BTK’s daughter slams true crime fans for writing to serial killer in prison

BTK’s daughter slams true crime fans for writing to serial killer in prison

The daughter of notorious serial killer BTK has hit out at true crime fanatics for writing to her father in prison.

Kerri Rawson appeared on stage at CrimeCon over the weekend where she spoke out about life as the child of serial killerDennis Rader and about her recent interactions with him behind bars.

Rader is serving a life sentence in El Dorado penitentiary for the murders of 10 victims in Kansas between 1974 and 1991.

The serial killer, now 78, confessed to the murders when he was arrested in 2005 – after a floppy disk he sent to taunt law enforcement was tracked to the Christ Lutheran Church where he was president of the congregation.

Almost two decades on from his arrest, there was a bombshell development in the case last month when Rader was named a prime suspect in two other cold case murders.

Since then, his daughter Ms Rawson has joined a taskforce to help law enforcement officials investigate whether or not her father is responsible for those killings – and other heinous crimes.

Speaking during a recording of the “Surviving the Survivor” podcast at CrimeCon on Saturday, Ms Rawson called out true crime followers for writing letters to her father in prison as she warned that it is all a “game” to him.

“I know you did. He’s playing games. It’s what he does,” she said.

Ms Rawson told the audience that she had visited her father in prison and confronted him with the fresh allegations about the unsolved cold case murders.

She recalled how she began the visit – her first since cutting off contact with her father in the wake of his conviction – in a calm manner and then pressed Rader to speak about his crimes.

BTK serial killer is now suspected of more murders (AP2005)
BTK serial killer is now suspected of more murders (AP2005)

Instead of speaking about his own cases, she said that Rader pushed her to talk about Bryan Kohberger – the man charged with murdering four University of Idaho students.

The two cases have been compared in the past, with Rader even weighing in on the case from prison.

Rader and Mr Kohberger also have an unlikely connection through renowned forensic psychologist Katherine Ramsland.

Dr Ramsland, who also spoke at CrimeCon over the weekend, interviewed BTK and co-wrote the book Confession of a Serial Killer: The Untold Story of Dennis Rader, the BTK Killer with him.

Mr Kohberger meanwhile studied criminology under Dr Ramsland at DeSales University – first as an undergraduate and then finishing his graduate studies in June 2022.

Ms Rawson said that she did manage to get her father to speak about the two cases he is now a suspect in.

“I knew he was BTK, he always knew he had been BTK, but we had never talked about it,” she said.

She recalled telling him: “I love you but this is out of my hands... If you haven’t done anything wrong, I’ll make sure to do everything I can to protect you. But if you did, I’ll come back and nail you to the wall.”

She added: “He’s been playing games for years, with me, and with you...”

Ms Rawson said that she had visited her father twice as part of the renewed investigation, revealing that one time he didn’t seem to recognise her.

“He didn’t seem to recognise me at first, not as his daughter,” she said. “I think he thought I was my mom Paula.”

The Osage County Sheriff’s Office have called Rader – who gave himself the nickname BTK for “Bind, Torture, Kill” in letters taunting police and the media during his time at large – the prime suspect in the murders of Cynthia Kinney and Shawna Beth Garber.

One of Rader’s drawings which may depict another victim (Osage County Sheriff’s Office)
One of Rader’s drawings which may depict another victim (Osage County Sheriff’s Office)

Kinney was 16 years old when she vanished after leaving a laundromat in Pawhuska, Oklahoma on 23 June 1976.

Osage County Sheriff Virden said that Rader may have been installing alarms for ADT at a bank across the street at the time.

In a journal, Rader had scrawled the phrsase “bad laundry day” – prompting speculation of his involvement.

Garber, meanwhile, was found dead at a farmhouse in McDonald County, Missouri, back in December 1990. The 22-year-old’s remains were only identified in 2021.

The sheriff’s office has also released a trove of BTK’s coloured drawings of young women and girls tied up in barns and rooms amid fears that they could point – not to fantasies – but to other unknown victims and unsolved cases.

Ms Rawson, who has said she can only release limited information due to the ongoing investigation, said that “there are a massive amount” of drawings that have not yet been made public.

Rader’s attorney has claimed that the serial killer is not responsible for these additional killings, insisting that he has confessed to all of his crimes.