Monday, August 27, 2007

Bind, Torture, Kill, by Roy Wenzl, Tim Potter, L. Kelly, & Hurst Laviana

(hb; 2007: non-fiction)

From the inside flap:

"For thirty-one years, an unremarkable family man stalked, killed and terrorized the people of Wichita, Kansas. He was a devoted husband. A helpful Boy Scout dad. A reliable, conscientious employee. A dependable church president. And behind it all, the notorious serial killer BTK -- a self-anointed acronym for "bind, torture, kill."

"Now that he's in prison serving ten consecutive life sentences, the whole world knows that Dennis Rader is BTK. But the intricate twists and shocking turns of this story have never before been told by the people who were intimately acquainted with the BTK killer and Rader the family man, or the dedicated cops who finally caught him. Bind, Torture, Kill takes readers behind closed doors, revealing full and horrific tales as seen through the eyes of the killer, his victims, the investigators, and the reporters who covered it all."


Compelling, difficult-to-put-down read, this, shot through with dark ironies and coincidences that linked the players in this real-life drama. The authors, who write about themselves in a third-person manner, focus on the individuals and how they interacted. And how they caught BTK seems almost too easy: BTK was less clever, less interesting and luckier -- way luckier -- than anyone had previously imagined.

I picked this up at the library on a whim, and I'm glad I did. This is one of the best true crime books I've read in a long while, as intense as Robert Graysmith's Zodiac books.

Two movies about BTK/Rader exist.

BTK Killer came out in 2005. Directed and written by Ulli Lommel (that alone should serve as a BIG warning), it's a direct-to-video, shot-on-video-camera piece of s**t, with little or nothing to do with the actual BTK Killer.

The Hunt For BTK Killer, a TV movie, aired on CBS in October 2005. From what I've read, it's much better than Lommel's film. This film, directed by Stephen T. Kay, was based on Robert Beattie's non-fiction book, Nightmare in Wichita: The Hunt For the BTK Killer.

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