Skip to comments.Gary Ridgway: 'I Want to Prove There's 80 Bodies Out There'
Posted on 09/18/2013 2:17:28 PM PDT by nickcarraway
It was a Saturday night in 1982 or 1984 when Gary Ridgway said he met a woman -- he forgets her name - somewhere along Pacific Highway, possibly at KFC.
I picked her up someplace and went to the house and killed her, most likely, Ridgway said during the first interview with the man known as the Green River Killer.
The following night, Ridgway went to an area along the Kent-Des Moines Road to dump the body, wrapping it around a tree somewhere down a ravine.
Investigators would later find the body but not the skull, leaving the victims identity a mystery. Ridgway said the head probably rolled the rest of the way down the hill as the body decomposed.
The Kent-Des Moines Road site is one of many areas where Ridgway left bodies and one of possibly dozens of sites where investigators havent found what theyre looking for.
Now, Ridgway says he wants to help a former military investigator find the remains of his missing victims to bring closure to their families.
You cant go back and change the past; its over with, Ridgway said. All we can do is try to make it better.
But, can Ridgway be trusted? And, can any of what he now claims are up to 30 missing bodies be found?
The missing bodies
While Gary Ridgway pleaded guilty to 49 murders, prosecutors, police and his own defense team acknowledge he could be responsible for many more. Ridgway himself said the actual number of victims is closer to 75 or 80.
The Kent-Des Moines Road site where the headless body was found is also one of the places where Ridgway said he could have shown more to detectives.
In 2003, as part of his plea to avoid the death penalty Ridgway said the Green River Task Force -- a team of detectives assembled to investigate the killings -- brought him to the site and gave him a laser pointer to indicate where he left the victim and where he thought the skull might be. But, he said detectives never let him out of the van.
The Green River Task Force recorded Ridgway as he was taken to dump sites. Detectives can be heard asking if Ridgway wants to get out of the van at certain locations, but he declined. Ridgway now says he didnt understand them when they made that offer.
Ridgway said he was only allowed to leave the van at three or four times of the 20 sites he visited with the task force. While stuck in the van, he said he was unable to accurately point out the locations of remains, and thats why hes only been found guilty of 49 murders and why he thinks there are still at least 20 more bodies out there somewhere.
They should have had me get out at every site to show them where I put those bodies, he said. If I could do it all over again, I would say I want to get out at every single site.
Ridgway said there are six or seven bodies still to be found in south King County and another out by North Bend. He said he killed a woman in the back of his pickup truck in a restaurant parking lot near Riverton back in 1984 or 1985 whose body has yet to be found.
Following in the footsteps of the Green River Killer
During his career as a professional investigator Rob Fitzgerald has been in some bad situations. He's spoken with murderers, had his home destroyed by a volcano and even investigated his own friend for killing his wife.
But, Fitzgerald's new mission -- finding the remains of Gary Ridgway's missing victims -- may have put him closer to evil than ever before.
Fitzgerald started hunting for the missing victims of the Green River Killer about five years ago. At first, he said he was just doing it to see if it could be done. Now, he said he's doing it for the victims' families.
The victims family gets closure; they get to know what happened to their daughter, for certain," he said. "If we can find anything and they can get closure and say, 'We have our daughter back,' it means everything to me.
Fitzgerald, his wife and a team of volunteers spend their weekends searching areas where the Green River Killer was known to drop bodies, combing the dirt for fragments of bone.
And, through it all, there is Ridgway, existing only as a voice on the phone. Fitzgerald said Ridgway calls multiple times a week to give clues about where his team should look next.
Fitzgerald said he knows how it looks to spend so much time speaking to Ridgway, to become something of a friend to the man, giving him the attention he craves. But, he said he sees it as a necessary evil.
"I want people to bury their daughters," he said. "Whatever that price is, Im going to have to pay it. I cant stop now.
Can Gary Ridgway be trusted?
Despite working together for years now, Gary Ridgway has yet to lead Fitzgerald to any remains. Ridgway blames this on bodies decomposing or being taken by animals.
But, a CIA interrogation analyst listened to recordings of KOMO's interviews with Ridgway and said the serial killer continues to be deceptive and lie.
Fitzgerald maintains Ridgway is just one tool out of many in the search for remains. He said he knows most of what Ridgway tells him is made up, but there are little nuggets of truth that can be used to solve the bigger puzzle.
And, Fitzgerald remains undeterred by his lack of success finding the Green River Killer's missing victims.
That just means Im one day closer to finding that piece of key evidence," he said. "It could be the next search we do, the next conversation I have with him. I guess thats hope, right?
There's also the question of Ridgway's motives in all this.
Ridgway said hes sorry and wants to help find the victims to bring closure to their families.
Its all about the victims, he said. Its not about me.
But, there could be other reasons for Ridgway to talk.
Its possible Ridgway is concerned about his legacy. During the interviews, he complained that everyone knows about Ted Bundy but not about the Green River Killer. It's possible he wants to pad his stats as the country's worst serial killer.
I want to prove them wrong," Ridgway said. "I want to prove theres 80 bodies out there, or 85 or whatever."
Finally, it can be hard to believe Ridgway has truly changed when he continues to say things like this:
One of the best things people ever did is they know how to kill.
Additional reporting on this story by KOMO's Tracy Vedder and Michael Harthorne.
Ed. Note: Listen to KOMO Newsradio each day this week at 7:15 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. as Charlie Harger shares new revelations from his exclusive interview.
Then tune-in to KOMO4 News at 11 p.m. each night as Problem Solver Tracy Vedder digs deeper into the people and the lives destroyed by the Green River Killer.
I saw a movie about Ted Bundy and thought he was the Green River Killer but I guess he wasn’t.
One odd thing is the movie was about a bunch of cops who were after him, then something interesting stuck in my mind. All the guys they were making the movie about had almost nothing to do with catching and executing him.
Those guys were busy catching the next killer, not trying to catch credit.
Prison is boring. For him, these little field trips are a great chance to get out and do something different. And if he’s lucky they’ll stop by a MacDonalds or KFC for lunch.
I suspect that’s the real motive.
The guy is in prison, this is his channel to the outside world. It gives him attention and motivation to continue on......
Throw him in solitary for five years then let him out to discuss the whereabouts of any of his victims. If he doesn't produce, then throw him back into solitary for another year. Repeat as necessary......
As I said on another thread about this topic:
Poor old Gary’s feeling confined. Wants to get out for some fresh air and a little R&R aka Henry Lee Lucas.
It’s ironic that this story hits today after just last night having watched ‘The Riverman’ starring Cary Ewles as Ted Bundy (streaming Netflix).
Those with a morbid sense of entertainment should check it out. Not a ‘great’ movie, but better than the IMDB rating, imho, particularly if you’re into psychological dramas.
Well, that was whathappened when he originally was caught. He would go out with the cops to his old hunting grounds.
Ok, I just refreshed my memory and I am calling Shenanigans on this. His original plea deal states that if he didn’t give up all victims killed in King county the plea was voided and he’s on trial again, and will end up on death row. If he killed any girls not in king county, he can still be tried and get sentenced to death. I think he is lying.
Bundy was a true monster. I think the thing which disturbs me about him the most is he could appear perfectly normal.
But he knows it's not that simple. Think of all the trying him again would entail, and risking him being out on the streets again. They just won't do it.
this is why I think banishment should be in place as an alternative to the death penalty....put these arrogant creeps in a cage where no one ever will hear of them again...no tv, no radio, no interviews....
I have a solution to our over crowded prisons. It will never happen because everyone would scream “Devils Island”. but it is a good idea.
Find an Island maybe a thousand miles from any land mass of any size. Dump all murderers, and other felons above a certain level on the Island. I don’t mean process them or do anything else. Just drop them on the island from a ship then leave them except have a few boats like coast guard cutters patrol constantly.
Have a small base on the island for the ships and have it totally unreachable from the rest of the island. If another nearby island were available, use it for the base.
Any prisoner found more than 50 yards from shore is to be shot immediately. Any prisoner caught trying to escape to be shot immediately.
Once a month dump enough beans etc. to keep them alive. The prisoners are all on their own. If they want to form a democracy that is their choice. If they want to have the big strong ones in charge and terrorize the others, that is their business.
It would work so well but they will never do it.
exactly!!! plus he gets to play boss