WICHITA, Kan. – A week after BTK (search) serial killer Dennis Rader (search) was sentenced to 10 consecutive life terms, his ex-wife is fighting to keep the money she stands to make from selling the couple's former home.
Paula Rader was expected to ask a judge Friday to allow her to intervene in at least six civil suits filed by the victims' families against her ex-husband. She is seeking to have Rader's name removed from the title of the couple's home, which has liens against it pending the outcome of the lawsuits.
The families' attorneys are opposing her efforts, saying the house sold for $30,000 more than it was worth because of BTK's notoriety.
"We believe that $30,000 is blood money," said attorney James Thompson, who represents victims' families in three of the lawsuits. "Paula Rader should not receive a financial windfall based on the death of these individuals."
Also Friday, District Judge Timothy Lahey will hear a separate motion asking for a default judgment in the first civil suit against Rader filed by Carolyn Hook in the 1985 death of her mother, Marine Hedge (search). Another motion seeks a lien on Rader's personal property in the lawsuit filed by the family of Kathryn Bright (search).
Rader, who called himself BTK for "bind, torture and kill," was sentenced Aug. 18 to a minimum of 175 years without parole for 10 murders from 1974 to 1991. Kansas had no death penalty at the time the killings were committed.
Since his arrest in February, his wife has won an emergency divorce and ended up with his retirement savings and the family home. The title remained in both of their names.
The Raders' house sold for $90,000 at a July auction, although the home's assessed value was just $56,700. Michelle Borin, an exotic dance club owner, has said she knew she overbid but she wanted the proceeds to help Rader's family.
Paula Rader's attorney, James Walker, did not return a call for comment.
Dennis Rader is representing himself in the lawsuits, but he would not be in court Friday. Thompson said Rader missed filing deadlines in all the civil cases and he expects more default judgment hearings to be scheduled.
Kansas has a law that prohibits Rader from profiting from the telling of his story, but similar laws in other states have been found to be unconstitutional. Kansas does not have a law that would ban him from making money from the sale of his memorabilia.