Paula Dietz Rader, the former wife of the infamous Dennis Rader, aka BTK serial killer, gained limelight after her husband’s bad deeds came to light. It sometimes made her life tough as her husband was convicted as a terrible serial killer. Despite being a simple woman, a kind wife, and a humble mother, she faced plenty of difficulty during the trial period. Just imagine how things turned out on her side and what her family and friends might have thought of her. Let’s see how things ended up in such a way. Here’s everything you need to know.
Early Life & Education
Born and raised on May 5, 1948, in Park City, Kansas, United States, Paula Dietz was born into a Catholic family. Her father worked as an automotive engineer, while her mother was a librarian. After graduating high school in 1966, she went to the National American University of Wichita. From there, she got a degree in accounting in 1970.
She was well-educated and finished her degree in 1970. But instead of moving out of Wichita, she decided to stay with her family. She pursued her mom’s career and started working as a bookkeeper. Paula Dietz also did volunteer work at the Lutheran church. Apart from this, Paula was an animal and travel lover.
How Paula Dietz Fell In Love With Dennis Rader?
Paula Dietz graduated in 1970, and the same year she met Dennis Rader at church and immediately fell in love with him. Rader was a US Air Force veteran and a kind person. But nobody knew about his dark side. The couple got married on May 22, 1971. A couple of years later, Paula gave birth to their first son Brian, and a few years later, they welcomed a beautiful daughter Kerri Rawson.
However, Paula Dietz had no clue about her husband’s wild fantasies. He had been raised killing small animals and fantasizing about physically and mentally torturing helpless women. Dennis also loved photographing himself wearing women’s underwear while indulging in autoerotic asphyxiation.
Dennis Rader’s First Crime
Paula Dietz was unaware of her husband’s nature and what was brewing in his mind. He mapped his first murder just six weeks after his son was born. On January 15, 1974, Dennis broke into Joseph Otero’s house and strangled him and her wife, Julie, in front of their children. Later he dragged 11-year-old Josephine and her brother Joseph, a 9-year-old, into the basement. He suffocated the young boy, hanged Josephine, and let her struggle to die while he masturbated in front of her. Before leaving that place, Rader snapped lurid photographs, which he kept in a safe, and Josephine’s underwear as mementos.
Over the following 17 years, he killed six helpless women at night while playing an innocent man by day. According to the Lawrence Journal-World, Dietz once found an explicit poem written by her husband entitled “Shirley Locks.” The poem read, “Thou shalt not scream… but lay on cushion and think of me and death.” At that time, he was attending college courses, so he manipulated her and said it was one of his drafts. She fell for his excuse and never doubted him.
Finally, BTK Killer’s Crime Come To Light
Dennis Rader aka BTK Killer caught in 2005, almost 15 years after his last murder. He sent letters, including photographs, to local media about the details of his previous crimes. He’d kept the victims’ photos, IDs, and underwear in a lock box at home. Paula had never dreamt that her husband had done it. Later the FBI found evidence following his arrest on February 25, 2005. She was completely blindsided and told the FBI that Dennis was a good man and he would never hurt anyone. The same year he confessed and pled guilty to ten murders in June 2005.
Does Paula Dietz Know About Her Husband’s Dark Side?
According to the investigation, Dennis Rader’s family members did not know about the crimes he had committed behind their backs. In fact, the arrest came out as a complete shock for them. They never thought that Dennis Rader would commit such a terrible crime. After his arrest, his wife and children cut all ties with him and never visited him in prison.
Dennis Rader was the army veteran who helped him to commit all the terrible crimes. This is why it became easier for him to commit such an awful crime without everyone knowing about it, not even his wife and kids. He used to sneak at midnight and commit crimes without anyone knowing about it. However, his kind demeanor helped him bluff others by pretending to be a normal working guy to his family, friends, colleagues, and others.
Is Paula Dietz Still With Dennis Rader?
Soon after her husband’s crime came to light, Paula cut all contact with him. She filed for an emergency divorce a month after he pled guilty. The court granted her the divorce immediately instead of waiting for the usual 60 days waiting period. The same month Rader was sentenced to 175 years in prison. In an interview, Paula’s daughter Kerri revealed that her mother dealt with Dennis as he died the same day he got arrested. As of now, she was dealing with PTSD from the events connected to his arrest.
Where Is Paula Dietz Now?
As per the Seattle Times, Paula sold her family home for $90,000 at auction, then left town, and has never appeared in public since so does her son. But her daughter published a memoir entitled A Serial Killer’s Daughter: My Story Of Faith, Love, and Overcoming.
As of now, it remains unclear whether Paula Dietz is alive or not. After leaving the town, nobody knows where she is and what she is doing. But based on the source, Paula Dietz has an estimated net worth of around $700k.
What do you think about Dennis Rader? Did Paula Dietz do the right thing? Comment down your thoughts below. Stay tuned. TechRadar247 will keep you updated.