Gary Ridgway 2001 Mugshot
Kings County Sheriff's Office
The Green River Killer
Name: Gary Leon Ridgway
Born: 18th February 1949 in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Nickname(s): Green River Killer, Green River Strangler
Number of Victims: 49 (convicted), 70+ (confessed to), near 100 (predicted)
Modus Operandi: Picked up prostitutes, raped them and strangled to death before dumping the body, known to return to perform necrophilic acts.
Date Apprehended: 30th November 2001
Imprisoned: Washington State Penitentiary
Gary Leon Ridgway is better known by his nickname “Green River Killer”; the press-dubbed alias the then unknown serial killer who began leaving his victim’s bodies in Green River (Duwamish River) in the state of Washington in the 1980’s.
He would go on to become one of the most prolific and notorious serial killers the world has ever seen.
A bed-wetter until his early teens and experienced a tumultuous relationship with his mother, later admitting to having sexual desires but also a hatred for her. His childhood home life helped create the monster he became.
At age 16, Ridgway stabbed a 6 year old boy but went unpunished due to police negligence.
Having been twice married and twice divorced by his early thirties, he was already frequenting the services of local prostitutes and the Green River Killer would take his first known victim in 1982. From then on he killed at a relentless pace, averaging a murder every fortnight for 18 months.
After “passing” two lie detector tests and giving DNA samples, Gary Ridgway had gotten away with dozens of murders and it would not be until the turn of the millennium and advances in DNA technology that the Green River Killer would see justice for his atrocities.
Two years after being arrested, Ridgway was convicted of 49 murders, though confessed to many more that have not or cannot be confirmed. Some estimate his total number of victims near 100.
He currently serves 49 counts of life without parole in Washington State Penitentiary; spending up to 23 hours a day in solitary confinement.