Kerri Rawson opens herself up to the world in her book, A Serial Killer’s Daughter: My Story of Faith, Love, and Overcoming. Rawson is the daughter of Dennis Lynn Rader, also known as the BTK Killer. When her father’s true nature was revealed to her in 2005, her entire world turned upside down. With all of these mounting secretes revealed, Rawson had to find a way to survive and she was eventually able to do that through her faith.
I am a huge fan of true crime related anything. I have read, watched, and listened to a number of works connected to this topic and I even came out to my mom while she was watching something on Investigation Discovery. Yes, that’s how much true crime is in my life. What I don’t often see are stories of those victims who are related to the killers. Yes, these people are still victims because they have had their lives destroyed in many ways by the crimes of these killers. Rawson was shocked to learn about her father’s dark secret and her book shares her reactions, but also the life that she had lived before and after the 2005 BTK Killer arrest. She shares tales of family vacations, an intense hiking expedition, and even family tragedies that took place before 2005. Religion had been a part of her family life, but when she found herself in a situation that she never would have expected to happen she was able to use her faith. Beyond that she did also attend therapy at a certain point and relied on her husband for support. A Serial Killer’s Daughter shows the grueling task of rebuilding your life when it seems that you have lost everything.
Rawson is a strong writer and she is willing to share a great deal of personal information in this book. Not only does she discuss her family history, she delves into elements of the investigation and trials that she disagreed with and how certain points in this period, starting in 2005, had tremendous psychological impacts. What I wasn’t expecting in this book were the letters and pictures. Rawson includes a selection of letters written to her father and letters from her father to her. She also discusses the point at which she realized she needed to find some sort of way to forgive her father because of her faith. This would allow her to move on and find a way to live her life more fully. The photos for me are a bit jarring, but they do show the seemingly normal life Rawson believed she was living with her family, even when her father was committing brutal crimes. If you enjoy true crime as well as stories of emotional journeys and growth, you should pick up a copy of A Serial Killer’s Daughter today.