March 6, 2005

A stickler for the rules.

Here's a NYT piece about what a stickler for rules the man accused as the BTK killer was.
[Dennis L.] Rader and his wife of 34 years went to church each Sunday. Sometimes when he left an after-work bar outing to hurry home, his colleagues would privately breathe a sigh of relief; with him gone, they could drink up and tell off-color jokes. As far back as the eighth grade, Mr. Rader was picked for the prestigious school patrol, who carried big red Stop signs and told classmates and drivers when to go and when not to.... [E]xperts on serial killings say that the portrait of Mr. Rader takes that notion of stability, authority and prominence in the community to a level rarely seen.

Details about Rader's public persona in Wichita before his arrest:
In May 1991, Mr. Rader was hired as a Park City compliance officer, a period one resident of this suburb just north of Wichita calls the start of the "reign of terror" for homeowners here. Mr. Rader's critics here say he seemed to sit in his truck, just waiting for something to go wrong with their houses. He took numerous photos of their homes, they said, in search of something awry....

Rhonda Reno said she watched one day as Mr. Rader wandered on the lawn of a neighbor who was ill and unable to mow the grass. Walking the grass with a yardstick, she said, he measured for infractions.

Does this mean we should wonder about people who are overly meticulous about rules? Or does it just mean that someone really good at rules would be able to evade discovery for a long time and thus have the opportunity to carry out a series of murders?

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