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Mindhunter: Who Was The BTK Killer? Denis Rader Was A Real American Serial Killer

Mindhunter: Who Was The BTK Killer? Denis Rader Was A Real American Serial Killer

Is Netflix smash hit Mindhunter based on real crimes? Yes, it absolutely is. And many of them are absolutely fascinating.

All the criminals interviewed by FBI profilers Holden Ford and Bill Tench are real people - including Charles Manson and Ed Kemper.

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One serial killer introduced to Mindhunter viewers during season 2 is the BTK Killer aka Dennis Rader. By looking at him, you might think that he's just a nice average guy, until you get a glimpse of his cold, dead eyes. He's one of the most notorious serial killers in recent memory. So recent in fact, that he wasn't captured until 2005.

His evasion skills were so great that when he wasn't killing people, he was happily leading a church and a local Cub Scouts program. Before you read on, please note that this article gets a little graphic.

Where did he get his name?

A lot of serial killers love the idea of notoriety, and in an attempt to get his name out there, Dennis Raider wrote to Wichita-based TV station KAKE to suggest a couple of nicknames for himself. He suggested "The Wichita Strangler", "The Wichita Hangman", "The Asphyxiater" and, the name the public came to know him by, "The BTK Killer". BTK stands his, for modus operandi, Bind. Torture. Kill.

The BTK KIller In Mindhunter. Credit: Netflix
The BTK KIller In Mindhunter. Credit: Netflix
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Dennis then signed off his letters to police, 'BTK'.

Early life

Rader was born into a poor family in Pittsburgh, Kansas and was the eldest of four children. He admits that his sick fantasies started when he was young. He said: "When I was in grade school, I sort of had some problems.

"Sexual fantasies, probably more than normal. All males probably go through some kind of sexual fantasy, mine was just probably a bit weirder than other people."

He imagined himself tying the hands and ankles of women and covering their heads with a bag, and began cutting out pictures from magazines and cover them in ropes and gags.

After failing at college, Dennis joined the US Air Force before moving to Wichita, where he became the leader of a church and an electrician.

His first kill

When Rader was made redundant, he had a lot more time alone with his fantasies, and one night, he crept out his family home to break into a neighboring house. He butchered parents, Joseph, 38, and his 33-year-old wife, Josephine Otero and made their 11 and 9-year-old children watch. The 11-year-old was then taken to the basement where he took her clothes off, hung her from a pipe and performed a sex act on himself. He then went home and got ready for church with his wife.

Dennis Rader Prison Photo. Credit: Kansas Dept. Of Corrections
Dennis Rader Prison Photo. Credit: Kansas Dept. Of Corrections

Rader then went on to kill a total of ten people.

What year was Mindhunter season 2 set in?

Season two of Mindhunter is set between 1980-81. A long time before the BTK Killer was caught.

Will there be a season 3 of Mindhunter?

Netflix are yet to release any details of Mindhunter season three. However, it's worth noting that they only announced season two just three months before it arrived on screen.

If you love being scared, why not check out Eerie on Netflix?

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Topics: TV Series, Mindhunter, TV and Film, UK Entertainment, Murderer, US Entertainment, Netflix, Serial Killer

Mark Cunliffe

Mark is a writer at LADbible with a creative writing background and a history working at some of Manchester's biggest agencies. He loves football and music that screams a lot.

 

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