Bind, Torture, Kill – BTK serial killer terrorizes Wichita, Kansas

// December 27th, 2012 // Serial Killers

The deaths of Joseph and Julie Otero and their children

BTK (Bind, Torture, Kill victim's bound legsOn January 15, 1974 shortly before 4:00 PM, three young children arrived home from school in Wichita, Kansas to find their father, Joseph Otero, mother, Julie Otero, and their two siblings Josephine (age 11) and Joseph II (age 9) strangled to death in their home.  Joseph was found lying face down on the floor with his hands and feet bound with a cord that had been ripped from a Venetian blind from one of the rooms.  Julie was found in the bedroom, lying on the bed, bound in a similar manner.  Both appeared to have been strangled by a strip of cord cut from the Venetian blind.  The police were summoned to the 803 North Edgemoor residence and the investigation commenced into what would soon turn out to be one of the Nation’s most bizarre and long-lasting serial killing sprees.

Police discovered 9 year old Joseph Jr. in his bedroom lying near the foot of his bed.  He was also tied with cord but appeared to have been suffocated with a plastic bag placed over his head rather than choked with the cord itself.  They found 11 year old Josephine in the basement hanging by a rope tied to a water pipe – she was wearing only a sweatshirt and socks.  Police found that the phone lines leading into the home had been cut, disabling all communications to the dwelling.  The family car, a 1966 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser station wagon, was also missing.  Further investigation revealed semen in various locations around the house – concentrated mostly around the victims bodies.

The Otero House in 1974Later that day, sometime around 7:00 PM, the police found the Otero vehicle at a nearby Dillon’s parking lot.  The parking lot was less than one mile from the Otero’s home.  The vehicle was parked in the center of the lot near a light pole, easily visible from the street.  The killer had apparently driven the vehicle into the lot entrance and parked the car in the first empty spot available.  Police presumed the killer drove the vehicle directly from the scene of the murders to the parking lot and then fled the parking lot on foot.

BTK killer claims responsibility

Soon after, a Wichita Eagle newspaper reporter received an anonymous phone call.  The caller told the reporter that he could find valuable clues in a Mechanical Engineering book in the Wichita Public library.  The reporter tracked down the book and found a letter tucked inside.  The author of the letter claimed responsibility for the Otera killings and provided additional details that nobody but the killer could have possibly known.  During the next few weeks, more letters arrived at the Wichita Eagle newspaper taunting the police investigators.  They were signed BTK, or “bind, torture, kill”.

I write this letter to you for the sake of the tax payer as well as your time. Those three dudes you have in custody are just talking to get publicity for the Otero murders, They know nothing at all. I did it by myself and no ones help. There has been no talk either. Lets put it straight.

Joe:

Position: Southwest bedroom, feet tie to the bed. Head pointed in a southerly direction.

Bondage: Window blind cord.

Garrote: Blind cord, brown belt.

Death: The old bag trick and strangulation with clothes line rope.

Clothed: White sweat shirt, green pants.

Comments: He threw up at one time. Had rib injury from wreck few week before. Laying on coat.

Julie:

Position: Laying on her back crosswise on the bed pointed in southwestern direction. Face cover with a pillow.

Bondage: Blind cord.

Garrote: Clothes line cord tie in a clove-hitch.

The missing Otero 1966 station wagonDeath : Strangulation twice.

Clothes: Blue house coat, black slack, white sock.

Comments: Blood on face from too much pressure on the neck, bed unmade.

Josephine:

Position: Hanging by the neck in the northwest part of the basement. Dryer or freezer north of her body.

Bondage: Hand tie with blind cord. Feet and lower knees, upper knees and waist with clothes line cord. All one length.

Garrote: Rough hemp rope 1/4 dia., noose with four or five turns.

Clothes: Dark bra cut in the middle, sock.

Death: Strangulation once, hung.

Comments: Most of her clothes at the bottom of the stairs, green pants, and panties. Her glasses in the southwest bedroom.

Joseph:

Position: In the east bedroom laying on his back pointed in eastern direction.

Bondage: Blind cord.

Garrote: Three hoods; white T-shirt, white plastic bag, another T-shirt

Clothes line cord with clove-hitch.

Death: Suffocation once, strangulation-suffocation with the old bag trick.

Clothes: Brown pants, yellow-brown stripe T-shirt

Comments: His radio is blaring .

All victims had their hands tied behind their backs. Gags of pillow case material. Slip knots on Joe and Joseph neck to hold leg down or was at one time. Purse contents south of the table. Spilled drink in that area also, kids making lunches. Door shade in red chair in the living room. Otero’s watch missing. I needed one so I took it. Runs good. Thermostat turn down. Car was dirty inside, out of gas.

I’m sorry this happen to society…. …Good luck with your hunting.

YOURS, TRULY GUILTILY.

P.S. Since sex criminals do not change their M.O. or by nature cannot do so, I will not change mine. The code words for me will be …  Bind them, Torture them, Kill them, B.T.K., you see me at it again. They will be on the next victim.

Kathryn Doreen Bright, 2nd victim of the BTK Serial KillerThe murder of Kathryn Bright

On August 4, 1974, three months after the Otera killings, the partially dressed body of 21 year old Kathryn Bright was found in her home located at 3217 E. 13th Street.  Just as in the Otero case, she had been bound with cord and strangled.  She had also been brutally stabbed multiple times.

Evidence found on the Bright murder scene allowed police to quickly accredit the killing to the BTK killer.  There were also suggestions that police may have found a “murder kit” in a nearby truck hidden under a tarp (some think that BTK may have hidden under the tarp when police arrived and then slipped away unnoticed, leaving the kit containing rope and wire cutting tools, behind).

Another key piece of evidence resulting from the Bright murder – a witness.  Kevin Bright, the brother of Kathryn Bright, was at the Bright home when the killing occurred.  Kevin struggled with the attacker and was strangled and shot in the head.  He feigned death and when BTK noticed that he was still alive, he was shot again – in the head.  Remarkably, Kevin survived and even remained conscious.  When the BTK Killer’s attention was diverted, Kevin fled the scene to seek help.

Kevin later recounted how BTK had told him that he was “a wanted man in California and was seeking a car to escape”.  Kevin also stated that BTK had casually commented, “Hey, haven’t I seen you at the University?”  Almost 3 decades later, Kevin would hold the unique distinction of being the only victim to survive a BTK attack.

The murder of Shirley Vian

Nearly three years later, on March 17, 1977, Wichita police received a call for assistance at 1311 South Hydraulic Street.  When they arrived, they found the body of 26 year old Shirley Vian.  As with the other victims, she was partially undressed, bound with cord, and had a plastic bag placed over her head.  They found her three young children, alive, locked in a nearby closet.  Tragically, one of the children, 5-year old Steve Relford, later told police in a haunting statement, that he had witnessed the entire incident by peeking through the keyhole in the door.  Police attributed the killing to BTK but were puzzled as to why the serial killer was deviating from normal tendencies ascribed to serial killers – particularly, why had he waited 3 years before killing again.

BTK calls authorities to report the death of Nancy Jo Fox

BTK crime sceneOn December 8, 1977, almost 9 months after the Vian murder, police received yet another call.  The call, which was later traced to a phone booth in downtown Wichita near Coleman Industries, instructed police to go to 843 South Pershing Street.  The caller relayed information from a driver’s license he claimed to have taken off of a woman he had just murdered.  When police entered the home they found 25 year old Nancy Jo Fox dead on the living room floor.  They concluded that she had been killed the night before and that she had been torturously strangled and revived repeatedly.  Again, semen was found on the scene but police concluded that Nancy Jo had not been raped.  Police also noticed that there were no defensive wounds on the victim.  They began to feel that the lack of defensive wounds on this victim and all the previous victims seemed to indicate that the killer had a superb control on his victims – either by force or by deception.  He was either someone they knew or someone whom they felt comfortable allowing into their homes.

BTK goes dormant

The last regular communication with BTK occurred in 1979 after which he went dormant for several years.   In his previous communications, he pleaded for publicity and made it clear that he wanted to gain national attention along the lines of the Hillside Strangler and Jack the Ripper.  Since the murders had suddenly ceased, police assumed the killer must have died or been imprisoned.  Most crime investigators and criminal psychologists had previously thought that it was literally impossible for serial killers to stop their murder sprees by their own free will.

How many do I have to kill, before I get my name in the paper or some national attention? Do the cops think that all those deaths are not related? Yes, the M.O. is different in each, but look at the pattern that is developing. The victims are tied up _ most have been women _ phone cut _ bring some bondage mater sadist tendencies _ no struggle, outside the death spot _ no witnesses except the Vian’s kids…

After a thing like Fox, I come home and go about life like anyone else. And I will be like that until the urge hits me again…

In 1984, 5 years after the last regular communication, police set up a task force called “the Ghostbusters”.  This task force began examining the BTK evidence using extensive computer analysis.  They discovered that all murders had been committed within a few miles of each other leading them to the conclusion that the killer was from the immediate area.  They also discovered that some of the letters had been ingeniously run through copy machines multiple times making them impossible to trace.  But, it was determined that one of the copies was made in the Wichita State University Library, leading them to believe that possibly a student or ex-student may be involved.

BTK back in action

In April of 1985, Marine Hedge was found dead.  Her body had been removed from the scene of the crime and disposed of.  Police realized that the evidence found indicated that the BTK killer could have been responsible, although this method of removing the body from the scene differed from the killers previous modus operandi.  They began to wonder if the original killer had returned or if a copycat killer was stepping into his place.

Dillons Parking Lot where the Otero Vehicle was found. Click for full view.On September 16, 1986, Bill Wegerle returned to his home shortly before noon and found his wife, 28-year old Vicki Wegerle, strangled and sprawled on their bedroom floor.  Police were summoned to the 2400 block of West 13th Street to investigate the murder where they determined that nothing had been stolen and that the only item missing from the house was Vicki’s drivers license.  Although the circumstances appeared similar to the previous BTK killings, since 7 years had passed since the last communication, the police wondered if there was no connection to the BTK killer.  The connection would be soundly made almost 15 years later.

Six years later, in January of 1991, the body of Delores Davis was found near a river in rural Sedgwick County.  Police inferred that she had been abducted from her home, strangled, and her body transported and dumped in the remote rural area.  She had been purposely posed with an unusual mask laying by her head.  The police concluded that the BTK Killer was the most likely suspect.  Almost 20 years after the first murder, the BTK Killer was still at work, leading police to the realization that this serial killer could take off for years on end and resume killing on a whim.  A “part-time serial killer” would be very difficult to apprehend.

New Letters Arrive 30 Years Later

On March 19, 2004, over 30 years after the first murder, the Wichita Eagle received a strange letter.  Postmarked March 17, 2004, the letter with a return address of Bill Thomas Killman (i.e. BTK), contained startling evidence.  Inside the envelope was a copy of Vicki Wegerle’s driver’s license and three photograph copies of her body.  In the three photograph copies, police noted that the body and clothing was moved to a different position in each subsequent picture.  They quickly ruled out the possibility that the photos could be crime scene photos since crime scene analysts would never touch, nor move the body during the course of taking crime scene pictures.  They determined that whoever had taken the pictures had deliberately moved the body to a different position before snapping the photo.  They deduced the letter was most certainly from the BTK killer.  Police had linked BTK to his 8th killing.  Hurst Laviana of the Wichita Eagle reported:

I think the family always in the back of their minds thought it was BTK but as far as I know, the police never fixed on him as a suspect until today.

The return address on the letter was 1684 South Oldmanor.  Police swiftly dispatched to the location only to find an empty, vacant lot.

On May 5, 2004 another piece of the baffling puzzle emerged.  ABC affiliate, KAKE, Channel 12 in Wichita, Kansas received a puzzle and photocopies of two employee identification cards – a photocopy of the card of a Southwestern Bell employee and a Wichita Public School employee were enclosed.  Neither employee had any idea how copies of their photo identification cards could have been obtained by a third party.  Police were able to determine conclusively, that this letter was also sent from the BTK killer, although its precise meaning was unknown.

Police Release More Clues

BTK (Bind Torture Kill) - removing body from first crime sceneIn late 2004, Wichita Police released new evidence to the public.  As is common in criminal cases, not all evidence was revealed to the public.  By keeping certain elements of the crime from the public, police gain the upper hand when the criminal is captured or confesses.

Wichita police Lieutenant Ken Landwehr, held a public news conference and released details about the BTK killer to reporters, details that were gained from the text of the BTK letters to the Wichita Eagle.  Landwehr explained:

In these letters, he has provided certain background information about himself which he claims is accurate.

The contents of the letters revealed an amazing amount of detail including the fact that he was born in 1939 (which would make BTK around 65 years old in 2004), that his family moved around often and always lived near railroad tracks, that his father was killed in World War II and he had been raised by his mother with the help of his grandmother, that his mother dated a railroad detective, that his grandfather played the fiddle and died of lung disease, that he had a cousin named Susan who lived in Missouri, and that he had once had a friend named Petra who had a younger sister named Tina.

Police were not sure how accurate these statements were but did believe that at least parts of the information were correct.

Soon, additional letters arrived along with more personal items from the victims.  Packages containing key evidence were purposely left in public places.  Communications via electronic media began.  It was clear that the BTK killer had resurfaced and was in the process of disposing of his “trophies” and he was doing so in a hurried and sloppy manner.  He was also clearing up misconceptions about the previous murders.  When referring to the Shirley Vian killing, BTK expounded on the reason the children were left alive:

They were very lucky; a phone call save them. I was going to tape the boys and put plastic bags over there head like I did Joseph and Shirley – and then hang the girl. God-oh God what a beautiful sexual relief this would been.

Some believed that the BTK Killer was readying himself to be caught.  Possibly something in his life changed – something that was driving him to discretely provide the local authorities with clues that could lead to his arrest.  Or possibly the BTK killer decided that the 30th anniversary of his first killing would be a good time to obtain the media hype he had so long desired.  Others believed that the BTK Killer was jealous of the recent publicity given to the Green River Killer and the Washington Sniper cases. Whatever the rationale, the BTK killer was carelessly leaving additional clues.

The arrest of Dennis Rader

Booking photo of Dennis L. Rader - BTK KIllerAfter over three decades, police arrested 59 year old Dennis L. Rader on February 25, 2005 based partly on “DNA evidence”.  Rader, a city worker in nearby Park City for over 14 years, was arrested  by Wichita Police Chief Norman Williams.  Rader’s home was searched and computer equipment seized.  He was accused of killing 10 people between 1974 and 1991.  Rader confessed to some (at least 6) of the killings.  Details on the DNA evidence are sketchy by it is assumed that the DNA evidence (obtained from the crime scenes, recent letters, and DNA samples from Rader’s daughter), an electronic communication (from a floppy diskette) that was traced to Rader’s church, and publicity resulting from the recent letters received from the BTK killer, allowed the police to pry enough details from the general public to pinpoint Rader as the culprit.  Police note that since the latest known killing was 1991, the death penalty, which was reinstated in Kansas in 1994, would not apply (unless they can tie a cold-case murder committed after 1994 to him – and there is at least one murder where Rader could be a suspect).

In what had to be a surreal realization, Police also noted that Rader had previously served in the Air Force as a Telephone Specialist and had also worked for ADT Security Systems as an installation manager.  During his tenure with ADT, Rader had extensive knowledge of all the home security installations that his company conducted and even drew circuit diagrams to make sure workers installed the systems correctly.  This tied closely with several of the cases where it appeared the victims may have known or trusted their killer and also proves notable given that phone lines had been cut to at least one of the victim’s homes.  The tenure of Rader with ADT Security Systems ran from 1974 through 1989 – during the peak of the BTK killings.

The BTK trial

On February 28, 2005, Rader was charged with 10 counts of first degree murder. The Sunday after his arrest, the Associated Press cited an anonymous source alleging that Rader had confessed to other murders in addition to the ones to which he was connected.

He made his first court appearance by video conference on March 1, 2005, from jail. District Judge Greg Waller Tuesday set his bail at US$10 million and appointed a public defender to represent him at a preliminary hearing on March 15. On May 3, Waller entered “not guilty” pleas to the 10 charges on Rader’s behalf, as Rader did not speak at his arraignment. On June 27, the scheduled trial date, Rader changed his plea to “guilty”. He described the murders in detail and made no apologies.

He faced sentencing on August 18, 2005. Victims’ families made statements and were followed by Rader, who apologized for his crimes in a rambling, bizarre 30-minute monologue that District Attorney Nola Foulston likened to an Academy Awards acceptance speech. He was sentenced to serve 10 consecutive life sentences, one life sentence per murder victim. In total, Rader would be eligible for parole after 175 years of imprisonment, in 2180. Because Kansas had no death penalty at the time the murders were committed, life imprisonment was the maximum penalty allowed by law.

Rader is now being held in the EDCF “Special Management” unit, also known as solitary confinement, for “the inmate’s own protection”. This is a designation he will most likely retain for the remainder of his incarceration. He is confined to his cell for 23 hours a day with the exception of voluntary solo one-hour exercise yard time and access to the shower three times a week.

The bondage photos

After his, police uncovered a stash of writings, photos, artwork and other assorted items in his home.  Among the items were photographs of Rader in bondage wearing the clothing of his slain female victims.  Using various ingenious mechanisms, he was able to rig a Polaroid camera to shoot the pictures of himself.  In one instance, during his years as a Boy Scout troop leader, he was nearly caught when he could not escape his own bonds while inside a camper.  He eventually worked his way out of the bindings.

The 11th victim

Years after his arrest, authorities learned that Rader intended to kill an 11th victim.  According to Rader, he got into the woman’s backyard and knocked on her door, but aborted his plan when a city street crew showed up unexpectedly to work outside the house. He planned to kill her the following spring.

Additional information

BTK trial evidence gallery

BTK Letters

Peas in the Pod poem

The green color Pods at First were long and hollow.
They had grown from Mother Earth, anti-society, into a wild vine.
The vine with Pods, long and curling upward, had many follows;
How each Pod has a unique Pea, that together walks a fine line.
D.L.R., 4-19-05, Day 54

Black Friday poem

Just a quick glance and I knew all was lost.
I saw in real life…now a on going mind view, the black and white, were now my new boss.
I saw my life as I know quickly fade away.
I saw my love ones, in mind and thoughts that I would never be able to touch, hold, communicate closely with and kiss with care will now be at bay.
I saw the Black Side of me, was now caught and others would not suffer from my lots,
But then it dawn on me, it was not as I thought.
Yes the other in me will cause no suffering.
The living remained, the Mother, Brother, Sisters, Children, Close Friends and wife will suffer.
Ands the real me of blood, flesh and mind will suffer.
The Suspect

‘Tis’ Spring Out There
oh, to walk among the new season,
to heard a robin voice,
to see a dandelion bright,
to watch a butterfly flight,
to smell a simple flower bud,
oh spring these are the many reasons.
Dennis L. Rader 4-16-2005

1978 BTK poem written after his murder of Nancy Fox (errors uncorrected):

Oh! Death to Nancy
What is this taht  I can see
Cold icy hands taking hold of me
for Death has come, you all can see.
Hell has open it,s  gate to trick me.
Oh! Death, Oh! Death, can’t you spare me, over for another year!
I’ll stuff your jaws till you can’t talk
I’ll blind  your leg’s till you can’t walk
I’ll tie your hands till you can’t make a stand.
And finally I’ll close your eyes so you can’t see
I’ll bring sexual death unto you for me.
B.T.K.

1978 letter (mistakes left intact)

I find the newspaper not wirting about the poem on Vain unamusing. A little paragraph would have enough. Iknow it not the media fault. The Police Cheif he keep things quiet, and doesn’t let the public know there a psycho running around lose strangling mostly women, there 7 in the ground; who will be next?

“How many do I have to Kill before I get a name in the paper or some national attention. Do the cop think that all those deaths are not related? Golly -gee, yes the M.O. is different in each, but look a pattern is developing. The victims are tie up-most have been women-phone cut- bring some bondage mater sadist tendencies-no struggle, outside the death spot-no wintness except the Vain’s Kids. They were very lucky; a phone call save them. I was go-ng to tape the boys and put plastics bag over there head like I did Joseph, and Shirley. And then hang the girl. God-oh God what a beautiful sexual relief that would been. Josephine,when I hung her really turn me on; her pleading for mercy then the rope took whole, she helpless; staring at me with wide terror fill eyes the rope getting tighter-tighter. You don’t understand these things because your not underthe influence of factor x). The same thing that made Son of Sam, Jack the Ripper, Havery Glatman, Boston Strangler, Dr. H.H. Holmes Panty Hose Strangler OF Florida, Hillside Strangler, Ted of the West Coast and many more infamous character kill. Which seem s senseless, but we cannot help it. There is no help, no cure, except death or being caught and put away. It a terrible nightmarebut, you see I don’t lose any sleep over it. After a thing like Fox I ccome home and go about life like anyone else. And I will be like that until the urge hit me again. It not continuous and I don;t have a lot of time. It take time to set a kill, one mistake and it all over. Since I about blew it on the phone-handwriting is out-letter guide is to long and typewriter can be traced too,.My short poem of death and maybe a drawing;later on real picture and maybe a tape of the sound will come your way. How will you know me. Before a murder or murders you will receive a copy of the initials B.T.K. , you keep that copy the original will show up some day on guess who?

May you not be the unluck one!
P.S.
How about some name for me, its time: 7 down and many more to go. I like the following How about you?

‘THE B.T.K. STRANGLER’, WICHITA STRANGLER’, ‘POETIC STRANGLER’, ‘THE BOND AGE STRANGLER’ OR PSYCHO’ THE WICHITA HANGMAN THE WICHITA EXECUTIONER, ‘THE GAROTE PHATHOM’, ‘THE ASPHIXIATER’.
B.T.K”

#5 You guess motive and victim.

#6 You found one Shirley Vain lying belly down on a unmade bed in northeast bedroom-hand tied behind back with black tape and cord. Feet & ankles with black tape &legs. Ankles tied to west head of the bed with small off white cord, wrap around legs, hands, arm, finally the neck, many times. A off white pla stic bag over her head loop on with a pink nitie was barefooted. She was sick use a glass of water and smoke I or Two cigarette-house a total mess- kids took some toys with them to the bathroom-bedagainst east bathroom door. Chose at random with some pre-planning. Motive Factor X.

#7 One Nancy Fox-lying belly down on made bed in southwest bedroom-hands tied behind back with red panty hose-feet together with yellow nitie-semi-nude with pink sweather and bra small neckless-glasses on west dresser-panties below butt-many different than the hosery. She had a smoke and wbnt to the bathroom before the final act-very neat housekeeper& dresser-rifled pursein kitchen-empty paper bag – white coat in living-room- heat up to about 90 degrees, Christsmas tree lights on- nities and hose around the room- hose bag of orange color it and hosery on bed-driver licence gone-seminal stain on or in blue women wear. Chose at random with little pre-planning, Motive Factor “X”.

#8 Next victim maybe: You will find her hanging with a wire noose-Hands behind back with black tape or cord -feet with tape or cord-gaged- then cord around the body to the neck -hooded maybe- possible seminal stain in anus-or on body. Will be chosen at random. Some pre-planning-Motive Factor’X’.

1979 BTK poem written after an intended victim, Anna, failed to come home while he was in her house waiting to strike (errors uncorrected):

Oh, Anna Why Didn’t You Appear
T’ was perfect plan of deviant pleasure so bold on that Spring niteMy inner felling hot with propension of the new awakening season
Warn, wet with inner fear and rapture, my pleasure of entanglement,like new vines at night
Oh, Anna, Why Didn’t You AppearDrop of fear fresh Spring rain would roll down from your nakednessto scent to lofty fever that burns within,
In that small world of longing, fear, rapture, and desparation,the game we play, fall on devil earsFantasy spring forth, mounts, to storm fury, then winter clam atthe end.
Oh, Anna Why Didn’t You AppearAlone, now in another time span I lay with sweet enrapture garmentsacross most private thought
Bed of Spring moist grass, clean before the sun, enslaved withcontrol, warm wind scenting the air, sun light sparkle tearsin eyes so deep and clear.
Alone again I trod in pass memory of mirrors, and ponder why fornumber eight was not.
Oh, Anna Why Didn’t You Appear

BTK Victims

Joseph Otero M 38 January 15, 1974 803 North Edgemoor Street, Wichita Suffocated Plastic bags
Julie Otero F 33 January 15, 1974 803 North Edgemoor Street, Wichita Strangled Rope
Joseph Otero, Jr. M 9 January 15, 1974 803 North Edgemoor Street, Wichita Suffocated Plastic bag
Josephine Otero F 11 January 15, 1974 803 North Edgemoor Street, Wichita Hanged from a drainage pipe Rope
Kathryn Bright F 21 April 4, 1974 3217 East 13th Street North, Wichita Stabbed once in back and lower abdomen Knife
Shirley Vian F 24 March 17, 1977 1311 South Hydraulic Street, Wichita Strangled Rope
Nancy Fox F 25 December 8, 1977 843 South Pershing Street, Wichita Strangled Belt
Marine Hedge F 53 April 27, 1985 6254 North Independence Street, Park City Strangled Hand(s)
Vicki Wegerle F 28 September 16, 1986 2404 West 13th Street North, Wichita Strangled Nylon stocking
Dolores E. Davis F 62 January 19, 1991 6226 North Hillside Street, Wichita Strangled Pantyhose

Dennis L. Rader Trial testimony

1 IN THE EIGHTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT
DISTRICT COURT, SEDGWICK COUNTY, KANSAS
2 CRIMINAL DEPARTMENT
3
4 THE STATE OF KANSAS, )
)
5 Plaintiff, )
)
6 VS. )
) Case No. 05 CR 498
7 DENNIS L. RADER, )
)
8 Defendant. )
)
9 )
10
11 TRANSCRIPT OF PLEAS OF GUILTY
12
13 PROCEEDINGS had before the Honorable
14 Gregory L. Waller, Judge of Division 5 of the
15 Eighteenth Judicial District of Kansas, on June 27,
16 2005.
17
18 APPEARANCES:
19 The State of Kansas appeared by and through
20 Ms. Nola Foulston, District Attorney,
21 Ms. Kim T. Parker, Chief Deputy District Attorney,
22 Mr. Kevin O’Connor, Deputy District Attorney, and
23 Mr. Aaron Smith, Assistant District Attorney, Sedgwick
24 County Courthouse Annex, 535 North Main, Wichita,
25 Kansas 67203.
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
2
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 The Defendant appeared in person and by and
2 through Mr. Charles S. Osburn, Chief Public Defender,
3 Ms. Jama Mitchell, Deputy Public Defender, and
4 Ms. Sarah McKinnon, Assistant Public Defender,
5 604 North Main, Suite D, Wichita, Kansas 67203.

DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
3
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 (At 9:01 a.m., June 27, 2005, the
2 following proceedings were had in
3 the courtroom:)
4 THE COURT: All right. At this time
5 comes on before the Court the case captioned The
6 State of Kansas, plaintiff, versus Dennis L. Rader,
7 defendant. Case number is 2005 CR 498. This matter
8 comes on for trial. Is the State ready?
9 MS. FOULSTON: The State’s ready to
10 proceed, Your Honor.
11 THE COURT: Is the defense ready?
12 MR. OSBURN: Your Honor, at this time
13 Mr. Rader would waive his right to a jury trial and
14 enter a plea of guilty to all ten counts.
15 THE COURT: All right.
16 MS. FOULSTON: May we make our
17 appearances before that occurs, Your Honor?
18 THE COURT: You may.
19 MS. FOULSTON: Thank you. District
20 Attorney Nola Foulston appears for the State of
21 Kansas with Chief Deputy District Attorney
22 Kim T. Parker, Chief — or Deputy District Attorney
23 Kevin O’Connor, and Assistant District Attorney
24 Aaron Smith.
25 MS. MITCHELL: Your Honor,
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
4
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 Dennis L. Rader appears in person and by counsel,
2 Chief Public Defender Steve Osburn, Sarah McKinnon,
3 Assistant Public Defender, and Jama Mitchell, Deputy
4 Public Defender.
5 THE COURT: All right. Mr. Rader, would
6 you please stand with counsel.
7 (The defendant and his counsel
8 stand.)
9 Sir, I have been advised it is your desire to
10 enter a plea of guilty in this case; is that
11 correct?
12 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
13 THE COURT: Mr. Rader, before I can
14 accept your plea there are certain things I will
15 need to find out from you and about you. I will do
16 this by asking questions of you, sir, questions
17 which I will need for you to answer out loud.
18 Should I ask you something which you do not
19 understand, please ask me to explain it or repeat
20 it. Should you need to speak to any of your
21 attorneys, please ask me to let you do so, and I
22 will. All right, sir?
23 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
24 THE COURT: Now, Mr. Rader, as I
25 understand it, you are 60 years of age, having been
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
5
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 born March 9th, 1945 —
2 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
3 THE COURT: — is that correct? Sir, how
4 much education do you have?
5 THE DEFENDANT: Eighteen years.
6 THE COURT: Do you have any history of
7 psychological problems, mental disease or disorder,
8 anything that would make it difficult —
9 THE DEFENDANT: Uh, no, Your Honor.
10 THE COURT: Mr. Rader, in this case you
11 are charged by way of Information with ten counts.
12 In Count No. One it is claimed that on or about the
13 15th day of January, 1974, that you did then and
14 there unlawfully kill a human being, that being
15 Joseph Otero, maliciously, willfully, deliberately
16 and with premeditation by strangulation and/or
17 asphyxiation, inflicting injuries from which the
18 said Joseph Otero did die on or about January 15th,
19 1974.
20 Sir, do you understand you’re charged with
21 Murder in the First Degree, a Class A felony, in
22 Count One?
23 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
24 THE COURT: In Count No. Two it is
25 claimed that on or about the 15th day of January,
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
6
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 1974, in Sedgwick County, Kansas, that you did then
2 and there unlawfully kill a human being, that being
3 Julie Otero, maliciously, willfully, deliberately
4 and with premeditation, by strangulation, inflicting
5 injuries from which the said Julie Otero did die on
6 or about January 15th, 1974.
7 Do you understand that you’re charged with
8 Murder in the First Degree, a Class A felony, in
9 Count Two?
10 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.
11 THE COURT: In Count Three it is claimed
12 on or about the 15th day of January, 1974, in
13 Sedgwick County, Kansas, that you did then and there
14 unlawfully kill a human being, that being
15 Josephine Otero, maliciously, willfully,
16 deliberately and with premeditation, by
17 strangulation, inflicting injuries from which the
18 said Josephine Otero did die on or about
19 January 15th, 1974.
20 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.
21 THE COURT: Do you understand you’re
22 charged with First-Degree Murder, a Class A felony,
23 in Count Three?
24 THE DEFENDANT: Oh, yes, sir.
25 THE COURT: In Count Four it’s claimed on
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
7
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 or about that same day in 1974, in Sedgwick County,
2 Kansas, that you did then and there unlawfully kill
3 a human being, that being Joseph Otero, Jr.,
4 maliciously, willfully, deliberately and with
5 premeditation, by strangulation and/or asphyxiation,
6 inflicting injuries from which the said
7 Joseph Otero, Jr., did die on or about January 15th,
8 1974.
9 Sir, do you understand that you’re charged with
10 Murder in the First Degree, a Class A felony, in
11 Count Four?
12 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
13 THE COURT: In Count Five it is claimed
14 on or about the 4th day of April, 1974, in Sedgwick
15 County, Kansas, that you did then and there
16 unlawfully kill a human being, that being
17 Kathryn Bright, maliciously, willfully, deliberately
18 and with premeditation, by strangulation and
19 stabbing, inflicting injuries from which the said
20 Kathryn Bright did die on April 4th, 1974.
21 Do you understand that you’re charged with
22 Murder in the First Degree, a Class A felony, in
23 Count Five?
24 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.
25 THE COURT: In Count No. Six, sir, it is
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
8
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 claimed that on or about the 17th day of March,
2 1977, in the County of Sedgwick, State of Kansas,
3 that you did then and there unlawfully kill a human
4 being, that being Shirley Vian, maliciously,
5 willfully, deliberately and with premeditation, by
6 strangulation, inflicting injuries from which the
7 said Shirley Vian did die on March 17th, 1977.
8 Do you understand that you’re charged with
9 Murder in the First Degree, a Class A felony, in
10 Count No. Six?
11 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.
12 THE COURT: In Count Seven it’s claimed
13 that on or about the 8th day of December, 1977, in
14 the County of Sedgwick, State of Kansas, that you
15 did then and there unlawfully kill a human being,
16 that being Nancy Fox, maliciously, willfully,
17 deliberately and with premeditation, by
18 strangulation, inflicting injuries from which the
19 said Nancy Fox did die on December 8th, 1977.
20 Sir, do you understand that you’re charged with
21 Murder in the First Degree in Count Seven?
22 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.
23 THE COURT: In Count No. Eight it is
24 claimed that on or about the 27th day of April,
25 1985, to the 28th day of April, 1985, in the County
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
9
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 of Sedgwick, State of Kansas, that you did then and
2 there unlawfully kill a human being, that being
3 Marine Hedge, maliciously, willfully, deliberately
4 and with premeditation, by strangulation, inflicting
5 injuries from which the said Marine Hedge did die on
6 April 27th, 1985.
7 Do you understand that you’re charged with
8 Murder in the First Degree, a Class A felony, in
9 Count Eight?
10 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
11 THE COURT: Sir, in Count No. Nine it is
12 claimed that on or about the 16th day of September,
13 1986, in the County of Sedgwick, State of Kansas,
14 that you did then and there unlawfully kill a human
15 being, that being Vicki Wegerle, maliciously,
16 willfully, deliberately and with premeditation, by
17 strangulation, inflicting injuries from which the
18 said Vicki Wegerle did die on September 16th, 1986.
19 Do you understand that you’re charged with
20 Murder in the First Degree, a Class A felony, in
21 Count Nine?
22 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.
23 THE COURT: In Count No. Ten it is
24 claimed that on or about the 18th day of January,
25 1991, to the 19th day of January, 1991, in Sedgwick
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
10
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 County, Kansas, that you did then and there
2 unlawfully kill a human being, that being
3 Dolores E. Davis, maliciously, willfully,
4 deliberately and with premeditation, by
5 strangulation, inflicting injuries from which the
6 said Dolores E. Davis did die on January 19th,
7 1991.
8 Do you understand that you are charged with
9 Murder in the First Degree, an off-grid person
10 felony, in Count No. Ten?
11 THE DEFENDANT: I would like a correction
12 on that. I’ve got the 19th on mine. Is that —
13 THE COURT: I have in the Information
14 before me that they claim it occurred on or about
15 the 18th day of January, 1991, A.D., to the 19th day
16 of January, 1991.
17 THE DEFENDANT: That — That will be
18 okay.
19 MR. O’CONNOR: Your Honor, that is —
20 that is a Class A person felony also. That’s
21 preguidelines, so it would also be a Class A person
22 felony.
23 THE COURT: All right. I was looking
24 down at the surplusage. It is a Class A person
25 felony.
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
11
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 But Mr. Rader, you are satisfied with that —
2 that time period?
3 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
4 THE COURT: Mr. Rader, in this case you
5 are entitled to a trial by jury. The Constitutions
6 of the United States and the State of Kansas provide
7 that a person charged with a criminal case is
8 entitled to have a jury of 12 persons, 12 of his
9 peers, decide the case.
10 Do you understand that?
11 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
12 THE COURT: In this case, sir, if there
13 were a jury trial we would select 12 individuals.
14 These people would listen to the facts involved in
15 the case and make a determination after all of the
16 evidence had been submitted as to whether or not the
17 State had proven your guilt beyond a reasonable
18 doubt. You would not have to prove a thing.
19 Do you understand that?
20 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
21 THE COURT: If there were a trial, the
22 State would have to bring witnesses to court. Those
23 people would take an oath and have a chair at the
24 witness stand. They would then answer questions
25 asked of them by the State’s lawyer. Their answers
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
12
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 to those questions would be what is called
2 testimony.
3 Do you understand that?
4 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
5 THE COURT: Your attorneys would have the
6 right to question every witness called by the State
7 and in that way confront those people for you.
8 Do you understand that?
9 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
10 THE COURT: That also is a Constitutional
11 right that you have, the right of confrontation of
12 witnesses called to testify against you, and you
13 realize that.
14 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
15 THE COURT: Your attorneys could do
16 that. They could confront the witnesses the State
17 would call at a trial, but they would in no way be
18 obligated to do so because they, just like you, have
19 to prove nothing. The State has to prove that you
20 are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. You do not
21 have to prove that you are not guilty.
22 Do you understand that?
23 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
24 THE COURT: If there were a trial,
25 Mr. Rader, you would have the right to bring
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
13
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 witnesses to court for yourself. If those people
2 would not voluntarily come to court, the Court would
3 do everything within its power to make them come.
4 Your witnesses could testify, just as the State’s
5 witnesses testified, and the State would have a
6 right to confront or cross-examine every witness you
7 might call.
8 Do you understand that you would have that
9 absolute right to put on a defense by calling
10 witnesses?
11 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.
12 THE COURT: But do you also realize, sir,
13 if there were a trial you would not have to call any
14 witnesses, nor would you have to put on any
15 defense. The State has to prove that you are guilty
16 beyond a reasonable doubt. You do not have to prove
17 that you are not guilty.
18 Do you understand?
19 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.
20 THE COURT: If there were a trial,
21 Mr. Rader, you would have the right to testify
22 yourself. You could take the witness stand, after
23 taking an oath, and answer questions asked of you by
24 your attorney. The State would then have the right
25 to confront or cross-examine you.
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
14
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 Do you understand that you would have that
2 right, that absolute right to testify in your own
3 defense?
4 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.
5 THE COURT: But do you also realize,
6 Mr. Rader, that under the Constitutions of the State
7 of Kansas and the United States no one could make
8 you or force you to take that witness stand because
9 you are protected with what is called the right
10 against self-incrimination. That simply means no
11 one could put you in a position where you could be a
12 witness against yourself. The only way that you
13 would testify at any trial would be if you wanted
14 to.
15 Do you understand?
16 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
17 THE COURT: Sir, if there were a trial
18 these would be your rights. By entering a plea of
19 guilty to these ten counts you will be giving up all
20 of these rights, especially that right against
21 self-incrimination, because you would have to admit
22 here in open court that you did what the State
23 claims you did.
24 Do you understand that?
25 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
15
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 THE COURT: Now, as I understand it,
2 there are no plea negotiations in this case. Is
3 that correct, Counsel?
4 MS. FOULSTON: That is correct,
5 Your Honor.
6 MR. OSBURN: That is correct,
7 Your Honor.
8 THE COURT: I have been given a
9 Defendant’s Acknowledgment of Rights and Entry of
10 Plea form by the defense. There on that form there
11 are certain matters contained in paragraph one. I’m
12 going to read it into the record. Paragraph one —
13 MS. FOULSTON: Your Honor, excuse me.
14 I’ve not seen that document.
15 THE COURT: All right. You may look at
16 it.
17 MS. FOULSTON: Counsel, do you have a
18 copy for us?
19 (Ms. Mitchell provides document to
20 Ms. Foulston.)
21 MS. FOULSTON: May I take a moment to
22 look at it, Your Honor?
23 THE COURT: You may look at it.
24 (Pause.)
25 Have you had the opportunity to read paragraph
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
16
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 one?
2 MS. FOULSTON: I have, Your Honor.
3 THE COURT: All right. In paragraph one
4 it is written: My true name is Dennis L. Rader. I
5 am 60 years old and have completed 18 years of
6 education. There have been no plea negotiations in
7 this case, and the defendant hereby enters a plea of
8 guilty as charged to all counts.
9 With respect to Count Ten of the Complaint, the
10 defendant hereby acknowledges, proffers and
11 stipulates pursuant to the law of 1990, Chapter 99,
12 Sections 5 and 6, he committed the crime in order to
13 avoid or prevent a lawful arrest or prosecution, and
14 further, he committed the crime in an especially
15 heinous, atrocious or cruel manner, and the
16 aggravating circumstances outweigh any mitigating
17 circumstances. By doing so, the defendant further
18 waives his right to have a jury of twelve or the
19 Court determine whether aggravating circumstances
20 outweigh any mitigating circumstances.
21 Now, this is written in paragraph one. The
22 defendant has offered to stipulate to those
23 particular items contained therein. The State —
24 MS. FOULSTON: Your Honor, the State will
25 not accept a stipulation as to the — as to the Hard
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
17
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 40.
2 THE COURT: All right. This is something
3 we do not really have to deal with until time of
4 sentencing should we reach that.
5 MS. FOULSTON: We will agree that he
6 can — We will agree to the waiver of the — the
7 jury, and other than that we will not agree to the
8 stipulation as to the factual basis for the
9 aggravating factors.
10 THE COURT: All right. As I indicated,
11 this is something we will approach and get to at the
12 time of sentencing.
13 Mr. Rader, because there is not an acceptance
14 of this paragraph I’m not going to go into it any
15 further; but I would mention that this Defendant’s
16 Acknowledgment of Rights and Entry of Plea form I
17 note has been signed by yourself and your counsel.
18 Is that correct, sir?
19 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
20 THE COURT: Did you have an opportunity
21 to go over this form thoroughly with your lawyers?
22 THE DEFENDANT: Yes. Many times.
23 THE COURT: This form contains many of
24 the same rights that I have advised you of already.
25 Are you base — basically, based upon the contents
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
18
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 of this form and your discussions with your
2 attorneys and what I have told you here today, are
3 you pretty much assured that you understand each and
4 every one of your rights in this case?
5 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir. The defense
6 worked with me real well. We went over them, and,
7 you know, I — I feel like I’m pretty happy with
8 it. Ready to go.
9 THE COURT: You have no questions in
10 regards to what your rights are?
11 THE DEFENDANT: No, sir.
12 THE COURT: In this case, as I’ve told
13 you, Mr. Rader, if you enter a plea of guilty you
14 will give up many of these rights that we have gone
15 over, if not all of them. You will also give up
16 your right to appeal much of the material contained
17 within this case. When I say “material,” appeal the
18 decisions and rulings of the Court.
19 Do you understand that?
20 THE DEFENDANT: Clarification on that.
21 THE COURT: All right. If you enter a
22 plea of guilty, you would give up many of your
23 appeal rights because you would not be able to
24 appeal, for example, a factual basis. You will have
25 the right, however, to appeal the manner in which
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
19
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 the proceedings have — have been completed and done
2 up to this point in time.
3 THE DEFENDANT: So that ten days will
4 still be there at the — after sentencing?
5 THE COURT: That is correct.
6 THE DEFENDANT: Okay.
7 THE COURT: You also have, in regards to
8 Count No. Ten, an automatic appeal basically, based
9 upon the law as it was in the State of Kansas at
10 that time, should the Court impose a Hard 40
11 sentence.
12 Do you understand that?
13 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
14 THE COURT: And your attorneys have
15 talked with you about your appeal rights and what,
16 if anything, you would give up in this regard; is
17 that correct?
18 THE DEFENDANT: That is correct.
19 THE COURT: All right. So you believe
20 that you fully and completely understand your rights
21 in this case.
22 Now, Mr. Rader, have you talked with your
23 lawyers in regards to sentences?
24 THE DEFENDANT: Yes. Uh, there was a —
25 (Off-the-record discussion between
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
20
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 the defendant and Ms. McKinnon.)
2 Yes, I have talked to them.
3 THE COURT: All right. The allegations
4 made by the State in the Information cover a long
5 period of time. The law of the State of Kansas
6 pretty much remained the same during this period of
7 time; however, there were some changes that occurred
8 at — in regards to later counts. The law of the
9 State of Kansas as it became effective in 1969, and
10 publication in 1970, for Murder in the First Degree,
11 called for a sentence of life with a parole
12 eligibility of 15 years.
13 Do you understand that, sir?
14 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
15 THE COURT: Now, that particular sentence
16 would apply in regards to Counts One, Two, Three,
17 Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight and Nine.
18 Do you understand that?
19 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
20 THE COURT: In regards to Count No. Ten,
21 in that particular count the law was amended to
22 allow for a person who was convicted of First-Degree
23 Murder under certain circumstances to serve a term
24 of life with a parole eligibility period of 40
25 years. That means after the person had served 40
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
21
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 years in confinement they would be eligible for
2 parole. Not that that person would get parole, but
3 that that person would be eligible.
4 Do you understand that?
5 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
6 THE COURT: Now, under that particular
7 sentence we’ve had some discussion about it
8 already. The State has the responsibility of
9 bringing evidence to the Court, and that evidence
10 could be presented to a jury to show that the
11 aggravating circumstances outweigh the mitigating
12 circumstances. If that were found beyond a
13 reasonable doubt, then you could be sentenced to
14 life with a parole eligibility of up to 40 years.
15 Do you understand that?
16 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
17 THE COURT: Based upon — Well, let me
18 mention to you also, in regards to these particular
19 felonies, there were also fines that were in place
20 back at that time. Have you talked with your
21 attorneys about those particular fines?
22 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, we have.
23 THE COURT: In those cases the fines —
24 in all of them pretty much, the fines could be up to
25 $500,000.00 for these felonies.
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
22
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 Do you understand that?
2 THE DEFENDANT: Yes.
3 THE COURT: The Court would have the
4 right to impose such fines.
5 Do you realize that?
6 THE DEFENDANT: Yes.
7 THE COURT: Based upon what you’ve talked
8 with your attorneys about, what I’ve talked with you
9 about here this morning, Mr. Rader, do you believe
10 that you fully and completely understand the
11 possible sentences and your rights involved in this
12 case?
13 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.
14 THE COURT: There have been no plea
15 agreements in this case. Has anyone threatened you
16 with anything or forced you in any way to enter a
17 plea of guilty?
18 THE DEFENDANT: No, sir.
19 THE COURT: Have the services of your
20 lawyers been satisfactory?
21 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
22 THE COURT: They have been available to
23 discuss the case with you and confer with you about
24 possible defenses and all of the aspects of the
25 case?
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
23
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 THE DEFENDANT: They worked very well
2 with me. I’ve had no problems.
3 THE COURT: You’ve had no dissatisfaction
4 with them whatsoever?
5 THE DEFENDANT: No, sir.
6 THE COURT: Have you any problem with the
7 way the Court has treated you?
8 THE DEFENDANT: No, it’s been very fair.
9 THE COURT: All right, Mr. Rader. At
10 this time I’m going to ask how do you plead to these
11 ten counts?
12 THE DEFENDANT: Guilty.
13 THE COURT: Are you pleading guilty
14 because you are guilty, or are you pleading guilty
15 for some other reason?
16 THE DEFENDANT: There was some
17 reservations on that, but if we went to trial I
18 think it would be just a long, drawn to a guilty,
19 (sic) just a long process, so, you know, it’s just a
20 mathematical problem. It’s guilty.
21 THE COURT: All right. Are you pleading
22 guilty because you are guilty, or are you —
23 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
24 THE COURT: All right. Well, I’m going
25 to go over each one of these counts. I’m going to
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
24
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 ask you for a factual basis for these counts. That
2 simply means, Mr. Rader, I want you to tell me in
3 your own words why you believe you’re guilty. We
4 will start off with Count No. One.
5 MS. FOULSTON: Your Honor? Your Honor,
6 the one thing that’s missing after the explanation
7 of the parole eligibility was that the sentences
8 could be served concurrent or consecutively.
9 THE COURT: Well, I’ll advise you of that
10 too, Mr. Rader. You understand these sentences
11 could be concurrent, or they could be consecutive,
12 the sentences in Counts One through Ten. Do you
13 understand they could be run concurrent or
14 consecutive?
15 THE DEFENDANT: This is on the
16 facial? (sic)
17 THE COURT: On all of them. Do you
18 understand they could be concurrent or consecutive?
19 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
20 THE COURT: When I say “concurrent,” that
21 would mean if they were all run together or any
22 number of them together those sentences that were
23 concurrently run would be served together. If they
24 were ordered to run consecutively, or any number of
25 them ordered to run consecutively, those sentences
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
25
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 that were to run consecutively would have to be
2 served one after the other. So if all ten of these
3 counts were ordered to run consecutively, it would
4 mean that you’d have to serve the sentence for Count
5 One, then the sentence for Count Two, then the
6 sentence for Count Three, so on until you had
7 satisfied every one of these sentences; and since
8 they are life, basically you would be confined for
9 your natural life.
10 Do you understand that?
11 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
12 THE COURT: Now, I will go ahead at this
13 time then and ask you, if the parties don’t desire
14 to have anything further on the record, in regards
15 to Count One, please tell me in your own words what
16 you did on the 15th day of January, 1974, here in
17 Sedgwick County, Kansas, that makes you believe you
18 are guilty of Murder in the First Degree.
19 THE DEFENDANT: On January 15th, 1974, I
20 maliciously, intentionally and premeditation killed
21 Joseph Otero. Count Two —
22 THE COURT: All right. Mr. Rader, I need
23 to find out more information. On that particular
24 day, the 15th day of January, 1974, can you tell me
25 where you went to kill Mr. Joseph Otero?
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
26
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 THE DEFENDANT: Mmm, I think it’s
2 1834 Edgemoor.
3 THE COURT: All right. Can you tell me
4 approximately what time of day you went there?
5 THE DEFENDANT: Somewhere between 7:00
6 and 7:30.
7 THE COURT: This particular location, did
8 you know these people?
9 THE DEFENDANT: No. That’s —
10 (Off-the-record discussion between
11 the defendant and Ms. McKinnon.)
12 No, that was part of my — I guess my what you
13 call fantasy. These people were selected.
14 THE COURT: All right. So you —
15 (Off-the-record discussion between
16 the defendant and Ms. McKinnon.)
17 THE COURT: — you were engaged in some
18 kind of fantasy during this period of time?
19 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
20 THE COURT: All right. Now, when you use
21 the term “fantasy,” is this something you were doing
22 for your personal pleasure?
23 THE DEFENDANT: Sexual fantasy, sir.
24 THE COURT: I see. So you went to this
25 residence, and what occurred then?
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
27
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 THE DEFENDANT: Well, I had — did some
2 thinking on what I was going to do to either
3 Mrs. Otero or Josephine, and basically broke into
4 the house — or didn’t break into the house, but
5 when they came out of the house I came in and
6 confronted the family, and then we went from there.
7 THE COURT: All right. Had you planned
8 this beforehand?
9 THE DEFENDANT: To some degree, yes.
10 After I got in the house it — lost control of it,
11 but it — it was — you know, in back of my mind I
12 had some ideas what I was going to do.
13 THE COURT: Did you —
14 THE DEFENDANT: But I just — I basically
15 panicked that first day, so —
16 THE COURT: Beforehand did you know who
17 was there in the house?
18 THE DEFENDANT: I thought Mrs. Otero and
19 the two kids — the two younger kids were in the
20 house. I didn’t realize Mr. Otero was gonna be
21 there.
22 THE COURT: All right. How did you get
23 into the house, Mr. Rader?
24 THE DEFENDANT: I came through the back
25 door, cut the phone lines, waited at the back door,
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
28
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 had reservations about even going or just walking
2 away, but pretty soon the door opened, and I was
3 in.
4 THE COURT: All right. So the door
5 opened. Was it opened for you, or did someone —
6 THE DEFENDANT: I think one of the
7 kids — I think the Ju — Junior — or not Junior —
8 yes, the — the young girl — Joseph opened the
9 door. He probably let the dog out ’cause the dog
10 was in the house at that time.
11 THE COURT: All right. When you went
12 into the house what happened then?
13 THE DEFENDANT: Well, I confronted the
14 family, pulled a pistol, confronted Mr. Otero and
15 asked him to — you know, that I was there to —
16 basically I was wanted, wanted to get the car. I
17 was hungry, food, I was wanted, and asked him to lie
18 down in the living room. And at that time I
19 realized that wouldn’t be a really good idea, so I
20 finally — The dog was the real problem, so I — I
21 asked Mr. Otero if he could get the dog out. So he
22 had one of the kids put it out, and then I took them
23 back to the bedroom.
24 THE COURT: You took who back to the
25 bedroom?
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
29
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 THE DEFENDANT: The family, the
2 bedroom — the four members.
3 THE COURT: All right. What happened
4 then?
5 THE DEFENDANT: At that time I tied ’em
6 up.
7 THE COURT: While still holding them at
8 gunpoint?
9 THE DEFENDANT: Well, in between tying, I
10 guess, you know.
11 THE COURT: All right. After you tied
12 them up what occurred?
13 THE DEFENDANT: Well, they started
14 complaining about being tied up, and I re —
15 reloosened the bonds a couple of times, tried to
16 make Mr. Otero as comfortable as I could.
17 Apparently he had a cracked rib from a car accident,
18 so I had him put a pillow down on his — for his
19 head, had him put a — I think a parka or a coat
20 underneath him. They — You know, they talked to me
21 about, you know, giving the car and whatever money.
22 I guess they didn’t have very much money, and the —
23 from there I realized that, you know, I was
24 already — I didn’t have a mask on or anything.
25 They already could ID me, and made — made a
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
30
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 decision to go ahead and — and put ’em down, I
2 guess, or strangle them.
3 THE COURT: All right. What did you do
4 to Joseph Otero, Sr.?
5 THE DEFENDANT: Joseph Otero?
6 THE COURT: Yeah, Joseph Otero, Sr.
7 Mr. Otero, the father.
8 THE DEFENDANT: Put a plastic bag over
9 his head and then some cords and tightened it.
10 THE COURT: This was in the bedroom?
11 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
12 THE COURT: All right. Did he in fact
13 suffocate and die as a result of this?
14 THE DEFENDANT: Not right away, no, sir,
15 he didn’t.
16 THE COURT: What happened?
17 THE DEFENDANT: Well, after that I — I
18 did Mrs. Otero. I had never strangled anyone
19 before, so I really didn’t know how much pressure
20 you had to put on a person or how long it would
21 take, but —
22 THE COURT: Was she also tied up there in
23 the bedroom?
24 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, uh-huh. Yeah, both
25 their hands and their feet were tied up. She was on
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
31
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 the bed.
2 THE COURT: Where were the children?
3 THE DEFENDANT: Well, Josephine was on
4 the bed, and Junior was on the floor —
5 THE COURT: All right.
6 THE DEFENDANT: — at this time.
7 THE COURT: So we’re — we’re talking,
8 first of all, about Joseph Otero. So you had put
9 the bag over his head and tied it.
10 THE DEFENDANT: Mm-hmm.
11 THE COURT: And he did not die right
12 away. Can you tell me what happened in regards to
13 Joseph Otero?
14 THE DEFENDANT: He moved over real quick
15 like and I think tore a hole in the bag, and I could
16 tell that he was having some problems there, but at
17 that time the — the whole family just went — they
18 went panicked on me, so I — I — I worked pretty
19 quick. I got Mrs. O —
20 THE COURT: All right. What did you —
21 You worked pretty quick. What did you do?
22 THE DEFENDANT: Well, I mean, I — I — I
23 strangled Mrs. Otero, and then she went out, or
24 passed out. I thought she was dead. She passed
25 out. Then I strangled Josephine. She passed out,
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
32
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 or I thought she was dead. And then I went over and
2 put a — and then put a bag on Junior’s head and —
3 and then, if I remember right, Mrs. Otero came
4 back. She came back and —
5 THE COURT: Sir, let me ask you about
6 Joseph Otero, Sr.
7 THE DEFENDANT: Senior.
8 THE COURT: You indicated he had torn a
9 hole in the bag.
10 THE DEFENDANT: Mm-hmm.
11 THE COURT: What did you do with him
12 then?
13 THE DEFENDANT: I put another bag over
14 it — or either that or a — if I recollect, I think
15 I put a — either a cloth or a T-shirt or something
16 over it — over his head, and then a bag, another
17 bag, then tied that down.
18 THE COURT: Did he sub — Did he
19 subsequently die?
20 THE DEFENDANT: Well, yes. I mean — I
21 mean, I was — I didn’t just stay there and watch
22 him. I mean, I was moving around the room, but —
23 THE COURT: All right. So you indicated
24 you strangled Mrs. Otero after you had done this; is
25 that correct?
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
33
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 THE DEFENDANT: Yeah, I went back and
2 strangled her again.
3 THE COURT: All right.
4 THE DEFENDANT: And that — And that —
5 that finally killed her at that time.
6 THE COURT: So this is in regards to
7 Count Two. You had, first of all, put the bag over
8 Joseph Otero’s head.
9 THE DEFENDANT: Mm-hmm.
10 THE COURT: And he tore a hole in the
11 bag.
12 THE DEFENDANT: Mm-hmm.
13 THE COURT: Then you went ahead — Did
14 you strangle Mrs. Otero then —
15 THE DEFENDANT: Okay.
16 THE COURT: — or did you go back?
17 THE DEFENDANT: First of all — First of
18 all, Mr. Otero was strangled — or a bag put over
19 his head and strangled. Then I thought he was going
20 down. Then I went over and strangled Mrs. Otero. I
21 thought she was down. Then I strangled Josephine.
22 Thought she was down. And then I went over to
23 Junior and put the bag on his head. After that
24 Mrs. Otero woke back up, and, you know, she was
25 pretty upset what’s going on, so I came back and at
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
34
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 that point in time strangled her for a — for the
2 death strangle at that time.
3 THE COURT: With your hands or what?
4 THE DEFENDANT: No, with a cord, with
5 a — with a rope. And then I — I think at that
6 point in time I redid Mr. Otero’s, put the bag over
7 his head, went over and then took Junior — Oh —
8 Oh, before that she asked me to — to save her son,
9 so I actually had taken the bag off, and then I was
10 really upset at that point in time. So basically
11 when Mr. Otero was down, Mrs. Otero was down, I went
12 ahead and — and took Ju — Junior — I put another
13 bag over his head and took him to the other bedroom
14 at that time.
15 THE COURT: What — What did you do
16 then?
17 THE DEFENDANT: Put a bag over his head.
18 I put a — a cloth over his head, a T-shirt and a
19 bag so he couldn’t tear a hole in it, and he
20 subsequently died from that.
21 THE COURT: All right.
22 THE DEFENDANT: And then when I went back
23 Josephine had woke back up.
24 THE COURT: What did you do then?
25 THE DEFENDANT: I took her to the
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
35
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 basement and eventually hung her.
2 THE COURT: All right. You hung her in
3 the basement?
4 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
5 THE COURT: All right. Did you do
6 anything else at that time?
7 THE DEFENDANT: Yes. I — I had some
8 sexual fantasies, but that was after she was hung.
9 THE COURT: All right. What did you do
10 then?
11 THE DEFENDANT: Went through the house,
12 kind of cleaned it up. It’s called the right-hand
13 rule. You go from room to room, picked everything
14 up. I think I took Mr. Otero’s watch. There — I
15 guess I took a radio. I had forgot about that, but
16 apparently I took a radio.
17 THE COURT: Why did you take these
18 things?
19 THE DEFENDANT: I don’t know. I have no
20 idea. Just —
21 THE COURT: What happened then?
22 THE DEFENDANT: I got the keys to the
23 car. In fact, I had the keys I think earlier before
24 that, ’cause I wanted to make sure I had a way of
25 getting out of the house, and cleaned the house up
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
36
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 little bit, made sure everything’s packed up, and
2 left through the front door, and then went there —
3 went over to their car, and then drove over to
4 Dillons, left the car there. Then eventually walked
5 back to my car.
6 THE COURT: All right. Now, sir, from
7 what you have just said, I take it that the facts
8 you have told me apply to both Counts One — all of
9 Counts One, Two, Three and Four; is that correct?
10 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
11 THE COURT: Now, Mr. Rader —
12 MS. PARKER: Your Honor?
13 THE COURT: Yes.
14 MS. PARKER: There is one thing that
15 needs to be corrected on that record and that is
16 originally I believe he indicated 1834 Edgemoor.
17 The address was actually 803 Edgemoor.
18 THE COURT: All right. But I’d asked him
19 if it occurred in Sedgwick County. He’s indicated
20 what had happened. I don’t believe the exact
21 address is important.
22 (Off-the-record discussion between
23 Mr. Osburn and the defendant.)
24 All right, Mr. Rader. We will now turn to
25 Count Five. In that count it is claimed that on or
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
37
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 about the 4th day of April, 1974, in Sedgwick
2 County, Kansas, that you unlawfully killed
3 Kathryn Bright, maliciously, willfully, deliberately
4 and with premeditation, by strangulation and
5 stabbing, inflicting injuries from which she did die
6 on April 4th, 1974. Can you tell me what occurred
7 on that day?
8 (Off-the-record discussion between
9 Mr. Osburn and the defendant.)
10 THE DEFENDANT: Well, the — I don’t know
11 how to exactly say that. I had many what I call
12 them projects. They were different people in the
13 town that I followed, watched. Kathryn Bright was
14 one of the next targets, I guess, as I would
15 indicate.
16 THE COURT: How did you select her?
17 THE DEFENDANT: Just driving by one day,
18 and I saw her go in the house with somebody else,
19 and I thought that’s a possibility. There was many,
20 many places in the area, College Hill even. They’re
21 all over Wichita. But anyway, that’s — it just was
22 basically a selection process, worked toward it. If
23 it didn’t work I’d just move on to something else,
24 but in the — in the — my kind of person, stalking
25 and strolling (sic) — You go through the trolling
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
38
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 stage and then a stalking stage. She was in the
2 stalking stage when this happened.
3 THE COURT: All right, sir. So you
4 identified Kathryn Bright as a potential victim.
5 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
6 THE COURT: What did you do here in
7 Sedgwick County then?
8 THE DEFENDANT: Pardon?
9 THE COURT: What did you do then here in
10 Sedgwick County?
11 THE DEFENDANT: On this particular day?
12 THE COURT: Yes.
13 THE DEFENDANT: I broke into the house
14 and waited for her to come home.
15 THE COURT: How did you break into the
16 house?
17 THE DEFENDANT: Through the back door on
18 the east side.
19 THE COURT: All right. And you waited
20 for her to come home.
21 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
22 THE COURT: Where did you wait?
23 THE DEFENDANT: In the house there,
24 probably close to the bedroom. I walked through the
25 house and kind of figured out where I’d be if they
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
39
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 came through.
2 THE COURT: All right. What happened
3 then?
4 THE DEFENDANT: She and Kevin Bright came
5 in. I wasn’t expecting him to be there. And come
6 to find out, I guess they were related. That time I
7 approached them and told them I was wanted in
8 California, needed some car — basically the same
9 thing that I told the Oteros. Kind of eased them,
10 make them feel better, and proceeded to — I think I
11 had him tie — I think I had him tie her up first,
12 and then I tied him up, or vice versa. I don’t
13 remember right now at that time.
14 THE COURT: Let — Let me ask —
15 THE DEFENDANT: Mm-hmm.
16 THE COURT: You indicated that you had
17 some items to tie these people with. Did you bring
18 these items, both the Oteros and to this location?
19 THE DEFENDANT: The Oteros I did. I’m
20 not really sure on the Brights. There were some —
21 I — When I had — In working with the police there
22 was some conserversy (sic) on that. Probably more
23 likely I did, but if — if I had brought my stuff
24 and used my stuff Kevin would probably be dead
25 today.
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
40
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 THE COURT: All right.
2 THE DEFENDANT: I’m not bragging on
3 that. It’s just a matter of fact. It’s the bonds I
4 had tau — row (sic) — tied him up with that he
5 broke them, so that —
6 THE COURT: All right, sir.
7 THE DEFENDANT: It may be same way
8 with — same with Kathryn. It was — They got
9 outta — got outta hand.
10 THE COURT: All right. Now, you
11 indicated you believe you had Kevin tie Kathryn up.
12 THE DEFENDANT: Mm-hmm.
13 THE COURT: Tell me what happened then.
14 THE DEFENDANT: Okay. I moved — Well,
15 after — I really can’t remember, Judge, whether I
16 had her tie him up or she tied him up; but anyway, I
17 moved — basically I moved her to another bedroom,
18 and he was already secure there by the bed. Tied
19 his feet to the bedpost — one of the bedposts so
20 that he couldn’t run. Kind of tied her in the other
21 bedroom, and then I came back to strangle him, and
22 at that time we had a fight.
23 THE COURT: Were you armed with a handgun
24 at that time also?
25 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, I had a handgun.
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
41
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 THE COURT: All right. What happened
2 when you came back?
3 THE DEFENDANT: I actually had two
4 handguns.
5 THE COURT: All right.
6 THE DEFENDANT: Well, when I started
7 strangling, the — either the garrote broke or he
8 broke his bonds, and he jumped up real quick like.
9 I pulled my gun and quickly shot at him. It hit him
10 in the head. He fell over. I could see the blood.
11 And as far as I was concerned, he — you know, I
12 thought he was down and was out, and then went and
13 started to strangle Kath — or — Kathryn. And then
14 we started fighting ’cause the bonds weren’t very
15 good, and so back and forth we fought.
16 THE COURT: You and Kathryn?
17 THE DEFENDANT: Yeah, we fought, uh-huh.
18 And I got the best of her, and I thought she was
19 going down, and then I could hear some movement in
20 the other room. So I went back, and Kevin — No.
21 No. I thought she was going down, and I went back
22 to the other bedroom where Kevin was at, and I tried
23 to restrangle him at that time, and he jumped up,
24 and we fought, and — and he about — at that time
25 about shot me, ’cause he got the other pistol that
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
42
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 was in my shoulder here. I had my magnum in my
2 shoulder. So — And really I —
3 THE COURT: A shoulder holster?
4 THE DEFENDANT: Hmm?
5 THE COURT: Did you have it in a shoulder
6 holster?
7 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, mm-hmm. I had the
8 magnum in my shoulder holster. The other one was a
9 .22.
10 THE COURT: All right.
11 THE DEFENDANT: And we fought at that
12 point in time, and I thought it was gonna go off. I
13 jammed the gun, stuck my finger in the — in there,
14 jammed it; and I think he thought that was the only
15 gun I had ’cause once I either bit his finger or hit
16 him or something, got away, and I used the .22 and
17 shot him one more time, and I thought he was down
18 for good that time.
19 THE COURT: All right. So you shot him a
20 second time.
21 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
22 THE COURT: What happened then?
23 THE DEFENDANT: Went back to finish the
24 job on Kathryn, and she was fighting. And at that
25 point in time I’d been fighting her. I just — And
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
43
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 then I heard some — I don’t know whether I was
2 lose — basically losing control. The strangulation
3 wasn’t working on her, and I used a knife on her.
4 THE COURT: You say you used a knife on
5 her.
6 THE DEFENDANT: Yes. Yes.
7 THE COURT: What did you do with the
8 knife?
9 THE DEFENDANT: I stabbed her. She was
10 stab — either stabbed two or three times, either
11 here or here, maybe two back here and one here, or
12 maybe just two times back here.
13 THE COURT: And you’re — you’re pointing
14 to your lower back and your — your —
15 THE DEFENDANT: Yeah, underneath the
16 ribs.
17 THE COURT: — and your lower abdomen.
18 THE DEFENDANT: Yeah, underneath the
19 ribs, up — up under the ribs.
20 THE COURT: So after you stabbed her what
21 happened?
22 THE DEFENDANT: Actually I think at that
23 point in time — Well, it’s a total mess ’cause I
24 didn’t have control on it. She was bleeding. She
25 went down. I think I just went back to check on
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
44
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 Kevin, or at that basically same time I heard him
2 escape. It could be one of the two. But all the
3 sudden the front door of the house was open and he
4 was gone, and — Oh, I tell you what I thought. I
5 thought the police were coming at that time. I
6 heard the door open. I thought, you know, that’s
7 it; and I stepped out there, and he — I could see
8 him running down the street. So I quickly cleaned
9 up everything that I could and left.
10 THE COURT: All right. Now, Mr. Rader,
11 you indicated that at the Oteros you did not have a
12 mask on. Did you have a mask on at the Brights’?
13 THE DEFENDANT: No. No, I didn’t,
14 huh-uh.
15 THE COURT: All right. So what happened
16 then?
17 THE DEFENDANT: I tried — I had —
18 already had the keys to the cars, and I thought I
19 had the right key to the right car. I ran out to
20 their car, what — I think it was a pickup out
21 there. And I tried it, didn’t work; and at that
22 point in time I was — he was gone, running down the
23 street. I thought well, I’m in trouble, so I tried
24 it, didn’t work. So I just took off, ran. I went
25 down — went east and then worked back toward the
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
45
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 WSU campus where my car was parked.
2 THE COURT: All right. So you had parked
3 your car at the Wichita State University —
4 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
5 THE COURT: — campus?
6 THE DEFENDANT: The campus, uh-huh.
7 THE COURT: How far away were — was the
8 Brights’ residence?
9 THE DEFENDANT: Oh, I parked — What is
10 that? 13th? And their — I want to say their —
11 they were on 13th. What is that? 17th? Yeah. I
12 was fur — I was just about one block south of 17th
13 where the car was. There — There’s a park there.
14 I parked by that park, and then I walked to 13th to
15 the Brights’ residence. So I basically ran back.
16 THE COURT: All right. So you were able
17 to get to your car and get away.
18 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
19 THE COURT: Now let’s turn to Count No.
20 Six. In that count they claim on March 17th, 1977,
21 in Sedgwick County, Kansas, that you unlawfully
22 killed Shirley Vian, maliciously, willfully,
23 deliberately and with premeditation, by
24 strangulation, inflicting injuries from which she
25 did die on March 17th, 1977. Can you tell me what
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
46
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 you did on that day?
2 THE DEFENDANT: As before, Vian was a —
3 Actually on that one she was completely random.
4 There was actually someone that across from Dillons
5 was potential target. It was called Project Green,
6 I think. I had project numbers assigned to it. And
7 that particular day I drove to Dillons, parked in
8 the parking lot, watched this particular residence,
9 and then got out of the car and walked over to it.
10 It’s probably in the police report, the address. I
11 don’t remember the address now. Knocked. Nobody —
12 Nobody answered it. So I was all keyed up, so I
13 just started going through the neighborhood. I had
14 been through the neighborhood before. I kind of
15 knew a little — little of the layout of the
16 neighborhood. I’d been through the back alleys,
17 knew where some — certain people lived. While I
18 was walking down Hydraulic I met a — a young boy
19 and asked him if he would ID some pictures, kind of
20 as a russ (sic), I guess, or ruse as you call it,
21 and kind of feel it out, and saw where he went, and
22 I went to another address, knocked on the door.
23 Nobody opened the door, so I just noticed where he
24 went and went to that house, and we went from there.
25 THE COURT: Now, you — you call these
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
47
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 “projects.” Were these sexual fantasies also?
2 THE DEFENDANT: Potential hits. That —
3 In my world, that’s what I called them.
4 THE COURT: All right. So you —
5 THE DEFENDANT: They were called
6 projects, hits.
7 THE COURT: All right. And — And why
8 did you have these potential hits? Was this to
9 gratify some sexual interest or —
10 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir. I had —
11 There — I had a lot of them, so it’s just — if one
12 didn’t work I’d just move to another one.
13 THE COURT: All right. So as I am to
14 understand it then, on the 17th of March, 1977, you
15 saw this little boy go into a residence.
16 THE DEFENDANT: Mm-hmm.
17 THE COURT: And you tried another
18 residence?
19 THE DEFENDANT: Sir?
20 THE COURT: No one was there? You tried
21 another residence. No one was there, so you —
22 THE DEFENDANT: Right, right, right,
23 right. Yeah.
24 THE COURT: — went to the residence with
25 the little boy —
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
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STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 THE DEFENDANT: And I watched — I
2 watched where he went.
3 THE COURT: What happened then?
4 THE DEFENDANT: After I tried this once,
5 the residence, nobody came to the door. I went to
6 this house where he went in, knocked on the door and
7 told ’em I was a private detective, showed ’em a
8 picture that I had just showed the boy and asked ’em
9 if they could ID the picture; and that time I — I
10 had the gun here and I just kind of forced myself
11 in. I just, you know, walked in — just opened the
12 door and walked in and then pulled a pistol.
13 THE COURT: What gun? What pistol?
14 THE DEFENDANT: The .357 magnum.
15 THE COURT: All right. So you only had
16 one gun with you this time?
17 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir, uh-huh.
18 THE COURT: What happened then?
19 THE DEFENDANT: I told Mrs. — Miss Vian
20 that I had a problem with sexual fantasies, that I
21 was going to tie her up, and that — and I might
22 have to tie the kids up, and that she would
23 cooperate with this — cooperate with me at that
24 time. We went back. She was extremely nervous. I
25 think she even smoked a cigarette. And we went back
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
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49
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 to the — one of the back — back areas of the
2 porch, explained to her that I had done this before,
3 and, you know, I think she — at that point in time
4 I think she was sick ’cause she had a night robe on,
5 and I think, if I remember right, she was — she had
6 been sick. I think — I think she came out of the
7 bedroom when I went in the house. So anyway, we
8 went back to the — her bedroom, and I proceeded to
9 tie the kids up, and they started crying and got
10 real upset. So I said oh, this is not gonna work,
11 so we moved ’em to the bathroom. She helped me.
12 And then I tied the door shut. We put some toys
13 and blankets and odds and ends in there for the
14 kids, make them as comfortable as we could. Tied
15 the — We tied one of the bathroom doors shut so
16 they couldn’t open it, and we shoved — she went
17 back and helped me shove the bed up against the
18 other bathroom door, and then I proceeded to tie her
19 up. She got sick, threw up. Got her a glass of
20 water, comforted her a little bit, and then went
21 ahead and tied her up and then put a blag (sic) — a
22 bag over her head and strangled her.
23 THE COURT: All right. Was this a
24 plastic bag also?
25 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir. I think it
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
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50
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 was.
2 THE COURT: All right.
3 THE DEFENDANT: But I could be wrong in
4 that.
5 THE COURT: You put a bag or —
6 THE DEFENDANT: It was something — I’m
7 sure it was a plastic bag, yeah.
8 THE COURT: Now, you say you put a bag
9 over her head and strangled her. What did you
10 strangle her with?
11 THE DEFENDANT: I actually — I think on
12 that I had tied — tied her legs to the bedposts and
13 worked up with the rope all the way up, and then
14 what I had left over I looped over her neck.
15 THE COURT: All right. So you used this
16 rope to strangle her?
17 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, uh-huh. I think —
18 I think it was the same one that I tied her body
19 with, mm-hmm.
20 THE COURT: All right. What happened
21 then?
22 THE DEFENDANT: Well, the kids were
23 really banging on the door, hollering and screaming,
24 and — and then the telephone rang, and they had
25 talked about earlier that the neighbor’s gonna check
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
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STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 on ’em, so I cleaned everything up real quick like,
2 and got out of there, left and went back in — to my
3 car.
4 THE COURT: Now, when you say you cleaned
5 everything —
6 THE DEFENDANT: Well, I mean put my
7 stuff — I had a briefcase. Whatever I have laying
8 around, ropes, tape, cords, I threw that in there,
9 my — you know, whatever, you know, that I had that
10 I brought in the house.
11 THE COURT: Had you brought that to the
12 Bright residence also or —
13 THE DEFENDANT: Yeah, there is some —
14 There — I — I think there’s some basic stuff, but
15 I don’t remember bringing total stuff like I did to
16 some of the others.
17 THE COURT: Was this a kit that you had
18 prepared —
19 THE DEFENDANT: Yeah. I —
20 THE COURT: — beforehand?
21 THE DEFENDANT: Yes. I call it my hit
22 kit.
23 THE COURT: All right, sir. You left the
24 Vian residence, and had you parked your vehicle near
25 there?
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
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STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 THE DEFENDANT: Yeah, still in the same
2 parking lot there at Dillons —
3 THE COURT: All right.
4 THE DEFENDANT: — at Hydraulic and —
5 What is that? Harry? Lincoln. Lincoln, yeah.
6 Lincoln and — Lincoln and Hydraulic.
7 THE COURT: All right. In Count Seven it
8 is claimed that on the 8th day of December, 1977, in
9 Sedgwick County, Kansas, that you unlawfully killed
10 a human being, that being Nancy Fox, maliciously,
11 willfully, deliberately and with premeditation, by
12 strangulation, inflicting injuries from which the
13 said Nancy Fox did die on December 8th, 1977. Can
14 you tell me what you did on that day here in
15 Sedgwick County?
16 THE DEFENDANT: Nancy Fox was another one
17 of the projects. When I was trolling the area I
18 noticed her go in the house one night. Sometimes I
19 would — And anyway, I put her down as potential
20 victim.
21 THE COURT: Let me ask you one thing,
22 Mr. Rader. You’ve used that term when you were
23 patrolling the area. What do you mean by that?
24 THE DEFENDANT: It’s called stalking or
25 trolling.
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
53
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 THE COURT: So you were not working in
2 any form or fashion. You were just —
3 THE DEFENDANT: Well, I don’t know, if —
4 you know, if you read much about serial killers,
5 they go through what they call the different
6 phases. That’s one of the phases they go through is
7 a — as a trolling stage. You’re lay — Basically
8 you’re looking for a victim at that time, and that
9 can either be trolling for months or years. But
10 once you lock in on a certain person then you become
11 stalking, and that might be several of them, but you
12 really home in on that person. They — They
13 basically come the — That’s — That’s the victim,
14 or at least that’s what you want ’em to be.
15 MS. FOULSTON: Excuse me, Your Honor. I
16 think he said “trolling,” with a T, not
17 “patrolling.”
18 THE COURT: He did say “trolling” with a
19 T. I thought he said “patrolling.”
20 THE DEFENDANT: Oh, okay.
21 THE COURT: All right, sir.
22 THE DEFENDANT: No, no. I wasn’t
23 working, sir.
24 THE COURT: All right.
25 THE DEFENDANT: No, this was — No, this
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
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54
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 was off — off — off my hours.
2 THE COURT: All right. So you basically
3 identified Nancy Fox as one of your projects. What
4 happened then?
5 THE DEFENDANT: At first she was spotted,
6 and then I did a little homework. I dropped by once
7 to check the mailbox to see what her name was, found
8 out where she worked, stopped by there once at
9 Helzberg, kind of sized her up. I had — The more I
10 knew about a person the — the more I felt
11 comfortable with it, so I did that a couple of
12 times; and then I just selected a night, which was
13 this particular night, to try it, and it worked
14 out.
15 THE COURT: All right. Can you tell me
16 what you did on the night of December 8th, 1977?
17 THE DEFENDANT: About two or three blocks
18 away I parked my car and walked to that residence.
19 I knocked at the — knocked at the door first to
20 make sure, see if anybody was in there ’cause I knew
21 she arrived home at a particular time from where she
22 worked. Nobody answered the door, so I went around
23 to the back of the house, cut the phone lines. I
24 could tell that there wasn’t anybody in the north
25 apartment. Broke in and waited for her to come home
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
55
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 in the kitchen.
2 THE COURT: All right. Did she come
3 home?
4 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, she did.
5 THE COURT: What happened?
6 THE DEFENDANT: I confronted her, told
7 her there — I was a — I had a problem, sexual
8 problem, that I would have to tie her up and have
9 sex with her.
10 THE COURT: Mm-hmm.
11 THE DEFENDANT: She was a little upset.
12 We talked for a while. She smoked a cigarette.
13 While the — While we smoked a cigarette I went
14 through her purse, identifying some stuff, and she
15 finally said, Well, let’s get this over with so I
16 can go call the police. I said, Okay, and she said,
17 Can I go to the bathroom? I said, Yes. She went to
18 the bathroom and came — and I told her when she
19 came out to make sure that she was undressed. And
20 when she came out I handcuffed her, and don’t really
21 remember whether I —
22 THE COURT: You handcuffed her?
23 THE DEFENDANT: Sir?
24 THE COURT: You handcuffed her. You had
25 a pair of handcuffs?
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
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56
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir, uh-huh, mm-hmm.
2 THE COURT: What happened then?
3 THE DEFENDANT: Well, anyway, I had
4 her — I handcuffed her, had her lay on the bed, and
5 then I tied her feet, and then I — I — I was also
6 undressed to a certain degree, and then I got on top
7 of her, and then I reached over, took either —
8 either — either her feet were tied or not tied, but
9 anyway, I took — I think I had a belt. I took the
10 belt and then strangled her with the belt at that
11 time.
12 THE COURT: All right. All right. After
13 you had strangled her what happened then?
14 THE DEFENDANT: Okay. After I strangled
15 her with the belt I took the belt off and retied
16 that with pantyhose real tight, removed the
17 handcuffs and tied those with — with pantyhose.
18 Can’t remember the colors right now. I think I
19 maybe retied her feet, if they hadn’t already —
20 they were probably already tied, her feet were, and
21 then at that time masturbated, sir.
22 THE COURT: All right. Had you had
23 sexual relations with her —
24 THE DEFENDANT: No.
25 THE COURT: — before?
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
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STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 THE DEFENDANT: No, no. I told her I
2 was, but I did not.
3 THE COURT: All right. So you
4 masturbated. Then what did you do?
5 THE DEFENDANT: Dressed and then went
6 through the house, took some of her personal items,
7 and kind of cleaned the house up, went through and
8 made — checked everything and then left.
9 THE COURT: All right.
10 MS. FOULSTON: Your Honor, for the
11 record, the address?
12 THE COURT: He’s established it was in
13 Sedgwick County. I don’t need an exact address.
14 For purposes of this — It’s in Sedgwick County.
15 Do you remember the address, Mr. Rader?
16 THE DEFENDANT: Oh, the Fox? Nine — 913
17 or nine oh — 903? No, I — I sure don’t. I know
18 it was on Pershing — South Pershing. That’s all.
19 THE COURT: Here in Wichita?
20 THE DEFENDANT: It was nine — It was
21 nine something, sir, but I don’t remember the other
22 numb — digits.
23 MS. FOULSTON: It’s 843.
24 THE COURT: The address, as I said, is
25 really not important as long as you remember it
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
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58
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 happened here in Wichita, Sedgwick County, Kansas.
2 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
3 THE COURT: All right, sir. Let’s turn
4 to Count Eight. In Count Eight it is claimed that
5 on or about the 27th day of April, 1985, to the 28th
6 day of April, 1985, in Sedgwick County, Kansas, it
7 is claimed that you unlawfully killed a human being,
8 Marine Hedge, maliciously, willfully, deliberately
9 and with premeditation, by strangulation, inflicting
10 injuries from which Marine Hedge did die on
11 April 27th, 1985. Can you tell me what occurred on
12 that day?
13 THE DEFENDANT: Well, actually, kind of
14 like the others. She was chosen. I went through
15 the different phases, stalking phase, and since she
16 lived down the street from me I could watch the
17 coming and going quite easily. On that particular
18 date I — I had a — a other (sic) commitment. I
19 came back from that commitment. Parked my car over
20 at Woodlawn and 21st Street at a bowling alley there
21 at that time. Before that I dressed into — I had
22 some other clothes on. I changed clothes. I went
23 to the bowling alley, went in there under the
24 pretense of bowling, called a taxi. Had a taxi take
25 me out to Park City. Had my kit with me. It was a
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
59
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 bowling bag.
2 THE COURT: All right. Now, is Park City
3 in Sedgwick County, Kansas?
4 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir, uh-huh, mm-hmm.
5 THE COURT: All right. You had the taxi
6 take you to Park City. What happened then?
7 THE DEFENDANT: There I asked — I — I
8 pretended that I was a little drunk. I just took —
9 I just took some beer and washed it around my mouth,
10 and the guy could probably smell alcohol on me. I
11 asked — told him to let me out so I could get some
12 fresh air, and I walked from where the taxi let me
13 off over to her house.
14 THE COURT: All right. Where does she
15 live?
16 THE DEFENDANT: 62 — What is it? — 42?
17 (Off-the-record discussion between
18 the defendant and Ms. Mitchell.)
19 THE DEFENDANT: 54. 6254? 6254 —
20 THE COURT: All right. What was the —
21 THE DEFENDANT: — North Independence.
22 THE COURT: All right. When you walked
23 over there what happened next?
24 THE DEFENDANT: Well, as before, I was
25 going to have sexual fantasies, so I brought my hit
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
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STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 kit, and lo and behold, her car was there. I
2 thought gee, she’s not supposed to be home. So I
3 very carefully snuck into the house, kind of like a
4 cat burglar, and after checking the house, she
5 wasn’t there. So about that time the doors rattled,
6 so I went — went back to one of the bedrooms and
7 hid back there in one of the bedrooms. She came in
8 with a male visitor. They were there for maybe an
9 hour or so. Then he left. I waited till wee hours
10 of the morning. I then proceeded to sneak into her
11 bedroom and flip the lights on real quick like, or I
12 think the bathroom lights. I just — I didn’t want
13 to flip her lights on, and she screamed, and I
14 jumped on the bed and strangled her manually.
15 THE COURT: All right. Now, were you
16 wearing any kind of disguise or mask at this time?
17 THE DEFENDANT: No. No.
18 THE COURT: You indicated this woman
19 lived down the street from you. Did she know you?
20 THE DEFENDANT: Casually. We’d walk by
21 and wave. She — She liked to work in her yard as
22 well as I liked to work, and it’s just a neighborly
23 type thing. It wasn’t anything personal, I mean,
24 just a neighbor.
25 THE COURT: All right. So she was in her
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
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STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 bed when you turned on the lights in the bathroom?
2 THE DEFENDANT: Yeah, the bathroom, yeah,
3 just to — so I could get some light in there.
4 THE COURT: All right. What did you do
5 then?
6 THE DEFENDANT: Oh, I manually strangled
7 her when she started to scream.
8 THE COURT: So you used your hands?
9 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
10 THE COURT: And you strangled her? Did
11 she die?
12 THE DEFENDANT: Yes.
13 THE COURT: All right. What did you do
14 then?
15 THE DEFENDANT: After that, since I was
16 in the sexual fantasy, I went ahead and stripped her
17 and probably went ahead and — I’m not for sure if I
18 tied her up at that point in time, but anyway, she
19 was nude, and I put her on a blanket, went through
20 her purse, some personal items in the house, figured
21 out how I was gonna get her out of there.
22 Eventually moved her to the trunk of the car. Took
23 the car over to Christ Lutheran Church — This is
24 with the older church — and took some pictures of
25 her.
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
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STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 THE COURT: All right. You took some
2 photographs of her. What kind of camera did you
3 use?
4 THE DEFENDANT: Polaroid.
5 THE COURT: All right. Did you keep
6 those photographs?
7 THE DEFENDANT: Yes. The police probably
8 have them.
9 THE COURT: All right. All right. What
10 happened then?
11 THE DEFENDANT: That was it. I went — I
12 took — She went through — I tied — She was
13 already dead, so I took pictures of her in different
14 forms of bondage, and that’s probably what got me in
15 trouble is the bondage thing. So anyway — That’s
16 probably the — the main thing. But anyway, after
17 that I moved her back out to the car, and then we
18 went east on 53rd.
19 THE COURT: All right. What occurred
20 then?
21 THE DEFENDANT: Sir?
22 THE COURT: What happened then?
23 THE DEFENDANT: Oh, trying to find a
24 place to hide her, hide the body.
25 THE COURT: Did you find a place?
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STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 THE DEFENDANT: Yes. Yes, I did.
2 THE COURT: Where?
3 THE DEFENDANT: Couldn’t tell you without
4 looking at a map, but it was on 53rd, between
5 Greenwich maybe — maybe — What’s — What’s the
6 other one between Green — Greenwich and Rock?
7 MR. OSBURN: Webb.
8 THE DEFENDANT: Webb. Between — I think
9 between wed (sic) and — Webb and Greenwich I found
10 a ditch, a low place on the north side of the rode,
11 and hid her there.
12 THE COURT: All right. You say you hid
13 her there. Did you —
14 THE DEFENDANT: Well, there were some —
15 there were some trees, some brush, and I laid that
16 over the top of her body.
17 THE COURT: All right. So you removed
18 the body from the car, put her in the ditch, then
19 laid some — some brush over the body.
20 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
21 THE COURT: All right. Sir, in Count
22 Nine it is claimed on or about the 16th day of
23 September, 1986, in Sedgwick County, Kansas, that
24 you unlawfully killed a human being, Vicki Wegerle,
25 maliciously, willfully, deliberately and with
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
64
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 premeditation, by strangulation, inflicting injuries
2 from which the said Vicki Wegerle did die on
3 September 16th, 1986. Can you tell me what you did
4 here in Sedgwick County on that day that makes you
5 believe you are guilty?
6 THE DEFENDANT: Yes. Again, Vicki was —
7 Wegerle was another potential victim. I went
8 through those different phases, locked in on her, as
9 I would call it, and decided that I would try that
10 date. I used a ruse as a telephone repairman to get
11 in her house. Drove there in my own personal car,
12 around lunchtime, during lunch hour, or
13 approximately that time — It was earlier in the
14 morning than that — and put my — I actually went
15 somewhere else and changed — changed my clothes,
16 what I — what I call my hit clothes. And —
17 THE COURT: Hit clothes?
18 THE DEFENDANT: Hit clothes. Basically
19 different, you know, things that I need to get rid
20 of later, not — not the same kind of clothes that I
21 had on. I — I don’t know what other better word
22 use it. (sic) Crime clothes or hit clothes. I
23 just call ’em hit clothes.
24 Anyway, I walked from my car as a telephone
25 repairman. As I walked there I donned the telephone
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
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65
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 helmet. I had a briefcase, went to one other
2 address just to kind of size up the house. I’d
3 walked by it a couple times, but I wanted to check
4 it a little bit more. As I approached it I could
5 hear a piano sound and went to this other door,
6 knocked on ’em and told ’em I was — that we were
7 recently working on telephone repairs in the area,
8 and then went to her — went to her, knocked on the
9 door and asked her if I could come check her
10 telephone lines inside.
11 THE COURT: Did she allow you in?
12 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, she did.
13 THE COURT: What happened then?
14 THE DEFENDANT: I went over and found out
15 where the telephone was, simulated that I was
16 checking the telephone. I had a make-believe
17 instrument. And after she was looking away I — I
18 drew a pistol at her and asked her if she’d go back
19 to the bedroom with me.
20 THE COURT: Was this the same .357 magnum
21 you’d used earlier?
22 THE DEFENDANT: No. This — This was a
23 different one.
24 THE COURT: A different pistol. All
25 right. You asked her to go back to the bedroom with
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
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66
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 you after drawing a pistol on her.
2 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
3 THE COURT: What happened then?
4 THE DEFENDANT: I told her — We went
5 back to the bedroom. I told her I was going to have
6 to tie her up. She was very upset. And I think
7 we — I used some material that was in — And
8 that — that’s another thing. I’m not sure, but
9 I — I think I used some material that they had in
10 their bedroom. And after I tied her hands she broke
11 that, and we started fighting, and we fought quite a
12 bit back and forth.
13 THE COURT: All right. She was
14 physically fighting you?
15 THE DEFENDANT: Oh, yeah. Yes, sir,
16 mm-hmm.
17 THE COURT: What happened then?
18 THE DEFENDANT: Finally got the hand on
19 her and got a — a nylon sock and started strangling
20 her.
21 THE COURT: So you wrapped a stocking
22 around her neck?
23 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, mm-hmm.
24 THE COURT: What happened then?
25 THE DEFENDANT: I — I finally gained —
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STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 gained on her and — and — and put her down, and I
2 thought she was dead, but apparently she wasn’t, but
3 after — after she was down and not moving anymore,
4 I — I — I rearranged her clothes a little bit and
5 took some quick photos — I think three of ’em, if I
6 remember — and then after that I — there was lot
7 of commotion. She had mentioned something about her
8 husband coming home. So I got out of there pretty
9 quick. The dogs were raising a lot of Cain in the
10 back. The doors — The windows were all open in the
11 house, a lot of noise when we were fighting, so I
12 left pretty quickly after that. Put everything in
13 the briefcase and had her — I had already gone
14 through her purse, got the keys to the car and used
15 her car for my getaway car.
16 THE COURT: All right. Now, you indicate
17 that you thought that she was dead. Did you
18 discover later that she was not dead?
19 THE DEFENDANT: Yes. I guess the
20 paramedics arrived, and they tried to attempt to
21 re — relieve her or revive her, and after that
22 failed, I don’t know whether she died there or on
23 the way to the hospital or at the hospital. I don’t
24 recollect.
25 THE COURT: But you later found out she
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
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68
STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 did die as a result of your strangulation?
2 THE DEFENDANT: Yes.
3 THE COURT: Now, sir, let’s turn to Count
4 Ten. In that count it’s claimed that on or about
5 the 18th day of January, 1991, to the eight — 19th
6 day of January, 1991, in the County of Sedgwick,
7 State of Kansas, that you did then and there
8 unlawfully kill a human being, that being
9 Dolores E. Davis, maliciously, willfully,
10 deliberately and with premeditation, by
11 strangulation, inflicting injuries from which the
12 said Dolores E. Davis did die on January 19th,
13 1991. Mr. Rader, please tell me what you did here
14 in Sedgwick County, Kansas, on that day that makes
15 you believe you’re guilty.
16 THE DEFENDANT: That particular day I had
17 some commitments. I left those, went to one place,
18 changed my clothes, went to another place, parked my
19 car, finally made arrangements on my hit kit, my
20 clothes, and then walked to that residence. After
21 spending some time at that residence — It was very
22 cold that night. Had reservations about going in
23 ’cause I — I had cased the place before, and I
24 really couldn’t figure out how to get in, and she
25 was in the house, so I finally just selected a — a
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
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STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 concrete block and threw it through the plate glass
2 window on the east and came on in.
3 THE COURT: All right. Where is this
4 residence located?
5 THE DEFENDANT: It’s on Hillside, but I
6 couldn’t give the address. I know it’s probably
7 61 — probably 62 something. I don’t know. 62
8 something.
9 THE COURT: North or south?
10 THE DEFENDANT: North. North Hillside.
11 THE COURT: All right. So you used a
12 concrete block to break a window?
13 THE DEFENDANT: Mm-hmm, plate glass
14 window, patio door, mm-hmm.
15 THE COURT: All right. What happened
16 then?
17 THE DEFENDANT: Noise. I just went in.
18 She came out of a bedroom and thought that a car had
19 hit her house, and I told her that I was — I used
20 a — the ruse of being wanted. I was on the run; I
21 needed food, car, warmth, warm up, and then I asked
22 her — I handcuffed her and kind of talked to her,
23 told her that I would like to get some food, get her
24 keys to her car, and kind of rest assured, you know,
25 walked — talked with her a little bit and calmed
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
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STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 her down a little bit. And then eventually I
2 checked — I think she was still handcuffed. I went
3 back and checked out where the car was, simulated
4 getting some food, odds and ends in the house, kind
5 of like I was leaving, then went back and removed
6 her handcuffs and — and then tied her up and
7 then — and then eventually strangled her.
8 THE COURT: All right. You say
9 “eventually strangled her.”
10 THE DEFENDANT: Well, after I tied her
11 up. I went through some things in the room there
12 and then — and then strangled her.
13 THE COURT: All right. You say you went
14 through. Were you looking for something?
15 THE DEFENDANT: Mm-hmm. Well, some
16 personal items, yes. I took some personal items
17 from there.
18 THE COURT: Did you take personal items
19 in every one of these incidents?
20 THE DEFENDANT: I did on the Hedge. I
21 don’t remember anything in Vicki’s place. The
22 Oteros we got the watch and the radio. I don’t
23 think I did any in Bright’s. Vian’s, no, I don’t
24 think so. Fox, yes. I took some things from Fox.
25 It was hit and miss.
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
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STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 THE COURT: All right. But in regard —
2 THE DEFENDANT: Prob — Probably if it —
3 if it — if it was a controlled situation where I
4 had more time I took something, but if it — if it
5 was a confusion and other things I didn’t ’cause I
6 was trying to get out of there.
7 THE COURT: All right. So in regard to
8 the Davis matter, you went around the room, took a
9 few personal things. What did you do then?
10 THE DEFENDANT: Strangled her.
11 THE COURT: What did you strangle her
12 with?
13 THE DEFENDANT: Pantyhose.
14 THE COURT: All right. What happened
15 then? Did she die?
16 THE DEFENDANT: Kind of like Mrs. Hedge.
17 I already figured out my — I had a, you know, plan
18 on leaving and put her in a blanket and drug her to
19 the car, put her in the trunk of the car.
20 THE COURT: So you were able to strangle
21 her to death with these pantyhose.
22 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
23 THE COURT: All right. You put her in
24 your car.
25 THE DEFENDANT: In her car.
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
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STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 THE COURT: Or in a car.
2 THE DEFENDANT: Her car.
3 THE COURT: Her car or trunk.
4 THE DEFENDANT: Uh-huh, the trunk of her
5 car, uh-huh.
6 THE COURT: What happened then?
7 THE DEFENDANT: I really had a commitment
8 I needed to go to, so I moved her to one spot, took
9 her out of her car. This gets complicated. Then
10 the stuff I had, clothes, gun, whatever, I took that
11 to another spot in her car, dumped that off. Okay.
12 Then took her car back to her house. Left that.
13 Let me think now.
14 (REPORTER’S NOTE: The defendant
15 made a repetitive popping sound with
16 his lips.)
17 Okay. In the interim — I took her car back to
18 her house. In the interim I realized that I had
19 lost one of my guns. I dropped it somewhere. So I
20 was distraught trying to figure out where my gun
21 was. So I went back in the house, realized I had
22 dropped it when I went in the — when I broke the
23 plate glass window. It dropped. It fell on the
24 floor right there, and I found it right there. So
25 that solved that problem. Anyway, I went back out,
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
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STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 threw the keys — checked the car real quick —
2 quick like and threw the keys up on top of the roof
3 of her house, walked from her car back to my car,
4 took my car, drove it back, and I either dropped
5 more stuff off or I picked her up and put ’em in my
6 car, and then I drove up northeast of Sedgwick
7 County and dropped her off underneath a bridge.
8 THE COURT: All right. So all of these
9 incidents, these ten counts, occurred because you
10 wanted to satisfy a sexual fantasy; is that
11 correct?
12 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, mm-hmm.
13 THE COURT: Does any party desire any
14 further matters to be put on the record at this
15 time?
16 MR. OSBURN: No, Your Honor.
17 THE COURT: All right. You may be
18 seated, Mr. Rader.
19 (The defendant and his counsel were
20 seated.)
21 I will find that you, Dennis L. Rader, have
22 knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily waived your
23 Constitutional rights and entered your pleas of
24 guilty. I will find that you understand the nature
25 of the charges and the consequences of your pleas.
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
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STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 Based upon your statements to the Court I will find
2 there are factual bases for each of these pleas of
3 guilty. I will accept these pleas of guilty and
4 adjudge you, Dennis L. Rader, guilty of Murder in
5 the First Degree in Count One, a Class A felony;
6 Murder in the First Degree in Count Two, a Class A
7 felony; Murder in the First Degree in Count Three, a
8 Class A felony; Murder in the First Degree in Count
9 Four, a Class A felony; Murder in the First Degree
10 in Count Five, a Class A felony; Murder in the First
11 Degree in Count 6, a Class A felony; Murder in the
12 First Degree in Count Seven, a Class A felony;
13 Murder in the First Degree in Count Eight, a Class A
14 felony; Murder in the First Degree in Count Nine, a
15 Class A felony; and Murder in the First Degree in
16 Count Ten, a Class A felony.
17 I will at this time order presentence
18 investigation. I will schedule sentencing on Counts
19 One through Nine for August 17th at 9:00 o’clock in
20 the morning.
21 (Off-the-record discussion between
22 the Court and the administrative
23 assistant.)
24 All right. I’ll do it at 9:00 o’clock in the
25 morning. In regards to Count No. Ten, we will
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
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STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 schedule a hearing relative to the Hard 40 matter at
2 that time.
3 Now, it’s my understanding the State — Do you
4 desire to present evidence to a jury?
5 MR. O’CONNOR: No, Your Honor. I believe
6 that it was mentioned earlier in the acknowledge —
7 Acknowledgment of Rights and Entry of Plea that the
8 defendant is waiving his right to a jury trial on
9 the question of sentence as it relates to the Hard
10 40 on Count Ten. We would ask the Court to have the
11 defendant affirmatively waive that right now. We —
12 That’s the only stipulation that we’ll accept. We
13 will not accept a stipulation to the existence of
14 the aggravating factors. We wish to present
15 evidence in support of those aggravating factors.
16 THE COURT: All right.
17 Well, Mr. Osburn, do you desire on Mr. Rader’s
18 behalf — does he desire to accept that portion of
19 the stipulation and waive his right to a jury trial
20 in regards to the sentencing on Count Ten?
21 MR. OSBURN: We will affirmatively waive
22 his right to a jury trial regarding those sentencing
23 factors, Your Honor.
24 THE COURT: All right. Mr. Rader, your
25 lawyer has indicated to the Court it’s your desire
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
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STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 to give up your right to a trial by jury in regards
2 to Count Ten, the sentencing aspect of it. Is that
3 your desire?
4 THE DEFENDANT: Yes sir.
5 THE COURT: Now, sir, you understand that
6 based upon the law of the State of Kansas you have
7 the right to have a jury of 12 determine whether the
8 aggravating circumstances outweigh the mitigating
9 circumstances and therefore whether or not a
10 sentence of life with a parole eligibility of 40
11 years should be imposed. Do you understand that?
12 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
13 THE COURT: Do you understand without the
14 jury’s presence the Court would have to make that
15 determination? Do you realize that?
16 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
17 THE COURT: So you would give up the
18 right you would have to require that be proven to a
19 jury beyond a reasonable doubt, and it would have to
20 be proven to the Court beyond a reasonable doubt.
21 Do you understand that?
22 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
23 THE COURT: So having all of that in
24 mind, is it your desire to give up your right to a
25 jury trial?
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STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.
2 THE COURT: All right. I’ll accept that
3 waiver, and I’ll set that count, Count Ten, for a
4 sentencing hearing on the 17th of August at 9:00
5 o’clock in the morning.
6 Anything further on the record at this time?
7 MS. FOULSTON: Nothing by the State,
8 Your Honor, although we do intend to produce some
9 evidence at the sentencing hearing with regard to
10 the sentencing procedure.
11 THE COURT: Anything further?
12 MR. OSBURN: Nothing — Nothing,
13 Your Honor.
14 THE COURT: Very well. The Court will be
15 in recess.
16 (Proceedings in the courtroom were
17 adjourned for the day at 10:15
18 a.m.)
19
20 * * * * *
21
22
23
24
25
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
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STATE V. DENNIS L. RADER 05 CR 498 GUILTY PLEAS 6/27/2005
1 STATE OF KANSAS )
) ss:
2 SEDGWICK COUNTY )
3 C E R T I F I C A T E
4 I, DAVID G. HOLT, a Certified Shorthand Reporter,
5 under and by virtue of the laws of the State of
6 Kansas, and a regularly appointed, qualified, and
7 acting Official Reporter for the Eighteenth Judicial
8 District of the State of Kansas, do hereby certify
9 that as such Official Reporter, I was present at and
10 reported in Stenotype shorthand the above and
11 foregoing proceedings in Case No. 05 CR 498, heard on
12 June 27, 2005, before the Honorable Gregory L. Waller,
13 Judge of Division 5 of said court.
14 I FURTHER CERTIFY that upon the oral request of
15 Mr. Ron Sylvester, I personally prepared the foregoing
16 transcript of my shorthand notes via computer-aided
17 transcription, and that said transcript, consisting of
18 77 typewritten pages, is true and correct, all to the
19 best of my knowledge and ability.
20 SIGNED, OFFICIALLY SEALED, and DELIVERED this
21 _________ day of _______________, 2005.
22
23
24
CERTIFIED SHORTHAND REPORTER
25
DAVID G. HOLT, CSR, RMR, CRR
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER

 

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