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BTK Killer Sentenced to Life in Prison

BTK serial killer Dennis Rader (search) was sentenced Thursday to life in prison, with no chance of ever going free.

Rader, 60, who terrorized the Wichita area and taunted police during a 17-year murder spree from 1974 to 1991, received 10 consecutive life sentences — one for each of his victims — for a minimum of 175 years behind bars without the possibility of parole.

It was the longest possible sentence Judge Gregory Waller could deliver. Kansas had no death penalty at the time the killings were committed.

The former church leader and animal control officer confessed to the killings after his February arrest.

The punishment came down after family members of the victims spoke with outrage and pain to the man who murdered their loved ones, during a starkly emotional phase of his sentencing hearing.

"This monster took her life," said Fred Fox, whose sister Nancy Fox was one of Rader's 10 victims. "I hope his sentence is the worst it can be and that he be put away for the rest of his life."

"He snuffed out 10 people's lives who had done nothing," said Kevin Bright, who was injured by Rader and whose sister Kathryn Bright was killed. "My sister, she suffered so much. ... I pray he'll get the toughest sentence possible."

Rader wiped away tears as the relatives spoke.

"Nancy's death is a like a deep wound that will never, ever heal," Beverly Plapp, sister of victim Nancy Fox, testified. "As far as I'm concerned, Dennis Rader does not deserve to live. I want him to suffer as much as he made his victims suffer. This man needs to be thrown in a deep, dark hole and left to rot."

When family members finished addressing the court, his lawyer described the "monster" that lived inside his client and made him do horrible things.

Rader himself then stood and spoke, delivering a rambling statement in which he accepted his fate, highlighted things he had in common with his victims, praised law enforcement for its "hard work" and thanked his defense team and others who worked on his behalf.

"I brought the community, victims and families dishonor," he said. "It's all self-centered. ... I would call myself a sexual predator. Today is the day of judgment for me."

Rader broke down repeatedly during his statement, which was at times emotional and tearful, at times bizarre and rambling and at times removed and matter-of-fact.

"I take full responsibility," he said. "Remorse — I think it's here."

He closed by saying he was sorry to the victims' relatives.

"I want to apologize to the victims’ families," Rader said. "There’s no way I can ever repay them."

Earlier Thursday, gruesome and disturbing details about Rader emerged during testimony.

Rader, who dubbed himself BTK — which stands for "bind, torture, kill" — kept hundreds of pictures of women and girls, clipped from magazines and circulars, with details of the warped sexual fantasies he dreamed of carrying out, a detective testified Thursday in the second day of the strangler's sentencing hearing.

The pictures, mounted on index cards, ranged from a little girl posing in a swimsuit to actress Meg Ryan (search), testified Lt. Ken Landwehr, who coordinated the Wichita police department's investigation of the 10 BTK slayings. They were among the evidence found in Rader's office, camper and small suburban home, he said.

Containers kept in a closet and elsewhere at his home held what Rader called "hit kits" — bags containing rubber gloves, rope, tape, handcuffs and bandanas.

Rader also had kept copies of nearly all his messages to police and the media, Landwehr said.

Rader appeared angry and mumbled at one point during Landwehr's testimony, although Rader's words couldn't be heard.

Capt. Sam Houston of the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office testified that torturous fantasies were fueled by the final moments of his victims' lives.

"He could live in that moment for years," Houston said.

Rader's last known victim was 63-year-old Dolores Davis (search), whom he handcuffed and tied with pantyhose before he choked her to death in 1991. The killer told police it took two or three minutes for her to die.

Rader tossed Davis' body under a bridge. He returned later to take Polaroid photographs of her wearing a feminine mask Rader himself had worn for his own bondage fantasies.

Prosecutors flashed a photograph of Rader wearing the mask, tied to a chair and donning a woman's blond wig. They also showed other pictures the killer took in which he had bound himself and was wearing a dress he had taken from Davis' house — apparently reliving the ecstasy of the murder.

Rader, 60, a former church congregation president and Boy Scout leader, led a double life, calling himself BTK. The slayings terrorized the Wichita area until Rader was arrested in February. He pleaded guilty in June to 10 murders committed from 1974 to 1991.

The sentencing in many ways is a formality, with the only issue before the judge whether Rader will serve his 10 life sentences consecutively or concurrently. Kansas had no death penalty at the time the killings were committed.

Wednesday's testimony outlined Rader's fascination with bondage, his desire to strengthen his hand muscles when he found it hard to choke victims, and a terrifying conversation he had with an 11-year-old girl before she became one of his first victims.

Detective Clint Snyder testified that Rader told investigators he used a squeeze ball to strengthen his grip after finding his hands numbed during strangulations.

In describing one killing, Rader told Snyder: "I'm sorry. I know this is a human being, but I'm a monster."

Kansas Bureau of Investigation (search) special agent Larry Thomas testified that after Rader killed Josephine Otero's parents and brother in 1974, he took the girl to the basement. Prosecutors projected to a screen Rader's recollection of the exchange he had with Josephine before he killed her.

"What's going to happen to me?" she asks.

Rader: "Well, honey, you're going to be in heaven with the rest of your family."

Rader then hanged the girl and masturbated over her body.

"I remember problems with Josephine because her hair was in the way," Rader told investigators.

According to testimony, Rader at times used his connections to scouting and local churches to facilitate his crimes and provide him an alibi.

For the killing of Davis on Jan. 13, 1991, Rader left a Scout camp under the guise of going home for something he forgot, Houston said. Instead, Rader went to his parents' home to change out of his scouting uniform and into his dark "hit clothes."

He took the body of another of his victims, Marine Hedge, to the church he attended in Wichita, where he put black plastic over the windows to give him privacy while he took bondage pictures for his sexual satisfaction.

Rader, referring to the last two murders near the Park City home where he lived, told police: "This is not really good serial killer business; this is right at my back door. I started getting lazy, the last few years."

Wednesday's testimony was peppered with the bizarre acronyms and names police said Rader used. He called his potential victims projects, or PJs, and gave each a name.

He initially targeted Josephine Otero, who was Hispanic, as the object of his sexual fascination, calling it Project Little-Mex. Davis had a dog kennel at her home, so he dubbed her killing Project Dogside, according to testimony.

FOX News' Catherine Donaldson-Evans and The Associated Press contributed to this report.