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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

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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.

7 people found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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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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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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  • Jeff Scott
  • 01-02-2019

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.

66 people found this helpful

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  • M. Waite
  • 30-01-2019

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.

133 people found this helpful

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  • JAD31
  • 29-01-2019

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.

84 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-02-2019

Rawson is strong, but guarded.

I appreciate her journey. I'm happy she was able to put some of her memories about her dad down in writing.
The content was interesting. Sort of. It wasn't real or raw or emotional in any way. It is very stiff and guarded. The opening, where she is informed by the FBI that her father had been arrested is the most "real" part of the book.
She is able to express her fear very well. Her other emotions, not so much. But who can blame her?

As a side note... I was perplexed when she complained about Stephen King's book and how it exploited the victims. King's novella was incredible. And Kerri's criticism was weird. The book in no way exploited anyone. At all. There are LOTS of books about her father that could be considered that way.
So from that admittedly biased perspective, I thought it was odd that the victims played no part in her story. Other than names and the date her father murdered them.

10 people found this helpful

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  • cheryl.farren
  • 29-01-2019

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.

80 people found this helpful

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  • Dawn's got to have it!
  • 03-02-2019

Great book

I loved listening to this. I did it in 2 days. I always wondered how the serial killers family felt. This gave awesome insight. I'm a true crime junkie. I heard about the article done on his daughter on people. I just looked the book up knowing I was going to love it.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Baytown Anita
  • 29-01-2019

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....

44 people found this helpful

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  • Rachel - Audible
  • 29-01-2019

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.

31 people found this helpful

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  • BP
  • 15-10-2019

God? Why didn’t you tell me to not listen to this book...ugh.

This book may have been ok, had there been a different narrator. The author herself has a child-like innocence (too much at times) and the narrator feeds into that. Almost the entire book is spoken in a wide-eyed credulous tone and it gets very old. I think my eyes are permanently stuck in the back of my lids from rolling my eyes so much. I had enough of the “God?” tactic. Every other sentence was “God? Can you help me? God? Are you there?
The actual story was interesting, given from her point of view as the daughter of a serial killer. There were no giant revelations, but I do feel for this woman and what she had to go through. I can’t even imagine.
Maybe slip the audio book and read it if you must.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Julia
  • 04-07-2019

This Book Should Never Have Been Published

My daughter worked with Kerri Rawson's cousin in Arkansas so I believe that this is a true account of what happened to this family. However although Kerri Rawson has really suffered and been traumatised as a result of her Father's crime this book makes her sound like an accident prone, sickly drama queen who is so self centered that you want to shake her! Her constant reference to her religious beliefs were not only excessive but blown up beyond the belief. It felt as if she was inadvertantly trying to shout out loud "I BELIEVE IN GOD. I AM A GOOD PERSON". in order to block out the pain. Her constant 'tears floating down my face" became monotonous.

My family too have been affected by horrendous crime that ended up on the front page of major international papers so I can empathize with her family's situation.

Devon O'Day is a good narrator but a dreadful choice for this book. She really sounded as if she was reading a child's bedtime book and not the writings of a devastated, traumatised woman. It almost felt as if she was going to start it with "once apon a time". and ending with "....and they all lived happily ever after".

This should have remained a personal journal as this woman is still far too traumatized to give a more readable account.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Miss Lauren M Downes
  • 08-02-2019

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!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Andy Ellis
  • 14-05-2019

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Charlotte B.
  • 13-02-2019

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sue Burge
  • 28-02-2021

Disappointing

I was looking forward to reading this book but it was very disappointing
Self-indulgent with so much religious nonsense. Not enough information about the crimes.
Would not recommend

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  • ania
  • 02-01-2021

Boring beginning but ok latet

She constantly talks about god which does not allow
me to take her seriously. Other than this, ok. After boring beginning with too many unnecessary details, it gets better.

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  • Mr. J. Gibson
  • 23-10-2020

Avoid at all costs....

You know how you hide when the Jehovah’s come knocking? Then please by all mercy don’t waste a penny on this tripe. A woman who constantly complains about PTSD, Anxiety and night terrors (not in any way associated to her father) and not to mention pointless stories about her hair in bunches with pigtails and God redeeming her victim status identity. As for the narrator it’s like something from Disney directed toward a child audience. The never ending pathetic moaning and groaning about life in general.
Her father very rarely features with little to no insight.
If you want to hear about camping trips and lots of god awful writing then go right ahead. But I guarantee you that your 3.5x reading speed option really isn’t fast enough to get you through this without wishing a sick joke might have occurred to Miss Rawson.

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  • KM
  • 03-10-2019

Half the book was from the bible

She’s very caught up in herself when actually she lived a pretty normal life and continues to do so. Very religious and there are a lot of bible quotes which is annoying and makes you think this is her excuse for forgiving her serial killer dad. Seems like her mother had the sense to never contact him again. Weird. Voice is whiny but might be because that is how the book is written.

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  • Yeti
  • 29-04-2019

For BTK enthusiasts or Christians only

If you are interested in knowing every little detail about BTK then this is worth a go, there's no particularly shocking new information but you will learn more about how BTK behaved around his family (spoiler: mostly mundane). If you're a Christian looking for a story of overcoming dark times then this will probably also be interesting to you and, to be fair, on the front of the book is printed 'My Story Of Faith, Love And Overcoming' and it does tick these boxes.
The narration is the worst aspect for me, the woman reading this gives it the feeling of some cheesy daytime TV made for housewives, something like Loose Women. She also gives Kerri a child-like voice and intonation throughout the book, and as many of the things Kerri writes about her own actions and thoughts are child-like the whole thing becomes quite irritating, hearing the story of an adult woman told as if she is forever 5 years old.
I have no problems with her writing this book morally, she should be able to tell her story and also make money from it, she's had a rare experience and is guilty of no BTK crimes, she's entitled to make profit from her work.
There's a long section near the beginning about some family trip to the Grand Canyon which I found mind-numbing from boredom and to make it worse I struggled so much to hold attention that I kept having to skip back a few minutes and try again, as I didn't want to have missed any interesting BTK information among the waffle. If I had known beforehand I'd of skipped that entire section, you don't learn much from it.
Also she often recalls memories in a way which seems to me to be highly embellished. Maybe I'm wrong but I don't think Kerri could really recall scenes in this way, knowing the sequence of her thoughts going through her mind, or how her voice sounded, or if she was shaking or whatever, there seems just too much description of her feelings and other details in a way that makes me question the authenticity of these details.
I've not quite finished it yet but am looking forward to doing so asap. Though I am glad that Kerri wrote this, I would of preferred less condescending narration and about 80% of the filler cutting, though the book does deliver on it's title.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-03-2019

A unique story told but the only person qualified

Such an interesting read of a young woman's love & relationship with her father.... And the devastating effects of his crime.
BTK is a scary yet fascinating character. Kerri writes her own story & how she has navigated through the unimaginable. By all accounts one can not help but forget that the father she love is in fact BTK.
This is HER story. I saw an interview when she said "people don't realise, I don't know who BTK is... I just know my father". A brave woman with an awful legacy that some people hold the entire family in some way responsible is just ridiculous. Such a brave memoir.

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