The most important thing to a serial killer, other than the kill itself, is keeping their ego satisfied. Some do this by taunting police or the families of their victims with notes and phone calls others by watching the police work their crime scenes. The best thing a serial killer can do for his ego though would be to become famous. How do they do this? They get known to the media or they get caught.
Dennis Rader is the embodiment of all of the above ego trips. Not only did he evade capture for 30 years, he also wrote to the media asking them “How many do I have to kill before I get some national attention?” He also rang the police from a payphone and admitted to the murder of Nancy Fox to ensure he got recognition for this crime.
Rader, very much like Gacy, was an upstanding pillar of the community. He was a scout leader, church goer and usher at his local parish as well as a respected family man. What lies beneath this perfect exterior was something much more dark and sinister.
A secret sadist and serial killer, Rader murdered 10 people before his capture in 2005.
Like most serial killers Rader also tortured small animals, and at the age of 28 years old Rader killed his first victims.
In 1974 in Kansas Wichita, Rader gained entry to the home of the Otero family where at gunpoint, bound and gagged Joe Otero, his wife Julie and their nine year old daughter Josephine. All three were strangled to death
Rader then went onto kill 7 more people before he was caught in February of 2005. It was his ego which finally lead police to him. He had sent in a floppy disk to a TV station which was traced back to him. After police confronted him with a DNA sample taken from Josie Otero nearly 30 years earlier Rader admitted to the 10 murders.
60 years of age, a meek and relaxed Rader was sentenced to the maximum term possible, 175 years without parole. The only reason why he didn’t get the death penalty at the ruling of his trail in August of 2005 was because his crimes took place before Kansas re-introduced capital punishment.
Rader was caught just in time as he was planning future murders. He is quoted as saying “I was thinking about it but I was beginning to slow down.”