Serial Killers Week: Gary Ridgway

An area of Washington State had a serial killer afoot. They found a few bodies at the Green River. This serial killer responsible for them was nicknamed the "Green River Killer." He had 48 victims he was later charged with, though he claimed he killed twice that many.

The killer strangled the women, dragged them into the woods and then raped their dead bodies. DNA evidence made the police able to charge Gary Ridgway and he received life in prison without parole because he was willing to share where bodies were dumped.

Born with a domineering mother and violent arguments between his parents, he tended to wet his bed. And, his mother showcased that shortcoming in front of the family. Even from a young age, he supposedly had both loathing for her and sexual attraction to her.

He tested with a low IQ. One year in school, he had to repeat twice. When he was a teen, he stabbed a 6-year-old boy who survived. The victim said that Ridgway commented he had always wanted to know what it was like to kill someone.

After graduating, he married his high school sweetheart. He joined the Navy and went to Vietnam. He saw a lot of prostitutes while on duty and the marriage between the two young people ended after one year. In fact, his first two marriages ended because both of them were having affairs. He continued to seek out prostitutes in his second marriage and even asked his wife to join him in doing sex acts out in public, ironically in places where bodies were found.  He had a third ex wife before long and all the women who had been in his life said that he demanded lots of sex, several times a day and was insatiable.

Throughout the 80s and 90s, Ridgway is believed to have killed 71 women. It is believed by many that it was more than that. He did not keep count. Most of the women were prostitutes or runaways. Sometimes, bodies were posed. Sometimes, he went back to have sex with them again.

Luckily, DNA made the conviction of Ridgway a solid task. He received life without parole in Washington State.

To make his story even more disturbing - Ridgway talked to and tried to make his victims comfortable before he committed the murders. In his own words, "I would talk to her... and get her mind off of the, sex, anything she was nervous about. And think, you know, she thinks, 'Oh, this guy cares'... which I didn't. I just want to, uh, get her in the vehicle and eventually kill her."