Thursday, March 26, 2009
Charlie Otero entered a prison again last week, but this time it wasn't to serve time--it was to serve.
The man who lost nearly his entire family to BTK has been through a life of wandering, drinking and breaking the law.
Now, he’s getting a second chance and he wants to tell his story to those who need it most. Charlie Otero made his first stop at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility to speak to the inmates.
He told the inmates about his idyllic childhood. He rode mini bikes and was the head altar boy at church.
“A man came into my life one day. His name was Dennis Rader. He slaughtered my family, tortured everybody. The minute I came home, opened the door and looked at my mother, I lost my faith,” Otero said.
Charlie Otero told the inmates about being a wandering teenager and an adult who broke the law, lived recklessly and drank incessantly.
Twenty-five years after BTK slaughtered his family, Charlie Otero ended up in prison. He calls it a blessing in disguise because he came to realize he was wrong and started talking to God again.
Charlie faced another big challenge on his path to change. When BTK resurfaced, so did the hate and rage from his old life.
“I started working out, pumping iron like an animal and I thought, ‘When I get out, I’m going to get even,’” Otero said.
The inmates could relate to Charlie’s story. One asked if Otero has forgiven Dennis Rader.
“This Rader problem…it is a struggle I have in my heart and soul. I ask my maker, ‘God, when are you going to let me forgive?’” Charlie replied.
In the past few years, through faith and determination and by surrounding himself with supportive people, Charlie has thrived.
Recently, he moved back to Wichita with his girlfriend, has a steady job, faith in God and a chance at what he calls a regular life.
“I decided to grab a hold of it and run with it, and take it, because this is my second chance. My second chance for a good life. Just like freedom is a challenge for you guys, a second chance for a good life,” Charlie said during his visit.
Charlie Otero spent 20 years doing everything he could to give his life away. Now he has committed himself to serve in the name of hope.
“I can’t believe I’m coming to prison on my own. What’s wrong with me? And I thought, ‘I have to do this. I want to do this,’” Charlie said.
If you are interested in contacting Charlie Otero or requesting that he speak at your facility,
send an email by clicking here.