BTK Killer's Calm Is Revealing

A psychologist who helped police in its search for the BTK killer who terrorized Wichita for decades says the calm, matter-of-fact way Dennis Rader confessed in court is telling.

On Monday, Rader gave grisly details of his crimes, in a cool, crisp manner, one after another.

In so doing, "He really shows himself to be a serial killer," Dr. Howard Brodsky The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm Tuesday. "I was hoping we were going to find some motive that would at least tie him to the first case, but these are entirely, from his words, randomly selected victims.

"So, he would find people just in the community, on the streets, check out their lifestyle, follow them, figure out when they're most vulnerable, come up with some ruse about being able to get into the house fairly easily, overwhelm them in some fashion and then eventually take their lives."

Among the accounts Rader gave was one of his helping a woman who was vomiting by giving her water before strangling her. He also told of locking the children of another victim in the bathroom, but giving them toys to keep them occupied as he committed murder.

That shows Rader was "like a guy with a mission," Brodsky comments. "You'd think that he worked for some spy agency or something, and these were hits that he was assigned, because he methodically works toward his goal. A more bizarre set of facts than he presented yesterday just could not be considered.

"A sociopath or psychopath really appears to be what we're dealing with here. That's somebody with a very long-standing pattern of doing harm to others, having no conscience, sense of remorse, at all. And apparently it's something that started with him at a very young age."

Why were there no red flags, Storm asked, noting that Rader was a church leader and family man, right there in the middle of his community.

"I'm amazed by that as well," Brodsky said, "that nobody was able to figure out that this guy had this secret life that he was hiding, and that he was amazing in his ability to surround himself with people who just didn't ask the right questions, who were kind of naive as to what was going on."
  • Dan Collins

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