WICHITA, Kan. – Confessed BTK serial killer Dennis Rader (search) made his first public apology for the murders that horrified a community for a quarter-century, blaming a "demon" that got inside him at a young age.
"I have a lot of remorse. I'm very sorry for them. It is something I wouldn't want to happen to my family," he told KAKE-TV. The interview was conducted Saturday; some of it was aired Wednesday night with additional portions to air Thursday.
Rader, who pleaded guilty last week to 10 first-degree murders in the Wichita area from 1974 to 1991, nicknamed himself BTK, for "Bind, Torture, Kill," as he taunted media and police with cryptic messages about the crimes. He faces sentencing Aug. 17.
"I just know it's a dark side of me. It kind of controls me. I personally think it's a — and I know it is not very Christian — but I actually think it's a demon that's within me. ... At some point and time it entered me when I was very young," said Rader, who was once president of his Lutheran church.
Rader, 60, said his problems began in grade school, with his sexual fantasies that were "just a little bit weirder" than other people's.
"Somewhere along the line, someone had to pick something up from me somewhere that there was a problem," he said. "They should have identified it."
Rader said he felt for Dale Fox (search) when he saw him cry on television while talking about the 1977 strangulation of Fox's daughter Nancy — a crime Rader has admitted — and said his own relatives also suffer.
"I am going to pay for it with a life sentence. The final victims are my ... family," he said.
Rader told the court last week that sexual fantasies drove him to kill. He told KAKE he was "totally unprepared" for the court's request for details of the crimes.
"I just wanted to get the facts out as quick as I could, try to not get too emotionally involved," he said.
On Thursday, the family of Vicki Wegerle (search), who was killed in 1986, filed a civil lawsuit seeking unspecified damages against Rader — the second such action. A wrongful death suit was filed last week by the family of Marine Hedge, who was slain in 1985; that lawsuit is seeking more than $150,000 in damages.