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Nightmare in Wichita: The Hunt For The BTK Strangler

3.42  ·  Rating Details  ·  169 Ratings  ·  22 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
...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published March 21st 2005 by NAL Trade (first published 2005)
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Autumn
Jan 19, 2011 Autumn rated it liked it
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
...more
Leila
Aug 23, 2015 Leila rated it it was amazing
Wonderful depiction of the hard work and struggles of the investigators and the victims family's and friends. this is not the story of Dennis Rader, it's the story of Wichita and how it handled one of the biggest terrors it was ever faced with.
Layla
Oct 02, 2014 Layla rated it liked it
Shelves: true-crime
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
Emily
Apr 09, 2008 Emily rated it did not like it
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.
Megan
Jun 20, 2015 Megan rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I have had this book for years and only picked it out when I needed something specific for a challenge. Strangely enough, I also picked Stephen King's Full Dark, No Stars for the challenge; the last story is based on the BTK strangler. I knew I had to read this book next.

I usually quite enjoy true crime. This was a little rougher because Beattie is very obviously not used to writing any kind of narrative. Sometimes it got bogged down in mundane details. Other times it skipped over pieces that co
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space
Jan 01, 2008 space rated it did not like it
BTK? WTF?

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

I'd rather fucking live in TULSA.
Karen
Aug 01, 2008 Karen rated it it was amazing
I find this stuff morbidly fascinating! Lots of gory detail.
Edwina Hall Callan
Nov 20, 2013 Edwina Hall Callan rated it it was ok
Shelves: bookcrossing, 2008
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
...more
Peacegal
Oct 30, 2015 Peacegal rated it liked it
3.5 stars -- The story of the manhunt for the BTK serial killer. True, the author does insert himself frequently into the story, which some readers may find irritating. This book is mainly about police procedural rather than a biography of the murderer, who is only mentioned in the final chapter.
Amy
Oct 25, 2007 Amy rated it liked it
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
Missy
Aug 15, 2014 Missy rated it liked it
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.
Tarah Traynor
Jul 14, 2015 Tarah Traynor rated it liked it
would have liked more on the outcome of the trial
Dave Steffey
Jan 15, 2012 Dave Steffey rated it did not like it
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
Sharon
Aug 22, 2011 Sharon rated it liked it
Shelves: crime
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.
Faith
Jun 02, 2012 Faith rated it really liked it
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!
R
Aug 07, 2007 R rated it did not like it
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
Sep 02, 2012 Sarah Dane rated it really liked it
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
Oct 19, 2009 Mr. Crusader rated it liked it
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.
Tabbatha
Aug 15, 2012 Tabbatha rated it really liked it
Awesome. Well written with good insight.
Haget
Jan 13, 2013 Haget rated it liked it
I'm from Kansas - had to read it
Carrie Mccausland
May 20, 2012 Carrie Mccausland rated it liked it
It's interesting, but poorly written.
Annaly
Annaly is currently reading it
Jul 09, 2016
Caryn Brsck
Caryn Brsck marked it as to-read
Jun 27, 2016
A. Bickham
A. Bickham rated it really liked it
Jun 21, 2016
Hackney Jay
Hackney Jay rated it it was amazing
Jun 12, 2016
Robin Coleman
Robin Coleman is currently reading it
Jun 05, 2016
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May 28, 2016
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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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