August 10, 2007
On August 18th, 2005, Dennis Rader, the self-named BTK serial killer, was been sentenced to 10 consecutive life terms, at least 175 years without the possibility of parole. Since Kansas had no death penalty at the time of the murders, this is the longest sentence the courts can impose. (The murders all occurred between 1974 and 1991; the death penalty was not reinstated until 1994.)
While addressing the court in a choked and halting voice, Rader said, “I know the victim’s families will never be able to forgive me. I hope somewhere deep down, eventually that will happen.” Judging by the reaction of some in the court, Rader may be disappointed.
Kevin Bright, the brother of one of Rader’s victims, Kathryn Bright, said, “No remorse, no compassion — he had no mercy. I think that’s what he ought to receive.” Kevin had first-hand knowledge of Rader’s actions. He was shot by Rader but managed to escape.
Rader kept photographs and journals detailing his exploits, along with what he called “hit kits” — bags containing rubber gloves, rope, tape, bandanas, and handcuffs.
“A dark side is there, but now I think light is beginning to shine,” Rader said during his testimony. “Hopefully someday God will accept me.”
It’s unlikely anyone else will.
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