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'BTK' suspect pleads guilty to 10 murders

BTK suspect Dennis Rader, accused in a series of slayings over a 31-year-period, has plead guilty to 10 counts of first-degree murder.

BTK suspect Dennis Rader, accused of a series of slayings between 1974 and 1991, has pleaded guilty to 10 counts of first-degree murder.

The 60-year-old city worker and Cub Scout leader entered the guilty pleas as his trial was scheduled to begin Monday in Kansas.

Rader will not face the death penalty because the crimes were committed before the state adopted capital punishment.

Rader told the judge he was waiving his right to a jury trial and that he understood the charges against him.

"The defence worked with me real well," Rader said. "We went over it. I feel like I'm pretty happy with them."

Asked by the judge if he was pleading because he was guilty, Rader answered, "Yes, sir."

In a calm voice, Rader recounted the details of the killings, saying he was motivated by sexual fantasies.

Rader, who called himself BTK – "Bind them, Torture them, Kill them" – had been accused of strangling Joseph Otero, his wife and two children, Josephine and Junior, in 1974 and of strangling six women in the years that followed.

"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 told the court, referring to the Otero killings.

"The whole family just panicked on me. I worked pretty quick," he said. "I strangled Mrs. Otero. She passed out. I thought she was dead. I strangled Josephine. She passed out. I thought she was dead. Then I went over and put a bag on Junior's head."

He described his victims as "projects" and told the court how he would "troll" for them in his off-time, then stalk them and kill them.

"In the trolling stage, basically, you're looking for a victim at that time. You can be trolling for months or years, but once you lock in on a certain person, you become a stalker," he said.

Rader would write to local newspapers demanding attention for his crimes. He went silent in 1979 until he resumed contact with the Wichita Eagle last year.

In his letter to the paper, BTK included photos of a 1986 murder victim's slain body.

In subsequent letters and packages to media and police, BTK sent jewelry, which belonged to some of his victims.

Following thousands of tips, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation discovered one of the later victims lived on Rader's street.