Mindhunter: Meet The Real Killers And Profilers Behind The Netflix Show

Published October 31, 2017
Updated December 18, 2017

Dennis Rader a.k.a. The BTK Killer

Btk Killer

Netflix/Getty ImagesLeft: Sonny Valicenti as Dennis Rader, the BTK Killer. Right: Dennis Rader.

The show’s creators brilliantly tease viewers about the appearance of Dennis Rader in the series. Rader, known as the BTK Killer, tortured and murdered 10 people from 1974 to 1991, many of which by strangling.

The actual Rader worked as a ADT service man, which is how he tracked, stalked, and found his victims. He knew how to get inside people’s homes because he knew the inner workings of their security systems.

In addition to mailing letters to the police and the papers, he would also intentionally leave clues at each crime scene in the Wichita, Kan., area, to bait authorities into trying to capture him. However, it would be these mocking clues that would undue Rader.

In 2005, after mailing a floppy disk to a news station, Rader would finally be arrested when investigators connected the data on the file to the church where Rader worked. When the police asked Rader if they knew why he was being arrested, he simply and smugly replied with “Oh, I have suspicions why.”

In the show, Rader appears as an unnamed character in the opening sequence of each episode, but the facial features, mustache, baldness and eyeglasses bear an unmistakable resemblance to the actual serial killer Rader. In the season 1 finale, we see burning sketches of young women who appear bound and gagged.

Rader had a daughter, who is now fully grown, who doesn’t want anything to do with him. She hasn’t communicated with her father since his arrest and conviction. She says she had no clue that her father was so evil. Rader is currently serving 10 life sentences for the murders.

William DeLong
William DeLong is a freelance wordsmith. He thanks you for reading his content.
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