In recent years, true-crime TV series’ are at an all-time high. From Ted Bundy to Narcos to Mindhunter, the series has taken over Netflix. But for all the money invested in creating these series, nothing takes away from the true face of crime. And as Zac Efron once put it, the series needs to make sure that they are not glorifying crime. Walking the thin line is Mindhunter, which revolves around the life of the BTK killer, Dennis Rader. While Rader has been all over the media for his killings, not much is known about his private life. What’s even more surprising was that up until the day of his arrest, Rader was an ordinary guy with a wife and kids. When Rader’s story broke out, people searched for his wife, Paula Dietz. But what’s known of Dietz is all over the place. So, for this article, we will try to make a wiki-bio for Paula Dietz.
Who is Paula Dietz?
By profession an accountant, Paula Dietz is the ex-wife of infamous serial killer Dennis Rader. Dietz lived a normal civilian life in Park City, Kansas, as an accountant, a mother, and a housewife, until her husband was arrested on the charges of serial killing and subsequently pleaded guilty. Other than being a wife of a convict there is no other reason Paula Dietz finds herself in the media spotlight.
Paula Dietz was born on the 5th of May 1948, in Park City, Kansas, U.S. Born in a family of white descent, Dietz’s parents were strong Christian and a part of the church, as a result, she got influenced by the religion during her childhood. Dietz’s upbringing took place in Kansas, it is not known if she was raised alongside her siblings or single.
Dietz graduated from a local high school in 1966. She then joined National American University of Wichita and completed her bachelor’s degree majoring in account in 1970. Dietz followed her accounting roots and did bookkeeping most of her life. She also served as a volunteer at the Lutheran church.
Meeting Dennis Rader:
Rader had served four years in United States Air force from 1966-1970. Coming out of service he moved to Park City and started working at the meat department of a Leekers IGA supermarket. Eventually, Dietz and Rader ran into each other due to their religious belief as Christian, both were attending the same church. The pair soon started dating. The love affair escalated quickly as they decided to get married after months of dating.
Marriage and married life:
Paula Dietz and Dennis Rader took the wedding vows on May 22, 1971. The pair lived as a normal couple with Dietz completely unknown to his darker side. Rader had a history of torturing and killing animals. Also, he did cross-dress as woman, spied on neighbor females, and masturbated while binding his neck and arms during his early days. Even though his dark desire and fantasies from his youth were present somewhere, like a normal person Rader did not back away from marital responsibility and took jobs to support his family while Dietz worked as a bookkeeper. The pair also gave birth to two children, a daughter Kerri and a son Brian. Dietz never found out her husband was into killing until he was arrested on February 25, 2005. Between 1974 and 1991, he killed ten people in Wichita and Park City, Kansas.
After Rader was arrested, Dietz filed for an emergency divorce the very same day which was granted. After the arrest, Dietz moved outside of Kansas to escape the media and has been successful in evading them for most of her life.
Following her move out of Kansas, Dietz completely blocked herself from Rader. She never went to visit him and she never wrote to him. She didn’t go to any of his hearings and completely blocked herself. The pair had two children, one of whom is Kerri Rawson. Like her mother, Rawson never visited her father in prison but did write to him after he was arrested. She has spoken publicly about her father and eventually wrote her story in the book entitled, A Serial Killer’s Daughter: My Story of Faith, Love, and Overcoming.
Dennis Lynn Rader was born on the 9th of March 1945 in Pittsburgh, Kansas. Born to William Elvin Rader and his wife Dorothea Mae, Rader had three siblings, Paul Jeff, and Bill. From a very young age, Rader displayed sadistic sexual fantasies and acted out sexual fetishes for voyeurism, autoerotic asphyxiation, and cross-dressing. He also tortured and killed small and helpless animals during his early years.
His killing spree continued from 1974 and 1991, in which he killed 10 people. Often known as BTK, Rader gave the nickname to himself as he would send letters to the police describing the nature of his crimes in detail. After he stopped killing in 1991, Rader’s case was considered cold. But after a decade-long hiatus, Rader began sending in letters in 2004 which led to his eventual arrest in 2005. Rader pleaded guilty to all of his crimes and is currently serving ten consecutive life sentences at El Dorado Correctional Facility in Prospect Township, Butler County, Kansas.
What happened to the family?
It was hard on Dietz and her children after Rader was ousted as a serial killer. Dietz lives a life of secrecy and refrains from using social media. As for her daughter Kerri Rawson, she has been vocal about her struggle coping new reality and suffering from mental health. Also, the family was forced to go incognito to escape trolls and threats. Summing up her experience Kerri penned “A Serial Killer’s Daughter,” published on January 29, 2019. Kerri is available on Instagram where she writes her bio as a writer, survivor, and fighter. Kerri attended Kansas State University and met her husband Darian whom she married in 2003. Kerry gives Paula Dietz two grandchildren, one is Emilie who is in her teenage years. Brian is also a married man and extends his family with his children of his own. Brian is available on Instagram but uses it privately.
Wiki bio facts:
May 5, 1948
75 years old
Park City, Kansas, U.S.
National American University of Wichita
Dennis Rader (m. 1971- 2005)
Social Media Handle
Article originally published on January 18, 2021 at 2:04 pm universal time