Freudian Slips: BTK Killer...Rader Under the Radar

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

February 27, 2005

BTK Killer...Rader Under the Radar

In a day devoted to the strange confluence of crime and punishment, I watched CNN’s live coverage of the capture of the notorious Blind Torture Kill serial killer then the movie Murder in the First starring Kevin Bacon. Murder in the First chronicles the life of convict Henry Thomas’ painful tenure and torture at Alcatraz prison in the 1930’s. The BTK killer terrorized Wichita Kansas for decades. Both Henry Thomas and Dennis Rader were criminals who lived in Kansas. Only one assumed a life of crime.
Self-coined BTK for his modus operandi of Bind, Torture, and Kill Dennis Rader eluded captivity for three decades. For over an hour, CNN cameras rolled at the press conference before any ranking official kindly released the name of the suspect. Instead, the world watched members of law enforcement take bows, receive standing ovations, and give fuzzy testimonials of how good conquers evil like a jackhammer squashing a cockroach. I watched speakers take turns behind a podium lavishly praising one another for…taking 30 years to follow a serial killer’s trail of bread crumbs to an arguable surrender? I am happy that a pall has been lifted over the frightened Kansas community but something is amiss with how Rader’s capture was reported by law enforcement.
Rader still lived on the same street as one of the victims. He also worked with two other victims at Coleman camping. Rader’s street isn’t nearly as long as Route 66 and Coleman camping isn’t a massive Fortune 500 company so how could the suspect not come up on a data base cross-referencing the murders? Thirty years and dozens of investigators failed to make the obvious connection. Reoprts are circulating that Rader's own daughter aided in his arrest by supplying DNA evidence.
After committing one heinous murder, Rader dialed 911 and his voice was caught on tape. He sent letters, packages, and poems everything but a Christmas photo card with a return address. He gave the men in blue a bevy of Blues Clues to be caught! It was law enforcement that lived under the radar screen. Dennis Rader is now a 59 year old man who can’t even be executed because the statue of limitations have run out on his murders. The suspect might never have been caught if Rader hadn’t brazenly started mailing back his trophies, like the driver’s license of one of his victims. Consistent with so many serial killers, Rader blended in enough with middle America as a Cub Scout leader and government worker but the trail of evidence seemed to have enough pieces to the puzzle. If police hadn’t closed in on him for an arrest, Dennis Rader might have had to resort to sewing his own straight jacket and walking down to the town clink carrying a handwritten confession. Henry Thomas got shipped to Alcatraz for stealing five dollars, Dennis Rader got away with murders a dime a dozen.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man's inhumanity to man makes me ashamed to be human. Post by ET

7:36 AM  

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