Ordinarily, a chatty criminal is one who will get himself caught, unwittingly giving away details the police can use to track him down. But for a while at least, Rader proved to be every bit as smart as he thought he was, avoiding capture by making several photocopies of his letters before finally mailing them, and otherwise making sure to leave no evidence in his correspondence that could be traced back to him. He would fall into bouts of silence for years at a time before reinitiating contact with police, until finally, in 1991, the killings and the letters just stopped. If it had ended there, Rader might have remained free for the rest of his life.
But then, in 2004, he started right back up again, leaving untraceable letters and packages around the Wichita area. Rader had apparently grown tired of all the tedious photocopying that went into sending an untraceable letter to the police, and decided to look into this newfangled "computer" stuff that seemed to be all the rage. In the trademark fashion of a person who has little to no idea how computers or the Internet work, he literally sent police the following message:
"Look, be honest with me. If I send you a disk will it be traceable? Just put [the answer] in the newspaper."
He may be a bloodthirsty, sadistic killer, but by God the man has a sense of fair play.
Yep, he came right out and asked them if they could trace the disk back to him. This was information he just as easily could have Googled on his own, but somehow, that never crossed his wicked-smart mind.
The police, naturally, lied and said the disk could not be traced, and lo and behold, Rader's next package contained a 1.44 megabyte floppy disk. Metadata on a deleted Word document on the disk indicated that the last person who modified it was a man named Dennis and had information pointing toward a church where he volunteered. After that, it took just a scant amount of investigative work before police were able to arrest Rader and charge him with several murders.
With his arrest, the ailing floppy disk industry finally collapsed.