A Serial Killer’s Daughter by Kerri Rawson

How I Read It: Audiobook

Dates Read: 7/10/19-7/12/19

2 weeks ago, I did a review on a book by Michelle McNamara about the Golden State Killer. Staying on brand, today’s book is on the BTK Killer (Bind, Torture, Kill). The BTK Killer (real name Dennis Rader) killed 10 people around Wichita, Kansas between 1974 and 1991. His arrogance and subsequent taunting (alongside Rawson’s DNA from a previous medical examination) eventually led to his arrest.

Rawson, as you probably figured out from the title, is the daughter of the BTK Killer. Growing up, she was completely unawares that her father had the potential to torture and murder people for decades. She learned of his arrest when the FBI showed up to her apartment in Detroit. Add in that we have a sick obsession with serial killers (hi, guilty), and that everyone is looking for an exposé, and moving on seems completely unrealistic. With love from her family, husband, and God, she began just that, taking every day in stride despite her anxiety, depression, and trauma.

While I find serial killers interesting, I have never been that interested in their descendents. Their children have always seemed like a “no go” area purely because they did not choose to be in the spotlight. HOWEVER, Kerri did a very good job of discussing the guilt and betrayal she felt when she learned the truth about her father.

One of the interesting aspects that I don’t think I ever considered was the family of the killer. When confronted with the choice to present to the jury a complete detailed description of his crimes with the expectation that telling the jury will give him his justice, I immediately would jump on the “yes” train. But nobody asks the family of the killer. Everyone asks the family of the deceased. The family of the killer are also victims, but when you are in the situation, you don’t want to think of them as so. They also have to grieve, also have to deal with guilt, confusion, and frustration, but they are expected to do so silently while the person they love is blasted online and in the media.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

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