• A Serial Killer's Daughter

  • By: Kerri Rawson
  • Narrated by: Devon O'Day
  • Length: 9 hrs and 6 mins
  • 3.8 out of 5 stars (1,545 ratings)

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A Serial Killer's Daughter  By  cover art

A Serial Killer's Daughter

By: Kerri Rawson
Narrated by: Devon O'Day
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Interview: Listen in as Kerri Rawson talks about the journey she went on to share her devastating and irreconcilable memories of life before and after finding out her father was the notorious BTK killer.

I just fell in love with [Devon O'Day's] voice, 'cause she's so warm... She took very good care of my story.
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  • A Serial Killer's Daughter
  • I just fell in love with [Devon O'Day's] voice, 'cause she's so warm... She took very good care of my story.

Publisher's summary

What is it like to learn that your ordinary, loving father is a serial killer? 

In 2005, Kerri Rawson opened the door of her apartment to greet an FBI agent who shared the shocking news that her father had been arrested for murdering 10 people, including two children. That’s also when she first learned that her father was the notorious serial killer known as BTK, a name he’d given himself that described the horrific way he committed his crimes: Bind, torture, kill. As news of his capture spread, the city of Wichita celebrated the end of a 31-year nightmare. For Kerri Rawson, another was just beginning. In the weeks and years that followed, Kerri was plunged into a black hole of horror and disbelief. The same man who had been a loving father, a devoted husband, church president, Boy Scout leader, and a public servant had been using their family as a cover for his heinous crimes since before she was born. Everything she had believed about her life had been a lie.

Written with candor and extraordinary courage, A Serial Killer’s Daughter is an unflinching exploration of life with one of America’s most infamous killers and an astonishing tale of personal and spiritual transformation. For all who suffer from unhealed wounds; the crippling effects of violence; betrayal; or anger, Kerri Rawson’s story offers the hope of reclaiming sanity in the midst of madness, rebuilding a life in the shadow of death, and learning to forgive the unforgivable. 

©2019 Kerri Rawson (P)2019 Thomas Nelson

What listeners say about A Serial Killer's Daughter

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Couldn't Get Through it

The story is about her finding Jesus with her dad's murders thrown in as asides. Also, the narrator sounds as if she is reading to children. I just couldn't finish it.

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Extremely Boring!

As much as I feel so bad for this woman and her family, her story is a big snooze-fest. The narrator puts no dynamic in her reading. Very, very boring. If you're looking for a story about Dennis Rader/BTK... this is not the book for you. I would not recommend this to anyone.

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Can’t bring myself to finish this mess

I was so excited about this book but after forcing myself to listen to a few hours I can’t go any further. There is very little talk about her father. If you want a book where she describes the color of everything she sees and uses this platform to tell her story of becoming a Christian then this is for you. The narration is awkward and reads more like a children’s book than a book about a serial killer.

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Not For Everyone, But...

I found this book fascinating, but it’s not for everyone. Listeners with a generalized interest in true crime will probably be disappointed. If you can’t at least tolerate the Christian worldview (regardless of your personal beliefs) you’ll find this to be unlistenable. However, for patient listeners, I assure you there could be no weirder listening experience than listening to this book and “Inside the Mind of BTK” by John Douglas back to back. I’ve listened to this book twice now, and all I can say at this point is that I’m seriously fearful the author of this book might one day read “Inside the Mind”. It’s clear she hasn’t, for understandable reasons, but I just....I don’t know. The two books together leave me with so many questions I would be afraid to ask this author (who is, no doubt, a remarkable and courageous woman). If you can read this with a compassionate heart this is well worth your time, but to “get it” you definitely need to know the details of the BTK case from another source/criminological perspective. I’ll be listening to both several more times trying to reconcile the elements of truth both contain.

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Who do you turn to when the bogeyman is your own father?

When Kerri Rawson moved into her first apartment, her dad, Dennis Rader, showed her how to keep its sliding-glass door secure at night. It wasn’t until years later that she learned her father—better known as the BTK Killer—once threw a brick through a neighbor’s sliding-glass door and killed the woman inside.

Such devastating, irreconcilable memories haunt this extraordinary memoir—the most soul-searching, insightful, and compelling account by a serial killer’s loved one (and victim) I’ve ever come across. Rawson’s life was upended when Rader, a Boy Scout leader and church president, was exposed as the cruel predator who had tortured and murdered 10 people in Kansas over nearly two decades. What happened to her after that—the trauma and PTSD, the publicity, the fracturing of her family and entire world—can hardly be overstated. You’re unlikely to hear a memoir this jaw-dropping…ever. But Rawson’s nervy humor, her spiritual candor, and her capacity for compassion make her an endearing, even relatable, heroine—warmly voiced by narrator Devon O’Day.

I congratulate Rawson on writing a terrific memoir that must have taken immeasurable courage. Forget the monster; I want to know where this remarkable survivor is going next.

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Children’s Book Narrator

Unlistenable! what should have been a dramatically -interesting and hearty read was ruined by a narration, only suited for the children’s fairy tale genre. what a huge letdown and what a huge shame -
Once upon a time....

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Can you love a monster?

I've grown to love what memoirs can reveal about our shared humanity when the author is willing to dig deep. True crime, on the other hand, has always given me nightmares. Enter the true crime memoir. It turns out I love true crime memoirs! When super creepy, criminal acts are filtered through the very personal, introspective lens of a memoir, I can handle it. I can stop covering my eyes. I can peer a little more closely into the depths of humanity.

Kerri Rawson's astonishingly candid book about learning her beloved father had been leading a double life as a serial killer her entire life is the mother of all true crime memoirs. It touched me to my core. I'm all for the "complicated father-daughter-relationship" memoir, and it doesn't get any more complicated than "my dad is a serial killer." What I love about this book is how she fully explores the heart's confusion around knowing someone's a monster yet loving them anyway. She's so honest and pure in these moments, and her voice truly moved me.

I also really appreciated the thread of dark humor that she weaves into her story. Being able to laugh at your pain is such a hallmark of surviving crime, trauma, and abuse, and Kerri Rawson has all that in spades. Even in the darkest moments of her story, she tosses out unexpected one liners that endeared her to me even more. She's funny, and it turns out she's also a very talented writer and storyteller.

The first half of the book moves a bit slowly as she describes her family's life "pre-BTK," as in before anyone knew about her dad's double life. But this part of the story still has lots of payoff as it establishes the close relationship she had with her dad, as well as lays the foundations for her religious beliefs that would ultimately see her through her darkest hours. When she finally gets to "after-BTK" about halfway through the book, the story accelerates to lightning speeds, and I had to give myself a few little breaks only because it had gotten so intense.

Even though the cover puts this story squarely in the "true crime" camp, I hope this memoir will find a wide audience as I truly loved it and found it to be a deft and moving account of a life that most of us can hardly even begin to imagine.

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Infomercial for Religion

The subtitle should be “How God is making me feel better about my really screwed up life.” I was really hoping for some thoughtfulness and insight. And obviously this woman has struggled greatly. But this book becomes nothing but a record of all the times that she pleaded with God and got nothing that was really helpful.

The narrator is not bad. But she is reading about magical and childish thinking. So while she does the best that she can, she doesn’t add anything.

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Great if .......

Let me start by saying I understand that people deal with stuff in different ways. When I bought this book I expected more about Dennis Rader as a father but instead it’s like 30 percent god talk and that’s a bummer.

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Not good

I can’t believe I sent my hard earned money on this!!! What makes the daughter of a killer interesting.......not much!!!

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  • Miss Lauren M Downes
  • 02-08-19

True crime? Nope!!

Honestly the worst audiobook I’ve ever had the misfortune of listening to.
I’m not sure what I expected with this book, as a true crime ‘enthusiast’ I at least expected to learn something about the BTK case I hadn’t already known. I finished this book not having gained a single fact. About anything.
I cannot stress enoughthat this is NOT for fans of true crime, if that’s you, keep moving, this book is not for you. You will be extremely disappointed, it shouldn’t be listed in true crime, because apart from the fact the authors father is Dennis Rader, it may as well be listed in cooking for all the similaries it shares with true crime!
This book starts out like a bad entry into a teenage girls diary and the only time it diverts from that narrative is when it segways into bible verses! Neither of these areas hold any interest for me!
I have read other books by relatives/friends of serial killers and found them a fascinating insight into the struggles to accept, understand or even forgive what their loved one has done, this book? Any time that she begins to face any kind of peril she simply recites verses of the bible.
Four years ago she publicly attacked Steven King for basing one of his books on her parents marriage, she said that King was ‘exploiting my father’s 10 victims’, I should have known this book was utter rubbish when she personified hypocrisy by writing the damn thing!

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  • Charlotte B.
  • 02-13-19

Just wanted to write an autobiography

“A Serial Killer’s Daughter”
Synopsis: although the title leads people to believe it’ll be about the heartbreak of the author’s discovery that her Dad is BTK, actually is the autobiography she wouldn’t have been famous enough to publish without using the name Dennis Rader.
This comes after recent digs at established authors and documentary makers for giving her Dad the attention he “doesn’t deserve” and profiting from the heartbreak of the victims’ families. Guess she wanted in on those profits.
I mean, none of us would turn down the chance to make some cash and she’s doing it the only way she can, but she could at least TRY and make the content match the title and she really should have asked someone to write it for her because she never was and never will be a writer. And to be honest, I think she’s said too much about how she feels about giving BTK any more notoriety to suddenly appear with her book and it’s just too late.

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  • Andy Ellis
  • 05-14-19

Fascinating insight into a struggle for survival

I know these memories and reflections must have been exceptionally painful to write. My heart truly breaks for you. I hope that it was at least to some extent therapeutic for you to write and I pray you find some peace as you make new and better memories with your children. The book has been so illuminating into just how devastating one person's actions can be on so many lives.

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  • Guy
  • 11-26-23

The honesty

A story that had to be told- very brave. Hopefully this will give some insight inti how a ‘double’ life is a cry for help.

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  • pink
  • 11-11-23

Didn’t enjoy the narrater

Slow story , Some interesting parts but overall I just wanted it to end . The narrater was my least favourite part of the audio book

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  • B. Presland
  • 08-12-23

Repetitive and boring.

Don’t waste your time. I understand this was probably an act of therapy for the writer but frankly, it’s incredibly uninteresting of a story. There’s endless chapters about a hiking trip that were vastly unnecessary, constant repetitive psalm readings and frankly - an over romanticised memories of little substance. I understand this is about the authors experience and not necessarily her fathers crimes but it felt full of flowery descriptions of inanimate objects and more about God than much else.
I forced myself to finish it but I really wish I hadn’t, save yourself a credit. There’s much better stories out there, from people who have also experienced the trauma of a relative having committed terrible crimes (such as Love As Always, Mum xxx)
This just really wasn’t for me.
The voice actor was decent though.

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  • paula
  • 07-18-23

utter rubbish

this was the biggest waste of 9 hours of my life. it has very little to do with her dad being a serial killer and all to do with her "wow is me" attitude to life. if you want to be preached at give it a read, otherwise note, this is just her making money off her dad's name, not story

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-30-23

Awful and somehow boring

Very poorly written, boring. Don’t know how this got published other than to capitalise on serial killer father. Narration was terrible. Lasted just under two hours and gave up.

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  • Holly C
  • 04-02-23

This is about Christianity not really BTK

I didn't manage to finish. I can sympathise with the author through the tragedies in life, but this is a "come to Jesus book". Unless you're very religious or looking for a story about finding God I wouldn't bother.
The narrator does a good job, but I just didn't find this interesting.

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  • Rebecca Egerton
  • 10-31-22

This is a religious memoir not true crime

I was SO excited to read this book, who better to write about the BTK than his own daughter? Unfortunately it is less true crime and more about her religion and journey to God, but she also just so happens to be BTK'S daughter.

Whilst I understand this lady may have leaned on religion to get her through the bad times, this book was absolutely full of angsty monologues to God (and that's before the murders even happened)

I had to DNF this and recommend that if you are into true crime you don't read this book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-04-19

Insight but too religious.

I found this book interesting, but in regards to religion it is far too religious, if I had known there was so much religious talk in the book I would not have read it. I am comfortable with my religion, & find people who are extremely religious quite hard to take.

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  • kathleen
  • 03-04-19

boring as bat poo

oh my gosh, if I could give this negative stars I would. the narrator is so slow and slow bad I had to almpst double the speed for her to dmsound normal. At normal speed she sounded like she was trying to convey something very simple to a naughty and stupid child.

The book itself shouldn't be in true crime it should be wherever they stick Christian books. Rawson has little insight into her father's behaviour and focuses a lot of the book on how normal their family is. thiugh she describes her father as a pressure cooker she never says what happens when he explodes, he is never abusive- oh except for the two times he tried to strangle her brother. I feel like there probably were behaviors that weren't normal that she just doesnt want to focus on.

So much of the book is focused on Rawson and her family, there is such a me me me vibe, between the narrator and this selfish attitude I just couldn't finish it. I really didnt want to waste s few more hours to hear how she eventually forgives her father (cos I'm sure she will) even though it isnt her place and he doesnt deserve it. If you want to learn how a woman finds God on a camping trip this is the book for you, if you wanted any kind of real insight into how people live with a serial killer for 30 years look elsewhere.

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  • Anonymon
  • 02-13-19

An amazing story

Kerri shares the story of her life before and after the charging of her father with horrific crimes.
We get to know the father who is like any other in his devotion and care for his family. The many camping trips and love for the outdoors, the strict upbringing and generally the reliable guiding figure for his wife and two children.
She conveys very well the struggle between not recognising the killer but still finding she loves the ''father she knew' until well into her twenties''. I struggled with her when the FBI called and she to's and fro's between "no that's impossible'' to ''hang on... he wasn't home that day'' discussions.
How does a person deal with such a tremendous shock which just keeps on shocking, day after day with each new revelation or memory.
Kerri succeeds in sharing the horror which keeps at her, while at the same time feeling the need to write to the man who has destroyed all their lives.
In keeping with her father's calculated, self absorbed, psychopathic character, he still manages to sound relatively normal and entitled in his letters back to her.
The family of this killer were as much victims as the families of those who were taken out of this life by the hand of Kerri's terrible parent.
It's an eye opener and I'm pleased to have heard it.

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  • Hank
  • 04-30-21

Great story of faith and PTSD

I found out about this book through a Christian book store so being a true crime buff and a Christian I was compelled to read it. And I think she got the balance right in the book in terms of faith plus the details of the murders committed by her father. If you want a focus on just the gory details of the crimes, you won't find that in this book. Instead it talks about the crimes in the context of her families mental and emotional health after they found out what he was doing in secret and the face he put up to conceal it. It's a story about a family being betrayed by a father who was to a significant degree a Jekyll and Hyde type character. My heart and prayers go out to the family of the victims. My prayers also go out to the killer's family. Recommend.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-10-19

BTK is my dad.

My heart breaks for Kerrie reconciling her truth. What an amazing insight to a story that spanned decades & facinated the media. I thank her sharing her difficult story.

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