He was initially convicted of 48 separate murders. As part of his plea bargain , another conviction was added, bringing the total number of convictions to 49, making him the second most prolific serial killer in United States history according to confirmed murders. Most of Ridgway's victims were alleged to be sex workers and other women in vulnerable circumstances, including underage runaways. The press gave him his nickname after the first five victims were found in the Green River before his identity was known.
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Bundy and Ridgway both had Washington upbringings
Gary Leon Ridgway is famous for admitting to the most serial killings. He is linked to the deaths of 48 young women; most were strangled to death around Seattle and Tacoma, Washington. It took nearly 20 years for Ridgway to be caught and brought to justice. He committed the majority of his murders between and , during which time the bodies of many of his victims were found near Green River in Washington. They were often placed together in groups, and sometimes the bodies were even posed. Almost all of the victims were prostitutes, so the police were able to identify a common trait that the killer looked for and used that information in their ongoing investigation. In , Gary Ridgway was arrested on a prostitution charge. He became a suspect in the killings, but after passing a polygraph test in which he claimed to be innocent, he was no longer considered to be a prime candidate. Members of the task force held on to their suspicions and to samples of his hair and saliva. After , the murders seemed to have stopped but the search continued for the killer.
Murderpedia has thousands of hours of work behind it. To keep creating new content, we kindly appreciate any donation you can give to help the Murderpedia project stay alive. We have many plans and enthusiasm to keep expanding and making Murderpedia a better site, but we really need your help for this. Thank you very much in advance. Personal: Married, one son. Arrested: Nov. Pleaded not guilty at Dec. Second round of charges: March 27, , three counts of murder in the deaths of Debra Bonner, 23, Wendy Coffield, 16, and Debra Estes,
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 engaged in inappropriate behaviour. Notably, he alleged that after wetting the bed—a habit that persisted into his early teens—she would wash his genitals. At some point he began fantasizing about killing her, and in the mids he stabbed a young boy. After graduating from high school in —at the age of 20—Ridgway served a two-year stint in the U. Navy and later settled in the Seattle area, where he worked as a truck painter. Over the next 30 years, he married three times and had a son. In Ridgway was arrested for allegedly choking a prostitute, but no charges were filed after he claimed that the woman had bit him. Two years later he was arrested for solicitation.