Gary Ridgway: the Green River Killer

Topics: Ted Bundy, Gary Ridgway, Robert D. Keppel Pages: 7 (2576 words) Published: March 6, 2013
Gary Ridgway, also known as the Green River Killer, was born February 18, 1949, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Gary Ridgway held a steady job for 30 years, but was married three times through his life. Gary Ridgway got his nickname “The Green River Killer” before they even knew who was doing the killings. In 1982, when Ridgway was 33 years old, he began killing women, prostitutes and runaways, which were his main targets. Gary was one of the suspects when the case was first opened, however they had no proof to legally tie Gary to the crimes; Gary even took a polygraph test and passed (Gary Ridgway Biography, 2012, para.1). They were having so much trouble with this case that, in 1985, serial killer Ted Bundy decided to offer his assistance to the officers working the case (Gary Leon Ridgway: Green River Killer, n.a., p. 1-7). The officers took Gary’s DNA and stored it, waiting for the day it would come that they could use it against him. It wasn’t until the year 2001 that his victims would see justice. King County sheriff Dave Reichert, who was the first officer assigned to the case was the man that brought the cold case out of storage in 2001. They tested the DNA and Gary matched three of the victims, although he would later admit to killing more than 60 women (Prosecutor's Summary of the Evidence, n.a., p. 16). This is more confirmed killings than any other serial killer in the history of the United States. He was sentenced to life in prison. In this paper we will walk through his early stages of life, social behavior, and criminal history. EARLY STAGES OF LIFE

Gary’s parents would move him and his two brothers, Tom and Greg, from Utah and Idaho frequently throughout their young lives. It wasn’t until Gary was nine his parents found a place in Washington to settle in for years and call home. Gary and his brothers grew up poor. The family lived in a 600 square foot house off the Pacific Highway (McCarthy & Thornburgh, 2002, para. 2-4). Their father drove truck when he was able to find work while their mother stayed at home raising the three boys. The boys shared a room and because there was not much room to play inside, they spent much of their childhood outdoors. Their father was not home very often, so the boys spent most of their childhood being raised by their mother. Gary’s brother, Greg, when later interviewed described their mother as a strong woman. She was very dominant and very controlling. Gary once witnessed his mother break a plate over his father’s head (McCarthy & Thornburgh, 2002, para. 2-4). Gary was a very disturbed young boy. He was known to have a very low IQ and to have had dyslexia. He also had many thoughts that were alarming. If we had seen inside his head as a young child we could have prevented him from murdering so many women. The way his brain worked, it was clear that he would become a serial killer in years to come. As a young boy, Gary would fantasize about his mother in sexual ways. She would be outside sunbathing and Gary would look at her out a window and daydream about her (Guillen, 2007). Although Gary thought this way about his mother, he thought about ways of killing her as well. One of the fantasies he had about hurting her was setting the house on fire with her inside; in another he would take a knife to her body and deform her because she cherished her body so much (Guillen, 2007, p. 131). Gary also had disturbing thoughts of a young boy that splashed him when swimming. He is said to have contemplated drowning the young boy for simply splashing Gary with water (Guillen, 2007, p. 14). It is rumored he once did try to drown this boy, but there is no solid proof to this rumor. When Gary was a teenager he had tried to kill a six year old boy (Guillen, 2007, p. 131). Gary took this boy in the woods and stabbed him; the boy ran away and survived. Gary was never punished for this. Whether it was the boy being too scared to say anything or Gary sounding more...
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