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CNN BREAKING NEWS
BTK Victims' Families Speak Out in Hearing
Aired August 18, 2005 - 14:08 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: I'm just getting word now, too, we're going to dip in live as family members of the victims of the BTK killer are speaking right now. This is -- say the name again? Montoya? Carmen Montoya.
Carmen Montoya speaking right now. Let's go ahead and listen in and I'll give you a little bit more background on the case involving her family member.
CARMEN MONTOYA, FAMILY MEMBERS KILLED BY DENNIS RADER: I will not direct you as "Mr. Rader" is a word of respect, as in "Mister, can you help me?" not, "Mister, are you going to kill me?"
BTK is how you want to be known, and I will not give you that satisfaction. "Rader" is an appropriate name for you, as in one who invades, a surprise attack, that has nothing to be proud of.
Rader, when you took away my mother, you took someone who meant a lot to a lot of people. My mother loved life, her friends, a good laugh, dancing with my dad, and she loved to help people. But most of all, she loved and lived for us, her family.
She showed me how to love, to be a good person, to accept others as they are, and most of all, to face your fears. I'm sure you saw that in her face as she fought to live, my mother against your gun.
You are such a coward.
Since they were children, my father loved my mother more than any kind of love you could ever comprehend. He adored her. To this day, I love to hear stories of how they were.
My father was a hard-working man, and we always felt secure. He made sure we had what we needed, but at the same time we understood there was always someone else more in need.
My dad loved to see us having a good time, and he never passed on a dance with my mom, even in the commissary. He loved trips to the beach and to the country. We always went with friends and families. Those good times were very important to him.
The thing that everyone remembers of my father is that he demanded respect, but that he gave it in return. Everyone knew you didn't mess with Joe's family. I'm sure you could feel his love for his family as you took away his last breath.
You are such a coward. My sister, Josie, you should not have the privilege of even saying her name. Such a sweet girl. All she ever wanted was to be happy and successful in school. She had dreams. She was my shadow, and at the same time, her own person.
When we moved to Wichita, I told her that I hated it because it was so cold and people were so different. She told me, "You'll get used to it, give it a chance."
That was part of Josie's beauty. She always tried to see the bright side of everything. It's amazing to me that you could be so cruel to a sweet, beautiful child.
His name was Joey, not "Junior." But I guess it really doesn't matter to you. You took away the most loveable son, outgoing, friendly, and adorable little brother anyone could ever imagine. He tried so hard to keep up with Charlie and Danny.
Joey was a magnet. He attracted people of all ages. He could have done something big with his life, but you took care of that, didn't you? A man with a gun against a little boy. You are definitely a coward.
Rader, you not only affected my life, but you took away the joy of the ultimate grandparents, aunt and uncle relationship my children deserve. My children, my grandchildren, my nieces and nephews will be told of their family with love. You see, in my world, family is everything, not your social obligations.
Just recently, I realized that I could not remember my mother's voice. It was a painful discovery. But as I put my thoughts on paper, it comes to me. I am my mother's voice, and I know we've been heard.
JUDGE GREGORY WALLER, SEDGWICK COUNTY: I might state, before we proceed any further, I believe that the media corps -- should have communicated with the media, if people do not want to be pictured, then the camera people are not to be photographing them. I don't know what Mr. Otero...
PHILLIPS: Well, this is a live moment that we haven't seen since we've been following the BTK case, and that's Dennis Rader wiping tears from his eyes. For the first time, you're seeing here live on television the number of family members that basically are victims of this man's violence.
You just heard from Carmen Montoya, giving it to Dennis Rader, not holding back one bit about how he tortured and murdered her little brother Joey and her mother. Rader's 60 years old -- 60 years old now. As you know, nicknamed himself "BTK" for his preference of binding, torturing and killing his victims. Had pretty much sat motionless in this courtroom, and now we're actually seeing him cry.
I'm sure that doesn't help any of the family members here as they think about those that they have lost since Rader went on his killing spree between 1974 and 1991.
KEVIN BRIGHT, SISTER KILLED BY DENNIS RADER: I'm here representing... PHILLIPS: Kevin Bright, I understand, is now taking the stand. His sister was killed because of Dennis Rader. Let's listen in.
BRIGHT: I would like to say that as far as this is toward his sentencing, that the pain and suffering that he's caused our family and the loss of such a beautiful young lady at 21, over 31 years ago, and I -- you know, think about her, you know, and what she'd be doing nowadays, you know, if she could have had a life.
Her execution by that monster was -- you know, he got to go on and live his life 31 years now, with raising a family and children, and career and everything. And, you know, he snuffed out 10 people's lives that had done nothing. And my sister, she suffered so much, and this wasn't told in the -- wasn't brought out here that she -- it was brought out that she fought "as a hell cat," and I'm so proud of her for that, because I knew that she had that in her.
And -- but she lived on approximately five hours after that, and she received over 20 pints of blood before she lost her battle. And I just think, you know, how much she fought. And the only thing I wish was different is that when I wrestled the gun from him -- I cut my hand -- that it would have gone off, and that would have been the end there.
But, you know, God was in control. So, you know, I won't second- guess that. But for -- and my mother, she had to live the rest of her life. She died at the age of 62 of cancer. And losing her daughter and almost losing her son, you know, that just devastated her for the rest of her life. And I think it ended -- made her life, you know, with the depression and all the stress it caused, I think that had a lot to do with her.
So I really blame Dennis Rader for, you know, causing her death, you know, that brought that about. And as far as myself, the damage I received, you know, looking at me you don't see, you know, that much. I have a scar here and some up here where he shot me, but I have -- it was reported that I had brain damage, and, you know, permanent brain damage, and I don't have that. But I have permanent nerve damage, which causes me to suffer with -- my body doesn't regulate the heat very well, and humidity. And so I overheat and I get weak and I, you know, everything.
So that's one thing I've suffered with for every day. And then I also have damage -- nerve damage that causes me not to be able to participate in, you know, eating food. My digestive system is out of whack.
And just like we've had these dinners, you know, the lunches, I can't participate in anything like that because I don't know how my body's going to react. It might be OK, but it might not. So that's one thing I have to live with because of that.
And -- but what I'd also like to say is I'm glad that I was there that day because of what Dennis Rader in his fantasy world was going to do to her probably if I wasn't there. And I'm glad (ph) that I was there, you know, preventing him from doing anything like that. And I just also would like the court to give him the maximum sentence that he could get, but also that he could be isolated. I don't know, you know, if this is possible, but I would like to see him just serve the rest of his -- I want him -- the death penalty doesn't -- you know, isn't -- is not an option. But like I said, my sister and the other victims, they just received their death penalty by his hands, and I would like to see him spend the rest of his life -- I hope he lives 40 more years, but I want him to be, you know, aware.
Right now he's not -- any remorse, no remorse, no compassion, no -- he had no mercy. And I think that's what he ought to receive. And I just, you know, pray that he'll get the toughest sentence possible, and that he won't have what, you know, we have, like newspapers and magazines.
And I've heard him talk about, he's going to miss pizza and all this kind of stuff. But, you know, like I say, my sister and the other victims, they didn't get to live their lives out. And I just -- like Charlie was saying, he's being judged her now, but eternity, when he stands before the lord for eternity for his judgment, if he's still in his sins that he's committed here, he will spend it by himself in darkness.
And, you know, that's what I'd like to tell him. Thank you for letting me speak.
WALLER: All right.
Mr. Steve Relford.
Mr. Relford, you may come forward.
STEVE RELFORD, MOTHER KILLED BY DENNIS RADER: My name is Steve Relford. Shirley Vian was my mother.
I haven't prepared for this statement, but, you know, I'd just like for him to suffer for the rest of his life. And, you know -- that's all.
WALLER: Thank you.
Mr. Rick Vian.
RICK VIAN, WIFE KILLED BY DENNISR RADER: Richard Vian, Shirley's husband.
I read a little bit of the victim's statements like then and now. Back then, he was driving by, I sat on the front porch, wondering if his family ought to live or die. I've got to face this now of what I was thinking.
It's all coming back. He talked about Shirley throwing up. A lot of blood in that crusty stuff I cleaned out. I mean, I don't know what to say. He thought she smoked a cigarette. (INAUDIBLE) cigarette burns and broken fingers. And I know where he's going, but I'm out here. And I'm like that package you wrote. WALLER: Mr. Fred Fox.
Mr. Fox, you may come forward.
FRED FOX, SISTER KILLED BY DENNIS RADER: My name is Fred Fox, the older brother of Nancy Fox.
We miss her very much. We love her. She's still in our hearts.
This monster took her life. We all have -- all the rest of us are married, have kids. They'll never get to meet her. She's never had a life.
And there was fear in my life after she passed away. I don't want to give the monster the right to know all that fear. But I hope his sentence is the worst it can be. And may he be put away for the rest of his life.
WALLER: All right. Thank you very much.
BEVERLY PLAPP, SISTER KILLED BY DENNIS RADER: My name is Beverly Plapp. And Nancy Fox is my sister.
I cannot begin to explain to you, there are no words to make you understand what losing Nancy has meant to me and my family. I lost a friend, a confidante. My children will never have an aunt. And I'll never have another sister.
Nancy's death is like a deep wound that will never, ever heal. As far as I'm concerned, Dennis Rader does not deserve to live. I want him to suffer as much as he made his victims suffer. But then when I think about that, in his sick, perverted way, he would probably find that as some kind of pleasure or reward.
This man needs to be thrown in a deep, dark hole and left to rot. He should never, ever see the light of day. And I have some afterlife scenarios for him on the day he dies. Nancy and all of his victims will be waiting with God and watching him as he burns in hell.
WALLER: All right. Mr. Rod Hook.
Mr. Hook, if you desire, you may come forward.
ROD HOOK, REPRESENTING FAMILY OF MARINE HEDGE: My name is Rod Hook, representing the family of Marine Hedge.
I would only ask that the court provide the maximum sentence allowed by law to this monster that created this. I would also like to thank all the members of the task force for making this possible.
And I know in most of our minds, we can't imagine what our families went through. But I respectfully request that the court think of that when you provide Mr. Rader with the sentence he so deserves.
WALLER: Mr. Bill Wegerle.
Mr. Wegerle, you may come forward if you so desire.
BILL WEGERLE, WIFE KILLED BY DENNIS RADER: Your Honor, my name is Bill Wegerle. I'm sorry.
Dennis Rader killed my wife in 1986. The past couple days, the courts, the news media, the general public knows what kind of person that he is, the vicious, cruel individual he is.
It's all in the light now. And all we can do -- there's no punishment that you can exact upon him that will satisfy our needs. We can just ask the court to bestow upon him the most that you can. And hopefully we will not have to deal with him or see him or hear from him ever again.
WALLER: Ma'am, are you are Stephanie Clyne?
STEPHANIE CLYNE, MOTHER KILLED BY DENNIS RADER: Yes, Your Honor. My name is Stephanie Clyne. My mother is Vicki Wegerle. I'm speaking to you today on behalf of myself and my brother, Brandon.
It's been almost 19 years now that my brother and I had the most important woman in our lives taken from us. My brother and I had to go through so many important moments in our lives without her. Every day is a struggle to get through without her. It's not fair that we had so little time with her. I only had 10 years with her, and Brandon only had two.
Anyone who knew my mom knew how much she loved her family. She loved her children and her husband, her parents, and her sister. She loved her in-laws like they were her own parents, brothers and sisters.
She adored her nieces and nephews. Even her friends were considered family to her. There's nothing she wouldn't do for any one of us.
We didn't have enough time with her. It's not fair that her three grandbabies will never get to know her. She doesn't get to see me with her grandchildren. And she doesn't get to see her baby Brandon with his first child.
My mom would so love the fact that that baby girl looks just like Brandon did when he was little. She won't ever get to hold them or watch them grow up. She would have loved being a grandma.
It's not fair that my 4-year-old son has to ask why his memaw (ph) can't come home. He draws her a picture. We should be able to take these to her, but they just sit on the fridge. Even at four he knows it's not right, that she should be here with us.
And what did my baby do deserve to feeling this way? What did any of us do to deserve this?
My mother begged for her life, yet he showed no remorse. He saw that she had a family and a little boy right there in the house with her, yet he continued with his sick plan.
I ask you today, Your Honor, to show no remorse for him. Don't let this monster have any comforts as he lives out his remaining years in prison. He isn't worthy.
Thank you, Your Honor.
WALLER: Thank you very much.
All right. Mr. Jeff Davis.
Mr. Davis, you may come forward, if you so desire.
JEFFREY DAVIS, MOTHER KILLED BY DENNIS RADER: I'm Jeffrey Davis, son of Dolores Davis, BTK victim January 18, 1991. May it please the court to allow me to express my thoughts and feelings to all the victims' survivors here among us here today, in the hope that we can leave the courtroom with some sense of peace and legal resolution.
For the last 5,326 days, I have wondered what it would be like to confront the walking cesspool that took my mother's precious life. Throughout that time, I always envisioned this day as being one for avenging the past. I could think of nothing but savoring the bittersweet taste of revenge as justice is served upon this social sewage here before us today.
Now that it has arrives -- arrived, surprisingly, I realize that this day is not just about avenging past crimes. Sitting here before us is a depraved predator, a rabid animal that has murdered people, poisoned countless lives and terrorized this community for 30 years, all the while relishing every minute of it. As such, there can be no justice harsh enough or revenge bitter enough, in this world, at least, to cause the pain and suffering which a social malignancy like this coming.
Therefore, I have determined that, for the sake of our innocent victims and their loving families and friends with us here today, for me, this will be a day of celebration, not retribution.
If my focus were hatred, I would stare you down and call you a demon from hell who defiles this court at the very sight of its cancerous presence.
If I embrace bitterness, I would remind you that you are nothing but a despicable child murdering, cowardly, impotent, eunuch and pervert masquerading a human being.
If I were the animal you are, I would say that I relish the thought of you being treated to the despicable brutality, terror and agony at the hands of your soon-to-be fellow inmates that you relished inflicting on your defenseless victims.
If I were spiteful, I would remind you that it is only fitting that a twisted, narcissistic psychopath obsessed with public attention will soon have his world reduced to an isolated, solitary existence in an 80-square-foot cell, doomed to languish away the rest of your miserable life alone.
If I had your devil nature, I would delight in the fact that your congregation has turned its back on you, that have -- your friends have deserted you, that your wife has divorced you, that your own children have disowned you. And then I would remind you will never have any warm, loving human contact again for the remainder of your twisted existence.
If I were cynical, I would remind this court that you would return to your murderous ways in a heartbeat if given the opportunity, so for the safety of society, you must remain caged forever like any other vicious, predatory animal.
If I were to sink to your level, I would say that this world would have been much better off had your mother aborted your demon soul before you were unleashed on this world, sparing ten innocent lives and avoiding untold heartache for this community.
If I were vindictive, I would wish you many long, emotionally tortured days in your cage, haunted every night by victims' hopeless cruise for mercy, as you played God and pronounced their death sentences upon them.
If I had your sadistic nature, I would delight in the pain you feel now in realizing that your own arrogance and ego got you caught, that if you just kept your big mouth shut, you'd still be able to be a free man today, able to eat pizza and walk your dog Dudley.
If I wanted revenge, I would pray that you develop a lingering illness, from which you suffer for many, many years before you ultimately choke to death one lonely night on your own vomit.
If I were judgmental, I would call you the most despicable form of hypocrite for profaning Christianity, by daring to associate yourself with my faith, and for blasphemy in God's house with your demonic actions.
If I were unforgiving, I would tell you that I will accept any shameful, meaningless attempts on your part to feign remorse by response that I will grant you forgiveness the same day that hell freezes over. Although I know that my mother, in her Christian grace, has already long since forgiven you.
But I won't hurl these invectives at you or I won't you rain these curses down upon you, because you're not smart enough to understand the -- most of the words I would use, anyway. And if you -- even if you could fathom the depth of my hatred for you, I would still refuse to waste any breath on you, because that would once again allow you the satisfaction of being in the limelight, and that attention I refuse to allow you. As of today, you no longer exist.
Today, the focus finally moves out from under the shadow of your depraved shadow of hell's darkness into the light of your victims and their families. Speaking for my mother, with us in spirit, for my own family, and I hope for the entire family of survivors here today, we dedicate this day to the memories of those who cannot be with us.
Today, we also celebrate with this community the relief in knowing that we will never again be terrorized by a monster's demented fantasies.
Today we will each silently remember a father, a brother, a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a grandmother, all those we love so deeply and miss so dearly still.
Today we will quietly reminisce on all that they meant to us. We will smile at all the silly things they did that made us laugh, and we will renew our pride in who they were.
Today we will thank them for shaping our lives, for being there when we needed them, for setting the example of what we should be, for making us who we are, and for allowing us to be their living legacies.
From this point on, we declare our independence from the tyranny of your actions. While you begin your slow and painful descent into hell, we will choose to rise above our pain. While you sink into an emotional abyss of hopefulness and despair, we will channel our grief into positive endeavors, those life activities which would please the ones we have lost.
While you agonize over the reality that your last victims were, ironically, your own family, we will embrace the new family we now have, with whom we will all share a common bond, forged from the pain of adversity and loss.
While your body wastes away in prison, we will renew ourselves by incorporating into our lives those characteristics modeled by our loved ones: humility, compassion, honor, integrity, kindness, selflessness, and love, traits which your twisted, cancerous mind cannot comprehend, I realize.
While your wretched soul awaits pronouncement of the one true justice, your damnation to hell for eternity, we will thank God for every day he gives us, realizing as only we can just how precious life really is.
Finally, we want you to know that we who could so easily have succumbed to your quagmire of madness, will not give you that satisfaction. Your despicable actions will not defeat us. Our very lives will be testimony that good can triumph over even the most hideous form of evil and perversion. Just as your days are over, ours are just beginning.
In the final analysis, you have to live with the cold reality that while all of us here will overcome your depravity, you have now lost everything, and you will forever remain nothing. May that torment you for the rest of your tortured existence.
Thank you, Your Honor.
LAUREL KEATING, MOTHER KILLED BY DENNIS RADER: I'm Laurel Keating, the daughter of Dolores Davis. This is an impact statement written by Nan Davis, the daughter-in-law of Dolores Davis.
It hadn't been that long since my retirement in the fall. What an exciting day that was for me. After many years as a corporate secretary, I was so looking forward to the relaxing days awaiting me. I was ready for travel, spending time with my family and was anticipating the birth of my third grandchild. My son, daughter-in-law and kids from Florida were here, Christmas of 1990, as well as my daughter and her husband. It was wonderful having them visit.
We had snow and the children loved playing in it with their dog, which also made the trip. What fun for each of us. Times we spent together were always short. Of course, when families get together, there is lots of food, laughter, and, unfortunately, even disagreements; but that is just life.
I love to cook and wanted to be sure everything was just right for them. I know my daughters treasured my along passing along treasures and tips to them, and so did I. We truly had a great visit. I was sad to see them leave, but I knew I would be able to see them soon, especially tell my daughter with her first baby to be born in just three months.
And then life changed for all of us. Mine ended in a way no one should have to endure. But my heart broke, knowing and seeing that what would lie ahead for those left behind. It is always those left behind who suffer the most.
But I always taught my children, it is important to look for the positive and the best that you possibly can in any situation. Trials produce endurance and patience, and Lord knows, we all need more of those attributes. Evil exists in the world in all forms, even in human form. To rise above the carnage and hell produced by one individual is what I wished for my family.
No longer would I hurt or cry, and I really was part of the offense that happened in the last 14 years, and will continue to be. Physically, I was not present for a new birth, birthdays, graduations, family events, celebrations, and even disappointments, but there was -- but there because my family carries me in their hearts and their love and faith have sustained each other.
I hope my legacy and love will live on in my dear ones, and I know that they have risen above the pain and suffering that could have so easily brought much despair and destruction to their lives.
I am very proud of them and for their tenacity in seeking to have this horrible matter come to some closure. It is also good that the question will finally be answered for the other families as well.
Remember that no one so evil should ever be able allowed to hold control over others and that is a choice each person must make as to how they live -- will live their life. It is good that the terror has been revealed for what it is and for all to begin their lives anew without the ever-present shadow over them. My family has chosen well and I do love them as I know they love me.
WALLER: Thank you, ma'am.
That concludes the list of those of the victims' families who desire to speak to the court. For the record, I will advise that I have received written victim statements and impact statements and I have read those. We will now proceed to sentencing. Mr. Rader, would you please stand. You are Dennis L. Rader?
DENNIS RADER, BTK KILLER: Yes, sir.
WALLER: Sir, based upon your plea, which occurred on the 27th day of June, 2005, before this court, I once again judge you guilty of murder in the first degree in count one for the murder of Joseph Otero; murder in the first degree in count two for the murder of Julie Otero; murder in the first degree in count three for the murder of Josephine Otero; murder in the first degree in count four for the murder of Joseph Otero, Jr.; murder in the first degree in count five for the murder of Kathryn Bright; murder in the first degree in count six for the murder of Shirley Vian; murder in the first degree in count seven for the murder of Nancy Fox; murder in the first degree in count eight for the murder of Marine Hedge; murder in the first degree in count nine for the murder of Vicki Wegerle; and murder in the first degree in count ten for the murder of Dolores "Dee" Davis.
You may be seated. At this time, I will call upon defense counsel. Who is going to speak?
STEVE OSBURN, RADER'S LAWYER: I will, Your Honor. Should I do it here from the table?
WALLER: You may. Mr. Osburn, at this time do you desire to make any statements on behalf of your client in mitigation of punishment?
OSBURN: Your Honor, for 31 years the shadow of BTK hung over the city of Wichita and Sedgwick County . It started in 1974 with the murder of the Otero family, progressed to other murders and through the taunting, through the media, of law enforcement. And then for a period of time, the BTK disappeared, only to resurface in the spring of 2004.
At that time, there were numerous communications that progressed in both frequency and the information that they provided and they culminated with a floppy disk that was provided to law enforcement, that basically had Mr. Rader's first name, his church and the city that he lived in, on this floppy disk.
This disk was provided to law enforcement after Mr. Rader had basically communicated with them, asking them, are you going to be able to get this information off the disk? He basically knew they probably could, Your Honor, even when they told him they couldn't. In effect, he basically turned himself in. He was arrested. There were, it was my understanding, over 200 officers sent to arrest him, but the arrest was peaceful: He got in the car. (INAUDIBLE) He went peacefully. And then, he began his confession. And 95 percent of what we've heard here in the last day-and-a-half came out of that confession from the mouth of Mr. Rader. He didn't hold back anything, as the court is well aware.
Mr. Raider is a human being, Your Honor, albeit a flawed one. He believes that he is possessed by demons. He names these demons "Factor X," and he believes that he had these from early on in childhood and they have taken control of him at various times and caused him to do the acts that your honor has heard about.
Now, as soon as we got the case, we found the best team of psychologists we could find to have him evaluated. We were concerned whether or not there might be a psychological defense here, because quite frankly, Your Honor, me and I believe everybody in this audience cannot conceive that these acts could have been committed by a sane person.
However, what we would term sane and what the law determines to be sane are not always the same thing. And after exhaustive evaluations, which was all completed prior to the arraignment on May 3, our team of psychologists determined that there was no viable insanity defense in this case.
They noted that there were some personality disorders, but nothing that rose to the level anywhere near a psychological defense. And at that time, we proceeded on the assumption that we would be pleading guilty. And at the first opportunity at the jury trial, that's what we did.
Your Honor, despite the fact that these are some horrible acts -- and there's no excusing that, there's no explaining that -- Mr. Rader is a human being and he had maintained at least a semblance of a normal life: He was a husband for over 30 years, a father of two children. He was a church member. In fact, at the time of his arrest, of course, he was president of the congregation. He was active in the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. He was a compliance officer with the city of Park City, which, while not technically a law enforcement officer, is a position of respect and authority. He would monitor other people. In fact, he would issue citations.
Mr. Rader does not see himself as a monster. He sees himself as having a monster inside him that takes over and controls him. The one mitigating factor that I can present to the court is Mr. Rader's cooperation with law enforcement. He acknowledged his acts right from the very start.
As one of the victims' family representatives said, "all Mr. Rader had to do was keep his mouth shut and he would never have been caught. There would never have been closure. We would never have known who BTK was or what happened." Mr. Rader was compelled by whatever reason to come forward and to keep sending these informations to the police department until it eventually resulted in his arrest. And as painful as the last day-and-a-half has been, Your Honor, for everyone involved, if this matter had gone to trial, it would have been a lot worse. By Mr. Rader's cooperation, the emotional strain, the expense, the time of a jury trial has been avoided.
Mr. Rader's currently 60 years old, Your Honor. The sentences on each of these counts is a mandatory life sentence. Mr. Rader's been aware of that since the start. We've advised him. Irregardless of what the court imposes today, Mr. Rader's going to spend the rest of his life in prison. There's no getting around that. His acts are, indeed, monstrous. They were heinous and atrocious. He admitted that. We admitted that at our arraignment -- or at jury trial -- at the plea. He has acknowledged that fact.
Acts do not make a man, You Honor, but it's the acts that you must sentence here today. To judge Mr. Rader as a human being, as a man, is beyond this court's jurisdiction and that's something Mr. Rader will have to face at a later time in front of a higher being.
This is a sentencing and you must impose a sentence on 10 first- degree murder sentences -- charges spread out over 17 years. Mr. Rader knows what he's done and he's placed himself before the court today by his actions of communicating to the police in his detailed confession.
When Mr. Rader was arrested and BTK caught, the shadow of BTK, unfortunately, turned into a light. A light of celebrity and a light that is bad for all. And others have basked in that light while condemning its source and it's time for it all to end, Your Honor. Mr. Rader stands before you now and places himself at your mercy.
WALLER: All right. Thank you very much. Mr. Rader, do you desire to say anything in your own behalf in mitigation for punishment?
RADER: Your Honor, Sedgwick County, the victims, I do realize that the crimes I've committed (INAUDIBLE) -- OK. The atrocious crimes I've committed as a -- to the Sedgwick County as a monster -- brought the community, my family, the victims dishonor. There was no -- it was all self-centered as what you could call -- I would call a sexual predator.
Today is my final judgment. For me, the last couple of days in court presented by the state -- their PowerPoint presentation was very powerful.
There are a couple of things I might point out for the last, but overall most of that is true.
And I thank the -- Sedgwick County ought to be proud that they do have a good state, that the evidence was there earlier -- DNA, floppy. There was no way that I was going to get out of this.
With remorse, responsibility and corrections are concepts of apology. The old me, (INAUDIBLE) with the killing all those years was the Oteros, probably the most devastating and upsetting event (ph). I just don't know.
I was self-centered, very selfish and exploded on that day. It did continue off and on.
Dishonesty, definitely. Dishonest probably the first thing to the people that I encountered. They trusted me that I was going to tie them up, take their money and leave. And then I killed them.
That's dishonesty to my family, to Y&P (ph), to the self interests, to my employers and to the county, spending (ph) the taxpayers' money.
Do I take (ph) responsibility? Yes, I had pride back then. To some degree, I'm trying to cater (ph) to the media. I seem to crave the attention of the media. I think through the years, (INADUIBLE) during the presentation and all the archives, I think you can understand that.
I think the bottom line though (ph) is it's selfish, very disassociated with society, self-centered for my own purposes. And I take that full responsibility (ph).
The victims. I wrote some notes down. I don't know if this is really appropriate (INADUIBLE) or not. A lot of these came up (INADUIBLE) because I knew the people. We all know why I chose them, but I thought I'd share some things.
Stephanie Bright -- and I hope I don't tread on the media because I did use some of this from the media, because I didn't get this much from the people. She spent time at her grandparents' farm. Well, I did, too, as a kid. I have many, many, many fond memories of that. And I took that from her.
She went to Valley Center. I was at Valley Center High School. For two years I walked the halls, probably were in the same line, shared the same teachers although they would have been older.
She worked at Coleman just like I did. She found (INADUIBLE) job as anybody would, trying to keep her family's (ph) heads above water. And I took that from her.
Dolores Davis. She loved animals, and I worked in animal control. I realized that in earlier years, we probably did have some common (ph) (INADUIBLE) animals. But I don't think anybody asked or (INADUIBLE). They would say I was always pretty good with animals. I have a great fondness for animals. I have pets. And I know she had it.
And I read somewhere she had her last Christmas with her family. And I did, too. That was a wonderful time. And I took that from her.
Nancy Fox, she was a wonderful person, and I did track her just like a predator. She was a wonderful young lady, well organized, hard worker, and I took that.
Marine Hedge, she was a neighbor -- the one that walked by and waved to the gardener. I loved to garden flowers. She attended church, the same church I went to with the Boy Scouts.
Joseph Otero. He was in the Air Force. I was in the Air Force. He was a husband. I was a husband. Although I always wanted to be a pilot, I always had a fascination with aerodynamics, and he was a pilot. One time I even thought about taking pilot lessons. He was a veteran. I was a veteran. Our threads are close.
Julia Otero looks a lot like my wife Paula. She raised kids, and she also worked at Coleman. She also painted. She lived a lot like my daughter at that age, regular Barbie dolls. She liked to write poetry. I like to write poetry. She liked to draw. I like to draw. Someone mentioned that she was like peas in a pod. I think that probably comes from the "Wichita Eagle-Beacon" article (ph).
Joseph Otero II. He was just like me at one time, a boy and his dog. Again, that comes from the "Eagle." I have many memories when I was about two. I had a lot of memories as a kid with my pets. A boy and a dog is something you have to have when you're a kid.
Shirley, she was in the choir, a mother. Probably a very beloved mother, and I took her life.
Probably of all the people I didn't know Vicky Wegerle very much, although I walked by her place and listened to the piano. I appreciate music. That's one thing I always wanted to learn was piano. And I took her life. She was also a loving mother. She attended the church that I went to once, St. Andrews.
I hope I haven't left somebody out on that.
Basically, I've humbled myself now. (INADUIBLE) the detention center I'm going to. I've tried to realize, work with the police department, work with my defense, and tried to realize my faults.
Honestly, again, I think I've cooperated with the police as well I did. I understand there was some smoke blowing, and that was probably my demise. The after-life and smoke. The thing about the story (ph) and smoke. The BTK story earlier, parts of it are smoke.
The problem is I blew so much smoke, that now nobody knows facts from fiction. And it's basically my demise.
I've been very honest with my attorneys. They worked very hard. We met almost every day earlier before the plea, somewhat less after that. It was basically all over. And Steve encouraged me not to go with an early plea so they could do more, get all the things they could with the floppy. They had an expert come in, go over the floppy to see whether there was any problems with that. They did extensive research in the DNA. There was a sore spot with me when they took my daughter, but I understand in law enforcement, you have to do certain things.
I think honestly people will say I'm not a Christian, but I believe I am. So, anyway, I faced up to the man himself now, my boss. I think that all points to accountability and full responsibility now in my remorse. And I think it's here. I know the victims' families will ever be able to forgive me. I hope somewhere deep down, eventually, that will happen And this happened all (ph) at one time. Part of me always thought -- only had thoughts that compartmentalize. That is probably as the state showed today was the compartmentalization of the crime (ph). And that has been my biggest wreckage, put back and forth. I'm not proud of that. It's just this escape mechanism, defense mechanism. I could switch back and forth fairly fast.
I explained to the defense I was kind of like an 18-wheeler, either uphill or downhill, I could switch gears very fast and rapidly. Back and forth. And as I stand here in this humble way, maybe people think that I've gone back to compartmentalize but I don't think so. So, anyway, it's given me the faith to see today and not go into the past, make (INADUIBLE) corrections. And this is the full responsibility. I'm going to a mental institution full bore and I do not expect anything but the worst (ph). I expected that on the plea. That's why I stepped up to the plea.
I knew after I talked to police with the evidence there wasn't any way I was really going to get out of this unless we found some way of -- some evidence that was just totally out of it and the trial would have a long drawn out to the plea. There was no way that I was ever going to get out of this.
By an act of corrections I'm away from society now. I'll do my healing process there as well as I can start my new chapter in life. And I suppose in all the time, as everybody knows Rader has to complain a little bit so I would like to do some minor ones, not because I want to complain today but I want to set the record. This is my last time.
Probably the biggest problem I have right now -- and we're still trying to answer -- is what happened to Mendoza? I had a trust with that person, a psychiatrist. I was (ph) working on it, I know other people are working on it. That was a -- I just don't know what happened and maybe that will happen.
Another one is the -- and I'm just basically expressing this, I don't have a answer (ph) on it but I wish somebody would take the part that is laying on the house.
The final victim, as Mr. Davis said, is my wife. I want to get back to that. She is my final victim that and my family. She knew nothing about this and yet laws I understand (INAUDIBLE) on the house because I have property. There's a lot of defendants that stand up here and don't have any kind of property.
I know this is very expensive and probably the defense is running somewhere $80,000 to $90,000. I just got the house sold. If we wanted a trial, it would have been in millions and years, so I just basically ask that whoever does that final judgment that they think about that.
The other one is -- and not a biggie and it's not this last issue -- is that I'd ask for my wallet so I could get some personal pictures out of it. I was hoping the defense would have a court order and before I leave today I can go through that wallet and take some family pictures but that's not a big issue because I understand through the code of ethics the defense will turn that probably over to the family as well as my clothes.
So, those are the only really complaints, except for (INAUDIBLE). I don't -- and, again, I don't want to pick on the law enforcement. They've done a very good job but I do want to clarify a few things just for the records because this is basically my final say.
The first one there was two actors that were brought out in the presentation (ph) John Wayne and James Bond. The action of that with Kevin was the shooting not because I stood up and shot him. It was because when I was working with the police that was what I call a quick draw, just like that. That's what I call the John Wayne shot. It's not that he would do something like that.
Secondly, we fought. And for the rest of the fight he had both his hands open. The PowerPoint said that he basically stood up. He was tied and I shot him and that's incorrect. We fought. I backed off. He had his hands out and I shot him again. And, again, these are only minor. It does not make any difference. It's probably irrelevant. I just want to set the record straight and that's all sir.
Also in the PowerPoint it was perceived that I was strangling Shirley and I stopped to comfort the kids. That's just the opposite. She or I both let the kids in the bathroom, comforted them there before we went in and did what happened. So, the boys and all that were put in there earlier. That basically clarified that on that.
And this is really minor, although it makes you wonder whether the information is tainted or not, the evidence and what exactly the law enforcement did do. They really look like they did a good job with it. They did it 100 percent.
The Dolores Davis graves they flipped back and forth. Anybody that knows anything about geology and structure those trees and stuff were not native (ph). They were over in the eastern part of the United States, so and those pictures that came in the mail were not the other ones. They were all from the grave site of (INAUDIBLE).
Probably the most damaging to me was the pornography. They displayed yesterday pornography of what I had drew but I didn't see where they had a lot of pornography but they brought two pictures out.
My family will know that I didn't own a camper. I had a pickup with a camper top but it didn't have any shelves in it so basically evidence was totally tainted. They either picked up a picture from somewhere else or inserted it or didn't realize it. That may have been a relative. I'm not sure. But I would think if they had more pornography they would have showed it. That's basically the clarifications.
The other thing is with law enforcement there seem to be information (ph I was a dog catcher. I did go to HA law enforcement. It felt like I did have a rapport with the law enforcement people during the confession. They probably said in the paper that I would still probably be talking if the defense person didn't show up.
We had good rapport. I almost felt like they were my buddies. At one time I asked about (INAUDIBLE) maybe coming in and having a cup of coffee with me. So there was a rapport. I've always had a great respect for law enforcement, although I wore a black hat instead of a white hat. Thanks.
I can't believe the people that have helped me with this starting with -- I think that this (ph) society (INAUDIBLE). Even though I'm a criminal I think you have to appreciate the police department. They've done a lot of work. Even though it took a long time they gathered evidence. They had that evidence.
When they got the key suspect they zeroed in on it very rapidly. So, they had the dedication, like Mr. Landwehr (ph) for all those years was great, so I think Sedgwick County really has a good police force.
Defense, this has been a unique, probably a different type case that they've ever had. We've had our ups and downs but also they've been good. It's just like a new learning curve. It's just a new curve.
And the media has just been terrible. I worked with the media afterwards and it, I mean it's just tremendous. They've done very good. Sarah has probably been my -- probably my workhorse. I really appreciate her. She's done a lot of good work. Steve, he had to keep heads in all this and I know it was very hard for him.
I want to go ahead since I worked with the defense very close give them a personal -- I'm sure I have the list here. I've already mentioned Steve and Sarah McKinnon. Everybody knows Steve. Another one that helped me was Jama Mitchell. I think she's on a case today probably, is that correct (INAUDIBLE)?
OK. Lee Ann Starich (ph) she was a social worker that did a lot of research for me earlier. I appreciate her helping in that. There was (INAUDIBLE) with the special investigator and then Janet Turner (ph) she's the one that cut my hair and brought my clothes up. So, I had a -- you know they were basically my family, so I appreciate that.
On the professional staff, although we have some questions with Robert J. Mendoza and what happened there, I think that in time that will be solved but I still have to give him credit for coming in and helping me and working with me.
And I'm sure, I hope I can pronounce that right is Paula K. Waller (ph) she was the other doctor that came in and they were all from Cambridge Forensic Society and were consultants. So, I really appreciate the defense. They've done a lot for me, kept me advised.
Sedgwick County Detention Center, well, I was really scared when I first came in here. I've never been -- I've never been arrested before. I really didn't want to look -- I was basically 43 days, 42, 43 days up there in isolation. At first the officers, the control officers, they call them deputies down there, pod deputies they didn't know me. I didn't know them but they finally opened up and they became human and I think they realized I was human too.
Eventually, I moved over to pod two and that's very much camaraderie with what I call the dirty dozen or the peas in the pod. They were a bunch of great guys. Most of those guys are gone now but I had a lot of respect. I sat down with them. We all have crimes but you just build a camaraderie with those type people.
The people that moved me around on what they call, I call the hot peppers of (INAUDIBLE), who wear red, we have had the special movers. Again, I hope I pronounce these, from the detention area I hope I pronounce these people's last names right and if I leave somebody out I apologize for that.
One I had is Robert Henshaw, Captain Barbara Maxwell, Captain William Kurtz (ph), Lieutenant Larry (INAUDIBLE), sergeant, he's my main sergeant. He's the one that's been very, very close with me and worked with me, David Miln (ph) and I have a lot of respect for him. He's been my main -- main sergeant.
In the judicial, I'll probably mess up this last name but it's Daniel Hargensbrand (ph) and I messed that up. I'm sorry. It's (INAUDIBLE). There's many, many more beyond those. We'd be here a long time with the help so I do appreciate all those people that helped.
Pastor Clark, he has been my main man. He came to see me every day, not every day, excuse me, once a week, sometimes twice a week. If anybody I was dishonest to it's that man right there.
Under the house of God I've created these things, these atrocious acts and for him to stay with me and remain strong, well he's a good man. I appreciate that. He also met with me earlier this week. We went through confession. I sat down and went through each of the people I've killed and confessed on that and I felt a strengthening, some bonds there at that time with him.
Family, the last victims, I don't even start with them, you know, they're still supportive a little bit. My wife's gone on and divorced. She's trying to stay out of harm's way. Since my kids are away I don't get much letters or anything from them but they're basically supportive.
Friends, without friends a person I don't think in this hundred -- well, I've been here 175, 176 days, you couldn't survive without friends. If you didn't have family to support you, if you didn't have someone to come to you like Pastor Clark, you'd go down, just mentally you'd go down. So, friends have been a very key part, the people in the pod, pod deputies, sergeant, although they can't have a real friend relationship they're friends. I got this out this morning or the other day when I was working out. This comes from a daily devotion, it's a Christian book and it's called "Touched by a Stranger," which is an article. And at the bottom there is an article. It's by Hess (ph). There isn't a first name for her. But it's something like a friend would do and I really appreciate.
"Like a refreshing rain in the summer or the gentle breeze in the spring just a little gift of kindness, joy, someone hearts can bring."
With the media exposure my family basically had to almost to stay away, so I really didn't have any support. There was one person that stepped up, Christina Casnerone (ph) that really helped and I really appreciate her support.
There was another out that's out on the West Coast, Andy Parshaw (ph). He's another Christian and I really support -- I would have gone down a long time ago without their support, so I do want to mention their names.
A Christian Bible verse I found and I think that's helping me or will help me in leading me, this is John 8:12. "I am the light of the world. He who follow me shall not walk in darkness but have light." Now that I've confessed, put myself out to let everybody know what's going on, I expect to heal and to have light. And then hopefully, someday God will accept me.
I thank Sedgwick County myself. We speak of a man as an evil man, a dark side was there but now I think light is beginning to shine. So, I appreciate the family, the friends who I can be thankful for and I think that will keep me from finally going to dark side or hell.
And finally, I finally apologize to the victims' families. There's no way that I can ever repay. That's all, Sir.
WALLER: All right, thank you very much. Do you care to be heard?
NOLA FOULSTON, DISTRICT ATTORNEY: (INAUDIBLE).
WALLER: Are you going to speak on behalf on the state?
FOULSTON: I will, Your Honor.
WALLER: All right, you may proceed.
FOULSTON: Thank you. If I may be seated from here and do that?
WALLER: You may.
FOULSTON: As a matter of clarification I know that things in hearings oftentimes take an emotional twist or turn. Mr. Rader did not turn himself in and go peacefully. Mr. Rader was caught and intended to commit an eleventh murder but for the actions of the Wichita Police Department in bringing him to the justice system. That was just as a matter of clarification.
We are here today on ten homicides and under the statute, Kansas Statutes Annotated 214606, the sentencing statute, the court must look at the underlying nature of the statute in making determinations on the defendant's sentencing.
What we are looking at are a number of different portions of that statute, the first section of the statute being Rader's prior criminal history. I believe the court has seen that while in the past Mr. Rader had not developed any criminal history on NCIC or any offender statutes but that through the years and in each of those different and several cases in which he was involved, there were a plethora of individual crimes that he committed while committing each of those independent crimes themselves, including stalking and aggravated kidnapping, battery, first degree murder as an attempt, aggravated burglary, burglary, theft, criminal theft, aggravated indecent liberties.
WALLER: Slow down so we can get this.
FOULSTON: I'm very sorry. I was going through them rapidly so that not for that reason. During the testimony, we noted that other criminal activities that were outside the Statute of Limitations had been committed by Mr. Rader between the years of 1974 and 1991.
That included stalking, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated battery, attempted first degree murder, aggravated burglary, burglary, theft, criminal threat, aggravated indecent liberties with a child, aggravated sexual battery, animal cruelty, misuse of public funds and terrorism in connection with the terroristic acts towards the Sedgwick County community.
And while those were not independently charged because of the statute of limitations, they certainly did form part of Rader's prior criminal history and should be taken into consideration in addition to the actual ones that were within the Statute of Limitations and those that have been charged in this case.
In the prior history of Mr. Rader, you will also note that even as a young person the defendant began by his own admission killing animals and had a life that is very suggestive of sexual predation, animal killing, as well as other crimes, including thefts, even from his own church, thefts in college and also the activities that would surround what one would consider to be and name him as a pedophile.
So, we're talking about not only an individual who commits homicides but one who is a sexual predator and even more categorized as a pedophile. So, we're dealing here with a dangerous offender with a prior criminal history.
In addition, we're talking about an individual who in the statutory framework is one that cannot be rehabilitated by the nature of the crimes. So, we're talking about punishing an offender and keeping him away from society for the benefit of society and for society as a whole not to have an individual of his predilection loose again in our communities.
And so, in that nature we present the information to the court consisting of the testimony relating to each and every crime and the complete nature of those crimes, including the horror that was attended to each crime, the stalking nature of it, the pre-planning and premeditation and the sense that Mr. Rader did this not for any reason other than for his own gratification and the gratification at the end as predatory in nature and sexually predatory in nature.
Most of these criminal activities, as the state has shown, were those that caused not only harm to the individual but also harm to the community as Mr. Rader began to bring the community into this by his threatening and terroristic activities through the media and wanting to make sure that the community was aware that they could be next.
We have these premature deaths of 10 individuals under these most egregious and terrifying circumstances but not only that, the (INAUDIBLE) conduct of Rader in carrying out the deaths as he selected these individuals from random leaving the community in a complete state of shock and dismay as to whether or not they might be next.
And, as we go through these 30 years of Mr. Rader being in our community and committing these acts in anonymity individuals were changing the locks on their doors each night, checking their telephone wires to make sure that their wires had not been cut, doing all that they could to protect themselves and their homes.
And, having lived through that period of time, as many individuals in this room had, the wave that hit our community when each of these particular homicides occurred was resurged again as the next one would occur or at any time when media was contacted and the names again resurfaced in the paper and again that feeling of terror again struck our community. And each time that either any of those activities occurred, again the community was infused again with terror and uncertainty over what was going to happen.
The Section entitled 214603 requires that the court take into consideration whether Rader intended that his criminal conduct would cause or threaten serious harm and I believe that the knowledge of what was happening within our community is very clearly satisfied by Rader's own admissions, by his communications with the law enforcement officers, by the information that we have put out during the last day and a half.
And, you know, in part of this testimony, again I quote from his testimony given to the law enforcement officers. He stated, and gee, you know, a guy kills somebody and premeditated, went home and got rid of the stuff. The guy knew exactly what he was doing. Well, yeah, when Dr. Jekyll or Dr. Hyde takes over he certainly does because normally I'm a pretty nice guy. I'm sorry but I am.
You know, you know, I've raised kids. I had a wife and, you know, president of the church, been in the scouts -- and it goes on and on -- but yeah, I have a mean streak in me and occasionally it flares up and takes control. So, what, do you want more description of this?
And in continuing his discussions with law enforcement, he was always able to tell them and explain to them that he knew what was happening in the community and that this was all part of his scheme and plan.
In analyzing the degree of culpability that the defendant would have in his conduct toward victims, you always look at the degree of provocation under Section 4606 Section 4. We have found that there has been no degree of provocation in the killings of any of the victims in these cases. Mr. Rader was not provoked into any of these homicides.
We also find that there is under Section 5 no substantial grounds tending to excuse or justify his criminal conduct, though failing to establish a defense we still find that there is no excuse or mitigating circumstances.
Under Subsection 6, 214606, there is a question that the court must respond to as to whether or not the victims of the crimes induced or facilitated its commission and, again, we find that there was no action by the victims that would have induced or facilitated the commission of the crimes upon them.
Under Section 214606, Subsection 6, again the court must determine whether Mr. Rader had or will compensate the victims of his conduct for the damage or injury sustained.
Regardless of the fact that we would be asking restitution, it is unlikely and in the cases of a homicide the likelihood of recompense for the deaths of individuals should not be considered in sentencing an individual as anything that would mitigate the sentence for an individual after a homicide case, so that should not even be a consideration.
In those cases we feel that there is adequate statutory authority for going and sentencing on the cases, counts one through nine, on the maximum sentencing of 15 years to life imprisonment with a mandatory sentence of 15 years for the parole eligibility.
When we get to the second part of this, which will be the hard 40, looking at the case of Dolores Davis, there is significant data and information that was testified to and in his own words from the defendant and in his own writing information that was put forth regarding the time frame in which the death of Dolores Davis took place and what she knew at the time of her death.
I don't think that anyone could have put it more fittingly within the statute in the case of State v. McClanahan (ph) or the case of State v. Spry that the impending death was well recognized by Mrs. Davis as Mr. Rader contemplated it to occur that way and also detailed it in his notes that she knew in advance that she was going to be killed, begged him for mercy, and for two to three minutes in anticipation of her death was aware that he was killing her.
And, in fact, under State v. McClanahan found at 254 Kansas 104, particularly at page 130, the court has stated, "A crime is committed in an especially heinous, atrocious or cruel manner when the perpetrator inflicts serious mental anguish or serious physical abuse before the victim's death. Mental anguish includes a victim's uncertainty as to her ultimate fate."
In the case of Dolores Davis, we have asked that the court consider two aggravating factors that being that the crime was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel, the manner being the strangulation, her knowledge of her impending death, her request to him not to kill her when she knew that he was bound and determined to do so, the length of time that it took to kill her and the fact that she was aware of that.
Also the fact that he had prior to her death changed her from handcuffs to a different kind of binding, had spent a number of -- several minutes with her and had talked with her about the fact that she had children and she knew that she was going to be killed because of the manner and method.
In his -- and in addition, all of the killings, you know, the hard 40 would have been applicable to each and every one of the other cases had they been within the statute permitting it because each and every one of them it was part of his modus operandi to -- the torture part of his killing of people was to enjoy them expiring before his eyes with their knowledge that he was killing them.
But, unfortunately, the statute did not provide that in all those cases until 1990 and that is the test that only applies after the other killings had already been accomplished.
We also ask that the aggravating factor of the premeditated killing of Dolores Davis was done in order to prevent or avoid a lawful arrest or prosecution and certainly, as she said, had she lived she would have gone to the police as a witness and certainly that would have foiled his continued success in eluding the police.
So, were are therefore asking that the evidence is supported not only by his writings, not only by the photo -- the picture that he drew that specifically states -- shows her with her eyes open and says P.J.'s dog died moments before her death and also the statements that he had made directly to Captain Sam Houston, are all supportive of the hard 40 sentence.
So, in adding those years up, we would ask that he receive 10 life sentences with a hard 40 on the Dolores Davis case, which would be count 10, which would add up numerically to 175 years without the possibility of parole.
Now, the state would also ask that these cases all be run consecutively. They were completed over a period of time within a life span of a young adult: 30 years. And Mr. Rader did those starting as a young man until he reached the age of 59. And during this time, hid from law enforcement. There would have been other crimes that would have been added had he been caught at various stages at any time and lives could have been spared. But he continued to elude law enforcement officers, continued to live in our community with a mask on his personality and while one might say, "you know, I was living a normal life," there was nothing normal about Mr. Rader's existence. There was nothing normal about anything he did. And whatever he did, was to lessen the ability to identify him. I mean, nobody would walk down the street and say, "look, there's the bogeyman," or, "gosh, you look just like BTK," or "gosh, isn't it strange, you -- I think you are probably BTK."
It was not that kind of an identity. This was a man who hid his life and hid his deeds in order to continue his ability to continue his sexual passions. This is a man who might say he's human and not a monster. This is a man who might stand up in court today and act like he has tears in his eyes or crocodile tears, but the fact is, when I saw him on "Dateline" maybe I missed something, but this was an individual who loved the media attention, enjoyed being BTK and said he was a star and seemed to relish the fact that he had committed all these homicides.
And today in court when he faces sentencing, this is a completely wilted flower or crashed meteor, but something is different when he's facing the bottom line, than it was when he was being interviewed and talking very proudly about all the things he had done over those 30 years.
So, I think we have a better idea of who this person is and know that he's an individual that just hid within the umbrella of -- or under the umbrella of being a husband, a Cub Scout leader and held positions of respect and authority as a pretty good guise in order to be able to get away with what he was doing.
And obviously, even today we even get critiqued by someone who wants to be in control, as to how our Power Point presentations are done. You know, and we also get the Golden Globe awards with Mr. Rader taking control of the courtroom in order to give his final criminal justice awards of the week.
This is not somebody who is acting like a normal criminal defendant. This is an individual who is now facing sentencing and in taking this sentencing into consideration, we believe that these sentences ought to be box card one after the other until there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
And there's a good reason for that: Individuals who are predators, who are pedophiles, who are anti-social, who are individuals who have attachment disorders and psychological problems, whose lives are built around sexual perversions, drawing about them, thinking about them and getting erections over looking at a drawing on a table, just are not built like the rest of us and need to be put somewhere where they don't get crayons and where they don't get paper and where they don't get newspapers, so they can clip out pictures of little girls in their underwear, so that they can lick the bathing suits off of them for their own sexual pleasures.
Now, I -- you know, it's pitiful for Mr. Rader to stand here looking all pale and pasty and say how sorry he is. Well, that's usually the culmination of what happens when defendants go to their last chance in order to convince a judge, you know, gosh, I'm really sorry.
Well, what else do you say after you killed 10 people? He doesn't have the ability to be arrogant today. And you know, this is the first time we've had him say, well, golly gee, I'm sorry, with tears in his eyes and we passed him tissues. That's the least we could do in this particular case. But the best that we could do, is to ensure that when he goes to prison, that we don't have to worry about even the society of prison; that we don't have to worry --
WALLER: Is the prosecution (INAUDIBLE)
FOULSTON: No we're not, Your Honor. And let me...
WALLER: Mrs. Foulston.
FOULSTON: I'm sorry, Your Honor.
WALLER: All right. Do you have anything further to say?
FOULSTON: Yes. I do. I'm quoting to you from the statute KSA- 4603. This is the K-DOC statute for further recommendations to K- DOC. And that is where I was going. In our statutes -- in the K-DOC, we have long made recommendations to them about what we would ask to come from our district court, who is and has been privy to all of the information about an individual inmate.
WALLER: I am aware of those portions of the statute.
FOULSTON: That is what we are asking for in our recommendations. In those recommendations, your honor, we are asking that this defendant be prohibited from possessing, receiving or creating any visual images of human beings or animals. I have this typed for you when I read it into the record, your honor, I'll hand it directly to you, if you intend to include any of those in your findings.
We would ask that he cannot possess, receive or create any typed or hand-written or computer-generated documents that describe sexual or murderous fantasies or intent; that he not be able to possess or receive or create inanimate objects that can used to resemble human or animal forms; that he not be permitted to view or listen or read any media press story or report regarding the murders that are the bases of his conviction.
And Your Honor, I believe Mrs. Parker earlier gave you and defense counsel a stack of case law, supporting each and every one of these recommendations. These are constitutionally permissible requests that are supported by the cases that have been given to you.
That he not be permitted to -- on -- there's certain requirements on video-audio recordings and that they be done for legitimate law enforcement purposes and video-audio recordings for legitimate legal purposes allowed, et cetera.
And I am going to hand those recommendations to the court and those were the ones that we wanted to put in for the record and they are all supported by the cases -- and that would be the Pell case and all of the other constitutional cases that we have given the court earlier.
And we're not asking for any un-constitutional bands on access. And the interest in the media and the press is still protected under those cases, but it all goes to the recommendations we want to assure that DOC knows that the court has been aware of specifically on the pedophilic issues and the other drawings and other issues.
Your Honor, we would like leave to add those to the journal entry that I believe that the court may have been reviewed a draft that the state has previously presented. We have had contact with the secretary of corrections in regards to receipt of any recommendations by this court and it's my understanding that they would be willing to accept any recommendations by this court and consider them in determining how the terms and conditions of Mr. Rader's incarceration will be handled.
WALLER: Has the defense seen these requested recommendations?
OSBURN: I have not, Your Honor. I was handed the pile of cases right at lunch break. And of course, I have not had time to review them. None of them appear to be from our jurisdiction. They're federal cases from all over the country. We are talking about a First Amendment issue here, Your Honor. And, quite frankly, I think the state should have given us adequate notice that they intended to request this so that we would have had time to prepare a response.
We were not aware that they intended to request this, and I think at this time the court should not make any recommendations since defense hasn't had adequate notice of this question.
WALLER: All right. Thank you. Anything further by the state?
FOULSTON: Your Honor, those recommendations are in the statute. We discussed them earlier and we gave him the cases. I am sorry I didn't bring a copy up for you. I will be happy to get you a copy right away.
WALLER: Anything further?
FOULSTON: No, Your Honor.
WALLER: All right. Does anyone know of any legal reason why the court should not now pronounce sentence?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, Your Honor.
WALLER: All right. Well, I will state for the record, the only available sentence in all of these cases is life. The only difference between these various sentences is that in regards to count 10, there is available to the court a sentence referred to calmly as a "Hard 40" sentence.
But in regards to count one -- I would ask that you stand, Mr. Rader -- it will be the judgment, order and sentence of the court that you, Dennis L. Rader be taken by the sheriff of Sedgwick County, Kansas, and by hand delivered to the custody of the secretary of corrections to serve a term of life for the murder, premeditated murder of Joseph Otero.
In regards to count two, it will be the judgment, order and sentence of the court that you, Dennis L. Rader be taken by the sheriff of Sedgwick County, Kansas, and by hand delivered to the custody of the secretary of corrections to serve the term of life for the premeditated murder of Julie Otero.
In regards to count three, it will be the judgment, order and sentence of the court that you, Dennis L. Rader be taken by the sheriff of Sedgwick County, Kansas, and by hand delivered to the custody of the secretary of corrections to serve a term of life for the premeditated murder of Josephine Otero.
In regards to count four, it will be the judgment, order and sentence of the court that you, Dennis L. Rader be taken by the sheriff of Sedgwick County, Kansas, and by hand delivered to the custody of the secretary of corrections to serve a term of life for the premeditated murder of Joseph Otero Jr.
In regards to count five, it will be the judgment, order and sentence of the court that you, Dennis L. Rader be taken by the sheriff of Sedgwick County, Kansas, and by him delivered to the custody of the secretary of corrections to serve the term of life for the death, premeditated murder of Kathryn Bright.
In regards to count six, it will the judgment, order and sentence of the court that you, Dennis L. Rader, be taken by the sheriff of Sedgwick County, Kansas, and by him delivered to the custody of the secretary of corrections to serve the term of life for the premeditated murder of Shirley Vian.
In regards to count seven, it will be the judgment, order and sentence of the court that you, Dennis L. Rader be taken by the sheriff of Sedgwick County, Kansas, and by him delivered to the custody of the secretary of corrections to serve the term of life for the premeditated murder of Nancy Fox.
In regards to count eight, it will be the judgment, order and sentence of the court that you, Dennis L. Rader be taken by the sheriff of Sedgwick County, Kansas, and by him delivered to the custody of the secretary of corrections to serve the term of life for the premeditated murder of Marine Hedge.
In regards to count nine, it will be the judgment, order and sentence of the court that you, Dennis L. Rader be taken by the sheriff of Sedgwick County, Kansas, and by him delivered to the custody of the secretary of corrections to serve the term of life for the premeditated murder of Vicki Wegerle.
In regards to count 10, the state has properly filed with the court a request to impose the sentence pursuant to the "Hard 40" statute as it is commonly referred to that was done on the 27th of -- excuse me. That was done, actually, on or about the 3rd day of May, 2005.
There were two allegations of aggravated circumstances, those being that the defendant committed a crime in order to avoid or prevent a lawful arrest of the prosecution. I find that the evidence in this case and also pursuant to the State versus Higgenbottom, 264- Kansas-593, State versus Marsh, State versus Bailey -- which is a case I prosecuted -- and State versus Walker, also a case I prosecuted -- that that factor does, in fact, exist.
There is an additional factor that was the factor of this being especially heinous, atrocious or cruel manner that the homicides were committed in based upon the evidence which I did hear from Deputy Captain Sam Houston (ph) in regards to the fact that the victim, Dolores Davis, in your opinion knew what was going to happen to her and knew that you were going to kill her, and you took two to three minutes to suffocate her, that that is homicide committed in an especially heinous, atrocious or cruel manner.
It will therefore be the judgment, order and sentence of the court that you, Dennis L. Rader, be taken by the sheriff of Sedgwick County, Kansas, and by him delivered to the custody of the secretary of corrections to serve a term of life for which you will not be parole eligible until the expiration of 40 years. I will assess -- yes?
OSBURN: Your Honor, the findings that you have made regarding the aggravating (ph) factors, I believe, the law says that you must make a finding that those have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt...
WALLER: I am going to do that.
OSBURN: And they are not outweighed by negation.
WALLER: I am going to do that as well.
I will pronounce that sentence. As I indicated, you will not be parole eligible for 40 years.
I have found that those aggravated factors existed, and I will find that those aggravated factors, beyond a reasonable doubt, outweigh any mitigating factors or circumstances which exist.
I have heard some statements in regards to mitigating factors but no evidence has been produced. The statements I have heard in regards to mitigating factors are that you had cooperated with law enforcement and had not, in fact, taken the case through trial. I do not find that those outweigh the aggravating factors existing herein.
I will assess the cost to the defendant. I will give the parties approximately 30 days to make determinations in regards to restitution and miscellaneous court costs.
Also, I will give the parties 30 days to argue relative to the recommendations of conditions of incarceration. All the court can do under the statutes in existence at the time is to make recommendations. It is entirely up to the secretary of corrections what they will or will not do.
All right. I would suggest that we obtain a date for hearing these particular matters. Please obtain that date from my aide.
Is there anything further to put on the record at this time?
FOULSTON: Your Honor, only as to the evidence. We withdraw.
WALLER: Well, the evidence at this juncture will be held and kept by the court. None of that evidence is of intrinsic value so far as jewelry or money nor is it of any danger such as a firearm. I will, in fact, instruct the reporter to take the items of physical evidence into her custody. Anything further?
FOULSTON: Not from state.
OSBURN: Not from defense, Your Honor.
WALLER: All right. Thank you very much. I would request that counsel join me in chambers shortly.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: And there you have it. He's being walked out of the courtroom right now. Dennis Rader, 60 years old. The judge sentencing him to life in prison. He would not be eligible, technically eligible, for parole for 40 years. He would be 100 years old if he survived that long in prison.
Dennis Rader, the bind, torture and kill defendant now convicted, clearly pleading guilty. The only reason he was not eligible for capital punishment for the death sentence was because Kansas did not have capital punishment during the times of these 10 murders between 1974 and 1991.
I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington. We're going to continue our coverage of this horrible, horrible case.
Our Jonathan Freed is in Wichita, Kansas. He's been watching it every step of the way.
Jonathan, you are there with us now. We heard earlier from the families, the victims' families. Those family members were so poignant in describing what a monster this Dennis Rader was, a man on the surface, ostensibly a normal human being, very active in his church, active in the Boy Scouts but clearly not only a murderer but a pedophile. And the crimes were beyond belief.
Give us a little sense of what this has done to the community where you are now.
JONATHAN FREED, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, I think that this community, to a certain extent, probably doesn't know quite how to feel.
They know what to think. They see what's happened. First of all, they saw Dennis Rader plead guilty. They saw him confess. They know that he's going away for at least 40 years without parole. The man is 60 years old. You can do that math. He is not going to be coming out of prison. That's what everybody here wanted.
On that level, they're going to very relieved and overjoyed. And that's probably not the best word to use, but some people are undoubtedly going to feel that way. Some of the people that we've spoken to have given a sense that they can't help but kind of lean that way and feel that way.
But on the other side, too, this has been so long in coming. And those of us here that have been covering this story for CNN from the beginning, at least March of 2004 when these letters started surfacing again, this has been an unbelievable year-and-a-half. The ups and downs. Every time you thought you had a handle on this story, Wolf, it would take a left turn into what could only be described as another level of insanity.
And to have it finally come to a conclusion today and to know that shortly, Dennis Rader is going to be removed from this place and taken to a prison outside of Wichita, El Dorado, where he's going to spend the next 30 days. He'll be processed into the state prison system here, after which time it will be determined where he goes to actually start serving his time. I think that those of us covering the story and the people that have been watching the story here are sort of shaking their heads and just can't believe that this moment has finally come. There is definitely a sense of relief that is starting to flow over this town.
BLITZER: All right, stand by, Jonathan. Jonathan Freed in Wichita. For some reason, he walked back in -- Dennis Rader, back into the courtroom. Now he's being escorted by police outside of the courtroom once again. What an emotional day this has been for the families, the families of those victims, the ten people that he murdered between those years, 1974 and 1991.
Drew Findling is joining us. He's a criminal defense attorney from the CNN Center.
You've been watching this case unfold all these many, many months. How does a criminal defense attorney defend someone like this who goes out and pleads guilty and not only acknowledges, but even boasts to the news media and to others, what he did?
DREW FINDLING, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, Wolf, what's unique about this is, normally, a case like this is a death penalty case. And that is, you're waiting to see whether the punishment that's going to be imposed is death. And you go into the aggravating stage, where the victim impact statements are made, and then you go into the mitigation stage, where you try to explain the conduct.
This type of procedure, really, for me, was done for two-fold purpose. One, to justify the judge in giving the consecutive sentences. And two, to allow for the cathartic experience for the victims and the community, to really give their outpouring of the pain that they felt during this period of years. So this was a little bit unusual, given that this was not a death penalty case.
And there's no way that they could find some sort of legal procedure to make him eligible for the death sentence? I assume that's clearly -- that would have been what the community would have certainly wanted?
FINDLING: Well, as you can probably remember, when this was all first happening, law enforcement worked very hard to see whether or not he perpetrated any type of crimes that would have qualified him for death after the reenactment -- or excuse me, the reinstitution of the death penalty in the state of Kansas. And they weren't able to determine that he perpetrated any crimes that would qualify him for death.
So there's nothing you could do at that point in time. In fact, what's interesting is, there's only one case, and is the 10th count of the indictment, that he could have gotten the hard 40. That is the minimum mandatory 40 years of incarceration.
BLITZER: Drew, hold on for one second. I just want to play a quick little excerpt of what Dennis Rader told the judge, told the court, only a few moments ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RADER: I think honestly people will say I'm not a Christian, but I believe I am. So, anyway, I faced up to the man himself now, my boss. I think that all points to accountability and full responsibility now in my remorse. And I think it's here. I know the victims' families will ever be able to forgive me. I hope somewhere deep down, eventually, that will happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: He's going to be in a prison now in Kansas, Drew. How do they protect him? Because the crimes that he committed, the nature of those crimes, are such that other prisoners, no doubt, would love to get close to him and take advantage and do something to him in a very, very painful manner.
FINDLING: Yes, we think about the Dahmer case and what happened to him. They're going to do what was referenced earlier , which is he's going to go through 30 days where they're going to evaluate him and -- it's called diagnostic -- and determine what institution will be best for him.
Clearly, they're going to put him in an institution where they're going to try, to a certain degree, to protect him and make sure that he's not victimized. Because a guy like him is clearly going to be a target in any institution in the state of Kansas.
BLITZER: Do you -- is there any other -- in your experience, any other example, besides Jeffrey Dahmer, that you recall, of a heinous crime of this magnitude, of the nature and the way it's come forward? The fact that he went ahead and decided to plead guilty, and not only plead guilty, but describe in all those graphic details what he did?
FINDLING: I have to tell you something. I've been doing this for 21 years and not -- the confession was one thing, the pleading guilty was one thing. But the thing that I have never seen or ever experienced -- and I have really been sitting here in shock the last couple of hours -- is the statement that he made.
But, you know, Wolf, if put it all in its perspective, for 17 years, he haunted this community. For 14 years thereafter, it hovered over Kansas, his reputation and the fear that he instilled in the community. And, really, this was the culmination of his show. This was his acceptance speech. And really, in essence, he was giving credits at the end. I mean, he was giving credits to the people that did his hair while he was incarcerated. He gave credit to the person that picked his clothes out. That was the most bizarre thing that I've ever seen.
And in fact, I'll tell you, had this been a death penalty case, and had he made a statement like that to serve as somewhat of mitigation for himself, in front of a jury of his peers in sentencing -- if that had taken place, he'd be absorbing some lethal injection a few years from right now. Because it would have been an imposition of the death penalty in front of any jury in this country, after the callous statement that he made to the judge today and to the family members.
BLITZER: Among those murdered by Dennis Rader were Joseph Otero -- he was 38 years old, born in Puerto Rico -- his wife, Julie Otero; the daughter, Josephine Otero, and the son Joseph Otero II. He was nine years old at the time.
We heard from another daughter, Carmen Otero Montoya just a little while ago in this very courtroom. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MONTOYA: He could have done something big with his life, but you took care of that, didn't you? A man with a gun against a little boy. You are definitely a coward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: It's so shocking, the heinous nature of this crime, it's hard for us even to fathom what has happened. But it came out in such raw emotion.
Drew, give us a little sense of the legal limits as to how far this judge -- he really didn't have any option. He had to give him life without the possibility, effectively, of parole.
FINDLING: You know I felt that really, this -- these statements were two-fold. One, the statements gave the judge the legal foundation to give the maximum sentence. And two, it really allowed these victims, who for all these years -- I mean, the Otero family, over 30 years -- had their chance to come to the public, to go eye-to- eye with this person that took their family's lives, and have the cathartic experience of telling the way they felt. And I think the judge, allowing this procedure the way he did, and giving everybody the latitude -- because he didn't have to give them the latitude he did. The give them the latitude they did was really a healthy experience for these victims.
And, Wolf, I would add, you know, Mrs. Otero's statement. What's really important about that -- and why I talked about if this was a death case, the death penalty would probably be imposed -- is he talked about the little Otero girl and talked about how that's what haunted him. But it didn't haunt him enough that he didn't go on for 17 years killing people one after the other.
BLITZER: Hold on a second, Drew, I want to bring back Jonathan Freed. He's on the scene for us -- our reporter in Wichita. He's been covering this trial for us. Jonathan, what are you getting?
FREED: Well, I can tell you, Wolf, an observation that I'd like to make. You were touching on it a moment ago. And during Rader's statement -- I'm going to read the note that I scribbled to you, because this is what came to my head at the time. It was when he was going on -- and I wrote to myself, it sounded -- it sounds like he's somebody leaving a job, thanking colleagues and taking a final bow. And I think that that really struck all of us here as very bizarre. We were all making similar types of observations. And before when I mentioned that this story kept veering off in directions that would be unpredictable. Once you think you've got a handle on the story and where it was going, right here at the end, even though he was apologizing to the victims, even though he was trying to take some level of accountability, or at least, saying those words, something else is thrown in to make people here shake their heads.
That's what this story has been like from the beginning. And I think, Wolf, to a large extent, that is what has made it so fascinating to over, and why people have been compelled to follow the coverage for a year-and-a -half.
BLITZER: As sick as it is. Let's listen to another brief excerpt of what Dennis Rader told the court.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RADER: ... put myself out to let everybody know what's going on. I expect to heal and to have life. And then, hopefully, someday God will accept me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: It's now approaching the top of the hour, 4:00 p.m. here on the East Coast of the United States. For our viewers just tuning in, let me recap. We've been watching this sentencing proceeding underway in Wichita, Kansas. Dennis Rader, 60 years old, convicted, confessed, to killing 10 people, 10 murders, between the year of 1974 and 1991.
Judge Gregory Waller has just given him life in prison. The possibility of parole would come up in 40 years. That would be a technical possibility. He would be 100 years old if he survived that long. He's 60 years old right now. The reason did he not get the death sentence is there was no death penalty, no capital punishment in Kansas at the time of these 10 murders.
Pat Brown is a nationally known criminal profiler, she knows a lot about sexual aspects of these kinds of heinous murders. Have you ever seen anything like this, Pat?
PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER (on phone): Actually, Wolf, yes, I have. I mean, what's unfortunate about all of this is that people are thinking he is so incredibly unusual for a serial killer.
He really is not unusual for a serial killer. This is the way many of them think. And we ought to know that all of them pretty much all of them think this way. One thing we're finding out that's happening is either we're getting the details we may not sometimes get, but on the other hand, he may be elaborating on it and increasing actually the details because he's got a forum for it. We don't know what's true and what isn't true.
BLITZER: What motivates this kind of sick individual? BROWN: Well, he enjoys what he does. He gets a great deal of power, he gets a great deal of control. And in that courtroom, what I find frustrating about this personally, why I was kind of opposed to the way the trial was held -- not the trial, the sentencing portion, let's put it that way -- is that he got even more enjoyment out of watching -- getting the statements from the victims' families. We think that's the way that they're chastising him. But he's just enjoying it because he's a sadist and he loves seeing people in pain. He's getting more fun out of the whole courtroom situation. So we keep playing into his hands over and over and over again. And that's why the sad thing is there's not much punishment out there for Dennis Rader.
BLITZER: Have you ever received any good psychological profile of Dennis Rader, what got him to this sick, sick situation that he was in?
BROWN: Well, you know, it's a funny thing about this. I think you can take any psychologist who can go back into somebody's life after the fact and say, well, he had problems with a father being cold and he had a problem with a mother being smothering. We come up with excuses.
Quite frankly, we really don't know. The only thing I can say, it usually is a rage that develops a psychopath, a rage that says I don't have control of the world unless I can manipulate it and play by my own rules.
Where the sexual fantasies come from, that's just one way to get power and control. It isn't the sex itself. That is the important part, it's the thrill of being able too abuse the world in the way he chooses to abuse it.
BLITZER: Have you ever seen a killer like this gloat about what he did, talk openly, sit in this courtroom during the sentencing hearing and speak as almost routine as he was speaking?
BROWN: Absolutely. This is what I say. It's not that unusual. The reason we will often see -- not see a serial killer do that is because he's on trial and trying to prove he's innocent and so he's lying about everything in the other direction. The only time we see this is after a serial killer is convicted. Suddenly he does what Dennis Rader is doing this time around. He has suddenly come forth with his books and interviews and goes about it after his conviction.
Dennis Rader just got a chance to do it just prior to the actual sentencing, but that's only because he was already caught. And once you're caught, the next game is, let's have fun with the public and torture them some more by giving them all these gory details.
And of course, after prison, we probably will see Dennis Rader, those books come all the time. Dennis Rader will give interview after interview after interview and get love letters and he will keep playing this game. And that's one of the sad things. We ought to take serial killers when they're behind bars and ought to cut them off from the world completely so they have no way to continue abusing the families of the victims.
BROWN: Okay, Pat, hold on for a second. I want to bring in our senior legal analyst Jeff Greenfield who's been watching with me, as well. Jeff, what do you make of all of this?
JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN ANALYST: I kept thinking about a phrase that Hannah Arrant used when she was covering the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem -- the man who helped organize the mass extermination of Jews under Hitler. And the phrase she used was the "banality of evil."
You know, we think sometimes when you cast a villain in a movie, they look like a villain. You know, they exude evil. They have that kind of dark spirit.
This guy looks like a what? He looks like an insurance salesman -- no offense to insurance salesmen. He looks like an assistant principal. He looks like what he was, a guy who lived among your neighbors.
And when you listened to the way he talked -- I think a couple of people have mentioned this -- it was almost as though he were accepting an award. And he's thanking the people who worked with him. And the part of this sounds almost like a person on Oprah, I'm trying to realize my faults. I take full responsibility. My family and friends will keep me from going to the dark side, as if he hasn't traveled on the darkest side possible.
I think the point Pat Brown made was really telling me, I kept picturing who's the first publisher trying to reach out to this guy and tell his life story to let him exalt even more in what he did and give him that final victory and who are the people going to buy those books? There's something about the story, it's not unique. It's not unusual in the sense that we've seen people like this before. You think about Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, all these people who do these things because they enjoy it.
And I guess the other thing that strikes me, if anybody thinks that evil is some kind of construct, it's all a matter of psychology, or something, anybody that doesn't think there's real evil in the world, take a look at this guy and take a look at what he did and I can't see now anyone has any doubts about that.
BLITZER: And what is so shocking is that he seemingly led on the surface such a normal life, a family man had jobs, went to church, was involved in civic organizations.
GREENFIELD: This is pretty common. You think back to Ted Bundy. We sometimes think about people who commit these acts and wonder what happened to them in their lives and what horrible thing did he go through. And you think that Ted Bundy was this handsome guy, he had a political future. He simply enjoyed, he enjoyed torturing and murdering young women. And this is a guy -- it's been said before -- scout leader, regular guy in his church, a very hard-nosed animal enforcement official in his local town.
I think it's hard for some of us to realize this, who are brought up in a therapeutic age, but I do believe there are some people who for whatever reasons, chemicals in the brain or whatever, there is remorseless indifference to suffering, which is almost a textbook definition of evil or in this case a positive exaltation of it. And I think you get to a point where you don't bring in all these psychological explanations and it's enough to say this fellow is just pure evil.
BLITZER: We're going to continue our coverage of this horrible, horrible story. We're going to take a quick break. Much more coming up. We're expecting to hear from the prosecutor in the case and others involved. We're also going to have lots of the day's other important news. We're standing by for that. We'll take a quick break. We'll be right back.
BLITZER: This killer sentenced to life in prison. Sixty-year- old Dennis Rader, the BTK Killer, bind, torture, and kill. Convicted -- confessed to 10 murders between 1974 and 1991. The only reason he didn't get the death penalty in Kansas is there was no death penalty in Kansas during the time of these murders.
We're continuing our coverage.
Let's go back out to Wichita, Kansas. Jonathan Freed, our reporter on the scene is standing by. Jonathan?
FREED: Wolf, I'm happy to say that joining us right now is Nola Foulston, the district attorney our viewers have come to know over the last year or so, shepherding this case.
FOULSTON: Hi, Wolf. Hi, Jonathan. It's over.
FREED: Displaying her characteristic sense of humor, not to mention your take no prisoners approach.
FOULSTON: It's over.
FREED: Can you believe it's over?
FOULSTON: Oh, my God. I'm so glad. We had this final episode in the courtroom where Dennis Rader had these big crocodile tears. It was just pathetic.
FREED: Did you expect to hear -- the nature of his statement today where he actually apologized to the victims, did you expect that to come today?
FOULSTON: That was pathetic. It was not only this little -- this little hoo-hah that he did, but also, how did you like the Golden Globe Awards that he gave out today in court? That was very interesting, don't you think?
FREED: We were describing that as saying he was almost taking a final bow today. That's how it came across. FOULSTON: I call it the Golden Globe Awards. He was -- Wolf, he was giving out kudos to the jailers. He was giving it out to even law enforcement. But you know what? He had criticism for me. I couldn't believe it. He didn't like my PowerPoints. And he kind of criticized them and thought they could be done a little bit better. That's the control freak in him.
FREED: You all along have been saying you wanted the appropriate end result for the community but most importantly for the victims' families. Do you feel you got that today?
FOULSTON: Yes, we got the maximum sentence. It's 10 life sentences, the "Hard 40" on the last sentence on the death of Dolores Davis, which means he would not be eligible for parole for 40 years. So the cumulative effect with each of these running consecutively is 175 years. It's not the death penalty. But it's the best we can do in this case.
FREED: There are a lot of people, even those following it -- and we heard you explain it so many times, I think it might be helpful to go over it again -- people are asking themselves why is he not eligible for the death penalty? Isn't there some way?
FOULSTON: In this particular group of cases, they started back in 1974 and they ended in 1991. We did not have the death penalty in Kansas until 1994. So all of those killings were before the death penalty. So that the best that we could do is give him the maximum sentences for each of the times that the crimes occurred. The only one that had the 40 sentence was Dolores Davis' death that occurred in 1991. And that law took effect actually the year before. So all of the sentences got the highest term that they could get and Dolores Davis had an extra 40 years on that. So a total of 175 years.
FREED: How long do you think it's going to take for this community to actually move on? Do you think this is enough or is there still healing to go.
FOULSTON: I think there will be -- people will just -- will finally as they did during the periods when he was absent, they're going to forget about him. And the less media we hear, this is great. This is kind of like a going away party for Dennis Rader. I think we should pop some Coke cans and say good-bye and as the truck moves out we all ought to wave at him. He'll be leaving probably tomorrow morning off to the penitentiary and kind of that's the farewell, that's the good-bye. And then when that's done, that's it. He's, you know, gone. He's history.
FOULSTON: Nola Foulston, district attorney.
BLITZER: Jonathan, hold on a second, Jonathan.
FREED: Hang on one second.
BLITZER: I don't know if Nola Foulston can hear me, if she can hear my question. If not, maybe you can relay it to her. Maybe she can describe to our viewers what life will be like for Dennis Rader, serving the rest of his life in prison. Where will he be? What will be the circumstances? How much interaction will he have with fellow prisoners?
FREED: Wolf wants me to pass on to you, he would like to know and our viewers would like to know, what is life going to be like for Dennis Rader from this point on? Can you give us an idea where he will be, the conditions that he'll be living under?
FOULSTON: He will be at the El Dorado Penitentiary that's really just down the road, about 25 miles down the road. It's the maximum security penitentiary in Kansas. It's the newest facility. It also houses our death row inmates.
We're not sure if he'll be under 24-hour lockup, which is actually he gets an hour for exercise, or if he'll be in general population. I'd vote for general population.
We will send up there a list of recommendations that we would hope that the Kansas Department of Corrections would employ, including some requests that he not have the ability to look at any type of media about himself, anything that would kind of pump him up, that he be limited in what he can draw. We don't want him to have any crayons so he can draw pictures of women or do any torture devices.
We'll be making those recommendations we would for any other sex offender or pedophile, that he not be given any advertisements from the paper that he could clip and cut out, pictures of little girls or women. And use those to facilitate any sexual fantasies that he has, and that he lives for. So we'll be making those kind of recommendations to cut down on any psychological kind of impetus for him to continue to enjoy a sexual fantasy while he's in prison. He will be really pretty much within the penal system. And as I said, I hope he's in general population. That would be a good place for him to be.
FREED: I know that Wolf has another question for you. While he's getting ready for that, I just want to follow up on what you said. Dennis Rader today in his closing statement said that he was scared when he first came to the detention center here. Is there anything to be scared about where he's going?
FOULSTON: I think that any individual who is classified as a pedophile certainly has -- a credible threat would be placed on anybody that would be a pedophile in the penal system. They don't usually fare well. There the Kansas Department of Corrections would obviously take that into account and make a determination as to whether or not he should be in the 23-hour lockdown program. So it really is up to them for the protection of their prisoners to make that final determination. It's not up to me, but they have two places to put him in, general population or in 23-hour lockdown.
FREED: Okay. I know Wolf has another question for you.
BLITZER: Jonathan, if you could pass this on. Two questions. First question is, she says she would like to see him in general, in the general prison population. Is that because she hopes he might be killed or harmed in the general prison population? And the second question, is there anything that would prevent him from giving media interviews or writing books down the road?
FREED: The first question is you said you'd like to see him in the general population. Is that because some part of you hopes he'll come to harm in the general population?
FOULSTON: That would be unfortunate if it happened, but we know that some prisoners don't like individuals who are pedophiles. And I wouldn't go so far as to say that, but in the general population, that's an easier management place. He could go either place. But you know, I think he ought to, you know, kind of hack it out with the rest of the guys there. And I think that either place would be suitable for him, but once again, the Kansas Department of Corrections is going to have to choose which place would be in their best interests to keep him because they certainly have to promote his safety and welfare for the next 175 years that he'll be with them.
FREED: You said hack it out. What do you mean by that?
FOULSTON: Well, he's going to have to have time he's going to be there in the penal institution and be there and work through life in the prison, get used to it.
FREED: I know they're trying to pull you away. We have one last question for you. Will he be able to give interviews from prison and able to write books, publish, anything like that, sell his story?
FOULSTON: He will be limited by some requirements of the penitentiary. And that happens when the Department of Corrections make their regulations. Individuals within a penal institution certainly have First Amendment rights. They do have the protection of doing some things. But there are also some laws that private individuals have in suing Mr. Rader and there are a number of lawsuits on file where the proceeds of any of those private enterprises might be restricted.
FREED: Okay, Nola Foulston, district attorney. We appreciate you stopping here first before heading to your news conference.
FOULSTON: Thanks, Wolf. Bye-bye.
FREED: Wolf, back to you.
BLITZER: All right. Jonathan, thank you very much. Let's bring back our senior analyst, Jeff Greenfield. I don't know about you, Jeff, but at the beginning when she was so happy on this very, very sad day I don't know if that would -- how that would -- went across with our viewers. But I guess she's happy it's over with at this point given the nature of the horrendous crimes.
GREENFIELD: I think one of the things that happens in any criminal procedure is that you sometimes treat it almost like a contest. And the facts of this case, which are as horrific as they are -- she won what she wanted. And I guess it's been a long siege. So there was a kind of, if inappropriate, maybe understandable sense of exaltation. I was struck about the fact when she was talking about let's put him in the general population. She's careful to say what she said. But when you remember what happened to Jeffrey Dahmer in prison, I really did get the sense she was in some sense saying, when she says let's let him hack it out with the general population.
She herself said pedophiles are often targets of other prisoners. I couldn't help but think what she was saying let's just put him with the rest of them and see what happens.
BLITZER: But you know, what she was saying publicly is what a lot of people probably would like to see happen given the nature of what this monster did.
GREENFIELD: Look, one of the things about a case like this, and I think it particularly touches people who consider themselves immune to kind of deep emotional -- if you're a parent, if you're just a human being and you read what this person did and the joy he took in it, this guy is a poster child for capital punishment. I mean, this is the kind of guy who would push any opponent of the death penalty to the ultimate, ultimate defense of well, it just isn't a good idea. He wasn't a victim. He was a stable, apparently middle class guy. He did this because he enjoyed it.
And you're quite right. I think there are people, even people who probably don't normally think of themselves as vengeance oriented and they say is this the best we can do? He's going to spend 40 years in jail and maybe he will write books, and maybe he'll get to relive the glory with which he did these awful deeds? You can see how this pushes people to think, all right. What do I really feel about vengeance as a motive, what do I feel about what should be done with someone like this?
BLITZER: Those are good questions. Stand by, Jeff. We're going to continue our coverage of this sentencing, the rest of his life. He'll be in a prison in Kansas, 60-year-old Dennis Rader gets the word today. He's never going to be out of prison.
We'll continue our coverage. Speak to some more of the people on the scene in Wichita. We'll take a quick break.
BLITZER: Welcome back. Dennis Rader, 60 years old, will spend the rest of his life in a Kansas prison. He confessed to killing 10 people. The BTK killer -- bind torture and kill. Here's how he addressed the court only a little while ago.
RADER (video clip): And I think honestly, people will say I'm not a Christian, but I believe I am. So, anyway, I've faced up to the man himself now. My boss. I think that all points to accountability. And full responsibility now. And my remorse, I think it's here. I know the victims' families will never be able to forgive me. But I hope somewhere deep down eventually that will happen.
BLITZER: The BTK murders were done between 1974 and 1991. In 1977, Nancy Fox, then 25 years old, was found dead in her home. She had held a job as a full-time secretary at the Law Company (ph) construction business in Wichita, also worked two nights a week and some Saturdays at Helzburg (ph) Jewelers in the Wichita Mall. Just a little while ago, before the sentencing, her brother addressed the court.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FOX: This monster took her life. We all have -- we're all -- the rest of us are married, have kids. They'll never ever get to meet her. She's never had a life.
And there was fear in my life after she passed away. I don't want to give the monster the right to know all that fear. But I hope his sentence is the worst it can be. And may he be put away for the rest of his life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Rader's defense attorney, Steve Osburn, is speaking to reporters right now. Let's listen in.
QUESTION: The last couple of days, what was he writing? The statement, what was he writing, did he show you guys?
SARAH MCKINNON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR DENNIS RADER: I believe he was just simply keeping track of the evidence that was being presented in court.
QUESTION: How did you all feel, and maybe this could be addressed to in his statement -- how did you all feel about his statement that he made at the end there?
MCKINNON: His statement didn't surprise me at all. I've spent a tremendous amount of time with Dennis Rader. It didn't surprise me at all.
QUESTION: Why is that?
MCKINNON: That's just Mr. Rader.
OSBURN: We didn't coach him or tell him what to say. I wanted it to be in his words, and that was vintage Dennis Rader that you heard.
QUESTION: Do you think it was genuine?
OSBURN: I have no idea.
QUESTION: Was this the only kind of remorse he's ever shown up until now?
OSBURN: No, he's shown remorse in the past.
QUESTION: Was it ever uncomfortable? Did you feel like squirming a bit? MCKINNON: I did not. I've put a lot of heart and soul and effort into this case, as I do any other case, and on a personal level, I appreciated him acknowledging that.
QUESTION: You had very few objections throughout these last few days. Was there anything that you wanted to object to that Dennis Rader told you not to, or did he just want it to go on.
MCKINNON: Quite frankly, I think if we would have objected to every objectionable question that was asked in that courtroom, we would still be in the courtroom right now.
OSBURN: We had a meeting last week where the state outlined what they wanted to do. This is a sentencing hearing where the rules of evidence are greatly relaxed. Basically the only objection is relevance. And Judge Waller was informed of what the state was going to put on, he indicated that he was going to allow it, which means he had already decided it was relevant. It's his decision and although there were numerous leading questions and conjecture, speculation, to try and speed things along, we tried not to make objections that we knew the judge would likely overrule anyway.
QUESTION: You put your heart and soul into this. Did it take a lot out of you to do this, emotionally?
MCKINNON: Oh, my God, absolutely.
QUESTION: In what way?
MCKINNON: It's been -- it's been a very emotionally draining last six months, in many ways.
QUESTION: Was anything said after the sentence was read between Dennis and you guys, as far as, I don't know, anything?
MCKINNON: He thanked us.
QUESTION: That was all?
MCKINNON: That was all.
OSBURN: We had ...
QUESTION: What did you say to him?
OSBURN: I told him, good luck. I tell that to all my clients when we're done. He got the sentence we told him to expect way back on May 3.
QUESTION: Was there any surprises?
OSBURN: No. This is the sentence that we told him he would get.
QUESTION: Not as far as the sentence, but anything in the past few days that surprised you, surprised Dennis Rader?
OSBURN: Not surprised us, no. Disappointed us perhaps.
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE)... that we even had to do this. You were willing to stipulate the facts. But do you understand why the D.A. did this in terms of getting the investigators' voice out there rather than just the defendant?
MCKINNON: I believe we understand perfectly why the district attorney chose to proceed in this fashion. And I -- it is my personal hope that the victims' families do get some healing and closure from this and if that was his purpose, great. And if that's the purpose it accomplishes, great. It just didn't feel that way sitting in the courtroom.
OSBURN: I, too, felt for the victims' families. And quite frankly, the media attention that this garnered and the way that certain people have flocked to this claim of celebrity sickens me. And this whole hearing that we've had for the last two days, served no real purpose. Theoretically, it was to advise Judge Waller, so he could make a sentence. But that was just a facade.
QUESTION: Was it grandstanding by the prosecution?
OSBURN: I believe it was.
QUESTION: The judge said there was no evidence to back up the one mitigating factor you presented. Do you feel your mitigating factor was valid in this hearing?
OSBURN: Well, it's valid. I don't know if -- you're not required to present evidence at a sentencing and it was obvious from the state's evidence that Mr. Rader did cooperate. I mean, there was evidence. We just didn't put it on. But we knew that the mitigating factor would not rise to overcome the aggravating factors.
QUESTION: What contact, if any, will you have from Dennis Rader from here on out?
OSBURN: Well, it looks like we're going to have to go visit Mr. Rader over in the El Dorado Correctional Facility, because we're going to have another hearing in a month and we have to discuss some matters with him regarding some of these incarceration recommendations that the state is requesting the court make.
QUESTION: Explain what that hearing is going to be about.
OSBURN: I've never had one before. Basically prior to 1980, Kansas sentencing law provided that the judge should make sentencing -- or incarceration recommendations to the secretary of corrections. After that, after 1980, the sentencing law did not mention that and so, as to the earlier murders, it is appropriate for Judge Waller to make some sort of recommendations.
We basically were not aware of what the state was going to request. We found out only at lunchtime today. We didn't have adequate time to respond. And quite frankly, the judge had not had time to read the case law either. So, it's been set over. QUESTION: What kind of life do you think he should have in prison? I mean, what would you like to see for him?
MCKINNON: That's something, quite frankly, we're going to have to have time to research and look into. This was sprung on us basically at lunchtime.
OSBURN: We still have not even seen the list of exactly what the state's asking for.
QUESTION: Quick follow-up. I don't know if you heard it, but a lot of people jeered when you got up there and said Dennis Rader is a human being, but I imagine you'd like to tell everyone, hey, this is my job. You don't know how hard it is to be a defense attorney in a case like this.
OSBURN: Well, despite what he's done, he is a human being. I mean, we can't -- he's done monstrous acts and he may have a monster inside him, but he is a human being. Anything further?
QUESTION: Anything else you all would like to say about doing this case that we might not have asked about?
OSBURN: I want to thank my wife, who has been a rock for me, who's been there for me when I go home at night. And she's been more upset by a lot of things that have gone on than I get and I don't know if I could have got through it with her.
MCKINNON: We have all had friends and family and especially the defense bar in this community just stand up and give us so much support and we are all very appreciative of that.
QUESTION: Have you guys got any hate mail...
BLITZER: All right. So, let's leave it right there. Arguably, one of the most difficult jobs. Criminal defense attorneys have to represent criminals. In this case, a monster, as everyone now acknowledges and Dennis Rader himself acknowledges.
Steve Osborn, explaining his side of the story, how he had to defend Dennis Rader and fully expecting that he would be spending the rest of his life in prison.
Jack Cafferty's been watching all of this together with us. He's joining us now from New York. Jack?
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: How you doing? It's like the world's gone mad, Wolf. I mean, what a charade. The BTK killer actually shed a tear or two during this sentencing hearing, this circus today. That was on the outside. He had to be laughing hysterically on the inside. We, the news media and the criminal justice system played right into his hands. A two-day sentencing hearing that was televised live around the world after he'd already confessed.
We ought to be ashamed of ourselves. Publicity is this monster's gasoline. It's what kept him going during the years he was playing cat and mouse with the cops and murdering innocent people. He loved being the BTK killer. He loved reading about himself in the newspapers, watching the television stories on the local news in Kansas, on the nights before he got caught.
Doesn't anybody get this? This thing should have been sentenced in a closed courtroom in 30 seconds and thrown into a hole to rot. I'm a little embarrassed to be a part of the media on a day like this.
The question is, how should Dennis Rader have to spend his days? If I was a betting man, and I've been known to be one on occasion, my guess is he'd better get busy writing that book, because I'll bet you in six months he's no longer with us. I'll be the lads over there at El Dorado take good care of him and it won't take them long.
BLITZER: Would you be surprised, once we take a look and see how many viewers were watching, not only CNN, but the other cable networks, Court TV, all the networks that were taking this live -- would you be surprised, Jack, tomorrow, if you discover that, you know what, a lot more people were watching this than would have been watching CNN and the other news networks had we been doing just the normal course of the day's news?
CAFFERTY: That's got nothing to do with anything, Wolf, as far as I'm concerned. This is a ghoulish exercise on the part of the news media. And if ratings are the reason, then I'll say it again, we ought to be ashamed of ourselves. There was no reason to give this guy a platform to talk to everybody in the country about thanking the cops and all this garbage that he spewed.
I watched it for two hours. It's nonsense. It doesn't belong on television. Nobody needs to watch this stuff. All it does is inspire other nut cases out there that maybe they can get themselves famous by doing this kind of -- it's terrible and I don't care how many people were watching.
BLITZER: Now, I'm not suggesting it was because of the ratings. I'm suggesting there's a lot of interest around the country in this case and that viewers are interested. And remember, we didn't only put Dennis Rader on the air and air what he had to say. The victims' families, we allowed all of them to explain their side of the story -- heart-wrenching stories that we all heard, as well. Should we have not put them on the air either?
CAFFERTY: I don't think any of it should have been put on the air. The guy confessed to the murders. Sentence him in a close courtroom and lock him in jail. Why give him a platform?
I'll say it again. We ought to be ashamed of ourselves. I just think it was absolutely the wrong decision to put this person on live TV and allow him to once again abuse the public and enjoy the spotlight. That's what these clowns get off on. This is -- that's their deal. That's why he invented this BTK nonsense. That's why he was, you know, playing games with the cops, so he could read about himself in the paper. We're playing right into his hands. Does anybody get that? BLITZER: All right. Well, I think you make an excellent point and we'll hear what the viewers have to say. You'll be getting their e- mail in the course of the next several minutes. And we're anxious to hear what they have to say, as well. I suspect, Jack, you have a lot of people who are going to agree with you.
CAFFERTY: There probably might be one or two, Wolf.
BLITZER: I'm sure there's a lot of people. Jack Cafferty, the "Cafferty File."
We're going to continue our coverage of this and all the day's other news. We'll take a quick break. We'll be right back.
BLITZER: We've been covering the sentencing of Dennis Rader, 60 years old, life in prison. We're awaiting comments from some of the victims' families. We'll go back to Wichita once that happens.
But let's get to our other major story of the day. It was brother against brother, sister against sister, in Gaza today as Israeli forces entered synagogues and homes to dislodge die-hard settlers and their sympathizers.
Protesters on rooftops hurled acid and paint at police and troops who battled back with water cannons. CNN has a full team of correspondents in Gaza. We'll go live to the Middle East at the top of the hour. But right now, for more on this story, let's turn to CNN's Zain Verjee. She's joining us from the CNN Center in Atlanta. Zain?
ZAIN VERJEE, CNN ANCHOR: Wolf, it's nearly midnight in Gaza. And as you said, it's been an emotional day for both soldiers, settlers as well as protesters. Here's a look at how the day unfolded.
DAN GILLERMAN, ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: What we are seeing today is a confrontation between people who have been living there for 40 years believe that this is their rightful place and young men, maybe their brethren, maybe their fathers or their sons who are carrying out very boldly the democratic decisions of the Israeli prime minister, the Israeli government and the Israeli parliament.
AARON DAVID MILLER, SEEDS OF PEACE: The prime minister of Israel is using (INAUDIBLE) of the state he cares most about, the Israeli Defense Force, to forcibly dismantle and remove other institutions, that is to say the settlements (INAUDIBLE) as well. And it seems to me this is a incredibly difficult choice.
GILLERMAN: I hope that Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas who has, so far, said the right thing -- he has walked the walk, now it's time for him to talk the talk. He has to prove that he will act against terror. He will not allow Gaza to become a terror base.
(END VIDEOTAPE) VERJEE: In Afghanistan, two U.S. soldiers are dead after a roadside bombing near Kandahar. The soldiers were traveling in a military armored vehicle. Two other U.S. soldiers are said to be in stable condition.
In Saudi Arabia, a source tells CNN that Saudi security forces have killed the Saudi-based leader of al Qaeda in Medina. The man was on a list of Saudi's most wanted. The statement says six raids today targeted suspected terrorist hideouts resulting in nine arrests of terror suspects.
And NASA announces a flight delay. The space agency says the next launch of a space shuttle will not be until March. NASA wants time to study why a large piece of foam broke off the Space Shuttle Discovery during its recent launch.
BLITZER: Hi, Zain. We'll be back with you. Thanks very much, Zain Verjee, at the CNN Center.
Now, the newest installment of the Roberts files. Reams and reams of documents from the U.S. Supreme Court nominee's past.
Our congressional correspondent Joe Johns has been digging through these latest papers. He's looking for some headlines. Joe, have you learned anything?
JOE JOHNS, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, one of the themes that seems to be developing is the legal analysis of John Roberts on issues relating to women when he worked for the Reagan administration. Documents released today indicate Roberts wrote that a proposed constitutional amendment to stop discrimination against women would likely do more harm than good.
JOHNS (voice-over): In the early 1980s, the Equal Rights Amendment for women was a leading political issue. The amendment essentially said that equal rights under the law should not be denied or abridged by the federal government or by any state on account of sex.
John Roberts, as associate White House counsel, described the amendment as an attempt to bridge the purported gender gap and said it was neither theoretically nor practically sound.
Roberts was also asked about a proposal in 1985 for White House staffer Linda Chavez to nominate her deputy for a corporate award to honor women who made a significant change in their lives after the age of 30. Roberts said it was OK. But also added this comment -- quote -- "some might question whether encouraging homemakers to become lawyers contributes to the common good." It was unclear from the context of the memo whether Roberts was making a joke at the expense of lawyers.
(END VIDEOTAPE) JOHNS: A lot of anecdotes today. Still waiting to hear more from the people who are promoting the Roberts nomination about these documents. This is the latest release of documents relating to Roberts' work while at the White House counsel's office during the Reagan administration.
A huge number of documents released today, 38,546. While that's a huge number, it's not necessarily what the Senate Democrats on the Judiciary Committee want to see most.
Wolf, back to you.
BLITZER: All right. Joe Johns, thanks very much. And those confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee scheduled to begin on Tuesday, September 6, the day after Labor Day. We'll have extensive coverage of that clearly throughout the month of September.
Updating a story that unfolded here in THE SITUATION ROOM yesterday. The Ohio governor, Bob Taft today pleaded no contest to criminal charges he violated ethics laws. That closes the case against the Republican less than 24 hours after the charges were filed. But there may be some political fallout ahead for the GOP in that make or break state.
GOV. BOB TAFT (R), OHIO: I accept full responsibility for this mistake. And I'm very sorry.
BLITZER (voice-over): Governor Taft apologized to the court and to the public for failing to report nearly $6,000 worth of free golf outings and other gifts during the past several years. He avoided jail time but was slapped with a maximum $4,000 fine. And he says he paid back all the gift givers.
Taft's admission packed a punch coming from the great-grandson of President William Howard Taft who had made ethics a hallmark of his administration.
TAFT: I will continue to do the job that the people of Ohio have elected me to do.
BLITZER: Taft isn't giving up his job now but he's term limited from running for reelection next year. Still, his troubles are a blow to Ohio Republicans already reeling from a state investment scandal.
STUART ROTHENBERG, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: This is a problem not just for Mr. Taft but for dozens, hundreds of Republican candidates in 2006.
BLITZER: Democrats have new hope of reclaiming the governor's office next year and perhaps Republican Mike DeWine's Senate seat. They were already pumped that Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett came close to winning a special House election two weeks ago in a mostly Republican district.
ROTHENBERG: I think Paul Hackett's showing, although he lost, could be a sign that voters are receptive to a message of change.
BLITZER: President Bush's victory in Ohio last year was decisive to his reelection, and Ohio is likely to be crucial in the next presidential race, making the changing political scene there all the more interesting and important.
I want to show our viewers some live pictures we're getting from inside the courtroom right now in Wichita, Kansas. The sentencing now over. The sentencing over now for the BTK killer Dennis Rader. We're awaiting a news conference. Some of the victims' families expected to speak with reporters.
There we see Nola Foulston, the district attorney. She's getting ready to sit down. Maybe we'll be hearing first from her. Nola Foulston is there.
We're going to see them get ready for this. We're going to go back out to Wichita, Kansas. We'll cover this story for you. Let's take a quick break. We'll be right back.
BLITZER: Welcome back to THE SITUATION ROOM. We've been covering, for the past few hours, the sentencing of Dennis Rader, the 60-year- old BTK killer. BTK -- bind, torture and kill.
This is a news conference that's scheduled to begin. Let's show our viewers what's happening in that Wichita, Kansas, courtroom. Some of the family members speaking with reporters. I don't know if that has started yet. But it looks like it's getting ready to start. We'll go there live as soon as it begins. We want to hear from the victims' families.
In the meantime, Zain Verjee standing by at the CNN Center with a quick look at some other stories she's following. Zain?
VERJEE: Wolf, Russian and Chinese military leaders are in Vladivostok for the first-ever joint military exercises between the two countries -- 11,000 air, sea and land forces are taking part. Officials say the exercises are a result of warming relations between Moscow and Beijing and not intended to threaten any country.
A new beginning in the Russian town of Beslan where work is now completed on two new schools. They replace the one that was seized last September by Chechen rebels who held some 1,000 children and adults hostages for three days. Three-hundred and thiry of them died in the violent end to that standoff.
America's schools could have some lessons to learn fast. A new study says 40 percent of public school teachers plan to leave their jobs within five years due to retirement suggesting school districts will have to recruit more. The study from the National Center for Education says even more high school teachers could soon leave. There's something, oh, quite unusual on the cover of the September issue of "National Geographic." Nothing. Editors made the rare decision to forego the magazine's renowned photography, instead opting for a simple title, "Africa," which is the subject of the entire issue. It's the first time since 1988 that there's been no cover photo, and only the second time since even the cover pictures were introduced.
BLITZER: Thanks very much, Zain. We'll get back to you.
In the meantime, let's head back out to Wichita, Kansas. There's a news conference under way. Some of the family members of the victims, Dennis Rader's victims speaking out in the courtroom.
(LIVE NEWS CONFERENCE)
JEFF DAVIS, MOTHER KILLED BY DENNIS RADER: ... for me personally and my family, today is the culmination of 14 days of waiting and not having answers. And we got those answers. Nobody ever actually comes back but this is a chapter of our lives that we can try to close to the best of our ability and move on, live the rest of it without his shadow looming over us any more than it has to.
QUESTION: Hi, I'm Aphrodite Jones for FOX News. For everybody, I'm just wondering what you thought about the bizarre photographs of Dennis Rader binding himself and what any of you made of that in terms of what kind of -- what the inside workings of this monster -- really, what this says about him.
DAVIS: When I was in police work, I used to...
QUESTION: Could you speak up, please?
DAVIS: When I was in police work, they used to talk about auto- erotic activities where you hang yourself while you have your fun. And more often than not they usually wind up hanging themselves. Just one more evidence of luck. The guy is as lucky as he is stupid. And he just happened to not hang himself. But if you're into that that much, he should probably have died a long time ago.
QUESTION: As far as what it says about his mind, what can you say?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would just say that I wonder how he kept his secret life that he lived, how he was able to keep it a secret from his family and people that knew him and everything. It's amazing, all of the stuff, the volumes of things he had and you know, that's unreal.
QUESTION: For those who did listen to all or part of what Dennis Rader had to say, his elocution, I noticed he said he was sorry. "I'm sorry" once and that was to correct a name, I believe. The apology, what there was, came at the end. (INAUDIBLE) or anyone who heard this, what do you make of it? Are you surprised at this? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's not remorseful. The only thing he's sorry for is that he's going to spend the rest of his life in jail and he has no more freedoms and he can't continue to enjoy what he's been doing to these people. His only remorse is for himself. It's been about himself this entire time. And (inaudible) selfish. This has nothing to do with these people that are standing here and these people that have been with us that we've lost and these people -- it's about him and it has been from day one.
DAVIS: He may use the word "I apologize," but that is a word. He is incapable of fear and remorse. He is incapable of feeling empathy because he's got no soul, because he's inhuman.
And so anything he said is just a lie covering up another lie or self-aggrandizing statement. And he continued to correct people there on the record. Just so that you all know, I'm this bad but I'm not that bad. Just more.
I have never seen -- they're going to rewrite the mental health books, they're going to rewrite criminal history because this guy is so much perversion and deprivation and abomination wrapped into one shell that's covered by what looks like a human being. It's just unprecedented.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think -- Stephen King couldn't have come up with a monster worse than this guy.
QUESTION: How hard was it for you to be sitting so close to Dennis Rader for these last couple of days? I mean, we're all human. It would be hard for me to be sitting there and not want to go over and strangle him. Do you have any thoughts about that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I personally was surprised what I thought when I walked into the courtroom. After all these years, I was expecting to feel so many different extreme emotions -- rage, anger, hate, so many things. Very surprisingly, I felt very little towards Rader himself because I have come to accept that that is not a human. And those are emotions -- a person is able to hate another human. When I saw him, I felt nothing. He's nothing to me because he's not a person. That's personally what I felt. I can't speak for everyone.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I had the same feelings. I couldn't understand why I wasn't feeling such anger or wanting to jump on him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wanted to jump on him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's just a shell.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But that's the thing is that he feeds, he literally feeds on pain and fear and suffering and agony. And to show him any of that, he would have literally gotten off on that.
And so I think all of us realized that we can't show him any of that because he is not human, he can't comprehend the feelings we're feeling. Everything about him comes back to the sexual perversion. And to give him that satisfaction would just be feeding into it. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was feeding off our emotions.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was feeding off our emotions and then not giving that was the only thing we could do for us and for the victims.
DAVIS: And I've probably been the most outspoken about how much I loathe him and my contempt for him. But, you know, after that final pathetic rambling diatribe that he stood up there with, which I still don't know what he was saying, I just looked at him and I just almost -- I just almost thought pathetic. I mean, it's just...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We all said that.
DAVIS: It's beyond comprehension. It was that pathetic. He just nauseates me to the point I just want them to put the cockroach away in a cell with a bunch of other cockroaches and let him just live out his existence till he drops dead and then they carry him out.
QUESTION: Hi, I'm Michele Hoffman (ph) with NBC's "Today Show." I know that many of you didn't hear this but it really took me by surprise when as he was talking about your relatives he was comparing himself to them.
DAVIS: They were bonding. Yes, they were bonding.
QUESTION: A, what was your reaction to that? But more importantly, he tried to make everything about him. How about now? Tell me a little bit about your relatives and what do you want me to know and everyone else to know about these people?
CLYNE: I can't.
I don't even know where to begin.
QUESTION: Give us your best memory of your mom.
CLYNE: Just seeing her with Brandon.
QUESTION: How about the piano?
CLYNE: She did love playing the piano. She got very good at it. She could do whatever she wanted to do. And she loved kids and babies.
QUESTION: Do you play?
CLYNE: I wasn't that good.
FOULSTON: Do you remember her touch?
WEGERLE: All right. I think that in the case of any of the victims, the families lost so much that all these victims have so much to offer to everybody in life. And for one person to take that away from all of us in this room is just a shame. And he took somebody's mom from them. Their sisters. Their daughters. Somebody's dad from them. Little kids that didn't even have a chance to start growing and developing families. Just for one individual to do that to so many, it's just absurd.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's not forget, too, that some of these family members were also even under suspicion for even a second, as to their role in the deaths of people that they loved. Let's just remember that, too. That this was, you know, when these homicides were unsolved, that they always look to the family first. And so there's even that impact that comes with this as well. And so that's a double consideration that you have.
QUESTION: Can you tell us a little bit about your mom?
DAVIS: I think -- I know that it's going out there publicly that she begged for her life. I guess it's semantics but I would have said she made a plea for her life. But I think it's fitting that a person who lived her life always being concerned about me or my sister or her grand kids or the people she worked with at the office or whoever it was and why everybody liked her is because she was always concerned about everybody else. And I think that none of us know what our real character is until we're in that situation where we know we're going to die.
And so yes, she did vocalize a plea she might remain alive, but she was also at the same time, I know what she was thinking. She was thinking I'm going to leave my kids and I'm going to leave my grand kids behind. And that thought probably tormented her. I know her. That would have hurt her more than what that abomination did to her physically. So it was -- I think she handled herself with class right up and until the end.
BRIGHT: I know for myself that my sister just, the last two days, she gave me a lot of strength, just remembering and memories about her. She was the nicest person. The greatest smile. And loved life. And I miss her a lot. And I just -- that's where I got my strength to go through these two days. Everybody talks about him and all his fantasies and things. It's what I've done.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes?
QUESTION: You want to say something?
MONTOYA: Thank you. What I said today in my statement is really how I feel. I mean, my mother was one that -- now you're going to make me cry. My mother was one that just loved life. And everything was fun to her. Everyone was good to her. She was good to everyone. And so hopefully she taught us to be the same way. And we can continue and live like they wanted us to live.
QUESTION: How did you muster the strength to listen to how your relatives died? I mean, it had to bring the most horrific images. I saw very few people leaving. I thought it showed incredible strength you could sit in here and listen to that stuff. Was it kind of a tribute to your family members that you weren't going to let him have the last word?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We had to see it to the end.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of this happened 30, 20 some -- we've lived with it for a long time. We've known the facts for a long time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We saw the facts.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We saw them. It's not something new that hit us broadside one day. We had to thing about them for a long time.
QUESTION: I meant more in such a public forum. It must have been harder in that respect.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you're watching everyday what all these other people that you've met are going through, you're not alone. And when you're feeling the pain of what happened to your family member, you're not feeling any less pain listening to what happened to these other people because you literally feel what they're feeling because you know what they're feeling. So the fact that we all know that we're here together and we're for each other, I think we all kind of drew strength from talking to each other. You know, you watch these victims and the family members, and you know exactly what they're feeling. And there's not very many people in this world that can say they know exactly what you're going through.
And the fact that these people are here and do know what you're going through gives you solace and it does give you peace of mind because these people are unbelievably, extraordinarily strong people. I've never met this many strong people. And I know it's because of what we've gone through. These people are amazing.
DAVIS: You know, and I think it speaks well that we're all kind of and our own. We're coming up with statements, formal statements or thoughts and actions that have kind of been along the lines of, we don't dare let the animal win. And the animal wins by taking us down. And we have refused to let that happen. And we're going to leave out of here particularly because we know we have each other in spirit and strength.
We now have an obligation to ourselves and to each other to never let that animal beat us down. And as I was saying, as he's going to sink lower and lower and lower, we're going to have ups and downs but we're going to be going up with our lives. And I think we need to remember we owe that to ourselves, we owe that to each other. We certainly owe that to the people who we've lost that aren't here, and we've got to be everything we can be for them so that we can be their legacies.
And we can make something positive out of the absolute hellish worst circumstances if we can keep that perspective.
QUESTION: ...with the Associated Press. You mentioned God. And Rader brought up God today and claims he's a Christian and quotes from the Bible. What do you make of all that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's not a Christian. I would define Christian -- the God that I believe in, like I said, you know, I can't believe that God's not waiting to pass judgment on him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Bible says demons believe in God, too. He's a phony in every way and he's lying about that just as he's lied about so many other things.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's part of his facade.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's lied so much, he believes his own lies.
BLITZER: You've been listening to some of the family members of the victims of Dennis Rader, the BTK Killer. Sentenced today for the rest of his life. Effectively, in a prison in Kansas. Sixty years old. He gets life in prison. Technically, he could be eligible after 40. He would be 100 years. That is not going to happen.
(END BREAKING NEWS)
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