Dubbed “the emissary of death” by a judge, Gary Ridgway’s heinous actions claimed the lives of 48 young women.
Known as the Green River Killer, Ridgway’s legacy is defined by a spree of chilling murders spanning from 1982 to 1998.
Currently serving 48 consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole, his victims were primarily sex workers in the Seattle region.
His modus operandi involved engaging in sexual acts with these women before strangling them, after which he would dispose of their remains either in the Green River, located to the south of the city, or in wooded areas across King County.
At 64 years old today, Ridgway’s capture occurred under the pretense of loitering for a prostitution charge in November 2001. Subsequent DNA testing swiftly connected him to the series of murders.
Facing the prospect of the death penalty, Ridgway ultimately confessed to being the Green River Killer. To evade this fate, he cooperated with investigators, leading them to the numerous sites where he had discarded the victims’ bodies.
However, certain bodies could not be located, prompting Ridgway to express remorse during his sentencing: “I’m sorry for the ladies that were not found. May they rest in peace. They need a better place than what I gave them.”