Ridgway, 52, of Auburn, WA was arrested on 11-30-01 for the murder
of 4 females, believed slain
by the Green River Killer. He
is 5' 10" tall, 155 pounds. He wore a baseball cap.
He read the Bible at
work, drank beer and solicited prostitutes for over 20 years
was set in his ways, meticulous, overbearing and friendly. He could
talk about anything for any length of time. He
never said much about himself. He was good-natured when others poked
fun at him.
and hobbies were hunting, fishing, working in the yard, chopping
wood and getting away with his wife in their RV. He scavenged for
junk to sell at garage sales.
the Bible at work and tried to save others by continually talking
about church and the savior. He went door to door for a Pentecostal
church and got angry when people closed their doors on him. According
to his second wife, he "would
sit at night watching TV with an open Bible in his lap (and) would
frequently cry after, or during, the church service."
filthy jokes or shared tips on how to pick up streetwalkers.
He has lived
in the same area all his life, in several
different homes. He was meticulous, his current
marriage was a happy one.
and father stayed together, but an ex-wife told police his mother
dominated the household.
was D student at Tyee High School in SeaTac, WA, he graduated class
of 1969, at the age of 20. A high-school friend of Gary Ridgway's
in the mid 1960s, Terry Rochelle, recalled going to school dances
with Ridgway and his older brother, Greg. Greg was active in school
but Gary "was the one that was always just the opposite ...
he wasn't someone that would really stand out." Ridgway had
a mischievous streak, "The guy in class that's going to always
be in trouble, that'd be Gary. Not a bad guy, just always in trouble.
All he had to do was open his mouth and he'd be in trouble."
As a young
adult, he was repeatedly involved with prostitutes.
served 2 years in the Navy, stationed in San Diego for 1 year in
the early 1970s. This is when he married his first
He met one
of his ex-wives when he pulled
her over in what she described as a "police like stop."
failed attempt to join a local police department, Ridgway started
working in the paint department
at Kenworth Truck Co., where he worked for 32 years. He made $21
an hour, as a journeyman painter. He applied designs to trucks before
they entered the paint booths. He was a reliable
son with his second wife in
1975. His son, Matthew, is now living in the San
son was born in 1975, they became active in first a Baptist, then
a Pentecostal church. That stopped by the time Ridgway and his second
wife divorced in 1981, but coworkers
remember Ridgway carried a Bible,
flirted with the females, told filthy jokes, offered to fix a coworker
up with a prostitute, joked around about his own fondness of prostitutes
and seemed preoccupied with his appearance.
At 33, Ridgway
was single, paying $275 a month in child Support , and visiting
his son every other weekend. He was also soliciting prostitutes.
was known to drive a succession of pickups. "One of those things
we learned about him is he always drove in an erratic manner we
learned this in the mid '80s always looking for anybody who might
be following him," King County Sheriff Dave Reichert said. He frequently
detailed and washed his truck.
of him by neighbors, coworkers,
and former loves vary widely. One common theme is he did seem a
little different. Some people claim he was socially withdrawn while
others claim he was so outgoing, it was difficult to get past him.
At 52, he
seemed happily married to his 3rd
wife, Judith, by all accounts. Ridgway's wife, Judith,
"a very nice, bewildered lady," according to Savage, has hired her
own attorney, Rebecca Wiess. "She expressed herself to me, to be
entirely behind her husband," Savage said. "But I wouldn't fault
her for being concerned about where she stands and her assets stand."
couple weeks prior to his arrest for 4 murders.
Ridgway was arrested for soliciting a prostitute.
Nov. 16, 2001, a 1992 red Ford Ranger pickup driven by Ridgway stopped
on International Boulevard in SeaTac. Ridgway waved cash out the
window. A woman, in a motel parking lot across the street, saw him.
Ridgway pulled into the parking lot and got out. "I walked over
to him and asked if he was getting a room," the woman said. "He
said no and then asked me if I was 'dating.' I said that I was and
was he interested? He said he was, but there was a cop watching
... " the woman said. Ridgway told her he'd meet her down the road
at a bank. The woman, a decoy in a prostitution sting, working for
a King County sheriff's deputy signaled to back up officers to make
He was arrested
on suspicion of loitering to pick up a prostitute and booked into
the Regional Justice Center in Kent. He later pleaded not guilty.
SeaTac Municipal Judge Paul Codd found him guilty and sentenced
him to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. The entire jail sentence
and $300 of the fine. He was arrested for the murder of 4 women
several days later.
He was charged
with the murder of 4 women within a few weeks.
the whole thing was over with. He thought the whole thing was given
a run through in 1987," his Attorney Anthony Savage said. "He went
through lie detectors, searches, you name it. "He seems like an
innocent man who's in a lot of trouble," Savage said.
is being held in the King County Jail's "ultrahigh security" unit,
without bail. His attorney, Tony Savage said. "I think Gary's holding
up pretty well under the circumstances. I don't know if you or I
would hold up as well under the same conditions." He is allowed
to have visitors but it is not known if anyone had been into see
him other than his attorneys. "He's not despondent. He's not in
tears," Savage said. Ridgway's family is "behind him 100 %," Savage
added. Members of Ridgway's family did not attend. "They're not
anxious to be TV stars," Savage said after the hearing. "You're
not going to see them in court for a long, long time."
was suspect for years -- Investigators feared that if they tried
Ridgway without enough evidence he could be acquitted, he would
then be free under double jeopardy laws. So they waited. He was
cleared in 1985 after passing a lie detector test. When
his file was reopened the following year, it was dropped by the
FBI after Ridgway's lawyer complained.
Evidence including semen samples, was circumstantial. Semen samples
were only used to determine blood types. Test results could only
narrow down to one in millions, not identify a specific individual.
of key dates in the life of Gary Ridgway, with a map of his
homes since childhood.
Up - Devoted Son - Friendly Neighbor - He
was considered a dutiful son. He was "very close" to his
mother but not to his father.
Marriages and Love Lives - A
prostitute and a former wife were choked by him, he placed both
in a police-type choke hold in 1982.
Homes & Neighbors - "We
are searching the house, the property and the yard. We are interested
in every square inch of every place he's lived," said King County
Sheriff's spokesman John Urquhart. The search, digging, canvassing
and cadaver dogs extended to his previous residences including the
home where his late mother lived for over 30 years.
Work - Male
coworkers ignored him while female workers were fending off unwanted
- The Bible, Hunting, Swap Meets, dirty jokes, Beer & Prostitution
- He read
the Bible at work, drank beer in cans and picked up prostitutes.
Links to the Green River Crimes - See Investigations
1980 he was accused of choking a prostitute but the police let
1982, he was interviewed by Port of Seattle police while parked
in a car with a prostitute, Kelli McGinness, 18. (McGinness
disappeared in June 1983.)
Ridgway pleaded guilty to soliciting a policewoman posing as
1983 he was a prime suspect in the disappearance of Maria
Malvar. She was last seen in his truck struggling with him.
Ridgway contacted the task force about a prostitute he knew.
Detectives learned he had contact with at least 3 of the victims.
became the Green River Killer suspect in 1984, after he was
interviewed by police, his workplace was searched.
he took another lie detector test and passed.
his home was searched and he was told to chew a piece of gauze,
so they would have a sample of saliva.
he has been arrested because DNA has linked him to three murders
and circumstantial evidence in another.
PO Box 6166
Olympia, WA 98507
Copyright Kari Sable 1994-2006