Daughter of Serial Killer BTK Says Idaho Murder Suspect Might Have Been in Contact With Her Dad

Monroe County (Pa.) Correctional Facility via AP

In a chilling twist, Kerri Rawson, daughter of Dennis Rader–known as the BTK serial killer, who is serving ten life sentences for murders that stretched over two decades–posted a disturbing theory about Idaho quadruple murder suspect Bryan Kohberger.


Kohberger was a PhD student in the criminal justice and criminology department at Washington State University and had studied under famed criminology professor Dr. Katherine Ramsland at DeSales University. Ramsland, who has appeared in more than 200 true crime documentaries, had a ten-year relationship with the BTK killer that culminated in a book she wrote with him.

Rawson tweeted out that “Dr. Katherine Ramsland was one of Bryan Khoberger’s professors in Criminology Studies at DeSales University, where he earned a master’s degree last spring.” Rawson continued: “Ramsland has, or did have a close academic relationship and friendship with my father, Dennis Rader, BTK.” Ramsland has refused to speak to the media about her connection to Kohberger.

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Rawson continued to lay out her disturbing theory: “I have ongoing concerns, knowing how common it is for criminology students, true crime fans, and others to correspond regularly with my father, that Kohberger could have been in contact with my father at some point, but require proof of this, which currently I do not know of.”


This avenue may be one that detectives and the FBI should explore. If Kohberger was communicating with Rader, those communications would be crucial evidence. Rader’s first murder was a quadruple homicide. In 1974, he murdered Joseph Otero, his wife, and their two children by brutally strangling and suffocating them. Rader wasn’t convicted of those murders or many others until 2005, when his obsession with media attention caused him to send communications that led police to him.

Rawson pointed out the similarities between her father and Kohberger: “My father graduated with a bachelor’s in Criminal Justice, from Wichita State University, making a mockery of this important field, using his college courses to study his own ongoing murders and get access to LE information in the 1970s.”

Kohberger, if he is the culprit, would have a significant advantage with inside information about how law enforcement responds and investigates a crime scene. Kohberger is said to have a keen interest in forensics. Rawson wrote that she supports the field of criminology despite some like her father having a dangerous obsession in the field. “My father and his many murders, are studied intensively in the field of criminology. I believe strongly in the training of future law enforcement, criminology, and forensic minds, and give lectures myself, to further education in these fields.”


Rawson expressed her hopes that justice will be served. “My thoughts have been with the victim’s friends & families and law enforcement since news broke of this horrific crime, and my thoughts are also with Kohberger’s friends and family at this time. It is my hope justice will be served fully.”

Rawson, as the daughter of a notorious serial killer, has a unique perspective on horrific crimes and the people they affect. “The ripples of one man’s horrific actions will be felt for generations, affecting not only the families but the wider Idaho community, the supporting law enforcement & criminology communities,” she wrote. “We must continue to work together to seek answers to these crimes, stop these predators quicker, and find ways to prevent these crimes from happening at all.”

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The quadruple homicide that left four university students dead shocked the nation and reminded many of serial murders, including the BTK and Ted Bundy murders. The bloody and brutal attack that left law enforcement empty-handed for a month was eerily reminiscent of other famous murders that took years to solve. Before the arrest of Kohberger, former homicide detectives who commented on the case expressed concern that the case was going cold due to the lack of a suspect.


The facts that led to Kohberger’s arrest are still unknown because of Idaho’s laws restricting pre-trial media coverage. The public is anxiously awaiting the evidence that the police have against Kohberger. Were the Idaho murders the first blitz attack by a budding serial killer who had studied at the feet of BTK? Unnamed sources told CNN that the suspect was identified through DNA found at the crime scene and run through a public database that tracks genealogy. Moscow police have not confirmed any facts that led to the arrest.

Kohberger’s attorney signaled that the accused may plead not guilty, describing his demeanor as “shocked” to reporters. Kohberger is scheduled to be extradited to Idaho on Tuesday.



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