Gary Ridgway, the Green River Killer, is America's most prolific serial killer, so named because his first five victims were found along the Green River in Washington state. Between killing his first victim in 1982 and his capture in 2001, he murdered at least 49 women, most of them prostitutes or teenage runaways. During interrogation after his arrest, Ridgway admitted to more than 70 murders, though many of these remain unconfirmed. Read on for more creepy and terrifying details about Gary Ridgway, the Green River Killer.
Gary Ridgway, Family Man
Gary Ridgway was married three times, and at the time of his arrest, he and his wife lived a respectable life 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 his son to prostitutes to put them at ease before he murdered them.
He Found Choking His Victims "Rewarding"
As is expected from a serial killer, pathological liar, and necrophiliac, Gary Ridgway has said some super, super creepy things. A sampling of his sinister one-liners: “I don’t know if it was an illness, or just, uh, I wanted to kill;" “My method’s working pretty good. Choking is what I did, and I was pretty good at it;" and “They look in the bedrooms, nobody’s in there, nothin’s, you know, there’s my son’s room. Hey, this guy has a son, he’s not gonna hurt anybody.” He preferred choking to other forms of murder because “that was more personal and more rewarding than to shoot her.”
Ridgway Went Camping with His Son—and the Remains of Some Prostitutes
In 1984, Ridgway took a camping trip to Oregon, south of his home in Washington, with his son. He also happened to have the remains of two or three dead prostitutes in his car. He paid for everything in cash to leave no record of the trip, and dumped the remains in the Oregon area, so as to make detectives think the Green River Killer was moving south. He then presumably had a nice time camping with his son.
He Targeted Forgotten Women
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 forgotten women.