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Bind, Torture, Kill: The Inside Story of the Serial Killer Next Door
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Bind, Torture, Kill: The Inside Story of the Serial Killer Next Door

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  4,198 ratings  ·  297 reviews
For thirty-one years, a monster terrorized the residents of Wichita, Kansas. A bloodthirsty serial killer, self-named "BTK"—for "bind them, torture them, kill them"—he slaughtered men, women, and children alike, eluding the police for decades while bragging of his grisly exploits to the media. The nation was shocked when the fiend who was finally apprehended turned out to ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published June 12th 2007 by William Morrow (first published June 1st 2007)
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3.97  · 
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 ·  4,198 ratings  ·  297 reviews


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Derek Davis
Apr 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Though I've read too many serial-killer profiles to think myself fully sane, this is one of the few that has struck me as honest, non-depressing and engrossing at a level beyond titillation and shock.

Wenzl is one of a group of reporters for the Wichita Beacon who put together this intense examination of killer Denis Rader, self-proclaimed BTK killer, whose depredations spread over 30 years, starting in 1974. However, it is even more intensely an examination of the detective force who kept up the
...more
Tony
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
I don’t know what I was expecting when I picked this up, it’s certainly not my usual flavour. I’m also in two minds as to whether it is good-form (old man) to rate a book which should be shelved as DNF.

Fuck it, I’ll give it a 2. Even now making that decision I’m uncomfortable as, never reading anything like it before, I have little to compare it to.

So, to discuss the 60% I actually read. It’s dry, bitty and at times, difficult to follow. The amount of attention given to the period in which BTK i
...more
Michelle Bravo
Dec 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Roy Wenzl, and Bind, Torture, Kill tells the story of Dennis Rader, a hopeless horny sex addict who kills women for his women for his pleasure. The book is set in Wichita, Kansas in 1974, when the first family was victimized by the insane killer. Wanting to stalk and kill pretty women for his needs. Dennis follows any women who gets him fired up, showing hostility actions, proving he's a psychopathic, and revealing his sexual temptations. The book is essentially an over look on how life is, whic ...more
✨The Reading
Not very interesting.
This book is the inside story of BTK the serial killer Dennis Rader who terrorized the residence of Wichita, Kansas for 31 years.
I don't really like the way this book is put together. it has good information in it but for me personally this book comes off as a cops and robbers book in the form of a true crime novel. but instead of being like a real true crime novel where there is plot and story interweaved into the facts, this one is put together with just plain fact telling
...more
Abby
Jun 20, 2017 rated it liked it
BTK is hands-down the most arrogant serial killer I've ever read about. The man was caught because he wouldn't stop toying with the police, even after 20+ years of silence. Story aside though, this book was hard to read because of its format. I could tell it had multiple authors since it sort of bounced around sporadically, involving pieces that I would deem unnecessary. I really don't want to know about other cases going on at the same time. Otherwise, a quick read that provides insight into wh ...more
David
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really excellently written and researched, especially given the team writing approach. The narrative style also flowed well in spite of the multiple author approach. The crimes and BTK really made my skin crawl. What a creepy guy. And to think this person got away with those crimes for so long, when one of them was even committed in the same neighborhood as BTK. It’s a good thing he got old and lazy and used a floppy disk of all things to transmit messages. (Shudder).
Ruthy lavin
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well written account of the unsettling time during the search for the killer self named as ‘BTK’.
Told predominantly from the perspective of the police force, this gives an unparalleled and first hand version of events - which is a pleasant change.
The long and exhausting search for Dennis Rader certainly took its toll on the long suffering task force involved, and it was a relief when we got towards the end of the book and could feel them closing in on him, although ultimately he gave himself
...more
♥ Marlene♥
Re reading because I am reading the memoirs of his daughter but so far she hardly speaks about the murders. Definitely not in detail, so perhaps the reread was not necessary but it has been ages since I read it and with a few others finally caught over the years I can use a reminder.

(Although the killing of the Otero family and the way he killed them is something I don't need a reminder for.So cruel

Finished the book this morning. I understand Landwehr (Kenny? passed away in 2014. I would have r
...more
Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
I think the reason why this was so interesting for me was that this is a local case that I don't really know too much about. Sure, I know BTK and his legacy, but I didn't know the specifics of the case. I'm really glad that I picked this book up because it was written by people who lived in the area when everything was going on, from the original killings to his capture decades later.

There are two main things that stand out to me in this book. First, that Dennis Rader really was an idiot. You co
...more
Heather
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, true-crime
I was not very aware of this serial killer so it really shocked me to listen to this true account. It is amazing that the killer was on the loose for so many decades before law enforcement was able to catch him. And maybe even more amazing is how well he blended into society and was never suspected by those around him, not his even his wife. The book is well written and the narrator did a nice job too. If you enjoy reading true crime, then this book should find your to-read list.
Beej
Sep 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
I wasn't particularly familiar with Rader before I picked this book up, but his approach to his crimes fascinates me. He has a mix of organised and disorganised behaviour, no evidence or claims of childhood abuse or trauma, managed to hold several jobs and care for a family that had no clue, avoid capture for over thirty years, and he's utterly ruthless and shows absolutely no guilt. The way he taunted the police and manipulated the media is really impressive considering the 'normal' life he was ...more
Michael
Dec 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
BTK. How do I review this? The book was good. Well written. Interesting. If you have trouble remembering a lot of names and keeping track of who each one is, this book may throw you off a bit. A lot of people involved with this version of the story. I personally did pretty good keeping track but you really need to pay attention. But I would say overall not to tough to follow. Now..... my opinion on Dennis Rader, A.K.A. "BTK". BTK was not a master criminal. He was an idiot that got lucky. And a a ...more
Lady ♥ Belleza
BTK ~ “bind, torture, kill”, is probably the most famous serial killer in Wichita, Kansas. Actually he might be the only serial killer in Wichita, Kansas. Like most serial killers, when not killing he was ‘normal’, husband, father, boy scout leader, and church leader. Like most serial killers though, he had these urges to kill. The reason it took 31 years to catch him was he was able to resist his urges for years at a time.

This book is written by the reporters who covered the BTK story for “The
...more
SAM
Aug 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, good-true-crime
Well researched and well written. I liked how they wrote from Denis Raders perspective when he was carrying out his crimes. Also, the version i read had lots of pictures of evidence, victims, locations etc, which is always a plus for me in a true crime book. Not quite 5 stars as there is some padding out in a few chapters that isn't necessary.
Patrick Mcfate
Sep 03, 2009 rated it liked it
This book was written by four reporters for the Wichita Eagle, which, judging by the content of this book, is a third-rate newspaper. Instead of focusing on the plain facts of the BTK case, which in themselves are totally morbid and fascinating, these authors played up the drama the police and the person they were hunting, which makes this story read a little bit like a Dan Brown novel. I didn't appreciate that, since all it did was make the narration seem too cursory, too fanciful. Most chapter ...more
Tara
May 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: true-crime
I've been reading true crime, longer then I can remember. BTK was a scary man and what made him even scarier is the fact that by day he was a husband and father going about his life, and by night he was a serial killer. Bind, Torture, Kill is what he would do to his victims. The book is well written so you won't want to put it down. Of course, will you will check your windows and doors before going to bed!
♥ Marlene♥
Sep 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All True Crime Fans
on Monday, September 01, 2008 I wrote about this book:

WOW! What a great book. I was sitting on the verge of my seat reading the part where they caught him. My hands were shaking!
So amazingly written. Loved it.
Beforehand I did not know anything about this killer.
Now I am so glad I decided to wait cause there were other books out there but with very bad reviews..
This book is one of the best TC serial killers books I've read for a while.

Neri.
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5. I saw a documentary about this dude and he was a sick bastard. I haven't found out anything new here what I knew already but it was an ok book to read.
Amanda
The facts of this case were interesting, but I feel it was poorly written and put together.
Emily Raphael
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
True crime reads are always dark and scary, that is a given, and the BTK crimes are deeply disturbing. The book was an incredibly thorough explanation of the crimes committed and the 30 year investigation. It was readable and concise while exploring the character traits of the cops, reporters, victims, and killer involved. Going in, you know who committed the crimes, but the story is still a suspenseful page turner. This is a unique read for this particular case because it is written by three re ...more
J.V. Speyer
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
True crime with a lot of heart

I couldn’t put this book down. It’s late, I need to go to bed, and I *already know how the story ends.*. But this book was written with so much heart, and so much hope, I couldn’t put it down. It humanizes everyone involved, except Rader, who hates dogs and should rot.
Shane Phillips
Growing up in Wichita during the 1970's-80's BTK this book brings back memories. My brother and I had actually visited the murder locations as we are true crime fans. This book gives a lot of details and I actually learned a few things from the interviews with BTK. I only gave a 3 because it really was just a rehash of other books.
Bernice Decker
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Btk

It is always refreshing to read a crime book that focuses on the efforts of law enforcement and the criminal justice system rather than making a mister into a hero. Roy Wendi did a great job of showing the side of criminal pursuit that we seldom see. I particularly appreciated the reading about the physical and emotional strain law enforcement personnel face. These are the true heroes.
MonumentToDecency
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Let me start by saying, yes, we've been watching Mindhunter. It's brilliant.

Bind, Torture, Kill: The Inside Story of the Serial Killer Next Door was written by a group of seasoned crime reporters who worked at the newspaper this guy used to communicate with the police and public. These reporters covered the murders and news as it was happening. They draw their first-hand facts and information from their own catalogue of reports and evidence spanning the 30 odd years of this man's evading* police
...more
John
Sep 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: serial-killers
For Dennis Rader, playing with the minds of detectives was almost as gratifying as the crimes themselves.

I liked this book because it was about the chase. The men and women who worked this case spent years searching for the elusive BTK whose ability to remain anonymous weighed on many. The ways in which he stalked his victims and selected his targets was extremely interesting. The number of people who were unknowingly 'stalked' is unbelievable. I can't imagine the horror someone would feel if th
...more
Sally Seymore
Sep 05, 2013 rated it liked it
I find Serial killers interesting, because unlike other killers who are usually known to the victims and kill because of jealousy, money or power, serial killers choose their victims at random. BTK kept police and the public guessing for almost 40 years. He was a good husband, father and well liked by many. The demons inside him is unexplainable and he is a psychopath of the highest degree.

This book was written by the reporters of The Wichita Eagle, who had been following this case for a number
...more
Fishface
Sep 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This one is really outstanding, easily the best one I've read on BTK. Over 30 years in the making, this book does an excellent job of giving the reader a picture of what the many, many people who worked to find BTK went through. It gave what seems like an unflinchingly accurate picture of the trials and tribulations of the press corps in Wichita, including their jaw-dropping blunders that stood to gum up the whole investigation. They also did an amazing job of conveying the horror of the BTK cri ...more
Mariano
Feb 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychos
I am not really fan of true crime books but if the depicted event or serial killer interest me I give it a try (I did this with The Monster of Florence and I loved the book, basically because it was Italy): this book is good, it gives you the whole BTK story and the life of the people that finally caught him.
It also provides some insight in the mind of this twisted man that for more than 30 years could pose as a family man, scout member and church goer and at the same time conducted a lot of de
...more
Julie Bernal
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read that held my attention

I didn't know anything about BTK, although atrocious crimes were committed by this man this story helped identify that he was part of American History. Fascinating that this killer was part of an Era without DNA testing and then with good timing and many years DNA could nail him so flawlessly.
Kate Woods Walker
Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I listened to this on audiobook, but that edition wasn't available on the list.

Good balance of true crime description and focus on the police work. The press gets an unfair shake (the Wichita Eagle-Beacon is one of the best papers in the country). But all in all, not too shabby.

Authors do a good job describing the banality of this particular killer's evil.
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Roy Wenzl is an award-winning reporter for the Wichita Eagle. He is the primary author of Bind, Torture, Kill: The Inside Story of the Serial Killer Next Door (Harper Collins, 2007) and a co-producer of the documentary film The Miracle of Father Kapaun.
“Do not assume responsibility for actions you are not responsible for, they said. Not all cases can be solved; not all the guilty get convicted; not all victims receive justice.” 0 likes
“Bonnie, leaks have caused consequences. I’ll get back to you.” Bing” 0 likes
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