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Green River Killer: 48 Women Died By Gary Ridgway’s Hand (FPD CASE VAULT)

Source: Elaine Thompson/AP/Shutterstock

Green River Killer Gary Ridgway listens during his arraignment on charges of murder in the 1982 death of Rebecca "Becky" Marrero, at the King County Regional Justice Center in Kent., Wash.

Aug. 23 2023, Published 12:04 p.m. ET

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A judge called him "the emissary of death" - and for at least 48 young women, Gary Ridgway was exactly that.

Best known as the Green River Killer, Ridgway is serving 48 consecutive life sentences with no chance of parole for the chilling murder spree that took place between 1982 and 1998.

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Many of his victims were sex workers in the Seattle area.

After having sex with them, he'd strangle the women and dump their bodies in the Green River south of the city or in wooded areas around King County.

Gary Ridgway Had His Hand in Death of 48 Women as Green River Killer
Source: Gary Kissel/So. Co. Journal/ZUMA Press

King Co. Sheriff's Investigators search the backyard of Green River Killer suspect Gary Ridgway after DNA tests linked him to the deaths of four women in the early 1980s.


Ridgway, now 64, was nabbed after being arrested on a charge of loitering for prostitution in November 2001, and DNA tests soon linked him to the murders.

He eventually admitted being the Green River Killer and, to avoid the death penalty, led detectives to where he had dumped dozens of the bodies.

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Some could not be located, and Ridgway said 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."


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