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Paula and Dennis Rader Marriage Profile


BTK murders suspect Dennis Rader is shown with his lawyer in this arraignment photo taken off a television screen March 1, 2005 during his arraignment in Wichita, Kansas.
Spencer Platt / Staff/Getty Images News
The question of what Paula Rader knew or didn't know will probably never be known although people wonder how she lived with Dennis for so long and not have suspicions.

Here's information about Dennis Rader, aka the BTK Killer, his wife Paula, their two grown children, and news updates.

News Updates:

3/07/07: Without much notice, the former home of Paula and Dennis Rader was leveled.

1/12/07: Paula and Dennis Rader's former 960-square-foot home on Independence street will be demolished in the next 90 days to create better access to Jardine Memorial Park. Park City officials closed the sale on the home last week. It was purchased from Paula Rader for under $60,000.

Dennis Rader was sentenced to and is serving 10 consecutive life terms in prison.

8/23/05: In the late 1970s, Paula Rader found a poem Dennis wrote about a brutal murder, yet she told police she didn't know about his murderous activities. Read more...

8/18/05: Sentenced to a minimum of 175 years, Dennis Rader stated, "The final victim is my wife. That and my family." Source: Washington Post

He will be incarcerated at the El Dorado Correctional Facility near Wichita, Kansas. It has not yet been decided if Rader will spend his time in a 23-hour lock down cell or with the general prison population at the maxium-security facility.

7/26/05: Based on testimony that her 34-year marriage to Dennis Rader endangered her mental and physical health, the usual 60-day waiting period was waived for Paula. She was granted an emergency divorce. Not contesting the divorce, Dennis Rader did not appear in court. He signed over all the couple's property and all of his retirement benefits. Paula is residing in Sedgwick County, Kansas again.

6/27/05: Dennis Rader waived his right to a jury trial, and pleaded guilty to 10 counts of first-degree murder.

Calmly sharing details, Rader said he killed to satisfy his sexual fantasies.
Source: CNN.com

6/24/05: Paula Rader contracted McCurdy Auction Service to sell their 3-bedroom home on 7/11/05.

6/23/05: CNN.com reported that Dennis Rader called a KSNW reporter and revealed that his wife, Paula Rader, wanted a divorce. Rader disclosed that his family was communicating with him through letter writing.

5/03/05: The judge entered a not guilty plea on Rader's behalf, and set a trial date of June 27th. Rader's pastor, Rev. Michael Clark, confirmed that Paula had sent Dennis a letter.

4/19/05: Dennis Rader waived his preliminary hearing. No members of Rader's family attended the hearing.

3/29/05: Neither Paula nor their two children chose to visit or talk with Rader since his arrest on February 25.

2/25/05: Dennis Rader was held at the Sedgwick county Jail on $10 million bail on suspicion of killing 7 women, 1 man and 2 children. Rader confessed to at least eight of the 10 murders that police say he committed between 1974 and 1991.
Source: ABC News

Paula Rader was described as being in a state of shock and disbelief and feeling bewildered and confused.

Rader's wife Paula and daughter Kerri reportedly went into seclusion in Michigan. Rader's son Brian was said to be under a suicide watch.


Dennis Lynn Rader was born on March 9, 1945. Dennis grew up in the Park City area. Parents William E. and Dorothea M. Rader. His father, a former marine, died in 1996. He has three brothers, Jeff, Paul and Bill Rader. Dennis was baptized at the Zion Luteran Church in Pittsburg, Kansas.

Paula E. Dietz was born on May 5, 1948 in Park City.

Marriage Date:

May 22, 1971. The marriage ended on July 26, 2005 in divorce.


Dennis and Paula have two children.

Brian Howard Rader born July 27, 1975. Brian joined the Navy in 2004 and is stationed in Connecticut.

Kerri Lynn Rader was born June 13, 1978. Married to Darian Rawson. Moved to Farmington, Michigan in August, 2003.

Personality Traits:

Dennis Rader has been described as having a tight Christian control over his family, and as a by-the-numbers type of person, arrogant, rude, confrontation, meticulous, neat, efficient, friendly, a regular guy, and petty.


The Rader home at 6220 Independence, Park City, Kansas, was demolished on March 7, 2007. It was sold to Park City in January 2007 to make access to a city park easier. It originally sold at auction on July 11, 2005 for $90,000 but the sale fell through. The home was built in 1954 and had an appraised value was $56,700 before the auction. The ranch style/wood frame, 3 bedroom, 960 square foot home was purchased by the Raders in 1971.
Source: Sedgwick County

Occupations and Affiliations:

Dennis: Air Force, 1965-1969; meat department for Leeker's IGA in Park City, and was an assembler at Coleman Co. (camping gear plant) from 1970-1973; home security company (ADT Security Systems) from 11/1974-07/1988 in Wichita, Kansas; compliance supervisor for Park City since 5/10/1991 making $16.62 an hour.Dennis was a Cub Scout Leader, and the president of the congregation of Christ Lutheran Church.

Paula: She sang in the church choir.

Paula E. Rader worked as a bookkeeper at Snacks, the Diamond Shamrock convenience store located at 61st Street North and Broadway.


Dennis graduated from Heights High School in Wichita in 1963 and from Wichita State University in 1979 with a major in Administration of Justice.

Paula graduated from Wichita Heights High School in 1966.

Further Reading:

"Nightmare in Wichita: The Hunt for the BTK Stranger" by Robert Beattie Compare Prices

BTK Killer Case:

His mode of killing was to cut telephone lines, break into homes, tie up victims, and force them to suffer a slow death.

BTK refers to "bind, torture and kill."

The death penalty will probably not apply in this case since it was not reinstated until 1994.

Victims of the BTK Killer:

Julie and Joseph Otero, along with two of their children, Joseph Jr. and Josephine. Strangled in their home in January, 1974.

Kathryn Bright, 21, stabbed to death in her home in April, 1974.

Shirley Vian, 24, tied up and strangled in her home in March, 1977.

Nancy Fox, 25, tied up and strangled in her home in December, 1977.

Vicki Wegerle, 28, strangled in her home in September, 1986.

Marine Hedge, 53, abducted from her home on April 27, 1985.

Delores "Dee" Davis, 62, abducted from her home on January 19, 1991.


From Time Magazine, March 14, 2005, by Jeff Chu: "Paula had been envied by women at her church for the way her husband doted on her, helping with her coat and always opening the car door. The possibility that her husband of 34 years might be BTK has left her "in quite a lot of shock," says Brent Lathrop, a friend of hers since elementary school and co-owner of the Snacks convenience store, where Paula has worked as a bookkeeper since 1985."

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