House of Mystery True Crime History


Secret Origin of the Golden State Killer: Visalia Ransacker - KEITH KOMOS

Before he was the Golden State Killer, he was the Visalia Ransacker: an unholy mix of man and child, a risk-averse tactician with an animalistic impulsiveness, and a violent, sexually motivated monster with an affinity for shiny objects and pocket change. Eventually responsible for over fifty rapes and at least thirteen murders, the Visalia Ransacker went on to become one of the most notorious serial killers in history. This book examines the fledgling offender before he had the plan, the polish, and the execution. Throughout over 150 incidents, we explore his behaviors, motivations, techniques, and methods as he honed his “craft” on the innocent people of a small agricultural town in Central California. To read this book is to actually witness the birth and evolution of a terrifying and prolific murderer. It’s a full examination of the Visalia Ransacker crime series, a resurrection and an overhaul done with a fresh start and a critical eye. Through the countless details that are presented in this book, a comprehensive collection of facts and information is presented, connections are made, incidents are mapped out, and loose ends are tied between his early crimes and his later ones. Perhaps most significantly, we’re able to unpack the methods and the technology that finally led to an arrest nearly forty-five years later. Join us as we discover the Secret Origin of the Golden State Killer in the Visalia Ransacker series. The crimes that took decades to untangle still have much more to reveal.

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To all appearances, Dennis Rader was a model citizen in the small town of Park City, Kansas, where he had lived with his family almost his entire life. He was a town compliance officer, a former Boy Scout leader, the president of his church congregation, and a seemingly ordinary father and husband. But Rader's average life belied the existence of his dark, sadistic other self: he was the BTK serial killer. The self-named BTK (for Bind, Torture, Kill) had terrorized Wichita for thirty-one years, not only with his brutal, sexually motivated crimes, but also through his taunting, elusive communications with the media and law enforcement. In 1974, BTK committed his first murders -- torturing and strangling four members of the Otero family -- and wrote the police an audacious letter declaring his responsibility for the Oteros' deaths and labeling himself, for the first time, BTK. Thus he established a pattern -- stalking and killing a series of ten victims, then bragging and claiming ownership of his crimes -- that ended in 1991 but left law enforcement confounded and the public with deeply troubling memories. Until, that is, he resurfaced in 2004 with another string of letters that would finally lead to his arrest. Drawing from extensive interviews with Rader's pastor, congregation, detectives, and psychologists who worked the case, and from his unnervingly de-tailed thirty-two-hour confession, bestselling author Stephen Singular delves into the disturbing life and crimes of BTK to explore fully -- for the first time -- the most dangerous and complex serial killer of our generation and the man who embodied, at once, astonishing extremes of normality and abnormality. In Unholy Messenger, Singular recounts the year prior to Rader's arrest, in which the BTK killer reemerged, and the aftermath. Woven throughout are the details of his crimes, elaborate schemes, and bids for public attention, and the wrenching impact his deception had on his family, church, and heartland community.