Paula Dietz’s Unsettling Tale of Her Marriage to Dennis Rader

paula dietz

Dennis Lynn Rader is an American serial killer who goes by the nickname “BTK,” which stands for “bind, torture, kill.” Between 1974 and 1991, he killed ten people in Wichita and Park City, Kansas, and then sent letters to the police and the media, bragging about what he had done. Rader stopped sending letters for ten years, but he started again in 2004, which led to his arrest in 2005 and his guilty plea.

Paula Dietz

Paula Dietz had known her husband for 34 years as a loving husband, church council president, and Cub Scout leader. Nevertheless, she was shocked to discover that he was also a serial killer. On February 25, 2005, Dietz’s husband was taken into custody, shattering everything she had previously believed to be true. Authorities abruptly identified the man who had been her children’s adoring father and the head of their church council as the BTK Killer,

The cognitive whiplash that Dennis Rader’s wife went through was undoubtedly indescribable. In 1970, she fell in love with the retired US Air Force officer, and a few months later they were married. After they settled into their Park City, Kansas, house, Dietz took care of their two kids, and Rader went to work as an electrician. Dietz had no idea that he was using his electrical skills to break into homes at night and murder innocent people while wearing a mask. Despite a trail of clues left in her husband’s wake, Dietz only learned Rader’s true identity when he was apprehended.

Paul Dietz Love Story

Paula Dietz was born in Park City, Kansas, on May 5, 1948. Most of what is known about her came to light after her husband was arrested, as she lived a relatively quiet life with her family until the BTK Killer was exposed for his crimes. Dietz, on the other hand, was raised in a religious household by devout parents. Her father worked as an engineer, and her mother as a librarian.

Paula Dietz attended the National American University of Wichita after graduating from her local high school in 1966 and earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1970. That same year, she met Rader at church, and the two fell in love quickly.

Living With The BTK Killer

On the surface, Rader appeared to be a kind U.S. Air Force veteran. But Rader had grown up torturing helpless women and killing small animals, and Dietz had no idea that side of him existed.

Dietz married Dennis Rader on May 22, 1971, unaware that he liked to photograph himself in women’s underwear or engage in autoerotic asphyxiation.

When Paula Dietz discovered she was pregnant in 1973, she was overjoyed, and on November 30, she gave birth to her and Rader’s son Brian. Six weeks later, her husband committed his first murders.

He broke into the home of Joseph Otero, 38, and his wife Julie on January 15, 1974, and strangled them in front of their children.

He then dragged Josephine, 11, and her brother Joseph, 9, into the basement. He suffocated young Joseph before hanging her and masturbating as she died. Before fleeing, Rader took gruesome photos of the scene, which he kept in a lockbox filled with mementos from his victims, including Josephine’s underwear.

Over the next 17 years, Rader murdered six more women while portraying the ideal family man by day. In 1978, Dietz gave birth to her second child, a girl named Kerri. Rader enjoyed taking his kids fishing and even led his son’s Cub Scout troop.

Dietz was completely unaware of her husband’s secret double life.

The Shocking Discovery

Rader was finally caught in 2005, almost 15 years after his last murder. He sent letters to local news outlets with photos and information about his past crimes. He kept the photos, the underwear, and the IDs of the women he had killed in a lockbox at home, and Paula Dietz had never thought to open it.

When the FBI searched Rader’s home after he was arrested on February 25, 2005, they found these strange items. Dietz had no idea what was going on. She told police that her husband was “a good man and a great father.”

But after he admitted to killing 10 people and pleaded guilty on June 27, 2005, Dennis Rader’s wife stopped talking to him. She never wrote him another letter, and she never went to see him in jail or to any of his court hearings.

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