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Inside the Mind of BTK: The True Story Behind the Thirty-Year Hunt for the Notorious Wichita Serial Killer

ISBN: 978-0-7879-8484-7
360 pages
September 2007, Jossey-Bass
Inside the Mind of BTK: The True Story Behind the Thirty-Year Hunt for the Notorious Wichita Serial Killer (0787984841) cover image
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.

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Acknowledgments.

Introduction.

Act One: My Lifelong Hunt for BTK.

Act Two: The Capture and Arrest of BTK.

Act Three: Meeting BTK: An Exclusive Interview.

About the Authors.

Index.

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John Douglas, a former FBI agent and pioneer serial killer profiler, is one of the most successful true crime authors in the country. He is the author of the New York Times number one best seller Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit, which first introduced the public to the idea of psychological profiles as a tool in hunting down killers. Douglas served as technical advisor for the film The Silence of the Lambs, much of which was based on his work. He has consulted on thousands of cases worldwide providing case analysis, interview and interrogation techniques, investigative strategies, prosecutorial strategies, and expert testimony. Since his retirement in 1995 from the FBI, Douglas has been donating pro bono assistance whenever possible to police and victims of violent crime. Mr. Douglas lives near Washington, D.C.

Johnny Dodd is a writer at People magazine who lives in the Los Angeles area.

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"...It's an unforgettable portrait of a guy most of us are glad we never met." (Bloomberg.com, November 8, 2007)

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. (Oct.) (Publishers Weekly, August 20, 2007)

"Inside the Mind of BTK is a chilling and fascinating place to be, and there is no better guide to take us there than great American Mindhunter, John Douglas. This is a story of ordinary people and extraordinary evil - lock your doors, check your telephone lines, and read this book."
—Linda Fairstein, bestselling author or Bad Blood, Death Dance and Entombed, and for twenty-five years was the chief prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Sex Crime Unit

"Riveting! Douglas and Dodd have focused a laser sight on one of the most fascinating and disturbing serial killers of our time. Their in-depth analysis of the BTK's early childhood, his seemingly "normal" everyday life and his shockingly well-hidden "other" life, deftly explores the nature of evil and how we can better protect ourselves from such cunning predators."
—Lisa Gardner, New York Times bestselling suspense author of HIDE

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