Dennis Rader describes
Shirley Vian's murder
WICHITA, Kansas --
Judge Gregory Waller: Let's turn to count number six. In that
count, they claim, on March 17th, 1977, in Sedgwick County, Kansas,
that you unlawfully killed Shirley Vian, maliciously, willfully,
deliberately and with premeditation, by strangulation inflicting
injuries from which she did die on March 17th, 1977. Can you tell me
what you did on that day?
Yes. Before Vian was a... Actually, on that one, she was completely
random. There was actually someone across from Dillon's that was the
potential target. It was called 'Project Green', I think. I had
project numbers assigned to it. On that particular day I, uh, drove
to Dillon's, parked in the parking lot, watch this particular
residence then got out of the car and walked over to it. It's
probably in the police report, the address -- I don't remember the
address now. I knocked, nobody answered it so, I was all keyed up so
I just started going through the neighborhood. I had been through
the neighborhood before. I kind of knew, a little, the layout of the
neighborhood. I had been through the back alleys, knew where certain
people lived. While I was walking down Hydraulic, I met a young boy.
I asked him if he could ID some pictures, kind of as a ruse, I guess,
trying to feel it out. I saw where he went. I went to another
address and knocked on the door. Nobody opened the door so I just,
noticed where he went and went to that house and went from there.
You call these 'projects.' Were these sexual fantasies also?
Potential hits. In my world, that's what I called them. They're
called projects, yes.
And why did you have these potential hits? Was this to gratify some
sexual interest or...
Yes sir. I had a lot of them so it's just, if one didn't work out I
just moved to another one.
Alright. So as I am to understand it, on the 17th of March, 1977,
you saw this little boy go into a residence and you tried another
residence but no one was there.
You tried another residence but no one was there so you went to the
residence with the little boy?
Right, and I watched where he went.
What happened then?
After I tried the residence where no one had came to the door I went
to this house where he had went in, knocked on the door and told
them I was a private detective, showed them a picture that I had
just shown the boy and asked them if they could ID the picture. And
at that time, I had the gun here and I just kind of forced myself
in. I just walked in, just opened the door and walked in and pulled
What gun? What pistol?
A .357 Magnum.
So you only had one gun this time?
What happened then?
I told Mrs., uh, Ms. Vian that I had a problem with sexual fantasies.
That I was going to tie her up and that I might have to tie the kids
up. And if she would cooperate with us, cooperate with me at that
time. We went back. She was extremely nervous. I think she even
smoked a cigarette. We went back to one of the back areas of the
porch, explained to her that I had done this before and I think, at
that point in time, I think that she was sick because she had her
night robe on. I think, if I remember right, she had been sick. I
think she came out of the bedroom when I went into the house. So
anyway, we went back to her bedroom and I proceeded to tie the kids
up and they started crying and got real upset so I said, 'Ah, this
isn't going to work.' So we moved them to the bathroom. She helped
me. Then I tied the door shut. We put some toys and blankets and
odds and ends in there for the kids to make them as comfortable as
we could. Tied one of the bathroom doors shut so they couldn't open
it then we shoved, she went back and helped me shove the bed against
the other bathroom door. Then I proceeded to tie her up. She got
sick, threw up. I got her a glass of water, comforted her a little,
then I went ahead and tied her up and put a bag over her head and
Alright. Was this a plastic bag also?
Yes sir, I think it was but I could be wrong on that. It was
something. I'm sure it was a plastic bag, yeah.
You say you put a bag over her head and strangled her. What did you
strangle her with?
Uh, I actually, I think, on that I had tied her legs to the bedpost
and worked up with the rope, all the way up and then what I had left
over, I looped over her neck.
Alright, then you used this rope to strangle her.
Yes, uh-huh. I think it was the same one I used to tie her with.
What happened then?
Well, the kids were really banging on the door, hollering and
screaming. Then the telephone rang. They had talked about earlier
that the neighbor was going to check on them so I cleaned everything
up real quick like and got out of there, left and went back to my
When you say you cleaned everything...
Well, I mean, put my stuff.. I had a briefcase. Whatever I had
laying around -- ropes, tape, cords -- I threw that in there. You
know, whatever, you know, that I had that I brought in the house.
Had you brought that to the Bright residence also?
There was some.. I think there was some basic stuff but I don't
remember bringing total stuff like I did since some of the others.
Was this a kit that you had prepared?
Yeah, I called it my 'hit kit'.
Alright sir, you left the Vian residence and, had you parked your
vehicle near there?
It was still in the same parking lot there at Dillon's there at
Hydraulic and Harry? Lincoln. Lincoln. Lincoln and Hydraulic.