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The Green River Killer

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Presented By

Bonnie M. Wells

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Gary Leon Ridgway

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Nicknames: Green River Killer, Green River Gary

Classification: Serial Killer

Born: February 18, 1949, Utah

Status: Married, one son.

Employment: Painter, Paccar/Kenworth Truck, Renton, Washington.

Arrested: November 30, 2001

Charged: December 5, 2001, four counts of aggravated murder.

Plea: December 18, 2001, not guilty

No. Victims: 4-49+

Active: 1982-1984, possibly until his arrest in 2001

Victim Profile: Young hitchhikkers, drug-addicted prostitutes

M.O.: Picked up women off streets, dumped their bodies in out-of-the-way wooded areas.

Location: Seattle, Portland, Tacoma and possibly Vancouver.

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Ridgeway is accused of killing Opal Mills, Marcia Chapman and Cynthia Hinds. Eventually, 49 murders would be attributed to Ridgeway.

In 1984 Ridgway had a brush with a Seattle policewoman posing as a hooker but was released. He was again questioned by the Green River task force after witnesses identified his pickup truck and said he had been seen with two of the victims. Fortunately, he was never taken off the suspect list. In 1987, Ridgway complied with a court order to chew on a piece of gauze to collect a saliva sample. Using cutting DNA techniques, the saliva was tested again in March and the results matched him the three of the 1982 crimes scenes.

Authorities found bone fragments and other evidence in the homes of suspected Green River Killer, Gary Leon Ridgway.

According to court documents, detectives took envelopes containing bone fragments, boxes of latex gloves and a copy of the book "The Search for the Green River Killer" from four homes where Green River Gary -- as he was known by co-workers -- lived.

The documents also offers graphic details of Ridgway's sex life, as described by two ex-wives, girlfriends and prostitutes. They also recount alleged incidents of past violence toward women.

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A Canadian Connection?

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Gary Ridgeway reportedly spent time in and around Vancouver where 45 women have disappeared.

Ridgway's neighbors said he and his wife Judith frequently traveled in their motor-home to British Columbia and Oregon.

Following Ridgeway's arrest, Canadian investigators visited authorities in Seattle to gather information about the suspect. Vancouver Detective Jim McKnight said police and RCMP have taken statements from Vancouver prostitutes who said they recognized Ridgway.

"There's some indication that he was in B.C.," McKnight told Seattle's KING-TV. "I can't be too specific because I don't know for sure yet." The Vancouver disappearances began in 1984, at about the same time that the Green River killings ended.

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Composite Images, Unidentified Victims

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The skeletal remains of these women were found between 1984 and 1986.

Gary Ridgway admitted to killing all of these women; pled guilty to their murders in late 2003, and is serving life in prison. However, Ridgway could not supply any significant information that would assist in the identification of these women. He did imply that all were killed in the spring or summer of 1983.

Over the years, the Green River investigators have logged thousands of hours poring over lists of runaways, missing persons, prostitution arrests, DSHS lists, and tips from the public in their efforts to identify these women. The possibility exists that any of them could have come here from another state. Recently, the following clay reconstructions were done by National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to assist us in identifying the women. Hair styles are only a ‘best guess’.

If you have any information that you believe will help in the investigation, use the link below to send an e-mail to the detectives. Or call 206-296-7530.

Send an e-mail to the detectives: Greenrivertips@ metrokc.gov

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November Story Page Starlight Inner-Prizes

Bonnie M. Wells


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This page posted Nov. 2007 // BMW