PARK CITY, Kan. – The sale of the home of BTK serial killer Dennis Rader is stalled until the courts determine whether the money can be seized to pay for his defense or awards in civil cases.
Michelle Borin-Devuono bought the home for $90,000, about $33,000 above its appraised value, at an auction in July. She said she wanted the proceeds to go to Rader's wife, Paula.
Rader gave himself the name BTK — for his preference to "bind, torture and kill" his victims — and haunted Wichita for decades. He was arrested in February, pleaded guilty in June and was sentenced to multiple life sentences in August for 10 killings from 1974 to 1991. Kansas did not have the death penalty at the time the killings were committed.
An emergency divorce granted after Rader's arrest gave Paula Rader all the couple's property and his retirement benefits.
However, relatives of three of Rader's victims — Shirley Vian Relford, Nancy Fox and Vicki Wegerle — filed court papers in September seeking to prevent Rader's relatives from keeping profits from the house sale, said Paula Rader's attorney, Jim Walker.
And Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline filed a lien on the property for reimbursement of the costs of Rader's public defenders.
"Until those are dealt with, we can't sell it to anybody," said Lonny McCurdy of McCurdy Auction Service, who handled the sale.
Another possible hurdle is a ruling issued last month by Sedgwick County District Court Judge Greg Waller, who ordered Rader to pay nearly $42,000 in restitution to relatives of his victims.
Borin-Devuono extended her deadline for closing the sale twice, but let it lapse this past week because there is no indication when the title could be transferred.
"If they can get me a clear title, I'll definitely be still interested in it," she said. "We're just stuck until the courts can make that decision."