Dr. Katherine Ramsland Interview Behind The Mind Of BTK Part 2

Jun 18, 07:00 PM

In a captivating series of conversations on the podcast "Hidden Killers," host Tony Brueski delves into the mind of one of the most notorious serial killers alive today, Dennis Rader, the BTK Killer. The series features extensive interviews with Dr. Katherine Ramsland, the author of Rader's autobiography and a professor of forensic psychology. Brueski and Ramsland provide a fascinating insight into the psyche of a murderer, drawing from years of correspondence and interactions between Ramsland and Rader himself.
Ramsland's approach to understanding Rader involved extensive communication through letters and phone calls, exploring the intricate world of a killer's mind. "Well, he has what I believe is hypergraphia. Which is excessive writing," Ramsland revealed. "He would fill pages and pages of details...but just the fact that I would have these written documents was good because then I could use those as springboards for questions back to him."
Notably, Rader maintained certain degrees of respect and discipline throughout the process, which Ramsland describes as unusual amongst serial killers. "Rader was not like that. He was respectful. He appreciated what I was trying to do. He read some difficult things. I sent a couple of books that I wanted him to read and think about and comment on regarding his own case, and he made his way through them," she said.
As a part of her research, Ramsland encouraged Rader to read books like "The Anatomy of Violence" by Adrian Rain, a leading forensic psychologist. Rader's narcissism often guided his interest, focusing on segments of the text that seemed relevant to his situation.
Interestingly, Ramsland mentioned that Rader showed a keen interest in understanding his own actions and behavior, an aspect that isn't often observed in psychopathic individuals. "He is interested in knowing why he turned out to be this way, especially because he, you know, lost a lot was at stake. He lost his family, he lost his social standing," Ramsland commented.
One aspect of their conversation brought out a rather unexpected side of Rader - his emotional response to a documentary about his crimes. Ramsland noted, "It made him cry when he watched the other people talking on it." This sparked a discussion on the depth and authenticity of Rader's emotional responses, which Ramsland explained are often superficial in psychopathic individuals.
However, Ramsland does not assert these observations as definitive proof of Rader's psychopathy or ability to feel remorse. "I'm not inside his head. I can't say that he has how deep his feelings go. I can't say that about anybody I know," she says, highlighting the complexities and limitations of studying such individuals.
The series "Hidden Killers" provides an unnerving yet enthralling look into the world of true crime, expertly helmed by Brueski. With Dr. Katherine Ramsland's invaluable insights into the mind of a murderer, the series invites listeners to gain a more profound understanding of the macabre world of serial killers like Dennis Rader.
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