The Green River Killer

Gary Ridgway


  1. Born: February 18, 1949 (age 66), Salt Lake City, UT

  2. Nationality: American

  3. Education: Tyee educational complex

  4. Spouse:Judith Lorraine Lynch (married 1988–2002)

  5. Children: Matthew Ridgway

Number of kills

Serial killer Gary Leon Ridgway, known as the Green River Killer, murdered at least 49 women in Washington state before he was caught in 2001. He was charged for 49 killings and confessed to killing 75-80 women

How he began killing

Ridgway's slayings began in 1982, when young runaways and prostitutes began disappearing from state Route 99 in south King County, Washington. He brought many of them to his home and strangled them, then left them in woodsy, remote sites. The first few bodies turned up along the now-notorious Green River.

Green River Killer (2005) Trailer

How he got away with it for as long as he did

Ridgway had been arrested in 1982 for attempting to pick up an undercover policewoman posing as a prostitute. Two years earlier he had been arrested for attempting to choke a prostitute (he claimed “self defense” – the prostitute had bitten him while performing oral sex). Also in 1982 he had been approached by the police as he sat in his pickup truck near the little league fields. He had a prostitute in the truck, a prostitute that later herself became a victim of the Green River Killer. In 1984 he had come forth to the police and offered to assist in their search, claiming that he had known one of the victims.

Why he did it

Ridgway claims he killed those women because prostitutes go around spreading aids and deserved to die

Multiple life sentences

Facing the prospect of execution, Ridgway made a deal with investigators to revealed where he'd hidden the bodies of several of the young women who'd never been found while also agreeing to plead guilty to any future cases where his confession could be substantiated by evidence. He was sentenced to life in prison in December 2003, having committed more murders than any serial killer in U.S. history.

Gary Ridgway: Interview with the Green River Killer