Terror in Washington State beginning in 1972 through as late as 2001 one man committed more serial murders than any other American killer. The bodies of prostitutes as young as 16 years old began showing up along the Green River banks. Gary Leon Ridgway was 16 when his life of crime began but it wasn’t until age 22 he began to make a career of it. In the 1980s and through the 1990s the Green River Killer dominated the news and police. Former Sheriff David Reichert stayed on the case from the beginning. It wasn’t until 2001 with the help of well preserved DNA from the 80s that police were able to put a name on the monster and begin giving justice to the families of the victims. In between 1982 and 1984 Ridgway said he killed 42 women while having custody of his son every other weekend.
Gary Leon Ridgway was born February 18, 1949 in Utah. He was the middle of 3 sons and grew up in a middle class neighborhood in town outside Seattle called SeaTac. He was a dutiful son and close to his mother. His father was a bus driver who often complained about prostitutes on his route. Gary was a chronic bed wetter into his late teens and has said he remembers his mother would often bathe him when she found out. He said she would also humiliate him in front of family and friends. He had expressed strong sexual fantasies about his mother along with intense hatred. He was described as having a severe Oedipus complex which could explain his hatred for women.
At age 16 Gary acted on one of his homicidal tendencies. He lured a 6 year old boy into the woods and stabbed him. He said he ‘just wanted to know what it would feel like.’ He admitted to dabbling in arson and once suffocated a cat. He was a ‘D’ student with an IQ of 82 and barely made it through high school. His friends from school said he was the type to always be in trouble. Not really acting up but they said all he had to do was open his mouth and he would be in trouble. Neighbors described his third marriage as great,...
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