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

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  5,143 ratings  ·  377 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

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Kindle Edition, 356 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published June 1st 2007)
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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 ·  5,143 ratings  ·  377 reviews


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Johann (jobis89)
“In writing this book, we had a choice to make as well. Others have focused on portraying the evil; we wanted to give equal time to the people who stopped it.”

And that quote is reason number 1 why this book is so great - of course the serial killers themselves are so fascinating to read and learn about, but I also appreciate it when the ones who brought them down are celebrated as the heroes they are - and this book truly delivers in that regard!

Ken Landwehr in particular, who has since unfortun
...more
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Jessica
Mar 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For thirty-one years, a monster was allowed to roam the streets of Wichita, Kansas. A serial killer calling himself “BTK”, standing for “bind, torture, kill” was known for slaughtering men, women, and children. He had the ability to effortlessly enter homes and kill without being caught. Despite repeatedly bragging about his kills to the media, BTK’s true identity remained unknown for decades. The nation was shocked when he was finally revealed to be Dennis Rader, a man who could fill the role o ...more
Michelle Bravo
Dec 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
✨Sumi's Books✨
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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).
Caidyn (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
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Erin Dunn
DNF. Usually I love books like this, but this was did not capture my attention at all. The writing is boring.
Lindy
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
I had heard of BTK but didn’t know any details. He is one creepy dude! The details in this book are creepy but great! I docked a star as I got bored with the side cases and convos between news people. Definitely glad I have a huge dog to keep me safe. You never know who’s watching you!!!
♥ 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
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Kathryn
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
For over 30 years Wichita Kansas was terrorised by a serial killer BTK killing men, women and children alike avoiding police capture and giving graphic details of his exploits to the media even giving them the name by which to call him (talk about egocentric!!)

Written by the reporters who covered the case for more than 20 years this is the complete account from those who were there up to the eventual capture of Dennis Rader the seemingly average guy next door.

It's a no holds barred account of
...more
Rachelle
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Evil people do evil things by their choice. And when they do, it becomes necessary to hunt them down."

Another great true crime read! This book was insanely well written and I really love that they went in detail about the tireless efforts of the law enforcement agencies that ultimately brought BTK in.
Octavia (ReadsWithDogs)
Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dtcd-yes, true-crime
A well written and very detailed account of a very fucked up man and the folks who worked hard to catch him.

Started reading the book and finished as an audiobook because somehow the gory stuff was easier to listen to than read?!🤷🏻‍♀️
John
May 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
Story- 4.6
Narration- 4.8

Probably the best book on BTK.
Brittney Gibbon
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The ultimate true crime experience for me is one that strikes the right balance between remembering the victims & their families as people, documenting the facts of the case & the insights into the serial killers themselves & celebrating and acknowledging the people who worked relentlessly to take them down.

Bind, Torture, Kill absolutely nailed this balance and is now firmly cemented in my top 5 true crime reads.

I wasn’t overly familiar with Rader before this read. I knew of BTK but I didn’t kn
...more
Heather
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: true-crime, audiobook
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Amy
Apr 21, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was OK, but didn't really learn anything new.
Elizabeth
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating account of Dennis Rader's crimes and the police hunt for him. Written by local journalists who covered the story for decades, it spends a lot of time on the police side of it, which was fascinating to me.
Michael
Dec 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
♥ 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.

Tara
May 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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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.

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