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Nightmare in Wichita: The Hunt For The BTK Strangler

3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  148 ratings  ·  20 reviews
THE FIRST BOOK to tell the tale of the BTK serial killer-written by the lawyer who assisted the police during the thirty-year search and was instrumental in the long-awaited arrest.

In 1974 a serial killer began a fourteen-year murder spree in Wichita, Kansas. Joining the ranks of Ted Bundy, the elusive sex murderer taunted authorities with clues, puzzles, and obscene let
Paperback, 352 pages
Published March 21st 2005 by NAL Trade (first published 2005)
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Beattie is clearly not a writer. The book is written in a very clear-cut, analytical style, with none of the flare or suspense of, say, Vincent Bugliosi or David Cullen. Moreover, there was a good deal of repetition, of victim cases and suspect bios, as though Beattie didn't trust his reader to pay attention and remember. He also went to great lengths to showcase how his interest in writing this book led to the re-emergence of BTK and his eventual capture. I don't dispute the link or likelihood ...more
Artur Arutyunyan
A long time ago, in the distant year of 2010 I was in a now closed one dollar book store called "Book Heaven" somewhere in Burbank. I was looking for a good real-life crime book when I stumbled upon Nightmare in Wichita, the first thing to catch my eye was the line "The Hunt for the BTK Strangler" after reading that I was sold, I had found exactly what I was looking for. This book is about the 25 year hunt for a murderer in Wichita Kansas. This book was also written by a lawyer who was closely f ...more

Wichita *IS* a nightmare. I've been there. I know.

I'd rather fucking live in TULSA.
I find this stuff morbidly fascinating! Lots of gory detail.
This is not a book that I would have chosen myself. It was a gift from my mom, who seems intent on making me as paranoid as she is. Still, it was interesting reading about the serial killer who plagued my home town for 30 years.

What I loved...
* Descriptions of the victims' lives. I don't need to know a victim's whole life story, but I do want to know a few small details to help personalize them for me. Robert Beattie gave just enough info to make them real but (in general) not so much to bog do
Edwina Hall Callan
I thought this book was very slow paced and boring.
The only reason this book is 333 pages long is because Mr. Beattie
wrote about EVERYTHING. He even listed the exact addresses of the victims.
Here is an example of his rambling ... Page 40.
"The young man had been apprehended attempting to have sex with a duck while in a car. The duck protested loudly and the noise caught the attention of patrolling police."
I felt like the author used anything to fill up the page.
I did find one intresting l
I grew up and went to college near BTK's killing grounds. As a newspaper reporter, I even covered the city council meetings for the city that employed him as a dogcatcher. So it was fascinating to read the gritty details from the perspective of a local attorney. I hope he's a better lawyer than he is a writer. It was pretty sloppy, in need of a good editor, and it was obvious towards the end that it was being rushed to publication while the story was still hot. The book was near release when BTK ...more
Not as good as Anne Rule's real life crime dramas, but interesting. Growing up near Wichita in the 70's, I was curious to read this.
Joe Roz
Dec 02, 2014 Joe Roz rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: True crime fans
Shelves: owned-unread
Not the greatest book, but most likely the best about the BTK strangler. Good read for any true crime fan.
Dave Steffey
The writing was for shit. Near constant reiteration of thoughts and facts. Beattie referrers to himself as I, he, him, me, and "the author" multiple times, often on the same page. It was borderline infuriating. Had to force my way through the last 80ish pages. And when we finally get our big reveal of BTK, it's all of five pages. What. A. Let down.... Pompus amateur writing gives this book a 1.5/5
Tough to read because of all the details, but I'm glad BTK was arrested! I live near Wichita and watched this all unfold. Beattie did a good job of telling the story and showing the effects that this had on the community and on the families involved.
This is one of the scariest books that I have ever read. It made me extremely paranoid- so much so that I took a break reading it while commuting to work on the train, as I started fearing that strangers were after me. A terrifying true tale!
Only gave it one star because I couldnt figure out how to give no stars. I guess he gets one star for writing the first book about BTK, but its a pity star. Learn to write & cool it w/the ego. Seriously.
hard to read but gives lots of factual information that did not come out in the news even in the wichita area. only someone living with this story for years could commit to reading it all of the way through.
Sarah Dane
I bought the book at an old bookstore across the street. I find the book fascinating with it's detailed info about BTK. The thing is I find it interesting because of the Dexter series--
Andrea Johnston
May 17, 2007 Andrea Johnston marked it as to-read
Recommends it for: strong stomach people
I was super excited when this book came out... I actually bought it when it first came out.... This guy is creepy. Did anyone see him give his testimony about all the murders on tv?
Mr. Crusader
Lots of good information for folks who want to learn more about the BTK Strangler. Not as interesting to me as other true crime books I have read recently.
Awesome. Well written with good insight.
I'm from Kansas - had to read it
Carrie Mccausland
It's interesting, but poorly written.
Emily Silver
Emily Silver marked it as to-read
May 17, 2015
Anssi marked it as to-read
Apr 15, 2015
Sarah marked it as to-read
Mar 28, 2015
Trista Elaschuk
Trista Elaschuk marked it as to-read
Mar 14, 2015
Ashley marked it as to-read
Mar 12, 2015
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Robert Beattie, a Wichita lawyer, is the author of the nonfiction book Nightmare in Wichita. It is about BTK, a serial killer in Wichita, Kansas who created the name BTK after his modus operandi, "Bind Them, Torture Them, Kill Them". Dennis Rader started sending out letters to media again after hearing about the book. Right before he was going to publish it, Dennis Rader was arrested then convicte ...more
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