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

Blackstone. Feb. 2022. 12:11 hrs. ISBN 9798200889631. $32.87. CRIME
Michael Braun’s compelling narration breathes life into Ramsland’s portrait of the cold, calculating BTK serial killer Dennis Lynn Rader and his cold, calculating words. From 1974 to 2005, Rader stalked, tortured, murdered, and robbed 10 people to fuel his sexual gratification. He kept this portion of his life hidden from his family and friends, who were shocked to learn that he was capable of committing such atrocities. His hubris caused his downfall. Rader’s own words are blended with those of forensic psychologist Ramsland (criminal justice, DeSales Univ.; Beating the Devil’s Game: A History of Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation), whose observations were made after exchanging letters and interviewing him. Braun’s stunning performance maintains its energy and intensity throughout the reading. Close listeners will note that there is a slight change in vocal intensity between Ramsland and Rader, as if it was an auditory change of “font.” Voicing for Ramsland is clinical and objective, while Rader’s voicing is serious and remorseless. Braun adds a softer edge to Rader’s voice when talking about his home life, work, and friends; he picks up the tempo with a harder unemotional timbre when discussing his dark, lascivious life and crimes.
VERDICT Perfect for true crime fans of authors John Glatt and Christopher Berry-Dee.
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