Gary Ridgway Biography, Age, Mother, Wife, Victims, Book

Gary Ridgway Biography | Who Was The Green River Killer

Gary Ridgway ( Gary Leon Ridgway) also known as the Green River Killer, is an American serial killer.

Gary was initially convicted of 48 separate murders and as part of his plea bargain, another conviction was added, bringing the total number of convictions to 49. This made him the most prolific serial killer in United States history according to confirmed murders.

Gary killed myriad teenage girls and women in the state of Washington during the 1980s and 1990s and is now thought to have killed more than 90. Most of his victims were alleged to be sex workers and other women in vulnerable circumstances, including underage runaways. He was given the nickname Green River Killer, after the first five victims were found in the Green River before his identity was known.

Gary Ridgway Age

Gary is 70 years old as of 2019. He was born on February 18, 1949.

Gary Ridgway Mother

Gary’s mother is Mary Ridgway. Relatives described Gary’s mother as domineering and have said that young Ridgway witnessed more than one violent argument between his parents. Gary told defense psychologists that, as an adolescent, he had conflicting feelings of anger and sexual attraction toward his mother, and fantasized about killing her.

Gary Ridgway Photo

Green River Killer Wife

Gary had been married three times. He was first married to Claudia Kraig Barrows in 1970 but they divorced in 1972. Later in 1973, he married Marcia Lorene Brown but also divorced in 1981. His last marriage was with Judith Lorraine Lynch, which lasted from 1988 to 2002.

Gary’s first two marriages failed because of infidelities by both partners. His second wife Marcia Lorene Brown claimed that he had placed her in a chokehold and that he had become religious, proselytizing door-to-door, reading the Bible aloud at work and at home, and insisting that his wife follow the strict teachings of their pastor. Despite his beliefs, Gary still wanted his wife to participate in sex in public and inappropriate places, sometimes even in areas where his victims’ bodies were later discovered.

All three of his ex-wives and several girlfriends reported that he demanded sex from them several times a day and would often want to have sex in a public area or in the woods.

Green River Killings

In the 1980s and 1990s, Gary is believed to have murdered at least 71 teenage girls and women near Seattle and Tacoma, Washington. Later, in court statements, Gary reported that he had killed so many that he lost count. Most of the murders occurred between 1982 and 1984. His victims were believed to be either sex workers or runaways picked up along Pacific Highway South, whom he strangled and dumped most of the bodies in wooded areas around the Green River, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and other “dump sites” within South King County. The bodies were often left in clusters, sometimes posed, usually nude and Gary would sometimes return to the victims’ bodies and have sexual intercourse with them.

Gary would later explain that he did not find necrophilia more sexually satisfying, but having sex with the deceased reduced his need to obtain a living victim and thus limited his exposure to being caught. Three of the victims are still unidentified because most of the bodies were not discovered until only the skeletons remained. Gary often contaminated the dump sites with gum, cigarettes, and written materials belonging to others, and he even transported a few victims’ remains across state lines into Oregon to confuse the police.

Gary Ridgway Victims

Name
Age
Disappeared
Found
1
Wendy Lee Coffield
16
8-Jul-82
15-Jul-82
2
Gisele Ann Lovvorn
17
17-Jul-82
25-Sep-82
3
Debra Lynn Bonner
23
25-Jul-82
12-Aug-82
4
Marcia Fay Chapman
31
1-Aug-82
15-Aug-82
5
Cynthia Jean Hinds
17
11-Aug-82
15-Aug-82
6
Opal Charmaine Mills
16
12-Aug-82
15-Aug-82
7
Terry Rene Milligan
16
29-Aug-82
1-Apr-84
8
Mary Bridget Meehan
18
15-Sep-82
13-Nov-83
9
Debra Lorraine Estes
15
20-Sep-82
30-May-88
10
Linda Jane Rule
16
26-Sep-82
31-Jan-83
11
Denise Darcel Bush
23
8-Oct-82
12-Jun-85
12
Shawnda Leea Summers
16
9-Oct-82
11-Aug-83
13
Shirley Marie Sherrill
18
October 20–22, 1982
14-Jun-85
14
Rebecca “Becky” Marrero
20
3-Dec-82
21-Dec-10
15
Colleen Renee Brockman
15
24-Dec-82
26-May-84
16
Sandra Denise Major
20
24-Dec-82
30-Dec-85
17
Alma Ann Smith
18
3-Mar-83
2-Apr-84
18
Delores LaVerne Williams
17
March 8–14, 1983
31-Mar-84
19
Gail Lynn Mathews
23
10-Apr-83
18-Sep-83
20
Andrea M. Childers
19
14-Apr-83
11-Oct-89
21
Sandra Kay Gabbert
17
17-Apr-83
1-Apr-84
22
Kimi-Kai Pitsor
16
17-Apr-83
15-Dec-83
23
Marie M. Malvar
18
30-Apr-83
26-Sep-03
24
Carol Ann Christensen
21
3-May-83
8-May-83
25
Martina Theresa Authorlee
18
22-May-83
14-Nov-84
26
Cheryl Lee Wims
18
23-May-83
22-Mar-84
27
Yvonne “Shelly” Antosh
19
31-May-83
15-Oct-83
28
Carrie Ann Rois
15
May 31 – June 13, 1983
10-Mar-85
29
Constance Elizabeth Naon
19
8-Jun-83
27-Oct-83
30
Kelly Marie Ware
22
18-Jul-83
29-Oct-83
31
Tina Marie Thompson
21
25-Jul-83
20-Apr-84
32
April Dawn Buttram
16
18-Aug-83
30-Aug-03
33
Debbie May Abernathy
26
5-Sep-83
31-Mar-84
34
Tracy Ann Winston
19
12-Sep-83
27-Mar-86
35
Maureen Sue Feeney
19
28-Sep-83
2-May-86
36
Mary Sue Bello
25
11-Oct-83
12-Oct-84
37
Pammy Annette Avent
15
26-Oct-83
16-Aug-03
38
Delise Louise Plager
22
30-Oct-83
14-Feb-84
39
Kimberly L. Nelson
21
1-Nov-83
14-Jun-86
40
Lisa Yates
19
23-Dec-83
13-Mar-84
41
Mary Exzetta West
16
6-Feb-84
8-Sep-85
42
Cindy Anne Smith
17
21-Mar-84
27-Jun-87
43
Patricia Michelle Barczak
19
17-Oct-86
3-Feb-93
44
Roberta Joseph Hayes
21
7-Feb-87
11-Sep-91
45
Marta Reeves
36
5-Mar-90
20-Sep-90
46
Patricia Yellowrobe
38
Jan-98
6-Aug-98
47
Unidentified White Female (Jane Doe B-10)
12–18
Died prior to May 1983
21-Mar-84
48
Unidentified White Female (Jane Doe B-17)
14–18
December 1980 – January 1984
2-Jan-86
49
Unidentified Female (Jane Doe B-20)
13–24
1973–1993
21-Aug-03

Green River Killer Book | The Green River Killer Book

Books written based on Gary’s story are;

  • Search for the Green River Killer by Carlton Smith with help from Tom Guillen (March 5, 1991)
  • The Riverman: Ted Bundy and I Hunt for the Green River
  • Killer by Robert D. Keppel (November 27, 1995)
  • The Green River Killer by the King County Journal Staff (November 23, 2003)
  • Chasing the Devil by Sheriff David Reichert (July 28, 2004)
  • Green River, Running Red by true-crime author and former police officer Ann Rule (September 27, 2005)
  • Serial Killers: Issues Explored Through Green River Murders by Tomas Guillen (January 14, 2006)
  • Green River Serial Killer: Biography of an Unsuspecting Wife by Pennie Morehead, telling the story of his third wife and her struggles with the truth (April 1, 2007)
  • Case of the Green River Killer by Diane Yancey (April 27, 2007)
  • Defending Gary: Unraveling the Mind of the Green River Killer by Mark Prothero with help from Carlton Smith (May 25, 2007)
  • Green River Killer: A True Detective Story, a 2011 graphic novel by Jeff Jensen and Jonathan Case. Jensen’s father was Tom Jensen, one of the detectives who worked on the case for 20 years.
  • The Thirty-Ninth Victim by Arleen Williams, sister of Maureen Sue Feeney (April 6, 2008)

Green River Killer Movie

  • The 1984 documentary Murder, No Apparent Motive, about serial killers and FBI Profilers, a brief segment mentioned that the (then) ongoing Green River Killer’s murders were one of the latest examples of serial murders that go on in America without any apparent motives.
  • Unsolved Mysteries Television Series, Season 8, episode 11, Green River Killer segment.
  • The ninth episode of the 2010 American documentary show
  • Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry? features his story and his third wife’s side of it.
  • The Riverman is based on the true story of Ted Bundy assisting investigators trying to identify and catch the Green River Killer. It is based on the book of the same name by Robert D. Keppel.
  • The direct-to-DVD movie Green River Killer was released in 2005.
  • A 2006 episode of the TV series Crimes That Shook the World focuses on Gary Ridgway (played by Frank Violi).
  • In 2008, the Lifetime Movie Network aired The Capture of the Green River Killer, a TV movie loosely based on his crimes. John Pielmeier portrays Ridgway. In 2014, they aired a documentary called My Uncle is the Green River Killer which featured Ridgway family members.
  • The Court TV (now TruTV) television series Mugshots released an episode on Ridgway titled Gary Ridgway The Green River Killer, aired in 2013.
  • In 2005, A&E series Cold Case Files aired an episode called obsession: Dave Reichert and the Green River Killer. (Season 5, Episode 1)
  • On June 2, 2017, HLN (Headline News) premiered the true crime series Beyond Reasonable Doubt with the episode The Green River Killer. The one-hour episode reports on the advanced trace evidence that directly link tiny paint particles from the victims’ clothing to Ridgway, lay summary – CNN.
  • Bundy and The Green River Killer a 2019 Horror film by Andrew Jones (filmmaker) in which Jared Nelson stars as Gary Ridgway

Green River Killer Map

The map below shows locations of murders.

Green River Killer Map

Is Gary Ridgway Still Alive

Gary is still alive. He is at Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla.

Gary Ridgway Interview

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