Confession of a Serial Killer: The Untold Story of Dennis Rader, the BTK Killer

ForeEdge. Sept. 2016. 280p. photos. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781611688412. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9781611689730. CRIME
"I'm a good person who did some bad things." So says Dennis Rader, aka the BTK (bind, torture, kill) serial killer, who murdered ten people over a period of 17 years in the area surrounding Wichita, KS. It took over 30 years to catch him, as he played a game of cat-and-mouse with the police, while those in his community were none the wiser of his secret life. What stands out in this book from others about serial killers is the series of interviews Ramsland (forensic psychology & criminal justice, DeSales Univ; The Mind of a Psychopath) conducted with Rader via phone, letters, and even in-prison visits, in an effort to understand the motivation and thinking that goes on in the mind of a violent murderer. Rader describes his fascination with murder as a youth, and how he went on to devise intricate plots, plans, and drawings done up in his own secret code.
VERDICT For readers interested in the workings of the mind, psychology, true crime, and criminal justice, this is a unique work, in which the author is a conduit to the thinking process, rather than the descriptor of events.
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