Jonathan Groff in the new Netflix series “Mindhunter.” Patrick Harbron/Netflix TNS
Jonathan Groff in the new Netflix series “Mindhunter.” Patrick Harbron/Netflix TNS

BTK

That creepy ADT guy on ‘Mindhunter’? He’s based on a Kansas serial killer

By Amy Renee Leiker

aleiker@wichitaeagle.com

October 16, 2017 04:55 PM

UPDATED October 16, 2017 05:53 PM

If you spent any time checking out Netflix’s new “Mindhunter” television series over the weekend and you’re from Wichita, you might have gotten an eerie feeling from the ADT serviceman who showed up in Episode Two.

The uniform. The glasses. The mustache. His strictness about office supplies.

The fact that he’s from Kansas.

It all seems a little too familiar, right? Warning: Spoilers ahead.

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That’s because the ADT guy is based on Dennis Rader, the BTK serial killer who terrorized the Wichita area for more than 30 years.

The 10-episode series is based on the book “Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit” co-written by former FBI Special Agent John Douglas, who pursued some of the country’s most notorious serial killers. Douglas is the real-life inspiration for Jack Crawford, the FBI agent-in-charge in “The Silence of the Lambs” and Thomas Harris’ other Hannibal Lecter novels.

“Mindhunter” premiered Friday on Netflix.

The series is set in 1977, after Rader had already murdered seven of his 10 victims – many of whom he stalked and strangled. Rader, who called himself BTK — for Bind Torture Kill — worked as an ADT Security Services installer from 1974 to 1988 in Wichita.

He lived in Park City until his arrest in 2005. His murder spree stretched from 1974 to 1991.

Mindhunter’s ADT serviceman first appears in the opening scene of Episode Two and continues making appearances throughout the show, including scenes where he’s shown mailing a letter and practicing tying a knot, according to reports about the show. (Rader sent graphic letters and riddles to Wichita news organizations and police while he evaded capture and used ropes to bind some of his victims.)

The series finale closes in Park City with the ADT serviceman tossing sketches of what appear to be bound victims into a burning barrel outside of a house.

Rader, who is now serving 10 consecutive life sentences in El Dorado Correctional Facility, kept souvenirs from his victims and is known to have a fondness for drawing.

There’s no official word yet on whether the character based on Rader will appear in a second season.

Who is BTK?

Dennis Rader was a husband, a sexual pervert, a Boy Scout volunteer, a murderer, church leader, child killer, stalker. He terrorized Wichita for 31 years. (video by Jaime Green)

jgreen@wichitaeagle.com

Amy Renee Leiker: 316-268-6644, @amyreneeleiker