Saturday, February 4, 2012
I watched “I Survived the BTK killer” last night on TV, and was left with a sour stomach, broken heart and unable to sleep. This revelation is coming from a murder mystery writer who has been accused (more than once) of being a “sick puppy’ concerning my books “Evil in the Mirror” and “Day Stalker.”
The program didn’t center on Dennis Rader, known as the BTK killer. Instead it focused on three people who lost loved ones to Rader’s horrible sexual fantasy murders. These three people tell a story much sadder than the slain victims because they live the horror of these murders each and every day of their lives, as do the rest of the families involved who were not spotlighted on the program.
The old saying “You can’t make this stuff up” rings true when you study the real deal in murder and mayhem. Researching murder is not fun in the first place, but it becomes particularly nerve-racking when you run across someone like Dennis Rader. I am not going to go into detail about this horrible excuse for a human being. Click the title of this blog if for some obscure reason you have never heard of him.
The reason I watched this program in the first place is because I am ready to continue writing my third murder mystery called “The Phoenix Code.” I already have the story board completed and have finished eleven chapters, but I needed a break from writing. I wanted a fresh approach to the task at hand. I have no intention of changing my style, “sick is as sick does.” I just wanted to see through fresh eyes the horror of murder. Brother, BTK fills the bill.
The sour stomach comes from the knowledge that Dennis Rader was not executed but is spending the rest of his life in prison. Although I am (in principle) against capital punishment, the idea of this monster living leaves me sickened. The prosecution made a deal so they could learn the scope of his killings and close the chapter on this guy. To me, and the families involved, this is little consolation given the absolute horror and pain his victims went through.
One man who lost his mother, father, brother and sister to this monster stated at the trial, face to face with Dennis Rader, in a clear and steady voice, “You did not manage to wipeout our my family because I survived what you did to my loved ones. I win because you are never going to see the light of day again.” The reality was that during the program this brave and courageous young man wanted revenge in the worst way. He wanted his time alone in a room with Dennis Rader. Believe me if you had seen this man on the program, you would know that Rader would be a dead man.
There is no question that the BTK killer probably will not survive incarceration. Just like Jeffery Dahmer and others before him, he will die in prison, but not from natural causes. I believe this a fitting end to Dennis Rader. This, and only this, will close the last chapter of one of the most chilling real life murder mysteries on record.
My broken heart is not just for the victims and families of these murders, but also for the wife and children of Dennis Rader. He managed to live an exemplary life in his community, hiding in plain sight, as it were. I can’t even comprehend how his wife and children must feel. She was sleeping with a monster that surely now makes her skin crawl. His children are stained for life and have a long, hard road to hoe. It won’t be easy for them, but with the grace of God, they too will survive the BTK killer.