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JonathanVonErich

The Green River Killer, Gary Ridgway

81 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Note: Like most of you know i'm French-Canadian, my first language is French, so sorry if I made some grammar errors in this long topic. Thanks for your Comprehension.

BACKGROUND

Gary Leon Ridgway was born February 18, 1949. Ridgway was born in Salt Lake City, Utah.He was raised in the McMicken Heights neighborhood of SeaTac, Washington. Ridgway's homelife was somewhat troubled; relatives have described his mother as domineering and have said that young Ridgway witnessed more than one violent argument between his parents. As a young child, Ridgway was tested with an I.Q. of 82,signifying low intelligence.

THE MURDERS

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Ridgway is believed to have murdered at least 48 women near Seattle and Tacoma, Washington. Most of the murders occurred between 1982 to 1984. Most victims were either prostitutes or runaways picked up along Pacific Highway South (State Route 99) whom he strangled. Most of their bodies were dumped in wooded areas around the Green River in Washington, except for two confirmed and another two suspected victims found in the Portland, Oregon, area. The bodies were often left in clusters, sometimes posed, usually nude. Because most of the bodies were not discovered until only the skeletons remained, four victims are still unidentified. Ridgway occasionally contaminated the dump sites with gum, cigarettes, and written materials belonging to others, and he even transported several victims' remains across state lines into Oregon to confuse the police. Ridgway began each murder by picking up a woman, usually a prostitute. He sometimes showed the woman a picture of his son, to help her trust him. After having sex with her, Ridgway strangled her from behind. He initially strangled them manually. However, many victims inflicted wounds and bruises on his arm while trying to defend themselves. Concerned these wounds and bruises would draw attention, Ridgeway began using ligatures to strangle his victims. Most victims were killed in his home, his truck, or a secluded area.

THE VICTIMS

Here is a list of Definitive Green River Killer victims. The numbers are the victims' ages.

Wendy Lee Coffield, 16. Gisele Ann Lovvorn, 17. Debra Lynn Bonner, 23.

Marcia Fay Chapman, 31. Cynthia Jean Hinds, 17. Opal Charmaine Mills, 16.

Terry Rene Milligan, 16. Mary Bridget Meehan, 18. Debra Lorraine Estes, 15.

Linda Jane Rule, 16. Denise Darcel Bush, 23. Shawnda Leea Summers, 16.

Shirley Marie Sherrill, 18. Colleen Renee Brockman, 15. Alma Ann Smith, 18.

Delores LaVerne Williams, 17. Gail Lynn Mathews, 23. Andrea M. Childers, 19.

Sandra Kay Gabbert, 17. Kimi-Kai Pitsor, 16. Marie M. Malvar, 18.

Carol Ann Christensen, 21. Martina Theresa Authorlee, 18. Cheryl Lee Wims, 18.

Yvonne "Shelly" Antosh, 19. Carrie Ann Rois, 15. Constance Eliz. Naon, 19.

Kelly Marie Ware, 22. Tina Marie Thompson, 21. April Dawn Buttram, 16.

Debbie May Abernathy, 26. Tracy Ann Winston, 19. Maureen Sue Feeney, 19.

Mary Sue Bello, 25. Pammy Annette Avent, 15. Delise Louise Plager, 22.

Kimberly L. Nelson, 21. Lisa Yates, 19. Mary Exzetta West, 16.

Cindy Anne Smith, 17. Patricia Michelle Barczak, 19. Roberta Hayes, 21.

Marta Reeves, 36. Patricia Yellowrobe, 38.

The other Four Victims are still Unidentified.

THE PROFILE

Here's my profile of Gary Ridgway. Ridgway was preying upon the most vulnerable of victims: prostitutes. Society at large typically looks down on prostitution as a profession, seeing it as immoral. As a result of these negative attitudes toward prostitution and those who engage in it, prostitutes are often seen as deserving of what they get; they are an invisible group, often abused and mistreated without ever receiving any form of help. Ridgway clearly used encounters with prostitutes to release his aggression against women. He enjoyed the control he had during the encounter and the murder; he was reinforcing his own male privilege that he could never express with his overbearing mother whom he was unable to please; the punishment of his victims compensated for his bruised manhood. He was a local spotted regularly on the strip by those working there, he was quiet, and he seemed like an honest family man using the pictures of his son while negotiating with the women.Ridgway was impulsive in his killings, and he killed prostitutes indiscriminately. Ridgway was undeniably hateful of prostitutes and most women. Ridgway's mother had a lot to do with his beliefs toward women and sex. It is possible that he believed the world to be full of abusive individuals, like his mother, so he found it necessary to assert his dominance.

Ridgway's crimes are unpardonable and undecipherable. Ridgway has also been considered a suspect in the disappearances/murders of at least 12 other women. Later in a statement Ridgway said that murdering young women was his "career". Ridgway is incarcerated at Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, Washington.

Edited by JonathanVonErich

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Good research, but easily accessible. In your own words!

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Sorry i didn't spent 3 hours on that, some of us are in their 20s and go to the University, i have a lot of work to do. I still did the topic, if you don't like it go elsewhere.

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Uh Oh, Green River Gary! While i don't hold prostitute killers in very high esteem in the echelon of Serial Murderers, Ridgway was probably the greatest of his kind. It is true that he held the same job for a very long time and seemingly had no problem obtaining women through church functions and the like. To most of them he wasn't a violent person at all. Goes to show the mask of sanity eh? Another interesting thing is that he is believed to be a "savant" who is of low intelligence in most areas but extremely accomplished in one specific field. I don't know if i buy into this but he was a very efficient killer. He did simple things that confounded the police efforts to find him. Many of the bodies were never found at all. And those that were found had little evidence to lead back to Ridway. Most of them anyway. He truly studied murder and if he had been a little smarter, he might never have been caught. At the height of these murders Robe,rt Keppel and Dave Reichert, two cops, went to the prison housing Ted Bundy to speak with him, hoping to find some insight in the Green River Killer or Bundy himself. Bundy did offer some insight into Serial Murders that they hadn't known, but proved once again that profiles are all but useless. For a detailed look into this check out The Riverman: Ted Bundy and I hunt for the Green River Killer by Bob Keppel. It is one of the best tomes on Serial Murder in existence as Keppel really knows his stuff and discusses Bundy, Ridgway, and many other murderers that alot of people might not have heard about.

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Ann Rule's book Green River Running Red is a good read for this case as she knew all of the investigators. He actually killed a girl that he took home while her boyfriend/pimp followed them. When the girl never came back he took the girl's father back with him to find the house which they did. They confronted Gary and he denied everything.

He murdered her in his home. He also murdered a girl near the Sea-Tac airport while he had his young son with him. When the police asked him what he would have done if the boy hadn't stayed in the truck he told them he would have killed him too. That is one sick puppy.

Another good thread JVE.

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Thanks Kure for sharing. Thanks for the comment Susie.

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Sorry i didn't spent 3 hours on that, some of us are in their 20s and go to the University, i have a lot of work to do. I still did the topic, if you don't like it go elsewhere.

Don't get uptight! You did a wonderful job! No hard feelings! Get over it brother!

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Sorry, my wrong...thanks for your comment E, i appreciate it.

^_^

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Great addition to Serial Killer of the Week, JVH. Although, it would be nice if you had any links to some source information.

I find that overbearing mothers are a common factor in the formation of serial murderers. Ridgeway's mother was certainly controlling of him. However, the sexual attraction that he might have felt for his mother probably produced conflicting feelings of love and hate. She would even bathe him into his early teens, sometimes with an open bathrobe on, which served to only aggravate his contradictory emotions.

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Thanks for your comment HHH. Sorry about the links. And sorry if the article is not very long, like i said in a previous post I have a lot of work to do for my University classes, more than i had expected so i didn't have all the time i wanted to do the article. Sorry, hope you all understand.

Here are links to Gary Ridgway's confession on video. To hear the audio set the 360p to 240p.

Gary Ridgway's confession 1

Gary Ridgway's confession 2

This is a link to an interview with Ridgway's wife.

Life with Gary Ridgway

And finally this is an interview with Ridgway's son.

Interview with Gary Ridgway's son

Edited by JonathanVonErich

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EXCELLENT, JVE!

This is great stuff, good job. Don't let anyone bring you down, man.

Each article will be better than the last, we're just beginning to do this; we'll get better.

Even in light of that, this was superb, I enjoyed it a lot.

Thank you JVE.

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Thank you, Druid.

By the way i started reading the book about Bundy. I'll write you a PM to tell you what i think about the book. Thanks again.

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Thank you, Druid.

By the way i started reading the book about Bundy. I'll write you a PM to tell you what i think about the book. Thanks again.

Thanks, I'm looking forward to it. It gets better after the initial context-setting pages.

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Good thread JVE, and I don't think anyone blames you for being busy. :P I'd say it's still pretty well put together regardless. Good links too.

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Thank you K. I appreciate your comment, coming from a girl who really know her stuff. Thanks.

Now on a less serious note i found a MySpace page named after Gary Ridgway. I don't know if this is simply a joke made by a guy who had a lot of free time or if this is the real deal, but it's creepy. Have fun !!

Gary Ridgway's MySpace page

And yes i know...Myspace is soooooo 2008.

:D

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What I find particularly odd is Ridgway's obsession with the bible. According to the sources I've gathered, he would cry during sermons at church and talk about the bible to friends or co-workers. This does seem peculiar for a serial killer, although not completely unheard of. Other killers have had quasi-religious motives in their murders and I believe that Ridgway's fascination with the bible helped him justify the killings of prostitutes. Ridgway, like most psychopaths, was a very contradictory person from all accounts. He had an IQ of 82 and failed to graduate high school until he was 20 years old, yet he was clever enough to throw off police using a fairly high level of forensic knowledge.

Edited by H.H. Holmes

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Good points HHH. Ridgway read the Bible at work, and tried to save others by continually talking about church and the savior. He went door to door for a Pentecostal church and got angry when people closed their doors on him. According to his second wife, he "would sit at night watching TV with an open Bible in his lap (and) would frequently cry after, or during, the church service."

You are so right when you say he had an IQ of 82 and failed to graduate high school until he was 20 years old, yet he was clever enough to throw off police using a fairly high level of forensic knowledge. It's incredible that he never got caught sooner. Maybe he was simply lucky, but i think he was a criminal genius. Not a genius at school, but instead a genius for killing people.

Ridgway has also been considered a suspect in the following disappearances/murders:

Amina Agisheff, 35. Kasee Ann Lee (Woods), 16.

Kristi Lynn Vorak, 13. Rebecca Marrero, 20.

Tammie Liles, 16. Keli Kay McGinness, 18.

Angela Marie Girdner, 16. Patricia Ann Leblanc, 15.

Patricia Osborn, 19. Rose Marie Kurran, 16.

Darci Warde, 16. Cora McGuirk, 22.

Here are the links to the Cold Case Files Episode about The Green River Killer.

Cold Case Files: Green River Killer part 1

Cold Case Files: Green River Killer part 2

Cold Case Files:Green River Killer part 3

Cold Case Files:Green River Killer part 4

Cold Case Files:Green River Killer part 5

Edited by JonathanVonErich

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An idiot savant will display very low intelligence in all or most areas except for one. In that one area they are apt to be highly intelligent or brilliant even. There are some who say that Ridgway was a savant. I don't know about that because he was killing prostitutes, which doesn't take all that much talent. I wouldn't compare him to a Ted Bundy for example as far as efficiency. Whatever his intelligence was/is, he got away with his crimes for a long time, which most of em nowadays do not do.

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... which most of em nowadays do not do.

Thank goodness for that...

I really don't get this fascination with serial killers and the cruelty that human beings impose upon each other and/or animals. I've been following this serial killer of the week from the beginning, lurking and reading, with extreme trepidation and eventual revulsion as I peak into each case.

I mean no disrespect to any who are truly interested in this subject matter, and perhaps I am overly sensitive, but reading through this kind of thing just creates an overwhelming mixture of sadness and anger for me. The shock and revulsion I feel when considering the heinous acts of these people strikes to my innermost self, and I come away feeling disgusted.

I'm thankful that there are people who are able to stomach such things in an effort to stop these horrible excuses for humanity from continuing what they've done, but the fan base that serial killers have accumulated perplexes me. Some of the descriptions I've read by members in this and other similar threads describe these killers in glowing tones which could almost be ascribed to super heroes... Does anyone else notice that?

Do any of you actually admire these killers? Or am I misinterpreting the flow of discussion and the intention of your descriptives?

It seems to me that the infamy of these people is being inappropriately elevated to celebrity, when they should be treated with the utmost disdain and abhorrence after such unforgivable acts. I completely understand the need for law enforcement to learn as much as possible about the mentality, habits, and reasoning of serial killers in order to diligently do their jobs by bringing such people to justice - but the rest who appear to be simply idly curious or devoutly excited by these revelations into the mind of malice? Why exactly?

Forgive the forcefulness of my post. I hold many of the active members in this thread with extremely high regard and I have no desire to pass judgment on your interest. I simply don't understand, and the concept is so completely foreign to me that I'm probably taking things the wrong way.

Edit: repulsion? No, I meant revulsion.

Edited by booNyzarC

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I don't admire them Boo, but i'm fascinated with Criminology, that's what i will study very soon, I love studying a Case and trying to understand what was inside the killer's mind, why he did this and this, How he did this and that....

I'm studying in Psychologie Sociale, then it will be Criminologie. To me it's the best field in the world.

Me, Triple H, The big K, Druid, Susie, Kurethmu and others love to learn more about killers simply because it's a very fascinating and interesting subject, trying to understand the mind of a killer, to learn more about his psychological state of mind.

I'm sure nobody admire them. Nobody even said that, Boo.

We don't admire, we want to understand them.

By learning more about Killers you learn more about man, the darkside of Humanity. It's fascinating to me.

I think i can speak for everybody when i say that.

But i respect your opinion my friend.

Edited by JonathanVonErich

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I don't admire them Boo, but i'm fascinated with Criminology, that's what i will study very soon, I love studying a Case and trying to understand what was inside the killer's mind, why he did this and this, How he did this and that....

I'm studying in Psychologie Sociale, then it will be Criminologie. To me it's the best field in the world.

Me, Triple H, The big K, Druid, Susie, Kurethmu and others love to learn more about killers simply because it's a very fascinating and interesting subject, trying to understand the mind of a killer, to learn more about his psychological state of mind.

I'm sure nobody admire them. Nobody even said that, Boo.

We don't admire, we want to understand them.

By learning more about Killers you learn more about man, the darkside of Humanity. It's fascinating to me.

I think i can speak for everybody when i say that.

But i respect your opinion my friend.

I'm very grateful for your response, not only to help me understand your motivation in this interest, but also to subside my concerns. It was your activity in this area which initially drew me to it, out of curiosity regarding what you were about; primarily because of our previous discussions which I've had a lot of enjoyment with.

I can see where you are coming from on this, and I hope that my strongly opinionated post above doesn't leave you with the impression that I think any less of you. By all means, I don't. You are clearly one of the people that I mentioned above when I said I hold many of the active members in this thread with extremely high regard and I have no desire to pass judgment on your interest.

I admit that I have a curiosity on the subject as well. I wouldn't have lurked through the topics if I didn't. But I always seem to walk away from this section of the forum feeling sullied. Why do I keep coming back? *Sigh*, I'm a silly soul. Oh well.

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Thank you for your understanding boo, I really respect you and your opinions.

And i completly understand your point; In my opinion either you're interested by Serial killers/True Crimes or you are not, either you are fascinated by it or you are not, i think there's no grey area, you either like it or you don't. I can see why you are disgusted, not comfortable when you read Topics like this one, i completly understand.

It's like with my friends: they don't understand why i love reading about Serial Killers, why i want To study in Criminology, why i watch shows like Cold Case Files or 48 Hours mystery.To them it's disgusting, revolting....but to me it's interesting and fascinating.

So i really like your post boo, That's what i like about you. You are honest and you don't say "yes" to everything you see. You are asking questions and try to understand other people's point of view. And i respect that, my friend.

:tu:

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I don't have the time to write a detailed response here yet, but let me say one thing.

I'm a student of neuroscience, I like to study how the brain works. Not just in humans, but in any animal. Any permutation of any animals.

Psychopaths are one type of individual of our species, and to NOT include them in my studies would be astoundingly neglectful. It would be extremely wrong of me to exclude them based merely upon m own revulsion and disgust with their behaviour. Of course it's HORRIBLE behviour, there's no doubt of that. But ignoring it as part of the human spectrum would be remiss of me; the people are a genuine part of the human spectrum, and we, not just them, deserve to benefit from the study of their minds, thoughts, genetics, and neural structure.

When we are doing this, often, the only way to deal with the acts these people commit and still be able to empathize; to still be able to try to understand them, is to dissociate from the issue. Looking at it dispassionately is the ONLY way to get anywhere productive with this kind of study. So we may talk about them in ways that seem to praise them, or put them upon pedestals.

But, please, let me assure you, we DESPISE the actual behaviour of these people. Our feelings towards them are simply subsided so that we can entertain the intellectual fascination with their minds and learn more about them. Someties that involves thinking highly of a certain killer, or even talking in slightly glowing tones about him/her.

It doesn't mean we agree with their actions or think they are good role models. It just means we have a strong interest in something so initially confusing and unclear, people that take such effort to understand because we are simply so unlike them.

Do you see what I mean?

For example, and this might not be true of everyone, but, IMO, Jeffrey Dahmer was a completely different kind of killer when compared to Bundy, who is different from Ridgeway, who is different from Speck, who is different from Mary Flora Bell. Trying to explore these potentialities, these possible permutations of the human mind is, in itself, extremely interesting. And, after the exploration, the information that we find can be applied in many different ameliorative ways. Kure mentioned how most of these individuals are caught so rapidly today when it was such a struggle in the past. This is only the case because people like us, with such a strong drive to explore all variations of the elaborate puzzle we call the human mind, have done what we do; have studied what we have. If we hadn't done this, we'd still have no idea how to treat these cases, catch these people, how to hold/rehab them (rehab is nigh impossible, but maybe not fully) and how to protect potential victims. So many innocents have been saved because of our inordinate fascination with such deranged and perverse sentient minds.

It is very important to always be aware that as a spectrum, humanity does include a dark and evil abyss. It is just as important, as you might be trying to suggest, to remember that (as as been said, similarly but more exactly) he that gazes into the abyss should take care, as the abyss, too, stares into you.

I think it's worth the risk; indeed, it is our obligation to gather ALL of the shards of humanity together, because all pieces of this shattered puzzle are worthy of understanding and deserving of analysis.

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Awesome post, Druid.

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I don't have the time to write a detailed response here yet, but let me say one thing.

I'm a student of neuroscience, I like to study how the brain works. Not just in humans, but in any animal. Any permutation of any animals.

Psychopaths are one type of individual of our species, and to NOT include them in my studies would be astoundingly neglectful. It would be extremely wrong of me to exclude them based merely upon m own revulsion and disgust with their behaviour. Of course it's HORRIBLE behviour, there's no doubt of that. But ignoring it as part of the human spectrum would be remiss of me; the people are a genuine part of the human spectrum, and we, not just them, deserve to benefit from the study of their minds, thoughts, genetics, and neural structure.

When we are doing this, often, the only way to deal with the acts these people commit and still be able to empathize; to still be able to try to understand them, is to dissociate from the issue. Looking at it dispassionately is the ONLY way to get anywhere productive with this kind of study. So we may talk about them in ways that seem to praise them, or put them upon pedestals.

But, please, let me assure you, we DESPISE the actual behaviour of these people. Our feelings towards them are simply subsided so that we can entertain the intellectual fascination with their minds and learn more about them. Someties that involves thinking highly of a certain killer, or even talking in slightly glowing tones about him/her.

It doesn't mean we agree with their actions or think they are good role models. It just means we have a strong interest in something so initially confusing and unclear, people that take such effort to understand because we are simply so unlike them.

Do you see what I mean?

For example, and this might not be true of everyone, but, IMO, Jeffrey Dahmer was a completely different kind of killer when compared to Bundy, who is different from Ridgeway, who is different from Speck, who is different from Mary Flora Bell. Trying to explore these potentialities, these possible permutations of the human mind is, in itself, extremely interesting. And, after the exploration, the information that we find can be applied in many different ameliorative ways. Kure mentioned how most of these individuals are caught so rapidly today when it was such a struggle in the past. This is only the case because people like us, with such a strong drive to explore all variations of the elaborate puzzle we call the human mind, have done what we do; have studied what we have. If we hadn't done this, we'd still have no idea how to treat these cases, catch these people, how to hold/rehab them (rehab is nigh impossible, but maybe not fully) and how to protect potential victims. So many innocents have been saved because of our inordinate fascination with such deranged and perverse sentient minds.

It is very important to always be aware that as a spectrum, humanity does include a dark and evil abyss. It is just as important, as you might be trying to suggest, to remember that (as as been said, similarly but more exactly) he that gazes into the abyss should take care, as the abyss, too, stares into you.

I think it's worth the risk; indeed, it is our obligation to gather ALL of the shards of humanity together, because all pieces of this shattered puzzle are worthy of understanding and deserving of analysis.

As expected, you have delivered a complete and thoughtful response, despite not having the time. Thank you DL. I greatly appreciate your perspective and clear communication regarding "the why." You have, in fact, illustrated far more clearly than I did, the reasoning behind my statement of I'm thankful that there are people who are able to stomach such things in an effort to stop these horrible excuses for humanity from continuing what they've done, and I commend you.

If the truth be told, my hesitation about this whole subject is simply because of how it makes me feel. Uncomfortable. Even frightened. These aren't feelings I seek out. Perhaps it is weakness on my part to avoid facing the reality of sadistic serial killers, and I accept that.

But I truly commend those who are able to look this demon in the eye and come away unscathed. I don't understand how you do it, but it impresses me.

I think my greatest concern surrounds the celebrity attributed to these people. Some view them as heroes or rock stars. Idols to be admired. I've seen it many times, and that is as disturbing to me as the acts perpetrated by these killers themselves. Perhaps that was part of the source behind my questions in the original post. I don't really know, to be honest.

At any rate, you've made a solid and clearly communicated case to explain a completely valid reason for focusing on this subject - and I admire that. Thanks DL. Keep up the good work. And watch out for the Flying Spaghetti Monster!

(yes, I followed that thread as well, hehe) ;)

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