A serial killer and former church leader clinically described in a Kansas courtroom on Monday how he murdered 10 people, calling his victims "projects" he lined up in advance to satiate sexual fantasies.
Dennis Rader, who pleaded guilty to 10 counts of murder and waived his right to a jury trial, chillingly recounted how he gave one woman a glass of water after she threw up, then strangled her with a rope as her children, locked in a nearby bathroom, screamed.
In another case he hung an 11-year-old girl in the basement of her home and masturbated by her body, after killing her parents and a 9-year-old brother upstairs.
In answers to questions from the judge, the details of an 18-year killing spree by the man who called himself "bind, torture and kill" in taunting notes to police spilled out of the bespectacled, balding Rader.
He stood before the judge in Sedgwick County District Court wearing a white suit coat and tie, flanked by male and female defense lawyers, who bowed their heads as he coldly described the gruesome details.
Rader, now 60, was a one-time Boy Scout leader and before his arrest earlier this year was lay president of the congregation at Wichita's Christ Lutheran Church where he was a regular Sunday worshiper.
He will be sentenced on Aug. 17. He will not be executed because Kansas did not reinstate the death penalty until after the crimes, which occurred between 1974 and 1991, spreading a wave of terror through the Wichita area. He faces multiple sentences that would likely keep him in jail for the rest of his life.
In cold, detached fashion he described the phases of serial killing -- from "trolling" to find victims and then "stalking."
"I had project numbers," he said. "If one didn't work, I'd move on to another."
He carried a "hit kit," a briefcase with rope and other items, he said, and dressed in "hit clothes" for the occasions.
Rader talked at length about his first four victims, Joseph and Julie Otero, ages 38 and 34, and their two children Josephine, 11, and Joseph 9, in January of 1974.
"I came through the back door. I cut the phone lines," he said, telling them he was hungry and wanted a car. The family dog was "really a problem" and he had them put it outside.
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