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BTK killer’s wife granted an emergency divorce

A judge waived the usual waiting period and granted an immediate divorce to the wife of BTK serial killer Dennis Rader.
Confessed BTK serial killer Dennis RaderAP
/ Source: The Associated Press

A judge waived the usual 60-day waiting period and granted an immediate divorce Tuesday to the wife of BTK serial killer Dennis Rader, agreeing that her mental health was in danger.

Rader didn’t contest the filing or appear for the hearing. He signed over the couple’s property and all his retirement benefits to Paula Rader, who had been married to him for 34 years.

In a courtroom confession last month, Dennis Rader said that sexual fantasies had driven him to kill 10 people in the Wichita area between 1974 and 1991. As BTK — his own moniker for “Bind, Torture, Kill” — he taunted media and police in communications that eventually led to his arrest. His sentencing is set for Aug. 17.

Paula Rader said in her divorce petition that her mental and physical condition has been adversely affected by the marriage.

She also said that she and her incarcerated husband are incompatible and that he had failed to perform material marital duties and obligations. The couple have two grown children.

The property settlement approved by the court includes the family home in Park City, the Wichita suburb where Dennis Rader, 60, worked as an ordinance compliance officer. It recently sold at auction for $90,000.