Thursday, October 2, 2008

BTK - and The Redemption Of Charlie Otero # 6

Charlie Spent A Week at Joe's bedside. He told the boy how much he loved him and promised to take him hunting and fishing as soon as he got better. Joe gave no sign of hearing his father but did emerge from his coma three months later. His mother nursed him back to health at home. Charlie visited Joe when he could and called him several times a week.

Now, at 20, Joe has some cognitive and memory problem as a result of the accident but has recovered sufficiently to work 2 part-time jobs. He hopes to go to college someday. And he adores his father. "He's lovely, caring person," he says. " We talk about everything - life - work, home. It's great to know he's finally there."

Charlie is determined to right other important relationships. He's working to restore ties with his 2 daughters, now teenagers, who had been placed in his brother's custody shortly before Charlie went to prison.

He has found a nurturing mate in Linda Evans, a Wichita native who attended the trial as part of her job aiding victims' families. "I've seen him blossom since the trial," she says. "The anger has gone away."

Charlie and sibling Carmen and Danny..

The couple share a house trailer with 2 small dogs in Albuquerque. They travel at times around the country to screenings of a new documentary movie, The Feast of the Assumption; The Otero Family Murders - made by another former Wichitan, Marc Levitz. Charlie talks to audiences about his story, hoping it will help others find solace in hard times. He's taking a course to further hone his public speaking skills.

Charlie still believes there's more to the Otero family murders than Rader admitted - he has never fully let go of his conspiracy theory. But with the killer locked away forever in a maximum security cell, Charlie no longers dream to death.

Instead, he's busy remaking his life. "If there's heaven, I want my mum and dad to look down and be proud," he says. " I want my family to know O'm going to make it."

Credit : reader digest - By KENNETH MILER.

BTK - and The Redemption Of Charlie Otero # 5

BTK sent nine more notes and packages to the media and police over the following months. Two were decorated with New Mexico-themed postage stamps, which Charlie interpreted as directed at him. But the most astonishing communique’ came in December. It was a call to Charlie from a 16-year-old Wisconsin boy named Joseph.”This is your son,”said the voice on the phone.”I’m looking forward to meeting you.”

Charlie walked out of prison into a cold rain on January 3,2005, ready to make amends with the world. The first person he invited was his sister Carmen, now a mentor to at-risk kids in Albuquerque. He apologised to her for his years of estrangement, and the two spent the afternoon talking as they hadn’t since childhood. Later he called Danny, who was working working as a cable installer in Phoenix. Their conversation had the same tone of forgiveness, and they vowed to stay in closer touch. He got a room at a halfway house not far from Carmen’s place and found a job as day labourer.

He was clearing brush on a landscaping job next month when he got a call from Carmen.”They got him,” she said, and Charlie’s adrenaline pumped so intensely that he uprooted shrubs as they were dandelions.

DENNIS RADER, a 59-year-old Cub Scout leader and father of two, confessed to ten murders as the BTK killer. Radder was the complaince officer for a Wichita suburb and a president of the congregation at the Christ Lutheran Church. He had remained undetected for 31 years, until he sent police message on a flobby disk that was traceable to his church computer. Investigators also abtained a DNA sample from Radder and it showed a strong resemblance to samples taken at several BTK crime scenes.

Charlie and his sibling attened Rader’s trail, listening as he describedwithout remorse how he stalked their mother, Julie, and young josie, planning to torture them to death after getting rid of Joey, and how he’d clipped the phone line and wait by the back door for a chance to get in. Radder said he’d been surprised to find Joseph Sr. home that morning but had a pistol to keep the situation under control.

During Rader's testimony, Charlie kept himself calm by thinking of the people who cared for him, his long-lost family members and the hundreds of strangers who'd written to him after seeing him on TV.

" I want to kill him, " Charlie says of Rader, "but I didn'y want to hurt them."

At Rader's sentencing, Charlie, Danay, and Carmen cried as prosecutors showed photos from the crime scene inside their neat white house. BTK would soon be condemned to ten life terms. But for Charlie, any sense of resolution would have to wait.

During the lunch break, he got a call from his ex-girlfriend lynette: Their son Joseph, 17 years old, had been hit by a car while riding his bike near his Wisconsin home. He was in a coma, and the doctors didn't know if he'd live.

People rules forbade Charlie to travel without permission. He worked the phones, wrangling with the authorities to allow him to fly the next day to Wisconsin. But before leaving one tragedy behind for what could be the beginning of another, he planned to address the court.

The next morning, family members of the victims spke with restraint and dignity. When it was Charlie's turn, he stood ramrod straight. "Dennis Rader did not ruin my life," he said in a strong, clear voice. "He caught me to challenge my faith, separated me from my loved ones, and changed my future forever... ... ... but despute Dennis Rader's efforts to destroy my family, we survive."

Carmen spoke, too, mourning those she lost. Then the three siblings embraced, and Charlie boarded a plane to meet his son, Joseph Otero Shafer, for the first - he hoped not the last - time.