FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) -- The daughter of a notorious Kansas serial killer is ready to tell the story of how her father’s crimes shocked her family.
Kerri Rawson, the daughter of Dennis Rader, will soon release “A Serial Killer’s Daughter,” and in it she discusses her childhood with Rader and how her life crashed when her father was arrested for being the BTK serial killer.
In a video trailer released for the book, Rawson explained that opening up and sharing her story has helped her heal.
“Talking about it has helped heal me in a way nothing else could,” she said. “After his arrest I fell into a deep hole of shock and grief chaos and confusion.”
Despite it being nearly 14 years since her father’s arrest, Rawson suffers from anxiety, depression and PTSD.
“(It) took me a very long time to reconcile the man I knew and had grown up to love and grown up next to with the man I was hearing these horrible things about,” she noted.
The history of BTK
Dennis Rader murdered 10 people including two children around the Wichita, Kansas, area between 1974 and 1991. He named himself “BTK” to reflect the nature of his crimes. Bind. Torture. Kill.
His arrest shocked many people because he was married with children and active in both his church and the Boy Scouts.
Rader confessed to investigators and eventually pleaded guilty in court. He is serving 10 consecutive life sentences in solitary confinement at El Dorado Correctional Facility.
He was captured after he began taunting investigators and the media, even eventually sending a computer disk which was traced to his church.
BTK responds to daughter’s book
Dennis Rader now spends most of his life in cell. He’s allowed to leave for about an hour a day to exercise or shower.
While he is not allowed to do on camera interviews or speak to reporters by phone, he is allowed to write letters.
“I’m not sure how the book is written or how far she shows me under the ‘bus,’” he wrote in a letter to KCTV5. “I broke her heart and the other family members, co-workers, friends, relatives and others she certainly has that right.”
The letter Rader sent the KCTV5 newsroom is four pages long, numbered and lettered in the top corners. In it, Rader is sentimental about his family, especially his daughter, but admits he now has little contact.
“I taught her how to garden, love of plants, animals, fishing, camping,” Rader wrote. “We hiked the Grand Cannon. I shed a tear the day she was married. My girl had finally grown up.”
While Rawson discusses her book as therapy, it’s clear Rader views it as a self-help book.
“Her effort is to help other families try to recognize a family member’s problem (crime)” he wrote.
While he shared memories and thought of his daughter in the four long pages of the letter, Rader never mentioned the people he killed.