A daughter has described how her beloved dad was living a secret double life as a notorious serial killer – and hiding sick souvenirs at their home.
Kerri Rawson’s world came crashing down around her after she discovered her father Dennis Rader was actually the ‘BTK’ (bind, torture, kill) murderer.
A seemingly normal dad, he had spent more than 17 years prowling the streets of Kansas, US, slaughtering 10 people – including two children.
And horrifically, he had hidden mementos from his disgusting crimes at his family’s home – including underwear stolen from his murder victims.
Kerri, who is releasing a book about her shocking story this month, recalls one particularly stormy, thundery night in 1985, when she was just six.
“I crawled into bed with Mom. I wouldn’t have if Dad was home. Slept on his side of the bed,” she writes, according to the New York Post.
She adds: “Did that sometimes when he was gone. I only remember that night because our neighbour lady went missing.”
It would later emerge that the neighbour was among those murdered by Rader, who carried out the Wichita murders between 1974 and 1991.
A churchgoer and stamp collector, the serial killer slaughtered his first four victims – two parents and their two little boys – before Kerri was born.
He hanged one of the innocent youngsters from a drainage pipe. And in subsequent years, he would go on to secretly kill six more people.
As well as keeping some of his victims’ underwear, Rader also hid a business card at his home, with details of his next kill scribbled on it.
But it was only in 2005 that Kerri, who wouldn’t go through her dad’s things, discovered his unimaginable secret – when he was arrested by police.
Then aged 26, the young woman found an FBI agent standing at her door after her father finally slipped up and revealed himself to be ‘BTK’.
Everything she had known and loved came crashing down, according to her book, ‘A Serial Killer’s Daughter: My Story of Faith, Love, and Overcoming’.
Scouring the web for information on the previously-unsolved murders, she “tumbled into an abyss of despair and terror”, the Post reports.
Soon, she found herself reflecting on items her dad had once carried or had in their home and wondering whether they were linked to the killings.
She also listened to a 911 call that ‘BTK’ made after he broke into a young woman’s home and strangled her with a belt after she returned from work.
A court heard how he masturbated after carrying out the brutal killing.
“Through the static, in seizing fear, I recognized my dad’s voice — younger, but him,” Kerri writes about the emergency call, placed in 1977. ”
Rader, now 73, is serving 10 consecutive life terms at a Kansas prison.
Sickeningly, he gave himself the ‘BTK’ nickname, which became his infamous signature as he evaded police for more than three decades.
He previously admitted having plans to kill an 11th victim, whom he said he planned to hang upside down in her home before he was caught.
His downfall came when he sent a computer disk to a TV station in February 2005 – with an analysis of metadata linking him to the item.
Rader pleaded guilty to his crimes, which he recalled in detail in court.
He later worked with Katherine Ramsland, a forensic psychology professor at DeSales University, to publish a book about his crimes – ‘Confession of a Serial Killer: The Untold Story of Dennis Rader, the BTK Killer’ – with the proceeds going to a trust fund for the victims’ families.
After his arrest, several grieving relatives sued Rader, securing a settlement that agreed he could never profit from his crimes or coverage of them.
Today, Kerri has still not “reckoned fully” with who her father actually is – viewing him as “95 per cent” her dad and “five per cent” a stranger.
But despite acknowledging he has devastated countless lives, she has experienced forgiveness towards him and they have had correspondence.
She writes in her book that on “on the days when I’m not wrestling with hard, terrible truths, I will tell you: I love my dad – the one I mainly knew.”