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A&E's newest original documentary, BTK: Confession of a Serial Killer, premiering Jan. 8, tells the bone-chilling story of American serial killer Dennis Rader, known by the nickname he gave himself: BTK, which stands for "bind, torture, kill."
In an E! exclusive clip, Dr. Katherine Ramsland—who wrote the 2016 book Confession of a Serial Killer: The Untold Story of Dennis Rader, the BTK Killer— shares her puzzling correspondence with the murderer. The two have been in touch for over a decade as he serves 10 consecutive life sentences in El Dorado Correctional Facility in Kansas. "My initial communications with Dennis Rader were kind of interesting," Ramsland, who holds multiple degrees, including in forensic psychology, explains. "He liked the fact that I came in with credentials because it meant he was being taken seriously."
"But at the same time, he wanted to test me." she continues. "He said he wanted me to solve some codes, and he liked working with codes. He began to send me cutout pages from magazines and newspapers where he would circle things and he'd make odd comments."
"Like at one point he said, 'I understand you're interested in recipes of the three-layer kind,'" Ramsland recalls. "I thought that was strange because I actually don't cook, especially three-layer recipes so I didn't really quite get what he meant."
After Ramsland began to look at what Rader had circled, she finally cracked the code. "I began to see the things that he had circled, like 'beef,' 'tangy,' 'king,'" she explains in the documentary, executive produced by Dick Wolf. "And then it dawned on me what the three-layer recipes were: BTK."
"Once I returned the code to him and said 'Okay, what's next,' he recognized that not that I solved the code, but that I would play the game."
BTK: Confession of a Serial Killer's two-night event begins Jan. 8 on A&E.
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