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Gary Ridgway, in complete Gary Leon Ridgway, byname Green river Killer, (born February 18, 1949, Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.), American criminal that was the country’s most dangerous convicted serial killer. He claimed to have killed as many as 80 women—many that whom were prostitutes—in Washington throughout the 1980s and also ’90s, although that pled guilty (2003) to only 48 murders.

Ridgway grew up in what became SeaTac, Washington. His father was a bus driver and his mother a salesclerk. The younger Ridgway later claimed that his mother involved in inappropriate behaviour. Notably, that alleged that after wetting the bed—a habit that persisted into his at an early stage teens—she would certainly wash his genitals. In ~ some suggest he began fantasizing around killing her, and in the mid-1960s that stabbed a young boy. After ~ graduating from high institution in 1969—at the period of 20—Ridgway served a two-year stint in the U.S. Navy and also later settled in the Seattle area, whereby he operated as a van painter. Over the following 30 years, the married 3 times and also had a son.

In 1980 Ridgway was arrested because that allegedly choking a prostitute, however no charges were filed ~ he declared that the woman had actually bit him. 2 years later he to be arrested for solicitation. Ridgway was thought to have started his killing spree quickly thereafter. His an initial victim was thought to have been a 16-year-old girl that went absent after leaving she foster home in July 1982. Her body was discovered a main later, in the eco-friendly River. End the following two years, Ridgway raped and also killed much more than 40 women, numerous of whom were prostitute or runaways. A variety of Ridgway’s early on victims to be later uncovered in or close to the river, providing rise come the nickname environment-friendly River Killer; other bodies were discovered in remote wooded areas. After 1984 he cursed several an ext murders, the last occurring in 1998.

By august 1982 police thought that a serial killer was at work, and also they eventually formed a special job force. Ridgway soon became a suspect. In 1983 the was doubted in the disappearance of a prostitute who a witness asserted had gotten into his truck. Ridgway denied the allegations and passed a polygraph in 1984. Detectives later uncovered a 1982 report about police finding Ridgway v a prostitute in a parked car; 2 years later on a human body was uncovered nearby. In 1987 law-enforcement officials obtained a find warrant for Ridgway’s home and work. However, none of the items—including carpet fibres and ropes—could be attached to the victims. They likewise obtained a DNA sample from Ridgway, yet the technology then accessible was unable to enhance it through semen recovered native the bodies. However, following the advent of more sophisticated tests, a match was made in 2001, and Ridgway was arrested later on that year.

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Although he initially proclaimed his innocence, Ridgway quickly confessed come the crimes, stating that he wanted to kill as countless prostitutes together possible. He targeted sex workers since he believed they can not be reported absent and since he “hated” most of them. In 2003 he accepted a plea transaction in i beg your pardon he to be sentenced to 48 continuous life sentences there is no the possibility of parole. In addition, that agreed to expose the place of undiscovered bodies. Countless speculated the he was responsible for much more deaths, and in 2013 Ridgway stated that he had actually murdered upwards of 80 women.