How to Tell Your Children and Friends That Your Father Is a Serial Killer

Recently, Roy Wenzl profiled a woman named Kerri Rawson for The Wichita Eagle. Rawson’s life was upended a decade ago, when an FBI agent knocked on her door and informed her that the man she’d always known as a loving father was in fact the BTK serial killer. Wenzl’s piece is a compelling and meticulous portrait of a woman slowly coming to terms with the impossible. Below is an excerpt:

When friends questioned whether it was wise for them to have children, Kerri ignored them. She never worried about her kids inheriting a serial killer gene.

When Emilie, at 5, understood what “grandfather” meant, she asked where her grandfather was.

“In a long time-out,” Kerri replied.

Couldn’t Kerri go see him? Emilie asked.

“It’s a really long time-out,” Kerri replied.

Kerri asked friends: “Don’t tag our children” on Facebook. When friends asked why, she didn’t know how to answer them. She told some of them that “my dad did something terrible.”

“What?”

“Just Google me.”

And they would. And then: “Oh.”

Read the story