Gary Leon Ridgway

By: Mahaganey Brown

Education

Gary graduated from Tyee High School, he served a short term in the U.S. Navy

Job

Gary was a truck painter and he had garage sales often.

Biographical Information

Mr. Ridgway was born in Utah and raised in Seatac, he was born on February 18, 1949 . He married a Seattle woman at the age of 24, and they had a son together. Gary moved out of the house with his wife before his son turned 5, he divorced his wife at 33. He paid $275.00 fro child support every month, and saw his son every other weekend.

Significant Events

  • 1972-1978 John Wayne Gacy of Suburban Chicago killed 33 young men and boys. He was executed in 1994.
  • August 17, 1982 LA Dodgers beat Chicago Cubs, 6-5, in 21 innings.

Details of Crime

Ridgway said in most of the murders he didn't know the women names. He killed them the first time he ever met them and never remembered their faces. Mr.ridgway said he killed most of them in his house but he killed more of them in his truck not far from where he picked them up. He had a plan to kill as many women that he thought were prostitutes. When he picked up the prostitutes he made them his victims because he hated them and didn't want to pay them for sex. Gary knew they wouldn't be reported right away because they were prostitutes. The other part of his plan was where he put the bodies. He took their jewelry and clothes to get rid of evidence, he put most of the bodies in groups. Ridgway did that because he wanted to keep track of the women he killed. Most of his victims were hookers, drug addicts, and runaways, he killed them and dumped their bodies off roads and in the Green River. He confessed to murdering 48 women during a 16-year terror spree.

Victim Information

Victims profile: Wendy Lee Coffield (16) / Gisele Ann Lovvorn (19) / Debra Lynn Bonner (23) / Marcia Fay Chapman (31) / Opal Charmaine Mills (16) / Terry Rene Milligan (16) / Mary Bridget Meehan (18) / Debra Lorraine Estes (15) / Linda Jane Rule (16) / Denise Darcel Bush (23) / Shawnda Leea Summers (16) / Shirley Marie Sherrill (18) / Colleen Renee Brockman (15) / Alma Ann Smith (18) / Delores LaVerne Williams (17) / Gail Lynn Mathews (23) / Andrea M. Childers (19) / Sandra Kay Gabbert (17) / Kimi-Kai Pitsor (16) / Marie M. Malvar (18) / Carol Ann Christensen (21) / Martina Theresa Authorlee (18) / Cheryl Lee Wims (18) / Yvonne Shelly Antosh (19) / Carrie A. Rois (15) / Constance Elizabeth Naon (19) / Kelly Marie Ware (22) / Tina Marie Thompson (21) / April Dawn Buttram (16) / Debbie May Abernathy (26) / Tracy Ann Winston (19) / Maureen Sue Feeney (19) / Mary Sue Bello (25) / Pammy Avent (15) / Delise Louise Plager (22) / Kimberly L. Nelson (21) / Lisa Yates (19) / Mary Exzetta West (16) / Cindy Anne Smith (17) / Patricia Michelle Barczak (19) / Roberta Joseph Hayes (21) / Marta Reeves (36) / Patricia Yellowrobe (38) / Rebecca Marrero (20) / Unidentified White Female (12-17) / Unidentified White Female (17-19) / Unidentified Black Female (18-27) / Unidentified White Female (14-18)

Evidence

Prosecutors had DNA linked to Gary to some of the green river victims, but they also had other physical evidence. Some of the physical evidence was that Ridgway worked at Kenworth truck plant for at least 30 years, it was a link between the truck company and killing sites. Metal containing aluminum was recovered from 5 dump locations, there was 5 bodies found at those dump locations, he was charged with 4 of the murders at the time. Court papers says that sperm was recovered from a victim's body long ago that matches Ridgway's DNA.

Outcome of Case

Ridgway was caught in 2001, he admitted to murdering 75-80 women along route 99 in South King County, Washington. He was convicted and charged with multiple life sentences. Ridgway was facing the prospect of execution, he made a deal with investigators to tell where he had hidden the bodies of the other women that has never been found while pleading guilty to future cases. On December 3, 2003 he was sentenced life in prison.

Whereabouts

Ridgway is at Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, the Washington Department of Corrections.

Citations

  • Newton, Michael. The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers. New York: Facts on File, 2000. Print.
  • "Truck painter guilty of killing 48 women." St. Petersburg Times [St. Petersburg, FL] 6 Nov. 2003: 1A. Biography in Context. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.
  • "Armstrong, Jane. "Green River charges laid: Seattle man accused in case that baffled Washingtn homicide detectives since 1982." Globe & Mail [Toronto, Canada] 6 Dec. 2001. Biography in Context. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.
  • "Green River Killer." Encyclopedia of Capital Punishment in the United States. Louis J. Palmer. Jefferson: McFarland, 2008. Credo Reference. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.