This documentary centres on Charlie Otero and Dennis Rader, the BTK killer and his court trial.
We hear accounts from the family of victims of BTK, of how BTK murdered them and how this has affected them physically and emotionally. We also get to witness the trial of BTK as a backdrop to the conversations with his victims families.
Charlie Otero ventured home on the night of January 15th 1974, to the shock discovery that 4 of his family members had been murdered by the BTK serial killer. The DVD attempts to document Charlie’s account of that fatal night and he reminisces about his parents Joseph and Julie and his brother and sister Josephine and Joey. Charlie, 27 years later still questions how someone could have wanted to kill his family.
It appears that Dennis Rader (BTK), derived sexual gratification from the slaughter and suffocation of his victims. BTK, it appears, also wanted fame from his actions and was not happy when he was not given as much exposure for the killings as he thought he would get. This is a common trate with serial killers.
We discover that amazingly in 2004 the BTK killer was still roaming America and commiting murders. We witness Dennis Rader pleading not guilty, and a date being set for his trial by jury.
Charlie later meets up with his other brother and sister to attend the pre-trial. Dennis is just to begin his trial by jury when he decides to plead guilty to all 10 counts of murder! What a sick person. If it’s not enough to put the families of the victims through the pain and anguish of seeing him on trial, he then cops out by pleading guilty.
Disturbingly, Dennis also confirms that he did masturbate at the scenes of his victims murders to gain sexual gratification.
We then move onto the story of Steve Relford, who is the son of a BTK victim. He believes that tattooing himself relieves him of the pain of his father being murdered by BTK. Steve (At age 5) witnessed BTK suffocating his mother with a plastic bag. From the interview I feel Steve has been understandably severely emotionally scarred. Charlie is there to support Steve.
There are scenes where you can see and feel the pain etched into the children’s faces as they bless their family who have passed on due to the callous actions of BTK. What strikes me most about this documentary is the sheer length of time it took for the BTK killer to be found. It’s frightening to believe that this man was well respected amongst his community.
This only reinforces the belief that the only person someone can trust is them-self. If we can’t trust those around us who we look up to, to set us an example, who can we trust?
Some of the crime scene photographs in this documentary are truly upsetting. We see Josephine tied up in a manner that she would have suffered more by being tied up with her feet barely touching the floor. This is strong stuff, so nt for the faint hearted. During the trial, all the families of victims make statements, which is also quite harrowing.
This is powerful, emotive and sometimes quite disturbing to watch and I highly recommend this DVD. I had my apprehensions initially as it was a documentary, but you do find yourself growing attached to Charlie and his family.
In addition, something strange happens in the filming of the documentary… I’ll not tell you what this is. Go and rent/buy the DVD and find out.