Between 1974 and 1991, ADT Security Services employee Dennis Rader, nicknamed the “BTK Killer” (an acronym for his infamous modus operandi, “Bind, Torture, Kill”), murdered 10 people in the Wichita, KS, metro area. In a testament to the macabre, Rader spent 14 years installing the very security systems which were meant to keep him out. Unfortunately for Rader, and fortunately for the rest of us, police work, hubris, and just plain old stupidity finally did him in.
In 2004, after more than a decade of silence, Rader began contacting the local media and police. Rader started leaving packages containing evidence of his crimes in public places. One such package, which he left in the back of a pickup truck in a Home Depot parking lot, was never found after the truck's owner noticed it and threw it in the trash. Rader, wondering why it did not make the news, decided to ask. This led police to the Home Depot and its security camera footage, which helped to identify the killer driving a black Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The BTK Killer's next mistake would not only land him in the gullibility Hall of Fame but also in prison. In one of his letters to the police, Rader asked if a floppy disk could be traced back to the computer it was used on. The police responded in an ad in the local paper and told him it could not. Of course, that was a lie. A few weeks later, he sent a floppy disk to a local television station. It was given to the police, who quickly tracked the disk back to a computer used at Christ Lutheran Church by someone named “Dennis.” An internet search revealed that a man named “Dennis Rader” was, in fact, president of the church council. The police then went to Rader’s house where they found a black Jeep Cherokee parked outside.
After a 30-year search, the police finally had their man, but they needed more than circumstantial evidence to arrest him for the murders. By submitting a subpoena for the medical records of Rader's daughter, police were able to acquire her DNA from a recent pap smear. After comparing her DNA to the DNA from one of the crime scenes, the lab returned a familial match and the police made their arrest. A few hours later Rader confessed. During his confession, Rader asked in regard to the floppy disk, “I need to ask you, how come you lied to me? How come you lied to me?”
Rader was sentenced to 10 consecutive life terms in prison: One for each of his victims. He is currently serving life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, the longest possible sentence the judge could deliver.