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As the movie opens, Dennis Rader has been arrested for his string of killings over a period of many years in Wichita, Kansas. Through flashbacks, we see the events leading up to his capture, as well as some of the murders.
Gregg Henry had a very challenging role, and in my opinion, he delivered. Dennis Rader was shown as very normal at times, a kind and caring person. In fact, he was so normal the background music made me think of ice cream trucks. Then he was shown as cruel and unfeeling, but not in a situation necessarily related to any murders. Where the murders were planned, Rader was depicted as quite demented and somehow controlled by an unknown force, with background music appropriate to the situation and sometimes so weird it could not even be called music. After his arrest, Rader described what he had done with almost no emotion, as if explaining how he remodeled a house or something, though sometimes he bordered on demented in describing his actions. He seemed to show no remorse, despite being an upstanding member of the community. I am assuming Henry was able to work with footage or good memories to create his impressions of Rader in custody.
The murders were quite scary because of the special editing and visual effects, which may have made them look less graphic but certainly added to the horror of what took place.
Robert Forster did a very capable job as Jason Madiga, a detective on the case. According to what I have read about the case, he was not a real person, but that does not matter. His performance, and the efforts to solve the case, make the movie worthwhile almost as much as Henry's performance.
It was a better than average fact-based TV movie.
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