Kathryn Bright / The Fifth Victim of The BTK Killer – Dennis Rader

Kathryn Bright | Murder Victim | BTK

Kathryn Bright - The 5th Victim of The BTK Killer
Kathryn Bright

Kathryn Bright

Born : 02 – 24 – 1953

Victim Number Five

5th Victim of Serial Killer BTK – Dennis Rader

Murdered: April 4th, 1974

Unbeknownst to 21 year old Kathryn Bright, Dennis Rader found himself stalking the young woman in the spring of 1974. He had spotted her coming and going from her home in Wichita while on one of his many ‘trolling’ expeditions. She instantly became ‘a possibility‘ on his list of ‘projects.’ He referred to her as a “sweet kid” and called her “Project Lights Out”. Then, on April 4th, 1974, he struck. Kathryn Bright became the fifth victim of the BTK Killer, Dennis Lynn Rader.

– Described In His Own Words –

The Murder of Kathryn Bright by the BTK


Judge Gregory Waller: Alright Mr. Rader we will now turn to count five. In that count, it is claimed that on or about the 4th day of April, 1974, in Sedgwick County Kansas, that you unlawfully killed Kathryn Bright, maliciously, willfully, deliberately and with premeditation by strangulation and stabbing, inflicting injuries in which she did die on April 4th, 1974. Can you tell me what occurred on that day?

Dennis Rader: (sighs) Well, the uh, I don’t know how to exactly say that — I had many, what I called them, “projects.” They were different people in the town that I followed, watched. Kathryn Bright was one of the next targets I guess that I would indicate.

Judge: How did you select her?

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Kathryn Bright Murder Trial

The Serial Killer’s 7 Stages

In 1988, psychologist John Norris revealed his work based on the fact that serial killers undergo 7 psychological stages. 

  1. Aura Phase
  2. Trolling Phase
  3. Flirting Phase
  4. Capturing Phase
  5. Murdering Phase
  6. Totem Phase
  7. Depression Phase

source : cyberstruggle.org

(1) The Aura Stage

In the aura phase, the person begins to put a distance between himself and social relations. To a certain extent he begins to drift away from reality. Sometimes this situation can go insidiously unnoticed by family and friends and continues for an unpredictable short or long time. Fantastic thoughts begin to gain weight. In most cases, these thoughts manifest themselves as violent sexual thoughts or other violent fantasies.

Trolling of Kathryn Bright

Dennis Rader: Just driving by one day and I saw her going into the house with somebody else and I thought ‘that’s a possibility’.

There were many places in the area, College Hill, they’re all over Wichita but anyway, it’s just a selection process. I worked towards it. If it didn’t work I just moved on to something else.

But in my kind of person, stalking and trolling, you go through the trolling stage and then a stalking stage. She was in the stalking stage when this happened.

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BTK Killer Dennis Rader
Dennis Rader | BTK

(2) The Trolling / Stalking Stage

This phase usually involves the process of forming an idea about the space of potential victims. Usually, serial killers go through the process of searching for victims where they know or feel comfortable.

However, there is also a tendency to determine where they will commit the crime, maybe deal with the body.

This quest could take days or even months until the right candidate is found. The killer, in his searching, may use certain patterns to track the victim.

(3) The Flirting Stage

In the flirting phase, the killer is focused on gaining the trust of his victim. Typically, this phase is used by more daring, planned and socially developed killers.

The killer tries to socialize with the victim. Once trust is gained, the killer takes the victim to a quiet and previously planned area and takes action.

April 4, 1974

Judge: Alright sir, so you identified Kathryn Bright as a potential victim?

Rader: Yes, sir.

Judge: What did you do then here in Sedgwick County?

Rader: On this particular day?

Judge: Yes.

Rader: I broke into the house and waited for her to come home.

Judge: How did you break into the house?

Rader: Through the back door — east side.

Judge: Alright, so you waited for her to come home? Where did you wait?

Rader: In the house there. Probably close to the bedroom. I was trying to figure out where I’d be if they came through.

Judge: Alright. What happened then?

Kevin and Kathryn Bright

Rader: She and Kevin Bright came in. I wasn’t expecting him to be there. I come to find out, I guess, they were related.

At the time I approached them and told them I was wanted in California and needed a car, basically the same thing I told the Otero’s, kind of eased them to 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.

Judge: Let me ask you. You indicated that you had some items to tie these people with. Did you bring these items both to the Oteros’ and to this location?

Rader: The Otero’s I did. I’m not really sure on the Bright’s. There was some — when I, in working with the police — there was some controversy on that.

Probably more likely I did. If I had brought my stuff, used my stuff, Kevin would probably be dead today. I’m not bragging on that, it’s just a matter of fact.

It’s the bonds that I tie can’t be broken so. It may be the same way with Katherine. It just got out of hand.

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BTK Dennis Rader

(4) The Capturing Stage

As the name suggests, it is the phase in which the killer fully reveals his true intentions.

The methods used in the capture phase can again be selected in such a way that the killer can enjoy the action more.

(5) The Killing Stage

At this point, the killer actually performs a ritual in his own way. Sometimes it can be accompanied by prolonged torture and necrophilia, while sometimes leading to a sudden death. Torture before killing and postmortem sexual intercourse is a common ritual, especially for sadistic killers.

Organized killers often adopt a longer period of torture and death. The killer can enjoy preceding torture and postmortem sexual intercourse more than the murder itself. Also in this process, the killer can use different means of torture, such as electricity. Once the torture ritual is completed, the killer finally kills his victim.

The Fight For Life

Judge: Alright now, you indicated that you believed that you had Kevin tie Katherine up. Tell me what happened.

Rader: Okay. Well, I really can’t remember, judge, whether I had her time him up or she tied him up but anyway I moved her to another bedroom and he was already secure there by the bed.

I tied his feet to the bed posts so he couldn’t run. I kind of tied her to the other bedroom and then I came back to strangle him and at that time we had a fight.

Judge: Were you armed with a hand gun at that time also?

Rader: Yes, I had a hand gun.

Judge: What happened at that time?

Rader: Actually, I had two handguns. Well, when I started to strangle him, he broke his bonds and he jumped up. So I pulled my gun and shot him. I hit him in the head. He fell over. I could see the blood. As far as I was concerned I thought he was down and was out. And then I started to strangle Kathryn. Then we started fighting because the bonds weren’t very good and so back and forth we fought.

Judge: You and Kathryn?

Rader: Yeah we fought. And I got the best of her and I thought she was going down and then I could hear some movement in the other room. So I went back and Kevin… No, no… I thought she was going down and I went back to the other bedroom where Kevin was at and I tried to re-strangle him at that time and he jumped up and we fought and then he about, at that time, about shot me because he got the other pistol that was in my shoulder here. I had my magnum in my shoulder.

Judge: In your shoulder holster?

Rader: Yes I had my magnum in the shoulder holster. The other one was a .22. We fought at that point in time and I thought it was going to go off. I jammed the gun, stuck my finger in there and jammed it. And I think he thought that was the only gun I had because once I either bit his finger or hit him or something and got away, then I used the .22 and shot him one more time. And I thought he was down for good at that time.

Judge: Alright, so you shot him a second time.

Rader: Yes sir.

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Kevin Bright
Kevin Bright

Kevin Bright

Kevin Bright was 19 years of age when he was shot in the head by Dennis Lynn Rader aka the BTK killer.

Kevin enter his sister’s house with her on a sunny afternoon in April and suddenly found himself in a fight for his life. He survived. His sister Kathryn did not. She became the fifth victim of the BTK killer of Wichita, Kansas. Credit: http://sean-roocroft.blogspot.com/

The Murder of Kathryn Bright

Judge: What happened then?

Rader: I went back to finish the job on Kathryn and she was fighting and that point in time I had been fighting her I just, and then I heard some… I don’t know whether I was, basically, losing control. The strangulation wasn’t working on her and I used a knife on her.

Rader: I went back to finish the job on Kathryn and she was fighting and that point in time I had been fighting her I just, and then I heard some… I don’t know whether I was, basically, losing control. The strangulation wasn’t working on her and I used a knife on her.

Judge: You say you used a knife on her? What did you do with the knife?

Rader: Yes, I stabbed her. I think I stabbed her either two or three times either here or here (pointing to sides).

Judge: You are pointing to your lower back.

Rader: Yea, underneath the ribs.

Judge: And your lower abdomen. So after you stabbed her, what happened?

Rader: Actually, I think that at point in time it was a total mess because I didn’t have control on it. She was bleeding. 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. All of a sudden the front door of the house was opened and he was gone. Oh, I’ll tell you what I thought. I thought the police were coming at that time. I heard the door open and I thought, you know, ‘that’s it’. Then I stepped out there and I could see him running down the streets so I quickly cleaned up everything that I could and left.

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Dennis Rader Newspaper Article
Dennis Rader Arrested

(6) The Totem Stage

After murder and other actions in this phase, the killer experiences a huge decline. He kind of wakes up from his fantasy. In fact, these ups and downs are said to be the key driving force for the killer to develop a ritual.

At this point, the reception of souvenirs from the victim is common. It is common to use memories such as clothing, a piece of body, photos, videos or jewelry.

The purpose of the souvenir is to get rid of the fall they experienced by repeatedly remembering the moment of murder and the ritual.

(7) The Depression Stage

In this final phase, the killer tends to decide his next murder. Because the killer experiences a major emotional breakdown. This collapse can take days, weeks, even months. Sometimes the killer compares the way he committed the crime to the murders in television movies and feels dissatisfaction. The depression phase is so intense that sometimes the killer can’t even feel the strength to commit suicide. But after a while, the killer returns to the fantasy world and starts the next murdering cycle. This motion always leads the killer to become more violent and more professional. Killer can feel the need to make improvements in their rituals. The process continues until they’re caught or committed suicide. Serial murder is kind of an addiction.

The Escape

Judge: Alright now, Mr. Rader. You indicated that, at the Otero’s, you had a mask on. Did you have a mask on here?

Rader: No, no I didn’t.

Judge: Alright, so what happened then?

Rader: I tried… I already had the keys to the cars and I thought I had the right keys to the right car. I ran out to their car.. I think it was a pick-up out there. I tried it but it didn’t work. At that point in time, he was gone, he was down the street. I thought, ‘yeah, I’m in trouble’, so I tried it. It didn’t work so I just took off and ran. I went east and then went back towards the WSU campus where my car was parked.

Judge: Alright, so you had parked your car at the Wichita State University campus?

Rader: Yes, on the campus, uh-uh.

Judge: How far away was the Bright’s residence?

Rader: I parked at, what was it 13th? Let see, they were on 13th. What is it, 17th? Yea. I was just about one block south of 17th where the car was. There’s a park there. I parked at the park and then I walked to 13th, to the Bright’s residence. So I basically ran back.

Judge: Alright so, you were able to get to your car and get away?

Rader: Yes sir.

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Kathryn Bright
Kathryn Bright

The body of Kathryn Bright, a beautiful, happy 21 year old college student, was found in her home on April 4, 1974. She was bound with cord, partially dressed and had been stabbed several times in the abdomen. She had also been unsuccessfully strangled. She died hours later in hospital

Kathryn Bright became the fifth victim of the BTK Killer – Dennis Lynn Rader.

credits Murderpedia | cyberstruggle | findagrave.com | en.wikipedia.org |

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