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BTK killer sentenced to 10 life terms

Families voice anguish, anger over slayings

WICHITA, Kan. -- The convicted BTK serial killer, Dennis Rader, was ordered to serve 10 consecutive life terms yesterday during a tear-filled hearing in which a relative of his victims called him a monster and said he should be ''thrown in a deep, dark hole and left to rot."

The sentence, a minimum of 175 years without chance of parole, was the longest that Judge Gregory Waller could deliver for Rader, who is 60. Kansas had no death penalty at the time the killings were committed.

The two-day hearing featured graphic testimony from detectives and from sobbing relatives. It culminated with rambling testimony from Rader, who said he had been dishonest to his family and victims and who at times wiped his eyes.

''Nancy's death is a like a deep wound that will never, ever heal," testified Beverly Plapp, a sister of victim Nancy Fox. ''As far as I'm concerned, Dennis Rader does not deserve to live. I want him to suffer as much as he made his victims suffer."

''This man needs to be thrown in a deep, dark hole and left to rot," she said before the court. ''He should never, ever see the light of day."

Rader offered quotes from the Bible, gave thanks to police, and made an apology to victims' relatives before he was sentenced. Some family members walked out during Rader's speech, saying they did not want to give him the time of day.

''A dark side is there, but now I think light is beginning to shine," Rader said. ''Hopefully someday God will accept me."

Rader, a former church congregation president and Boy Scout leader, called himself BTK, for ''bind, torture, kill." He was arrested in February, and pleaded guilty in June to 10 murders from 1974 to 1991.

Family members of the victims talked about the hearing at a news conference afterward, saying novelist Stephen King could not have come up with a more monstrous character than Rader. Jeff Davis, whose mother was strangled by Rader, called the speech a ''pathetic, rambling diatribe. . . . It was that pathetic. He just nauseates me. I just want them to put the cockroach away."

Rader's voice choked as he made his half-hour address to the courtroom. ''I know the victim's families will never be able to forgive me. I hope somewhere deep down, eventually that will happen," he said.

He also admitted that he tracked his victims ''like a predator."

Nola Foulston, Sedgwick County district attorney, asked the judge that Rader be refused anything in prison, such as markers or crayons, that could be used to draw or write about human or animal forms, or anything that might be used to further his sexual fantasies.

Prosecutors had flashed a photograph of Rader wearing a mask, tied to a chair, and donning a woman's blond wig. They also showed pictures the killer took in which he had bound himself and was wearing a dress that he had apparently taken from a victim's house.

Investigators testified that Rader kept hundreds of pictures from magazines and circulars mounted on index cards, with details of the sexual fantasies he dreamed of carrying out.

Lieutenant Ken Landwehr, who coordinated the Wichita Police Department's investigation into BTK, said the cards were part of the evidence of Rader's history of terror that was found at the defendant's office, camper, and suburban home. Landwehr said the cutouts ranged from a little girl posing in a swimsuit to the actress Meg Ryan.

Rader's files also included copies of almost all his messages to police and the media. Landwehr said the killer had planned to eventually scan and digitally store the data, Landwehr said.

Containers in a closet and elsewhere at his home also held what Rader called ''hit kits" -- bags with rubber gloves, rope, tape, handcuffs, and bandanas.

Rader, sitting through his second day of a sentencing hearing, appeared angry and mumbled at one point during Landwehr's testimony, although Rader's words couldn't be heard.

Captain Sam Houston of the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office testified about Rader's last known killing, the strangulation in 1991 of Dolores Davis, then 63. Rader, who handcuffed Davis and tied her with pantyhose, told police that it took two or three minutes for her to die and that it fueled his fantasies for years.

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