Dennis Rader: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Dennis Rader

Getty Images Dennis Rader - mugshot.

Dennis Rader, also known as the BTK Killer, is one of the most frightening serial killers in American history; accused of binding, strangling and asphyxiating his victims, becoming increasingly sexually aroused as he watched them gasp for breath, struggle for air and desperately cling to life. Nothing gave him as much sexual pleasure as watching another person in the throes of death, completely helpless.

If you watched the Netflix series “Mindhunter,” you undoubtedly saw the brief scenes featuring Rader knotting his ropes, staring at his neighbors’ houses and installing security systems, a major hint that Rader will be heavily featured in Season 2.
More information about Mindhunter is available in this article published by Vulture.

The actor playing Rader barely had any lines in the show, and yet, his scenes were absolutely chilling, masterfully playing the sociopathic, methodical and deranged serial killer who played cat and mouse with the police for 30 years, until he made a sloppy mistake that allowed the authorities to finally catch him, as CBS reports.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. On The Surface, Rader Appeared To Be Painfully Normal

Dennis Rader was born in a quiet Kansas town on March 9, 1945. His father, William was a former Marine who supported the family by working as an electrician, and his mother, Dorothea was a homemaker. The Raders purchased a modest home in Wichita, which Rader would eventually inherit from his parents. The Raders were Lutherans and regularly attended church.

Rader joined the Boy Scouts when he was in elementary school. Rader later admitted that he was just a child when he began having violent sexual fantasies involving bondage and torture. Rader admitted to torturing and killing small animals, which is not uncommon among serial killers.

One of Rader’s bondage photos taken of himself as an adult:

After graduating from high school, Rader enrolled in college but only completed two semesters. He worked part-time at a grocery store before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force. Rader served four years and reached the rank of sergeant. He was the recipient of the National Defense Service Medal, the Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon and the Air Force Good Conduct Medal. In 1970, he returned home to Wichita, reports biography.com.

Shortly after returning to Kansas, Rader married his wife, Paula. Paula was a bookkeeper, and Rader worked for the Coleman Company while attending community college, eventually earning an associate’s degree in electronics. Rader went on to earn his bachelor’s degree at Wichita State University and was described as having academic difficulty.

Rader held several other jobs over the course of his career. He worked for ADT Security for a period of time, allowing him to learn about home security systems and how they worked in detail. He got to walk around inside other people’s houses and study them. He knew which homes were protected and which ones weren’t. It was during this time that Rader became obsessed with his violent sexual fantasies.

Rader and his wife had two children. They lived in a normal, quiet, average neighborhood. They regularly attended church. Rader was a scout leader and also worked for his church. Ostensibly, the Raders were completely normal, average, and harmless. Rader had no criminal record whatsoever and appeared to be an upstanding citizen. There was nothing frightening about Dennis Rader.


2. Rader’s First Victims Were a Family of Four; The Oteros, Killed In 1974, Followed By Six More Victims Over The Course of the Next 27 Years

Rader’s crime spree would begin in 1974 when he was 29 years old. He is accused of killing the following victims, whose names, ages and dates and manner of death are as follows:

1. Joseph Otero, 38, January 15, 1974, suffocated with plastic bags;
2. Julie Otero, 33, January 15, 1974, strangled with a rope;
3. Joseph Otero, Jr., 9, January 15, 1974, suffocated with a plastic bag;
4. Josephine Otero, 11, January 15, 1974, hanged from a drainage pipe with a rope;
5. Kathryn Bright, 21, April 4, 1974, stabbed 11 times in the back and torso with a knife;
6. Shirley Vian, 24, March 17, 1977, strangled with a rope;
7. Nancy Fox, 25, December 8, 1977, strangled with a belt;
8. Marine Hedge, 53, April 27, 1985, manual strangulation;
9. Vicki Wegerle, 28, September 16, 1986, strangled with nylon stockings; and
10. Dolores Davis, 62, January 19, 1991, strangled with pantyhose.

A police photo from the Otero crime scene:

There was a seven year gap between the deaths of Nancy Fox and Marine Hedge. Many serial killers will take a break during their crime spree; they take a cooling off period and go dormant for awhile. Rader’s alleged cooling off period, seven years, is considered an extremely long amount of time in comparison to other serial killers to wait in between crimes. Rader was patient; he watched, he waited, and he planned.

Several of Rader’s victims lived in his own neighborhood. He was able to closely observe his alleged targets; noting what time they left for work in the morning, what time they came home, if they lived alone or had roommates, if they locked their windows, if they went for walks on a regular basis and so forth, until he knew their routine, reports CBS News.

Crime scene photo showing Shirley Vian’s legs:

Rader is believed to have derived sexual pleasure from the crimes he is accused of committing. He did not rape his victims; it was a different sort of sexual sadism that Rader is believed to have enjoyed. During his confession to the court, he described becoming extremely aroused to the point of having an orgasm while he watched Josephine Otero die, gasping for breath and struggling against the rope she was hanging from. Rader admitted on multiple occasions that he got a sexual thrill from his alleged crimes, and as a result, much of his DNA was left behind at the various crime scenes.

The following is a 92-page summary of the evidence introduced at Rader’s trial, including graphic and disturbing descriptions of Rader’s alleged crimes:

Summary of Evidence by Laura Kelley on Scribd


3. Rader Sent Taunting Letters & Packages to The Press: Bind Them, Torture Them, Kill Them; Bill Thomas Killman, Cat And Mouse

Rader sent several letters to the press during his crime spree, starting in the 70s. He came up with his own nickname, BTK, which of course stands for “bind, torture, kill.” Rader also signed his letters using a BTK symbol he designed. In his letters, he would throw in details that were not publicly available about the crimes so that the newspapers and police understood that the letters were not hoaxes. Rader seemed to crave attention and recognition for his crimes. He essentially asked the question – what do I have to do to get your attention?

The Wichita Eagle published an article about the BTK murders to mark the 30th anniversary of the deaths of the Otero family. Additionally, an author was planning on writing a book about the crimes. Rader could not stand the idea of someone else telling his story. He sent a letter to the Wichita Eagle from “Bill Thomas Killman.” The envelope also contained a copy of the driver’s license of one of his alleged victims, Vicki Wegerle, as well as photos of her dying. The letter was signed with BTK’s signature symbol used in his earlier letters. The FBI confirmed that the letter was authentic.

Rader sent another letter to KAKE, the local news station. The letter was a coded word puzzle that the FBI was able to confirm as authentic; however, no one was able to decode the message. Rader then began to become even more brazen with his cat-and-mouse game with the police. He left a package in the street containing a graphic letter describing the slaying of the Oteros and a drawing of a female victim suspended from a rope in June of 2004, the way 11-year-old Josephine Otero died. “The Sexual Thrill is My Bill” was written on the drawing. The following month, another BTK package was discovered at a library. The letter referenced a potential female victim who was being targeted. On October 22, 2004, a manila envelope was discovered inside a UPS drop box. The envelope contained cards with images on them. One was of a woman, bound and tied with ropes. Another card had a poem on it entitled “Death to Landwehr.” Ken Landwehr was the lieutenant in charge of the BTK case.

In December, a man walking through a park discovered a package someone had propped up against a tree. The man brought the package home and opened it. It contained a doll, its hands and feet bound together, with a plastic bag on its head (this would later be referred to as a “doll-gram” as CBS News explains. There was something tied to the doll’s feet; a driver’s license belonging to Nancy Fox, who was one of BTK’s victims killed in 1977. The man called the police and KAKE. The items were photographed and documented; however, KAKE agreed not to broadcast anything about the package for fear of giving the killer what he wanted.

In January of 2005, Rader hid a cereal box labeled “BTK” and “bomb” in the bed of a pickup truck parked at a Home Depot owned by an employee. Upon noticing the box, the man threw it in a trash can. Luckily, the box was not destroyed, which will be discussed in more detail below. Surveillance footage of the Home Depot parking lot was reviewed, but the police were unable to get a clear image of the man’s face who put the cereal box in the truck. They were, however, able to identify the vehicle as a black Jeep.

Later in the month, Rader dropped off another cereal box, cleverly joking that he was the “cereal killer.” The box was discovered after Rader sent a note to KAKE. The letter was from “S. Killet” with the Otero residence listed as the return address. The note referred to the cereal box left in the pick-up truck at Home Depot, and police were able to track down the man who owned the pick-up truck before his trash was collected.


4. After 30 Years, Rader Was Finally Caught By An Extremely Sloppy Mistake Involving a Floppy Disk

KAKE received another postcard in February. It contained a message from Rader asking if it was safe to use a floppy disk to correspondence, as The Atlantic explains. If so, Rader asked that a message be printed in the newspaper saying “Rex, it will be okay.” The message to “Rex” was printed, as requested, and a few days letter, a package was sent to the local Fox affiliate in Wichita. The package included a purple diskette labeled as “Test Floppy for WPD review.”

It didn’t take long for investigators to trace the disk back to the Christ Lutheran Church, last modified by “Dennis.” Apparently, Rader thought that as long as he deleted the files that were originally saved on the disk, it would be untraceable, reports The Atlantic.

Investigators were able to locate one Dennis Rader, president of the Christ Lutheran Church. Secretly, the police began to monitor Rader while they subpoenaed some of his daughter, Kerri’s medical records. That way, the familial DNA could be compared to the DNA contained in the semen stains that were found at multiple crime scenes. It was a match.

On February 25, 2005, Rader was driving home when he was suddenly surrounded by a group of police cars. He did not resist arrest and was placed into a squad car, reports the ABA Journal.


5. Rader Made a Full Confession In Court

The charges against Rader are outlined in the following Complaint, State of Kansas v. Rader which was filed in 2005:

Complaint by Laura Kelley on Scribd

Rader initially entered a plea of not guilty, but later plead guilty to the charges filed against him. The following is the transcript of Rader’s confession to the court:

Transcript – Guilty Plea by Laura Kelley on Scribd

In addition to describing the crimes he was accused of, Rader explained his various sexual fetishes, including taking bondage photos of himself, which investigators are believed to have discovered shortly after Rader’s arrest in 2005. After the BTK killer Dennis Rader was arrested on February 25, 2005, police uncovered his stashes of writings, photos, artwork and other assorted items he had kept over the years related to his crimes. He had a bondage fetish and enjoyed wearing the undergarments of his slain female victims. He enjoyed tying himself up in all sorts of ways. Using various mechanisms he was able to photograph himself with a Polaroid camera. During his years as a Boy Scout troop leader, he nearly got caught once when he couldn’t escape his own bonds after tying himself up inside a camper during a scout outing. He eventually worked himself loose.

After testimony was completed, individual members of the victims’ families gave their emotional victim’s statements. Many of the victims’ loved ones chose to speak before the court, describing the heartbreak of losing their loved ones in such a cruel way.

Once the victims’ impact statements were read, Rader had the option to address the court. He gave a rambling speech that went on and on for about 20 minutes. Rader wanted to thank all the people who helped him.

Rader was given the maximum sentence allowed, a minimum of 175 years to life. Rader will not be eligible for parole until 2180.

Rader was taken to the El Dorado Correctional Facility in El Dorado, Kansas. He is said to be in permanent solitary confinement to protect him from the general population.

Rader’s full confession to the court can be viewed here:

4 Comments

4 Comments

JOHN MAYOR

INFORMATION itself, our INTERPRETATION OF INFORMATION, our ABILITY TO INTERPRET INFORMATION, AND THE LACKS THEREOF, are A-L-L one of two things:… either inherently PATHIC, or inherently HUGIÉS!… and so, and thus, necessitating the subsuming of Education’s Model within and withunder the HEALTH MODEL; resultantly, ALGORITHMS themselves, our INTERPRETATION OF ALGORITHMS, OUR ABILITY TO INTERPRET ALGORITHMS, AND THE LACKS THEREOF, are– as well!– A-L-L one of two things:… either inherently PATHIC, or inherently HUGIÉS!… and so, and thus, necessitating the subsuming of Computing’s Model within and withunder the HEALTH MODEL; resultantly, MATHEMATIC INFORMATION itself, our INTERPRETATION OF MATHEMATIC INFORMATION, our ABILITY TO INTERPRET MATHEMATIC INFORMATION, AND THE LACKS THEREOF, are– as well!– A-L-L one of two things:… either inherently PATHIC, or inherently HUGIÉS!… and therefore, and finally, necessitating the subsuming of Mathematics’ Model within and withunder the HEALTH MODEL! – JOHN MAYOR
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Above and beyond Medical Jurisprudence/ Legal Medicine in courtrooms in America, every Justice within America should be MANDATED/ REQUIRED to have a Medical prequalification in Neuropsychiatry, Neuropsychology or Behavioral Neurology… and in addition to the practice of law (and specifically, Constitutional Law)!… before being considered as a bench prospect for an American courtroom! INDEED, THE ENTIRE JUSTICE SYSTEM SHOULD BE BROUGHT WITHIN AND WITHUNDER THE ONLY TRUE UPPER ONTOLOGY IN THE UNIVERSE: THE HEALTH MODEL! – JOHN MAYOR
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Re non-S.P.E.C.T-based Psychiatry vs S.P.E.C.T.-based Psychiatry (see also, The Death Of Psychiatry, by Dr. Edwin F. Torrey)…
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In light of the importance of a principle in Quantum Mechanics known as the Uncertainty Principle, it will eventually be revealed that S.Q.U.I.D. Technoma (i.e., Superconducting Quantum Interference Device technoma) is more efficient and effective than Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (i.e., S.P.E.C.T.) in med(icly) imaging the brain’s “Cognitive Psychophysiougiéology” and its “Cognitive Psychophysiopathology”… and due to the need to be W-H-O-L-L-Y N-O-N-I-N-V-A-S-I-V-E re the measurement/ diagnosis of the brain’s “Cognitve Psychphysiohugiésis” and “Cognitve Psychphysiopathosis”… and specifically with regard the brain’s Quantum Biology (note: the dialogue at 44:16 within the third URL abovenoted)! Nevertheless!… until such time as S.Q.U.I.D. technoma is more readily available, S.P.E.C.T. TECHNOMA SHOULD BE MANDATED FOR ALL ACCUSED WHO ARE BROUGHT BEFORE AMERICA’S JUSTICE SYSTEM ON CERTIFICATES OF INDICTMENT! Furthermore, in the light of the importance of the research findings by the late Dr. John Lorber with regard to “hydrocephalics”, the current emphasis with regard to research into the Frontal Cortex, will have to be reevaluated!…
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The most advantageous area in brain research today (and pertaining, specifically, to investigations into the brain’s PRIMARY CONTROL MECHANISMS, AND FUNCTION!), is the research juncture between the investigation of the Lateral Frontal Pole Prefrontal Cortex of the Ventrolateral Frontal Cortex (see doctors Franz-Xaver Neubert, Matthew Rushworth, and Rogier B. Mars, of Oxford University… and the research findings behind the search engine search result, titled, “Scientists Appear To Have Located the Conscience”, at,
h-t-t-p://timesofindia(dot)indiatimes(dot)com/home/science/Scientists-appear-to-have-located-the-conscience/articleshow/29632772.cms), and the work of the late Dr. John Lorber, of Sheffield University, involving what I’ve labeled, “Cognitively Mature Hydrocephalic Subjects (the latter subjects, reported in Lorber’s paper, ‘Is Your Brain Really Necessary?’)”! And inasmuch, as, I-T M-U-S-T B-E R-E-V-E-A-L-E-D how “Cognitively Mature” Hydrocephalic Subjects are capable of exhibiting NORMAL COGNITIVE CONTROL, W-I-T-H-O-U-T T-H-E P-R-E-S-E-N-C-E of what doctors Franz-Xaver Neubert, Matthew Rushworth and Rogier B. Mars have identified as (what I’ve labeled as!) the “Throne of Conscienceness”: the Lateral Frontal Pole Prefrontal Cortex, of the Ventrolateral Frontal Cortex! In other words, if the Lateral Frontal Pole Prefrontal Cortex is, indeed, the “Throne of Conscienceness (though, otherwise labeled!)” in the view of the aforementioned researchers at Oxford University, then I-T M-U-S-T B-E R-E-V-E-A-L-E-D how Lorber’s Cognitively Mature Hydrocephalic Subjects (yea!… any such persons existing/ extant today!)… AND, THAT/ WHICH DO NOT POSSESS EVIDENCE OF HAVING A LATERAL FRONTAL POLE PREFRONTAL CORTEX!… have been able to demonstrate– and are, today, able to demonstrate!– N-O-R-M-A-L C-O-G-N-I-T-I-V-E C-O-N-T-R-O-L! And… the only T-R-U-L-Y N-O-N-I-N-V-A-S-I-V-E technoma that/ which can provide sufficient “quantum specificity” associated with this yet to be elaborated COGNITIVE CONTROL MECHANISM within “Cognitively Mature” Hydrocephalic Subjects– specifically!– is a Superconducting Quantum Interference Device (or S.Q.U.I.D.!… and due– primarily!– to the requirement to adhere to the Uncertainty Principle in Quantum Mechanics, in one’s measurement of Quantum Phenomena associated with the “Quantum Biologic Epiphenomenon” linked to Cognition!)!… and applied to what is known as the P300 Complex (the P300 Complex… and coupled with approximately a millimeter of neural tissue lining the inside of the skulls of Lorber’s– and similar– hydrocephalic subjects… the only available cognitive substrates within such Cognitively Mature Hydrocephalic Subjects! The S.Q.U.I.D.-measured bioelectromagnetic phenomena of the P300 Complex, having been examined in NORMAL SUBJECTS, by researchers L. KAUFMAN, Y. OKADA, J. TRIPP and H. WEINBERG, at NYU!)!
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[In the study by the late Dr. Wilder Penfield, titled, Mystery of the Mind, Dr. Penfield reveals!… (through his investigations into the mechanisms and dysfunction underlying Psychic Epilepsy, and how the “Centrencephalic region” of the brain’s Cognitive Psychophysiology is impacted by these mechanisms and dysfunction!)… that any “invasive mechanical compromise” of the specific Centrencephalic Region of the brain– e.g., by way of the errant use of a scalpel!– can effect “paranoid-like” symptoms (and worse, a coma or death!)! Likewise, “Environmental compromises” of this region– e.g., through toxins and the use of psychotropic products!– can also invoke similar “paranoid-like” effects!… as can gene abnormalities! And so… to understand the mechanisms underlying Autism– for example!… and how “paranoid-like” symptoms become manifest through the Diencephalonic Region of our respective Cognitive Psychophysiologies!… we must first understand how this region is “hard-wired”… and which mechanisms are at play in its Cognitive dysfunctional expressivity! However!… our respective measurements must be WHOLLY NONINVASIVE! Psychic Epilepsy research is one key to an understanding of Autism!… and, how “Hyper Cognitive Sensitivity”, is made manifest!]
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Please!… no emails!… Jesus is Lord!

JOHN MAYOR

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Well, Netizens!… in the light of the CYBER SEXUAL HARASSMENT, CYBER HATE CRIMES, CYBER IDENTITY THEFT and CYBER SLANDER that/ which Heavy.com has permitted… and of me, and others!… I think it’s time to replace Heavy’s “Moderators”, and Human Digital Rights Breaching “IT Guy”! Either that, or Heavy’s Principals/ NSA/ FBI should “end the experiment”!
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In your search engine search bar, enter: trump lawyers make payout to pornstar
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THE WOMEN’S MARCH 2018
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(The ensuing video ends at 4:16)
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Please!… no emails!… Jesus is Lord!
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P.S.: No wonder why Robert De Niro and Joe Biden wanted to beat the cr*p out of this guy!… and to be honest, I don’t believe it will end well with this character!

JOHN MAYOR

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Hewbrews Chapter 6 declares:…
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4) IT IS IMPOSSIBLE for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5) who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6) and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. 7) Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8) But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned. [NIV]
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Dennis Rader was– and is!– a “SPIRITUAL FAKE”!… and hid amongst the SPIRITUAL SHEEP, in the guise of being a SHEPHERD! Having rejected the ONLY MEANS for his salvation, he was WITHOUT a SPIRITUAL DEFENCE! And the same will be said of all other “Christian pretenders” who have rejected God, and who have used their “Christian station” to DECEIVE!
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IN MATTHEW 7:21-23, WE READ:… 21) “NOT EVERYONE WHO SAYS TO ME, ‘LORD, LORD,’ WILL ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, BUT HE WHO DOES THE WILL OF MY FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN WILL ENTER.” 22) “MANY WILL SAY TO ME ON THAT DAY (I.E., AND, IN PARTICULAR!… ON THE DAY THAT PROFESSING CHRISTIANS WILL STAND BEFORE GOD– FIRST!– AND GIVE AN ACCOUNT OF THEIR COMMISSIONS AND/ OR OMISSIONS!):… ‘LORD, LORD!… DID WE NOT P-R-O-P-H-E-S-Y IN YOUR NAME, AND IN YOUR NAME C-A-S-T O-U-T D-E-M-O-N-S, AND IN YOUR NAME P-E-R-F-O-R-M M-A-N-Y M-I-R-A-C-L-E-S?'” 23) “AND THEN I WILL DECLARE TO THEM:… ‘I N-E-V-E-R K-N-E-W Y-O-U; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE L-A-W-L-E-S-S-N-E-S-S (i.e., L-O-V-E-L-E-S-S-N-E-S-S!).'” [NIV]
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IN OTHER WORDS, THERE WILL BE MANY WHO WILL HAVE SHOWN “S-I-G-N-S” OF HAVING FOLLOWED GOD!… AND TRUTH! BUT WHO– I-N R-E-A-L-I-T-Y!– N-E-V-E-R K-N-E-W G-O-D!… NEVER ACCEPTED THE TRUTH!… AND NEVER TRULY ACCEPTED GOD’S LOVE, NOR THE A-G-A-P-E L-O-V-E OF HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, JESUS CHRIST! AND YEA!… INDEED!… WERE REVEALED AS HAVING DESTROYED OTHERS WHO WERE FAITHFUL TO THAT LOVE!
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To conclude… leaving Dennis Rader’s fallen Spiritual State aside for the moment, let us focus on his Ení̱likoerotopathy, and the state of his Cognitive Psychophysiology! And given what I’ve explored within this thread, it is VITAL that researchers keen on an understanding of the PHYSICAL NATURE of this “DEGRADATION”, begin to investigate the PHYSICAL UNDERPINNINGS of that DEGRADATION!! And that investigation… and given the science outlined by Dr. Daniel Amen!… should include the application of S.P.E.C.T., for a detailed understanding of the NATURE of that PHYSICAL DEGRADATION! And, to eliminate one possible etiology:… a PHYSICAL CAUSE that/ which has gone undetected! And then having removed this from the equation, one is left with but the INFORMATIONAL ETIOLOGY! That is to say, the “INFORMATIONAL NURTURE” of his PERSONAL ONTOLOGY!
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Please!… no emails!… Jesus is Lord!