Gary Leon Ridgway: The Green River Killer

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In 1982, dozens of young women in King County, Washington, disappeared (McCarthy). Some were murdered and others were brutally discarded around King County. Many of these young women were teenagers. Almost all of the victims were involved with street prostitution and they met their fate while working on the street. For twenty years, theses deaths and disappearances were attributed to the so-called “Green River Killer,” which was an unidentified serial murderer (The Seattle). Detectives and forensic scientists reviewed hundreds of items of physical evidence and interviewed thousands of witnesses but the case remained unsolved until 2001. In 2001, the King County Prosecuting Attorney charged Gary Leon Ridgway with four of these murders because of DNA evidence (The Seattle). In the following year, additional forensic evidence led to three more murder charges. The seven charges implicated Ridgway in only a fraction of the Green River homicides. He was linked to only one of eight major areas where victims’ remains were discovered. After Ridgway was charged with those seven murders, it was speculated that there…show more content…
Ridgway has been married three times and has one son. He carried his son's photo in his wallet to show to victims to put them at ease. He also carried some of his son's toys in his pickup truck for the same reason. He took some victims to his house and often showed them his son's room to demonstrate they had nothing to fear. On November 30, 2001, he was arrested for the murders of four women whose cases were linked to him through DNA evidence. In November of 2003 he pleaded guilty to 48 counts of aggravated murder, although he says he actually killed 90 women or more, almost all prostitutes. The murders occurred in the early 1980s. As part of a plea bargain, he was spared the death penalty and received a sentence of life imprisonment without

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