The daughter of the notorious BTK serial killer has a bone to pick with author Stephen King and his upcoming movie A Good Marriage, adapted from one of his short stories that he admitted was inspired by her murderous father.
The movie, which opens Friday and stars Joan Allen and Anthony LaPaglia, revolves around a wife who discovers that her husband is a serial killer.
Rawson has never visited her father at El Dorado Correctional Facility in Kansas, where he is now serving 10 consecutive life sentences. But she insists that Rader, who was an avid reader of King’s fiction, would get a sick thrill knowing that he was the inspiration for one of his stories.
“He’s just going to give my father a big head, and he absolutely does not need that,” she told the paper. “Great – now Stephen King is giving my father a big head. Thanks for that. That’s the last thing my dad should get.”
What particularly upsets Rawson, a happily married former elementary school teacher and mother of two young children who lives in Michigan, are the insinuations that she, her brother and mother Paula – who divorced Rader not long after his arrest after his 30-year killing spree – knew of Rader’s secret life.
“No way could she have known,” Rawson said. “She wouldn’t have raised us with him.” Wichita police have said the same thing.
But FBI profiler John Douglas, whose 2007 book Inside the Mind of BTK chronicled the case, learned from sources that Paula had clues that something was horribly wrong with her husband after she caught him hanging himself in women’s clothing in the late 1970s. She was unable to connect the dots that Rader was actually the BTK (which stands for “Bind, Torture, Kill”), but her threats that she would leave him unless he got help reportedly spooked him.
“She inadvertently forced him to go into a type of low-grade hibernation,” Douglas wrote in the book. “Outside of being arrested or killed, this was potentially the best thing that could have happened to Rader, preventing him from killing with even greater frequency. Who knows how many lives Paula may have saved?”
Johnny Dodd co-authored Inside the Mind of BTK.