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Monday, February 4, 2019

A Serial Killer's Daughter

Kerri Rawson's life was forever changed on February 25, 2005.

FBI.... Your dad.....B.T.K....

That's how Kerri found out her father was the notorious Wichita serial killer known as B.T.K. Dennis Rader chose that name for himself when he began writing letters to the police to claim his murders. He called himself B.T.K. because it stands for how he killed his victims. 
"Bind. Torture. Kill"  

He hid this side of his life from his family for 31 years.

He was married.
He had two kids.
He was the President of their Church.
He worked down the hall from law enforcement for Y E A R S and no one knew.
No one knew he had created a shed with a false back so he could hide his "kill kit." No one knew the hallway and closets in their house had false bottoms. No one could have ever expected this to happen in their tiny neighborhood and Kerri definitely didn't think her dad could be behind it.

In Kerri's book, "A Serial Killer's Daughter" she doesn't really focus on the crimes B.T.K. committed. She decides instead to focus on her father, the man she knew and loved; not the monster she was just introduced to. In a way, she humanizes him. She remembers the man who hiked the Grand Canyon with her. The man she worshiped as a child. The man who held her tightly when she was sick and looked over her family. The man that taught her how to live. 

Looking back it seem as though she was slowly realizing everything that he taught her was to protect her from people like him. He taught her to always ask for a badge when officers introduced himself/herself. He taught her to place a broom handle in the track of her sliding glass doors to prevent it from opening. Little did she know that was because he killed a woman by coming into her house through a sliding glass door.

Dennis Rader was just an average guy, raising his family, and hiding a dark secret.
But after years of therapy, separation, forgiveness , and quite literally the Grace of God, Kerri found a way to forgive her father for everything. She believes that God will forgive him when the time comes, so it only seems fair that she forgive him too.

Huge thanks to NetGalley, Nelson Books, and Kerri Rawson for finding the courage to tell her story!

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