The Green River Killer: Ten Years Later
November 30, 2011, 12:00 am
Today marks the ten year anniversary of the arrest of Gary Ridgway, the most prolific serial killer America has ever known. The Green River Killers' spree lasted two decades, possibly because he was the man everyone disregarded. Ridgway was small in stature and far from bright. But he didn't let that stop him.
From the beginning of 1982 to the end of '83, thirteen women were found dead, and over 24 were missing. All were young women who were prostitutes or runaways. Several people that know Ridgway still cant believe it to this day, including his latest wife who thought she was married to the perfect man. Even after true crime author Ann Rule learned her lesson with Ted Bundy, working side by side as friends, while unknowingly chasing him. Even she was fooled by Ridgway who lived less then a mile away.
After his first of many divorces Ridgway ended up with a son, Mathew, who was even brought to a murder. Lead investigator Jeff Baird says Ridgeway enjoyed every bit of it. Ridgway killed so many women, including possibly mother of NBA player and former Trail Blazer Martel Webster. He told police that the prostitutes he killed were completely expendable, and less then human. Even so cold that he couldnt even remember faces, names, and where he disposed of the bodies.
After DNA technology progressed, police were able to link Ridgway to the murders, from semen found in a victim (he would often have post-mortem intercourse with them) , as well as microscopic paint molecules found only where he worked (painting trucks for an upscale shop) . In the end Ridgeway confessed to killing 71, but investigators believe the number was more than a hundred. Ridgway was not put to death because of deal struck for him to disclose where he hid the bodies and to give a more accurate account of who he killed to provide closure for survivors of the victims.
Listen to interview with famous true crime author Ann Rule
on her reflections on the Green River Killer: