This is a review of the audiobook Bind, Torture, Kill. The inside story of BTK, the serial killer next door. It is available on Audible, which is where I purchased it. It is written by Roy Wenzl, Tim Potter, L. Kelly, and Hurst Laviana. The narration is by Keith Sellon-Wright. The regular price is $27.99, but there is of course a discount for Audible members. If you’re not a member, you can get it free as your first book with a new subscription.
First, allow me to say that I was a little disappointed with the narration. It was adequate, but not great. Keith just doesn’t have one of those voices that is really easy to listen to. He did a fine job, he’s just not the best man for the job. Furthermore, the book is a little slow in developing. I posted my thoughts on this about 10 chapters in on Facebook.
Why Bind Torture Kill is slow in developing.
This book is far more than the inside story of BTK. It’s also the inside story of the cops who eventually caught him. Hence, it gives a lot of detail early on about law enforcement officers who have not yet played a roll in the story.
To be fair to the authors, they do inform the reader of their intention to do this. However, to be fair to myself (the buyer) they inform you of this in the preface. Therefore, you have to purchase the book to learn this detail.
I don’t want to belabor this point, because it is still a good book. However I held this slightly negative view of it for a good portion of the book. As I said in my post, I was still enjoying it. I just thought that it could be done better. Until I reached chapter 45.
Chapter 45: The game changer.
I must now point out that my prior assessment of the book was wrong. It was honest and fair, but inaccurate. I was being an impatient listener. However, when the story climaxed with the arrest of Dennis Rader, suddenly all of that background information came to the forefront.
The authors used a backdoor method of character building. I developed an interest in the arresting officers without realizing what was happening. When they caught their man, I was elated for them. What I saw as a flaw in the writing of the book was actually a stroke of genius by the authors. They were right, I was wrong in my assessment.
Back to the story.
Bind Torture Kill takes you through each one of the crime scenes with great detail. Several of the authors were Wichita journalists. Hence, they had inside access and detailed knowledge. I doubt that there is a more in depth portrayal of the story of Dennis Rader’s crimes.
As a fan of true crime stories, I really got into this one on that level. They covered the crimes in a way that was factual while respecting the victims. Furthermore, they covered the investigation in a way that was fair to law enforcement.
I want to stress that point because it took the cops 30 years to catch Dennis Rader. Hence, it would be easy to be highly critical of them. However, the authors are fair. They point out how a high percentage of unsolved murders are crimes committed against victims who are strangers to the perpetrator. This was certainly the case with Rader’s victims.
Bind Torture Kill Final Thoughts
Bind Torture Kill is well written and informative. For fans of true crime, it is worth the investment. It’s slow in developing, but be patient. It’s going somewhere.