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Ex-FBI profiler: BTK killer wanted to be in limelight again


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Former FBI profiler Candice DeLong
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As a young boy Steve Relford watched BTK kill his mother.

Police say BTK suspect Dennis Rader lived a double life for decades.

A friend of one of the BTK victims says fear gripped Wichita.

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BTK killer

SAN FRANCISCO, California (CNN) -- The man accused of being the BTK serial killer will hear the charges against him Tuesday. Dennis Rader is suspected of 10 killings in the Wichita, Kansas, area. The first was more than 30 years ago. But it was only recent evidence that allowed police to make an arrest.

CNN's Soledad O'Brien talked to Candice DeLong, a former FBI profiler about the latest.

O'BRIEN: Candice, nice to see you. Thanks for talking with us.

DELONG: You're welcome.

O'BRIEN: Police feel very confident that they've got the right guy. And if, in fact, they do, do you think that, in fact, he started communicating again with the TV stations and ultimately the police because he wanted to be caught?

DELONG: No, I don't think anyone wants to be caught. Nobody -- why would anyone want to spend their golden years in prison? I think he probably was definitely wanting to be in the limelight again.

We don't know yet when his last kill was. We suspect that the last one was 1991. It's possible, I wouldn't be surprised to find out he's been killing all along, that he just resumed...

O'BRIEN: Why would you say -- why do you say that? Why would you not believe, in fact, that he would stop for a period of time before starting up communications again?

DELONG: Most serial killers don't stop until they're caught. Sometimes there is a hiatus. Of course, we know in the -- although he wasn't a sexual serial killer, the Unabomber did stop for five or six years after he thought he had been seen.

It just would be an unusual thing for someone to stop that kind of activity for such a long period of time. I'm simply saying I wouldn't be surprised.

O'BRIEN: What about the role that publicity plays? You kind of mentioned it just a moment ago. He told Larry Hatteberg -- or Larry Hatteberg the reporter said that he wrote a letter in the 1970s that said, "How many people do I have to kill to get my name in the paper?" Very frustrated, in fact, that a letter that had been sent was sort of left in the mailroom and discarded to some degree.

DELONG: Right.

O'BRIEN: Is that typical?

DELONG: It can be. Many serial killers have injected themselves into investigations one way or another, or taunted the police. Sometimes they taunt the family. And other serial killers don't want anything to do with the media.

A famous one that comes to mind, Ted Bundy, never was involved in that kind of activity, and went to great lengths to see that the bodies of the women he killed were not found. So it can go either way. But it's not unusual for someone who has good verbal skills and is glib and gregarious to get involved in activity where they're communicating with the police. Zodiac Killer did it back in the '60s.

O'BRIEN: They certainly want the challenge of that. He's been described -- Dennis Rader, the suspect, has been described as the president of his church, a good neighbor, people loved him. I mean, it is almost, frankly, a cliche.

DELONG: Right.

O'BRIEN: Quiet guy, everybody loved him. You're laughing. Why are you laughing?

DELONG: No, I'm just -- isn't it all just perfect? It made me think of John Wayne -- I'm laughing through my tears, by the way. John Wayne Gacy killed so many young boys, and it turned out he entertained children as a clown.

O'BRIEN: So then is it just typical of that -- I mean, I guess what people always want to know is, explain that dichotomy. How is it that someone could be -- if indeed this man is convicted, can be president of their church group and then also be facing sentencing or facing trial for...

DELONG: Involved in the activities that they're charged with.

O'BRIEN: Exactly. I mean, that, I think, is the hard part for the community to get their minds around.

DELONG: Well, it is hard. But I think we all have multifaceted personalities. We don't all have a secret life where we're killing when no one else knows.

It seems such a dichotomy, but these crimes, as we know, are almost always committed in private. And it's a very, very secret part of the individual's life that he or she is able to compartmentalize and just keep that little killing part of their life over here.

And then during the day, in their waking hours, many of these people are married family men. They're -- of course, we know of nurses and doctors that have been serial killers. And when they're not killing patients, they're taking very good care of them.

O'BRIEN: I'll tell you, much more is going to come out about this. I think it's just going to be fascinating to know what was at the end of the day behind -- behind all of this.

DELONG: Oh, I think so, too.

O'BRIEN: Candice DeLong, nice to talk to you. Thank you.

DELONG: You're welcome.


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