A dramatic and compelling true-crime psychological thriller
This incredible story shows how John Douglas tracked and participated in the hunt for one of the most notorious serial killers in U.S. history. For 31 years a man who called himself BTK (Bind, Torture, Kill) terrorized the city of Wichita, Kansas, sexually assaulting and strangling a series of women, taunting the police with frequent communications, and bragging about his crimes to local newspapers and TV stations. After disappearing for nine years, he suddenly reappeared, complaining that no one was paying enough attention to him and claiming that he had committed other crimes for which he had not been given credit. When he was ultimately captured, BTK was shockingly revealed to be Dennis Rader, a 61-year-old married man with two children.
Legendary profiler and bestselling author Douglas (Mindhunter), who pioneered the FBI's systematic study of serial killers, offers his insights into one of this country's most chilling killers Dennis Rader, a seemingly innocuous family man and municipal employee, whose brutal murders terrorized Wichita, Kans., for three decades. Identifying himself by the initials BTK (for Bind, Torture, Kill), Rader (who in 2005 pled guilty to 10 murders and is serving consecutive life sentences) taunted the press and law enforcement, striking at random in savage attacks that often decimated families, and then confounded his pursuers with long dormant periods. With the aid of People magazine writer Dodd, Douglas nicely weaves the story of his own development as a profiler with the history of BTK's crimes and his own role in the investigation, drawing on analyses he developed early on in the rampage; he noted, for instance, the razor sharp control the killer maintained after his crimes. While the stomach-turning story of BTK's crimes has been told by others, Douglas's unique professional experience and his exclusive personal access to Rader offers a different perspective, even as the answer to the question of how such a monster comes to be remains elusive.
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Very interesting insight, but Douglas’ claims of coming up with the strategy for the police to communicate with BTK is not universally acknowledged. Other sources do not agree with his claims. Douglas is indeed a pioneer, but his ego oozes from every page of the book. The best account of the BTK investigation I have read is the one written by the Wichita Eagle Reporters. It is the story of the police officers investigating the crimes, the journalists and the killer. That book and this one are somewhat intertwined, but there are some contradictions. Most have to do with the aforementioned claims by Douglas.