Dennis Rader, the suspect in Wichita’s BTK (Bind, Torture, Kill) serial murder case, pleaded guilty today to 10 counts of first-degree murder in a series of slayings that terrorized the city beginning in the 1970s, the Associated Press reports. Rader, 60, of Park City, Ks., entered the guilty pleas as his trial was scheduled to begin. The BTK killer had taunted media and police with cryptic messages over many years. Sentencing was set for Aug. 17; Rader will not face the death penalty because the crimes were committed before Kansas adopted a new capital punishment law.
Today, Rader described to the judge how he killed his victims, calmly detailing the strangulation deaths of Joseph and Julie Otero and their two children. “I had never strangled anyone before, so I really didn’t know how much pressure you had to put on a person or how long it would take,” he said. Rader was arrested Feb. 25, nearly a year after the BTK killer re-emerged and began writing to the Wichita media after a 25-year silence. Rader is being held on $10 million bond.