Dennis Rader was born in Kansas on March 9, 1945 and was the fourth child of William and Dorothea Rader. In 1948 when Dennis was a boy, Mr. William Rader moved his family toa modest home in Wichita Kansas. As a child Dennis would not appear as nothing out of the ordinary, as a young boy he Joined the boy scouts and participated in his churches youth groups. In school he was an average student who had tendencies to be withdrawn. Dennis Rader recounts that he developed his fantasies about torture, control and bondage at this early age, while he was still in grade school.
Dennis says and admits that as he was growing into manhood he fantasied about tying up girls and telling them what to do. Dennis confesses to having tortured cat and dogs by hanging them and thus having to keep this secret from others and rightly so did it very good. As a young adult Dennis was a polite and quite young man who would prefer to keep to himself. Like other young adults of his time Dennis was not very much into the fashions or music of the times and would tend to be more focused and studious.
In 1963 Dennis Rader graduated from Wichita Heights High School he was an average high school student who worked a upermarket Job while in high school. Dennis waited till 1965 to enter Kansas Wesleyan College in Salina. While in college Dennis did not do well or excel in his college studies making him a below average student with low grades. Through his college years Dennis had to constantly Juggle work and school in order to maintain living expenses even returning back to his home town of Wichita to keep his supermarket Job.
It was during this time that Dennis tried to reinvent his persona by joining a fraternity from his college to try to fit in more and become more of an extrovert. It was also a this period in his young adult hood that Dennis Rader began to search for victims to which to inflict harm too, however there is no mention in his journals that he was ever successful in doing so during this early period of his life. In 1966 at the age of 21 Dennis Rader enlisted in the US Navvy in order to avoid being drafted into the Vietnam War.
He was stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas for his basic training and then was subsequently moved to Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas where he enrolled and completed his technical raining. At the beginning of 1967 Dennis Rader was stationed at Brookley Air Force Base in Mobile, Alabama and was there a short time till January of 1968. While in the Air force Dennis was stationed in several different stations finally finishing his Air force stint in Okinawa Japan in 1970. During his time in the Air force he only rose to the rank of sergeant and he worked as an antenna installer.
Dennis would serve two more years in the reserves. In 1971 Dennis Rader returned to Wichita met and married Paula Dietz. Dietz was trom the same high school and was also a Lutheran ust as Dennis was and was 3 years younger, her being 23 and Dennis Rader being 26. They purchased a home in Park City which was near Rader’s parents in Wichita. During this time Dennis was employed at a meat market and Paula earned money as a bookkeeper. During the following two years Rader worked at the Coleman Company and a small airplane manufacturer.
Also during 1973 Dennis Rader earned 2 year Associates Degree from Butler County Community College in El Dorado. It would take Dennis Rader 6 years of night school to earn his degree from the University of Wichita. Once again Dennis Rader was a poor student. Sometime in 1973 worked slowed down at the Airplane manufacturer and Dennis Rader was left without employment. This situation made Dennis fall into a deep depression thus ensuing ever more his fantasies of torturing strangling and killing someone. The Beginning of Dennis Rader’s Murder spree. Beginning the year of 1974 Dennis would drive his wife to and from work.
It was at this period that Dennis took advantage of this situation and began monitoring women. He would scope out school campuses and nearby neighborhoods on foot and while driving. He would set his sights on who he believed to be a good prospect, s he often would like to refer to his potential victims. He would fantasize of how he would capture torture, bind and kill them. First Victims the Otero Family. The Otters were a family who had recently migrated from Puerto Rico. Dennis Rader initially spotted Julie Otero and her young daughter Josephine of only 1 1 years.
Dennis concocted a plan and gathered some weapons that consisted of a knife, cords, and a gun. He took note of the Oteros daily routine. Early morning on January 15 of the same year past eight am Rader decided to take action. He initiated the beginning f this crime by entering through the back yard and severing the phone lines. He forced his way in though the back door and was unexpectedly met by Joe Otero who was still home as well as his wife and two youngest of his children and the family dog. Rader took control of the situation by threatening the Oteros at gun point.
He first ordered Joey to take the dog outside. He expressed to the family that he was a wanted criminal, and requested money and a car to escape. He ordered the entire family to lay down in the living room floor which later he changed his mind and ordered them to move to the bedroom. As they were in the room Rader proceeded to put a plastic bag over Joe Oteros head, however this method was proving unsuccessful as Joe began to fght back ripping holes in the plastic bag. Dennis had to device a new method to end Joe’s life and did so by strangling him with a chord.