'", "You don't want to believe it’s true," Rawson continued. I'm suffering from PTSD,” she said. I wiped my hands of him for two years.”. In her first television interview, Kerri Rawson spoke with "20/20" about her father, Dennis Rader. I don't know a psychopath. She believed her father was away on a Cub Scout camping trip with her older brother. Rawson went to Kansas State University, where she met her husband, Darian. She said they obtained DNA through tissue from a pap smear she had done. From the moment the FBI agent broke the news to her, Rawson said it felt like her "whole life was a lie.". “They found out I had had annual pap smears and they got a warrant for my medical records,” Rawson says in an ABC 20/20 documentary on that airs tonight at 9 p.m. He killed 21-year-old Kathryn Bright later that year and his next two victims, Shirley Vian and Nancy Fox, in 1977. Rader eventually confessed. In this family photo, Dennis Rader lifts his daughter Kerri Rawson up to place the star on top of the family Christmas tree, Dec. 1984. After pleading guilty to ten murders, Rader is now serving a 175-year sentence. When Rawson reached her mother on the phone the day she found out, "You could just hear her [my mother] break ... just utter grief and loss," she said. Rawson said she first read about the serial killer in Wichita in an article on ABCNews.com. She said the family lived in a three-bedroom ranch house with a dog, and a treehouse her father built for her and her older brother in the backyard. When law enforcement matched Rawson’s DNA to the DNA found at the crime scenes, “we knew we had our guy,” Otis said. I had my family. ... And we knew he was leaving work. She now also has a son in addition to her daughter. I love the man that I knew. “Somehow I knew -- at 6 -- that her body had been found and that she had been murdered and she had been strangled,” Rawson said of her neighbor. Coyote Ugly Turns 20: Where Is the Cast Now? If we had had an inkling that my father had harmed anyone, let anyone murdered anyone, let alone 10, we would've gone screaming out that door to the police station. “I live with depression and anxiety. But biological specimens left behind at his crime scenes had been carefully preserved, allowing authorities by 2005 to confirm the killer’s identity through DNA analysis. “We had helicopters. They interviewed his daughter. "I was born in '78," Rawson said. What do you tell your children about their grandfather when he's a serial killer? I still love my dad today. “So law enforcement put an ad in the paper that said ‘Rex, it’ll be OK,’” said Tim Relph, a Wichita Police detective. “I had to learn how to grieve a man that was not dead, somebody I loved very much that no one else loved anymore,” she said. Turn on desktop notifications for breaking stories about interest? I was working on my relationship with God, working on my own heart.”. Kerri Rawson is seen here during an interview with "20/20. I'm never corresponding with BTK," Rawson contined. Kerri Rawson, the daughter of BTK Killer Dennis Rader, did not know her DNA was being used by investigators. We looked like a normal American family because we were a normal family. BTK serial killer's daughter: 'We were living our normal life. On February 25, 2005 Dennis Rader was arrested. In early 2005, police retrieved DNA from Kerri Rawson, the married daughter of Dennis Rader. They needed to do it quick. "My dad murdered a young woman when my mom was three months pregnant with me.". In the years after his last killing, the Rader family continued to live their everyday lives. ET. “It scared me. “My dad was the one who taught me my morals,” his daughter would later say. “Eventually the disk arrives, and it is taken directly to a forensics software detective.”. “He taught me right from wrong.” They wanted DNA. But you're, sort of, alone. And that’s where Rawson — whose new memoir, A Serial Killer’s Daughter (released on Jan. 29), chronicles how her horror and anger were tempered by the love she felt for her father — came in. Gracias a las pistas que Rader les fue enviando, pudieron saber que el archivo de Word que se incluía en un CD pertenecía a un tal Dennis. And I was in between work. “He says, ‘Let me know ... in the classified ads of the Wichita Eagle, that it's OK. Before they could arrest Rader, however, police needed to match DNA evidence to the scenes of the murders. “I wasn't corresponding with BTK. If you would like to opt out of browser push notifications, please refer to the following instructions specific to your device and browser: DNA Taken From BTK Killer's Unwitting Daughter Led to His Arrest: 'They Needed to Catch My Dad'. No matter what you're going through, you can get through it,'” she said. But she eventually understood that they had no choice. I just watched the 20/20 episode about BTK. If you have researched the BTK killer, then you have also heard about his daughter, Kerri Rawson. They needed to catch my dad. She never suspected the man she was reading about online would turn out to be her father. Less than two years later, in September 1986, Vicki Wegerle became Rader’s ninth victim. Get push notifications with news, features and more. "I'm talking to my father. “After my father's plea and sentencing in August of 2005, I shut down,” Rawson said. “We opened it up and it was pictures of Vicki Wegerle, who was killed in 1986 in her home.”. “It would have been nice if somebody had asked me for my DNA. Kerri Rawson is seen here with her father, Dennis Rader, when she graduated from college in 2003. Rader's killing spree began in January 1974, when he targeted four members of the Otero family, killing Joseph and Julie Otero and two of their five children. Ramsland corresponded and met with Rader over the course of five years after he was incarcerated. Rader killed ten people between 1974 and 1991 while taunting police to catch him — and giving himself the nickname BTK, which stands for “bind, torture and kill” — before the killings stopped. Kerri Rawson told "20/20" that, on Feb. 25, 2005, the FBI arrived at her home to tell her that her father Dennis Rader had been arrested and identified as the BTK serial killer. You'll get the latest updates on this topic in your browser notifications. Text us for exclusive photos and videos, royal news, and way more. Kerri Rawson is seen here with her father Dennis Rader in this 2002 family photo. “Most of the time, [my father] was even-keeled and kind and warm,” Rawson continued. I was like, 'You mean the person that's wanted for murders back in Kansas?'" Rader, now 73, pleaded guilty on June 27, 2005, to 10 counts of first-degree murder. Rawson is emphatic that neither she, nor her mother or her brother knew anything about their father’s killings prior to his arrest. Five years passed, and in January 1991, Rader murdered his 10th victim, Dolores Davis. She said a pastor at their church encouraged her to write to him as he was in jail, which she did. “I understand why nobody approached me,” she says in the documentary. "And you know ... the father you know is not capable of any of this.". Who Is BTK’s Daughter, Kerri Rawson? Rawson continued. “I’m not forgiving him for what he did to those other families,” says Rawson. Kerri Rawson is seen here fishing with her father Dennis Rader in this 1982 family photo. “But I am forgiving him for what he did to our family.”. Instead of taking a chance of extracting DNA from Rader himself, the detectives attempted to confirm the sample on the victims with a sample from his daughter. I had my husband. “I had no idea,” Rawson said. “He thought this is a great joke. “No longer Kerri — she’s gone.” Initially, Rawson, her mother and brother kept in touch with Rader, writing him letters in jail. Athletic and nearly 5 … Kerri Rawson will never forget getting the knock on her door on Feb. 25, 2005, that changed her life forever. “If we had had an inkling that my father had harmed anyone, let anyone murdered anyone, let alone 10, we would've gone screaming out that door to the police station,” she said. '), (MORE: Why former FBI agent thinks 'Golden State Killer' suspect fits the serial killer profile). I was done. “Overnight we called 200 policemen,” Relph said. He got these dolls dressed them to look like his victims, put them into the boxes with ... some of the victims' items,” she added. BTK por fin había cumplido su sueño: hacerse famoso. Then began the task of linking Rader to the BTK crime spree. He is currently serving 10 consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole. So she's like, ‘Well, what is jail?’ And I was like, ‘Well, it's like a really long timeout.’”. WICHITA, Kansas (CNN) -- The daughter of the man whom Wichita authorities arrested in the notorious BTK serial killings approached police with her … Dennis Rader Rader's mugshot at the El Dorado Correctional Facility Born Dennis Lynn Rader (1945-03-09) March 9, 1945 (age 75) Pittsburg, Kansas, U.S. Other names “There was a lot of hard work in me, with faith. Kevin Bright was a BTK survivor and described her killer as “an average-sized guy, bushy moustache, ‘psychotic’ eyes”. In 2003, Rader walked his daughter down the aisle at her wedding. I started having night terrors around that time. “And we included in [the piece] that nobody remembered him, which invoked his ire,” said Michael Roehrman, executive editor of the Wichita Eagle. “They were just doing their job and they were heroes,” she told PEOPLE in last week’s cover story. ", "He asked, 'Do you know who BTK is?' Kerri Rawson's father Dennis Rader walked her down the aisle at her wedding in 2003. I would've willingly given it. On February 25, 2005, Dennis Rader was arrested and charged with … When investigators got into the disk’s metadata, Relph said it showed that the disk had been in a computer registered to Christ Lutheran Church and a user named Dennis. As time has passed, Rawson said she tried for nearly 10 years to avoid telling people she was Rader’s daughter. "It was a normal day. “It would've been nice if someone had asked me for my DNA. BTK Killer's Daughter Kerri Rawson: 'I'd Give Anything Not To Be a Serial Killer's Daughter' this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. This included four members of the Otero family—Julie Otero (the matriarch), Joseph Otero (the patriarch), 11-year-old … When the BTK — which stands for “Bind, Torture, Kill” — was finally caught in 2005, Dennis Rader’s wife and his daughter Kerri even refused to believe it. I would have willingly given it.”, RELATED: The Shattering Moment I Learned My Dad Was the Notorious BTK Serial Killer. ...… At the time, it felt like an invasion of my privacy.”. "And then he says, 'Your dad has been arrested as BTK.'". ", “I would wake up screaming, sitting up in bed, and my mom was always the one that would come comfort [me],” she continued. 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