Thursday, September 19, 2013

Green River Killer Confesses to Double the Murders He was Convicted of

Locked up: Gary Ridgway, pictured, is currently serving 49 consecutive life sentences in a Washington state prison but says the there are more victims
A Seattle-area truck painter who was unmasked as the Green River serial killer has claimed he murdered up to 80 women over two decades - nearly double the number he was convicted of killing. Gary Ridgway is currently serving 49 consecutive life sentences in a Washington state prison. But in a series of interviews conducted over the past five months, he is now claiming there are significantly more victims and he says he is coming clean to help bring closure to their families.

"The total number [of victims] is 75 to 80,"  Ridgway said. He told police of his crimes following his 2001 arrest and subsequent confession. He admitted that he picked up prostitutes and teenage runaways throughout the 1980s and 1990s in Washington's King County, strangled them during sex and dumped their bodies in wastelands near King County's 65-mile long Green River.  The married man had been a suspect in the killings for years, but it wasn't until 2001 that he was arrested, because of advances in DNA testing.

Victims: Ridgway pleaded guilty to 48 murders in 2003 and another in 2011

More: He said he picked up scores of prostitutes, teen runaways and drug addicts
 He told police he strangled the girls during sex and then dumped their bodies along the banks of the Green River
Ridgway confessed to 48 murders in 2003, avoiding the death penalty. In 2011 another body was discovered, and he received an additional life sentence. But he now claims there were more and he wants to set the record straight. However, Harger said he remains skeptical about Ridgway's motive. He said the serial killer has a tendency to lie and may just be attempting to 'up his count' for notoriety.
"I think he wants to show the world that, "Here I am, Gary Ridgway, the truck painter from Kenworth, the guy who everybody thought was slow since elementary school, somebody who couldn't hold a candle to Ted Bundy. But, here I am, and I'm the best at something,"' Harger said.

The serial killer has a tendency to lie and may just be attempting to 'up his count' for notoriety it is believed

 Ridgway's wife claimed she thought she had the perfect husband. Neighbors who described Ridgway and his wife as kind and helpful were shocked at the revelation.
But regardless, Harger said his claims should still be investigated.
"Maybe if we listen to the clues and cut through his lies, we will find a nugget of truth, the clue investigators have waited for," he said. "It's a chance we have to take."

For years, Ridgway has been speaking with Air Force criminal investigator Rob Fitzgerald about his crimes. The two men speak multiple times per week, according to journalists, who reported that Ridgway even provides Fitzgerald with photos of supposed 'dump sites' that he says should be searched. Determined to find unidentified victims, Fitzgerald has spent his weekends for the past five years turning up the banks of the Green River.
"They deserve this," Fitzgerald told the station. "People need to know there's at least some hope their daughters will be found."

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