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Rader blames'Factor X'

Rader blames the murders on a mysterious force beyond his control.
/ Source: Dateline NBC

In his jailhouse interview obtained by "Dateline," and even as Dennis Rader addressed the court Thursday prior to sentencing, Rader blamed his murder spree on that mysterious force he always claimed was way beyond his control: "Factor X." 

Dennis Rader:  Factor X is probably something I’ll never know.  Actually, I think I may be possessed with demons.  I was dropped on my head when I was a kid. I talked to some theological Christian people and some of those people are really strong. They actually the Bible says that there’s demons within you that can come into you.  That’s the only thing I can figure out.  Something drove me to do this.  You know, normal people just don’t do this.Rober Mendoza, psychologist hired by the defense:  You can’t stop it?Rader: I can’t stop it.  It’s just controls me, you know, it’s like in the driver’s seat. That’s probably the reason we’re sitting here. You know, if I could just say, “No, I don’t want to do this, and go crawl into a hole.”  But it’s driving me.Mendoza: You’ve actually used the term, “monster.” There’s this monster inside of you.  It almost sounds like something separate, like a different person.  Rader:  Yeah, it’s part of the compartmentalizing.  I can switch back and forth and — once this character takes over, whatever it is that drives me onward. I don’t know what it is.

But criminologist James Alan Fox says he knows what it is — it’s bunk.

James Alan Fox: To use a technical term: it’s poppycock. It’s just an excuse. It was Dennis Rader making the decisions, not Factor X. Magnus: He speculates at one point that he was dropped on his head and that might have done something to him?Fox: He’d probably like to believe that too. "It’s someone else’s fault." There are lots of kids that fall off bicycles and they fall out of cribs and they bang their heads.  And they don’t have "Factor X" or go on killing sprees. It’s just a way to deflect blame. Dennis Rader is someone who's selfish, narcissistic, committed to his own pleasures, committed to fulfilling his sexual fantasies, no matter who he hurts in the process.