Gary Ridgway was married three times. At the time of his arrest, he was living a seemingly respectable life with his third wife in a quiet area, where his neighbors thought of him as a stand-up guy. Ridgway also had a son, and would sometimes show pictures of him to prostitutes to put them at ease before he murdered them.
A serial killer, pathological liar, and necrophiliac, Ridgeway's preferred method of killing was choking. He reasoned, "My method's working pretty good. Choking is what I did, and I was pretty good at it." He liked it as compared to other forms of murder because “that was more personal and more rewarding than to shoot her.”
A divorced father, Ridgway had visitation with his son every other weekend. They often went on excursions, including camping, riding bikes along the Green River and playing in local parks. One day in 1982, Ridgway picked up a woman with his son in the car and then murdered her in nearby woods while his son sat in the car. He told his son the woman decided to walk home. He also had sex with a victim's corpse as his son slept 30 feet away in his truck.
Ironically, Ridgway's son remembers his father as a "relaxed man who never yelled and who took him camping, taught him to play baseball and always showed up for school concerts and soccer practices."
Ridgway intentionally targeted women he knew the police wouldn't spend too much time getting worked up about. In a way, his crimes tell us as much about our value system as a society as they do about his warped mind. He said, “I picked prostitutes because I thought I could kill as many of them as I wanted without getting caught.”
He also focused on underage runaways and other women with few connections who lived on the fringes of society.