06/28/2005 12:00 AM
03/12/2007 7:44 AM
Editor's note: The following is an Eagle transcript of some of Dennis Rader's court testimony Monday. Some of the content is graphic, and reader discretion is advised.
Waller: All right, Mr. Rader, we will now turn to count 5: April 4, 1974. Can you tell me what occurred on that day?
Rader: Well, off hand, I don't know exactly how to say it. I had many, what I call them, "projects," different people I followed, watched. Kathryn Bright was one of the next targets I guess I would indicate.
Waller: How did you select her?
Rader: Well, I was just driving by one day and saw her go into the house with somebody else and I thought that was a possibility -- there was many places in the area, College Hill, they are all over Wichita -- but anyway, it was just basically a selection process, work toward it, if it didn't work, I just move on to something else. But in my kind of person -- stalking and trolling -- you go through the trolling stage and then stalking stage. She was in the stalking stage when this happened.
Waller: All right, sir, so you identified Kathryn Bright as a potential victim?
Rader: Yes, sir.
Waller: What did you do then here in Sedgwick County?
Rader: Oh, on this particular day, I broke into the house and waited for her to come home.
Waller: How did you break into the house?
Rader: Through the back door on the east side.
Waller: And you waited for her to come home. Where did you wait?
Rader: In the house, there. Probably close to the bedroom. I walked through the house, kind of figured out where I'd be if they came through.
Waller: What happened then?
Rader: She and Kevin Bright came in; I wasn't expecting him to be there. Come to find out, I guess, they were related. At that time I approached them and told them I was wanted in California, needed a car, basically the same thing I told the Oteros. Kind of ease them... make them feel better, and proceeded to... I think I had him tie her up first and then I tied him up or vice versa, I don't remember right now.
Waller: Let me ask: You indicated you had some items to tie these people with? Did you bring these items to both the Oteros and this location?
Rader: The Oteros I did, I am not really sure on the Brights. When I was working with the police, there was some controversy on that. Probably, more than likely I did... if I had brought my stuff and used my stuff, Kevin would probably be dead today. I am not bragging on that, it is just a matter of fact, but the bonds I tied him up with he broke them, and same with Kathryn, they got out of hand.
Waller: Now you indicated you believe you had Kevin tie Kathryn up. Tell me what happened then.
Rader: Well, after, basically, I moved her to another bedroom; he was already secure there by the bed, I tied his feet to the bedpost so he couldn't run. Kind of tied her in the other bedroom and came back to strangle him and at that time we had a fight.
Waller: Were you armed with a handgun at that time also?
Rader: Yes, I had a handgun. Actually I had two handguns. Well, I started to strangle him, either the garrote broke or he broke his bonds and he jumped up real quick like. I pulled my gun and quickly shot him. I hit him in the head. He fell over. I could see the blood. And as far as I was concerned, I thought he was down and was out. I started to strangle Kathryn, then we started fighting. Her bonds weren't very good, back and forth we fought.
Waller: You and Kathryn?
Rader: Yeah, we fought. And I got the best of her and I thought she was going down and I could hear some movement in the other room so I went back and... no, I thought she was going down and I went back to the other bedroom where Kevin was at and I tried to restrangle him at that time and he jumped up and we fought and he, at that time, about shot me. My pistol that was in my shoulder here, I had my Magnum in my shoulder.
Waller: Did you have it in a shoulder holster?
Rader: Yes, uh huh. I had the Magnum in my shoulder holster. The other one was a .22. We fought... at that point in time, I thought it was going to go off. I jammed the gun, I stuck my finger in there, jammed it. I think he thought that was the only gun I had. Once I either bit his finger or hit him, or something, got away. I used the .22 and shot him one more time. And I thought he was down for good that time.
Waller: So you shot him a second time?
Rader: Yes, sir.
Waller: What happened then?
Rader: I went back to... finish the job on Kathryn. She was fighting, at that point in time it was, and then I heard some, I don't know whether I was basically losing control and the strangulation wasn't working and I used a knife on her.
Waller: You say you used a knife on her? What did you do with the knife?
Rader: I stabbed her two or three -- either here or here -- (pointed to lower back and abdomen) under the ribs.
Waller: Lower abdomen?
Rader: Underneath the ribs.
Waller: So after you stabbed her, what happened?
Rader: Well, actually I think at that point in time it was a total mess, I didn't have control on it. She went down. I think I just went back to check on Kevin, or at that basically same time I heard him escape, it could be one of the two or... all of a sudden the front door of the house was open and he was gone, and oh, I tell you what I thought: I thought the police were coming at that time, that was it. I stepped out there; I could see him running down the street, so I quickly cleaned up everything that I could and left.
Waller: Mr. Rader, you indicated that at the Oteros' you did not have a mask on. Did you have a mask on at the Brights'?
Rader: No, I didn't, huh uh.
Waller: All right, so what happened then?
Rader: I already had the keys to the cars. I thought I had the right keys to the right car. I ran out to their car. I think it was a pickup out there, I tried it... it didn't work. At that point in time he was gone, running down the street and I thought, 'Well, I am in trouble,' so I tried it, it didn't work, so I just took off, ran, went east, and worked back towards the WSU campus where my car was parked.
Waller: All right, so you had parked your car at the Wichita State University campus? How far away was the Brights' residence?
Rader: Oh, I parked... what is that? 13th and... they were on, what is it 17th? I was just about one block south of 17th, where the car was. There is a park there, I parked in that park, then I walked to 13th to the Brights' residence. So I basically ran back.
Waller: So you were able to get to your car and get away?
Rader: Yes, sir.
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