Gary Leon Ridgeway: The Green River Killer
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"I wanted to kill as many women I thought were prostitutes as I possibly could," Gary Ridgway, 54, admitted in court, to avoid the death penalty, in exchange for life in prison without parole.

Green River Killer Merchandise Hits E-Bay

November 11, 2003 -- Who would want a blood-red T-shirt with the caption: "I was good at choking," and bearing the face of Gary L. Ridgway, the confessed Green River Killer? A guy in North Carolina apparently thought someone might. (Seattle Times)

The Green River Killer Confesses
I just read the table of contents of the Leon Ridgeway case Court Docket. I quickly observed that this isn't just a legal summary -- it's the profile of a classic serial killer. What I really want to know is what we can do about these aberrations of human development. Why do people do this? What could society do to intervene and apprehend serial killers like Ridgeway before victim after victim is added to their case file? What can we do as individuals to spot people at risk? With all we have learned about the minds of serial killers, we are still stymied.
Fortunately, serial killings make up only a relatively low 2 to, at most, 20 percent of homicides, depending on which resource you believe.(1) Each year in the United States, for example, about 800 children under the age of 13 are homicide victims annually, but most are killed by family members or friends. No more than 100 are killed each year by strangers.(2)

The media helps to make serial killing seem like much more of a threat than it really is. We are much more likely to be killed in a car accident than to be a victim of a serial killer, and there are still an awful lot of people who die peacefully in their sleep. So relax, rest easy tonight, chase those nightmares away with the reassurance that at least one more serial killer has been put away where he can't prey on the unsuspecting anymore.

  1. Myth and Murder: The Serial Killer Panic
  2. The Boston Globe: The Boogeyman in the Green Car
Other resources:
Crimetime: The Serial Killer: Transcript from the Big Ideas segment, interview participants include: crime writer and author, Patricia Cornwell; ex-FBI agent, Robert Ressler; forensic psychologist, Louis Schlesinger; others.

The Aetiology of Serial Murder: Towards an Integrated Model
Masters thesis by Edward W. Mitchell

Crime Library: What Makes Serial Killers Tick?

The Sexual Homicide Exchange, Inc.: One Little, Two Little, Three Little Serial Killers... "How many ARE there?"

Journal of Criminal Science and Popular Culture: Review of "Using Murder: The Social Construction of Serial Homicide"
The American Reporter: Round Up the Usual Suspects: We know about child molesters. We have statistics. In other words, we have nothing.

Crime Library has updated and streamlined their story of this serial murder case. Scores of women murdered in the Seattle area resulted in the longest running homicide investigation in US history. Finally, DNA evidence pointed the finger at Gary Ridgway as the killer of some of these young women.

Criminal Minds Readers and Writers Resource Forum

The Victims of the Green River Killer
"They all had people who loved them..."

The Truth About the Green River Killer

October 12, 2003 -- Gary Ridgway should have been caught a long time ago. His choice of victims had everything to do with why he wasn't. (AlterNet)

A North Carolina Wesleyan College professor used the GRK case as an assignment for his students to solve as an exercise in criminal profiling.

The Green River Killer

Green River killer Gary Ridgway pleaded guilty Nov. 5, 2003, to the murders of 48 women from 1982 to 1998, bringing to an end the largest unsolved murder case in the country. The Green River killer is believed responsible for the slayings of the 48 women and possibly many more beginning almost 20 years ago, and was the largest unsolved serial murderer case in the country until he confessed.

Gary Ridgeway was first interviewed as a suspect in 1984 and was held in custody since his arrest by the King County Sherrif's Office on November 30, 2001.
Case Background:
Green River Serial Killer In 1984, Gary Ridgway sent a 2-page letter, anonymously, to a local reporter. This was the only known instance of Ridgway trying to contact the media, and an FBI expert concluded that the Green River Serial Killer had not in fact written it (Ridgway has since conformed having written it). This article, by that reporter, discusses both the letter and the investigation, and includes the text of the letter.

Ridgway Enters Not-Guilty Plea in Green River Case  Gary L. Ridgeway, accused in seven of the slayings
attributed to the Green River killer, pleaded not guilty yesterday in King County Superior Court to the three most recent charges of aggravated first-degree murder. Ridgeway is scheduled to go to trial in March 2004 but his attorneys say they may need another six to nine months to prepare because of the new charges.

Green River Killer Suspect Information Pages  Investigator into the unsolved murders shares what has been learned about potential suspects for the killings in the Pacific Northwest.

Green River Killings News  Furnishes news about the still unsolved Green River killings and about the trial of suspected GR serial killer Gary Ridgway.

True Crimes: The Green River Killer  Offers information on the investigation, suspect, FBI profile, and a discussion list.

Green River Killer: River of Death  Patrick Bellamy tells about this as-yet-uncaught killer of dozens in Washington state.

Crime Web - Gary Ridgway  Recounts the case against the alleged serial killer whose four victims are among the estimated 49 victims of the Green River Killer.

Ridgeway Doesn't Fit FBI's Green River Profile  Site makes comparisons between known facets of the FBI suspect profile, and the information available on the suspect, Gary Ridgeway.

Search For the Green River Killer  Provides an excerpt from the book written by Carlton Smith and Tomas Guillen about the serial killings in Washington and Oregon in the early 1980s.

Murder Charges Filed in Green River Killings  Gary Leon Ridgway of Auburn, Washington, was charged with four counts of aggravated first-degree murder in the deaths of women blamed on the Green River Killer.

Woman Says She Survived Attack by Ridgway  Article from December 2001 reports on Rebecca Garday Gay, a former prostitute who claims to have survived an attack by suspected Green River killer Gary Ridgway.

Ridgway's Homes Turn Up No Smoking Gun  December 2001 account in the Seattle Times notes no bodily evidence found by cadaver dogs on Gary Leon Ridgway's property. Judge accuracy of reports according to an anthropology expert.

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