BTK to Help Write Book


First off, do you have any idea who BTK is? I would say most people wouldn’t. But I do. And I have for a long time. He’s a serial killer from Kansas who killed ten people between 1974 and 1991. I wrote about him during my time as an undergrad. His real name is Dennis Rader and he was apprehended by police in 2005 only after he began exchanging letters with them. Many around Wichita, Kansas had believed him to be dead or gone after more than a decade of silence.

Anyway, now Rader is helping Katherine Ramsland write a book about his crimes. And I have an issue with this. I get that high profile criminals always get books written about them. It happens. I’m sure if I do a quick Amazon search of all the serial killers I know that there will be several books about each and every one. BUT my issue is that this author is basically co-writing it with Rader. I just don’t see the point. When he was arrested he plead guilty to all ten charges and recounted in detail every murder he committed. He was subsequently sentenced to ten consecutive life sentences. There are several other books about him already published that may or may not have been written with his assistance, but they too tell the story of his crimes. In great detail. I don’t know the relationship the author maintains with anyone in Wichita, but there are plenty of individuals who know every aspect of the killings who didn’t actually commit them. I just think she could write a book about the crimes by using police interviews, court testimony, and by using the books that have already been written as reference material. But that’s just me.

Do you have any thoughts? About a serial killer who already has notoriety and several books written about him having another one in which he gets to actively contribute?

One of the reasons I have an issue with him helping with the project is the complete lack of remorse he’s displayed. If you just YouTube search his name you can find video of him in court recounting his crimes. It’s disturbing how he does so almost conversationally.

7 thoughts on “BTK to Help Write Book

  1. I knew who BTK was ;-).

    I agree with you; it’s deplorable. It’s like he gets to wallow and revel in his crimes while everyone watches, which probably gets him off. Disgusting.

    However, although I don’t know a ton about it, I would hope Son of Sam Laws would prevent him from receiving any of the profits.


  2. Someone in New York is giving a talk on their book, Why We Love Serial Killers: The Curious Appeal of the World’s Most Savage Murderers. Even that was in questionable taste, for me, but at least I’m pretty certain that Scott Bonn never killed anyone.

    These killers don’t deserve to live on in so many people’s memories. They shouldn’t be rewarded or celebrated while their victims are forgotten by the public.


  3. You’re totally right in speculating that the author could get all of the details they need from police reports, court video, etc. But she is attempting to set her book apart from all of the other books on this horrible killer by working intimately with him. And it’s working. The book isn’t even out yet, and already theres a buzz surrounding it. There’s also controversy, and where there’s controversy there’s publicity. While that publicity may be negative, you know what they say: any publicity is good publicity.

    Personally I don’t agree with the author’s tactics, and like the other commentors said, it’s deplorable. Books about serial killers should only be written to study the characteristics, behaviors and stratagies they have in common so that future killers can be stopped sooner. I’ve never read a book about one and don’t plan to. I think that the only way people will stop exploiting these victims of senseless murders is to not feed into the fame obtained by their killers. Money talks. Don’t buy the books, watch the made for TV movies, etc. Attention given is like positively reinforcing their behavior. And that goes for the killers and the morally corrupt authors that write about them for personal gain.


  4. I would very much enjoy reading a book from the POV of Rader. For years since his capture, I hoped someone with true bona fides in criminal psychology would help give people a straight forward analysis of this case, based on Rader’s own words. Growing up in Wichita in the 70s and 80s, BTK was the bogey man of my life. It meant specific things like when arriving at home, lifting your phone line to make sure the line hadn’t been cut by BTK. Checking all closets to be sure BTK wasn’t waiting in one of them. As a young adult, I lived in Park City close to Rader. The church where he took at least one victim, was less than a mile from my house. And most surprising, the best professor I ever had taught Criminal Law & Criminal Procedure at WSU, worked with Bugleosi on the Manson case and was for several years the Judge in Park City where Rader also worked as a city employee. It was a small town with a few number of employees. Rader and Judge Bensen had to have known each other for years. And Judge Bensen never realized he worked alongside an active serial killer.


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