. The police realised that they were not telling the truth, but the story still made its way into the eagle newspaper, Dennis saw the article and it enraged him that these imposters were trying to tell his story! 3 days after the story was published, a journalist at the Eagle got a phone call from a man with a harsh midwestern accent, he said “listen and listen good, there is a letter about the Otero case in a book in the public library.” Then he hung up.
The reporter called the police and they went to the library and found the letter in the book “Applied engineering Mechanics” just as the caller said it would be. The letter was so badly written that the police thought that whoever had written it had some sort of disability, the letter went like this
This obviously disturbed the police, their killer was still out there, after 9 months they were nowhere closer to catching him. They came up with a plan to try and communicate with him through the Eagle, and posted messages like “BTK, help is available” in hope that he would mess up and contact them. He never did. At this time Rader was getting very busy, because of the recent fear in the area, ADT the security company needed new alarm installers, and Dennis Rader was hired for the job. Ironic isn’t it. He used this job to case places and intensify his stalking.
On July 26, 1975 Dennis and Paula had their first child, a son that they named Brian. This new found fatherhood also kept Rader busy, on top of working and studying at WSU, he did not have time to do the murdering thing. He still trolled and stalked people when he had the chance though. Years later, in interviews Rader had said that family had got in the way.
Alright guys, I think I am going to call it for part 1! I hope that you can see just what kind of monster Dennis Rader actually is, and I hope you tune in for Part 2 where I will discuss the next few horrific years of this mans life and the terrible things that he did. I hope you guys enjoyed, please leave a review on my website which is linked to all my social pages and let me know what you would like to hear once this nightmare is over!