Dennis Rader’s son is Brian Rader. Dennis’ father, Rader, is a serial killer known as BTK, the BTK Strangler, or the BTK Killer in the United States. Between 1974 and 1991, Rader murdered ten people in Wichita and Park City, Kansas, and sent derogatory letters to police and newspapers detailing his crimes.
What happened to Dennis Rader’s son, Brian Rader?
Is BTK killer Dennis Rader a father? Yes, the BTK assassin had a child. Brian Rader is not the only child of his parents; he has an older sister, Kerri Rawson. Brian Rader’s father has not spoken publicly, but his sister, Rawson, has described him as intelligent. According to the Wichita Eagle, Brian was an Eagle Scout at the time his father was arrested. During his father’s arrest in 2005, Brian Rader was reportedly stationed at a sub base in Connecticut. From 2004 to 2009, Brian Rader worked on Navy submarines. In 2016, he was a college student.
Despite his apparent accomplishments, Rawson expressed concern for her brother.
“He doesn’t have the children and family that I do,” she explained to the paper. “That’s all I’ve got to say about him.”
According to Rawson, despite the murders, Rader was a good father.
As a child, Rader allegedly wrapped his hands around Brian’s neck, choking him after he “spoiled dinner.”
Brian Rader’s family has not revealed his age, birthplace, or current location. Brian Rader has avoided the media and stayed out of the spotlight.
Rawson Rader, Brian Rader’s sister, claims that their serial killer father harassed her from behind bars and that she obtained a no-contact order against him.
“He’s been cyberstalking me,” Kerri Rawson told the audience at CrimeCon 2021, presented by Oxygen, in Austin on Sunday. “He has access to letters and phones, so he has a fan club that […] prints off screenshots of my social media and photos of me and what I’m up to.”
Between 1974 and 1991, Dennis Rader, also known as the BTK killer (short for bind, torture, kill), murdered ten people in Kansas while masquerading as a family man and respected member of the community.
He rose to prominence by mocking the media about his crimes, and his desire for credit for those crimes led to his capture. He mailed a floppy disk to police in 2004, from which they obtained a DNA sample. Using his daughter’s DNA, investigators were able to confirm his identity.
Brian Rader’s sister, Rawson, wrote about her struggles coming to terms with who her father is in the 2019 book “A Serial Killer’s Daughter: My Story Of Faith, Love, and Overcoming.”
She spoke candidly about her journey during a Sunday CrimeCon panel, expressing her anguish after her father referred to his family as “pawns in his game” during his rambling sentencing statement in 2005.
While her book describes how she and her father communicated after his conviction, she claims that this is no longer the case. Despite saying she loved and forgiven her father, Rawson explained that he is a “narcissist” with whom she has legally severed contact.
Brian Rader’s sister told the shocked CrimeCon audience about some of the more disturbing alleged interactions between her and her father in recent years.
She explained, “He sends me drawings of animals with gaping mouths and teeth.”
Brian Rader’s father even wrote a letter to the Wichita Eagle, telling them that “she reminds me of me” and that “she uses the media.”
Furthermore, Brian Rader’s sister stated that her father’s “fans” not only screenshot what she does online, but also message her frequently to tell her that her father is a “great guy.”
“I said that’s it, I’m done after dealing with that [cyberstalking] for the last few years, this murder memorabilia market, and learning that he was signing crime scene photos,” she explained. “So I registered with the Kansas Department of Corrections for victim services, and […] I signed a legal cease contact order, which was delivered to him the day before his birthday this year.” When he made that statement, the audience applauded.
In what manner was Dennis Rader’s father, the BTK Killer Killer, apprehended?
On January 15, 1974, four members of the Otero family were murdered in Wichita, Kansas.
The victims were Joseph Otero, 38, Julie Otero, 33, Joseph Otero Jr., 9, and Josephine Otero, 11. The bodies were discovered by Charlie, Danny, and Carmen, the family’s three older children who were at school at the time of the killings. After Brian Rader’s arrest in 2005, his father confessed to killing the Otero family. Dennis Rader detailed the murder of the Otero family in January 1974 in a letter hidden inside an engineering book in the Wichita Public Library in October 1974.
Between the spring of 1974 and the winter of 1977, Rader murdered three more women: Kathryn Bright (April 4, 1974), Shirley Vian Relford (March 17, 1977), and Nancy Fox (December 8, 1977).
The investigation into the BTK Killer had become a cold case by 2004. Brian Rader’s father then began a series of 11 communications to the local media. This behavior directly led to his arrest in February 2005.
In January 2005, Rader attempted to leave a cereal box in the bed of a pickup truck at a Home Depot in Wichita, but the box was discarded by the truck’s owner. After Rader inquired about its fate in a later message, it was later recovered from the trash. On that date, surveillance footage showed a distant figure driving a black Jeep Cherokee and leaving the box in the pickup.
In one of his letters, Rader asked police if his writings could be traced if they were stored on a floppy disk. The police responded to his inquiry in a newspaper advertisement published in the Wichita Eagle, stating that the disk could be used safely. On February 16, 2005, Brian Rader’s father sent a purple 1.44-Megabyte Memorex floppy disk to Fox affiliate KSAS-TV in Wichita. There was also a letter, a gold-colored necklace with a large medallion, and a photocopy of the cover of John Sandford’s 1989 novel Rules of Prey, about a serial killer.
Unbeknownst to Rader, police discovered metadata embedded in a deleted Microsoft Word document that was still stored on the floppy disk.
The metadata mentioned “Christ Lutheran Church,” and the document was last modified by “Dennis.”
An Internet search revealed that the president of the church council was a “Dennis Rader.”
When investigators drove by, a black Jeep Cherokee—the type of vehicle seen in the Home Depot surveillance footage—was parked outside Rader’s house.
This was strong circumstantial evidence against Rader, but he needed more direct evidence to be detained.
At the Kansas State University medical clinic, a warrant was obtained to test a pap smear taken from Rader’s daughter. The pap smear and the sample from Wegerle’s fingernails had a “familial match,” indicating that the killer was related to Rader’s daughter. Rader was arrested as a result of this and other evidence.
Dennis Rader, Brian Rader’s father, was arrested shortly after noon on February 25, 2005, near his Park City home.
“Do you know why you’re going downtown, Mr. Rader?” asked an officer. “Oh, I have suspicions,” Rader said.
Wichita Police Department, Kansas Bureau of Investigation, FBI, and ATF agents searched Rader’s home and vehicle, seizing evidence such as computer equipment, a pair of black pantyhose found in a shed, and a cylindrical container.
The church he attended, his office at City Hall, and the main branch of the Park City library were all searched. “The bottom line: BTK is arrested,” Wichita Police Chief Norman Williams declared the next morning at a press conference.