Gary Ridgway biography
Serial killer. Born Gary Leon Ridgway on February 18, 1949, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Raised near Seattle?s Pacific Highway, a deprived neighborhood near SeaTac airport, Ridgway was a poor student and was sent to Vietnam after high school. When he returned, he got a job painting trucks, which he kept for 30 years. Though he married three times and was fanatical about religion, Ridgway was a frequent customer of prostitutes.
Ridgway's slayings began in 1982, when young runaways and prostitutes began disappearing from state Route 99 in south King County, Washington. He brought many of them to his home and strangled them, then left them in woodsy, remote sites. The first few bodies turned up along the now-notorious Green River.
Dubbed the Green River Killer, Ridgway eluded the law until 2001, when King County sheriff Dave Reichert, the first officer assigned to the case in 1982, called a meeting to re-examine evidence using newly developed DNA-testing technology. The analysis produced a match between evidence from the victims and Ridgway, and he was charged with four counts of aggravated murder in December 2001. Ridgway eventually pleaded guilty to 48 counts of aggravated first-degree murder.
Facing the prospect of execution, Ridgway told investigators that he killed as many as 60 women, and revealed where he'd hidden the bodies of four young women who had never been found. He was sentenced to life in prison in December 2003 having committed more murders than any serial killer in U.S. history.