Paula and Dennis Raders’ divorce granted

Citing emotional stress, Paula Rader requested and was granted an emergency divorce from the BTK serial killer Tuesday. She had been married to Dennis Rader for 34 years.

Earlier this year, Paula Rader learned with the rest of the world that Dennis Rader, a church leader and compliance supervisor in Park City, had killed 10 people.

Sedgwick County District Judge Eric Yost signed the papers the same day they were filed, waiving the 60-day waiting period required for most divorces.

Dennis Rader, who is in the Sedgwick County Jail awaiting his Aug. 17 sentencing hearing, signed papers stating he was not contesting the divorce.

Dennis Rader and Paula Dietz were married on May 22, 1971. He was 26. She was 23.

Three years later, on Jan. 15, 1974, Dennis Rader strangled and suffocated Joseph and Julie Otero and two of their five children, Josephine and Joseph II.

Driven by a secret sexual fantasy to “bind, torture and kill,” Dennis Rader would kill at least six more times.

In his secret life, Dennis Rader craved public attention. As BTK, he wrote taunting letters to police and news media, including The Eagle and Wichita television stations.

In his other life with Paula Rader, he helped raise two children, became a Boy Scout leader and served as president of Christ Lutheran Church.

The killing stopped about the time Dennis Rader became compliance officer for Park City, where his duties included checking property complaints and animal control.

The Raders spent most of their married life at 6220 Independence in Park City, which was auctioned for $90,000 about two weeks ago; the closing is still pending.

Although the divorce decree grants Paula Rader title to the home, and thus the right to be the sole seller, another court order issued several weeks ago requires that the money from the auction be held until a judge decides whether it should be used to settle lawsuits filed by BTK victims’ families.

The wrongful-death lawsuits seek damages to prevent Dennis Rader from selling his story and profiting from his crimes.

Wichita lawyer Jim Walker, who is representing Paula Rader, declined comment beyond the public court filings.

“My client is a very private person,” Walker said.

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