was so difficult because it had no timely suspect data that the
police could go on. They'd find out that some prostitute was identified
from the bones, and go back and interview the people who last
saw her, 6 or 8 months later." -- Bob Keppel,
retired WA State Investigator who worked on the case and author
Prosecutors not only
have DNA linking Gary Ridgway to some Green River victims but
physical evidence. Ridgway worked at a Kenworth Truck plant
for 30 years. Police might have a link between the truck manufacturing
facility and Killing sites. A recently unsealed court filing says
"metal fragments containing aluminum were recovered from 5 dump
sight locations: Green River, North Bend, Kerriston Road, Highway
18, I-90, and Highway 410. Detectives say "the aluminum ... is
commonly used at Kenworth Truck." The total bodies found at those
dump sites is 15. Ridgway is currently charged with 4 of those
Thousands of pieces
of evidence are packed away in a warehouse in South Seattle. It
butts, car parts, bird's nests, anything investigators gathered
from the scenes where 49 female bodies were found slain. Some
evidence dates back to July 15, 1982. Blood samples, saliva swabs
or anything that could contain DNA evidence is kept in a freezer.
Court papers indicate
that sperm long ago recovered from one victim's body matches Ridgway's
DNA at 13 locations tested by STR. With 2 other victims, the DNA
matched on 9 of 13, good but not perfect. A 4th victim is linked
only by circumstance, she was found pinned underwater with another
psychological profile, in part describes a person similar
to Ridgway but not completely. Signature,
modus operandi, witnesses,
DNA testing, and circumstantial
evidence will be most likely be used to attempt to to link Ridgway
to to 4 Green River killings.
links Gary Leon Ridgway to the
murder of Cynthia Hinds because her
body was found close to Chapman's. Both women were in the Green
River, their bodies weighed down by rocks.
Sperm samples taken
from Carol Christensen matched
Ridgway's DNA. Not more than
one individual in the world, excluding identical twins, would
exhibit this DNA profile.
Tests performed by
the Washington State crime lab found that Ridgway's DNA
profile was likely present in Opal
Mills, 16 and Marcia Chapman,
31. DNA findings from Chapman's sample indicated a partial profile
consistent with Ridgway's. Mills indicated a mixed profile and
Ridgway's could not be eliminated as source.
Ridgway was not at
work at the time 27 Green River victims disappeared, including
the 4 he is charged with killing.
He was very familiar
with the body dumping areas, according to ex
wife and a girlfriend. He even enjoyed having sex in those
Witness accounts link Ridgway to violence and a description of his
truck to several disappearances.
for Determination of Probable Cause
the Search for Victims, Clues & Evidence
Keppel, believes investigators must cast a broad net to include
unsolved slayings of women and missing-persons. These cases involve
prostitutes from hundreds of miles around Seattle.
BC - Oregon - CA - WA - The
other possible victims of the Green River Killer not previously
- Ridgway's ex-girlfriends
or ex-wives took detectives to places where Ridgway took them.
He would tie them up to stakes when they had sex outdoors.
Current and Previous Homes
- Immediately upon arrest 40 to 50 King County sheriff's detectives
cordoned off Ridgway's current
home and 3 previous homes, including his deceased parent's
home to begin searching, digging and unleashing the cadaver dogs.
Crime Scenes - "We're
hoping there may be physical evidence around the scenes that may
contain DNA," said Robert Keppel, a former King County detective
and consultant to the old Green River task force.
Expenses - $15 million dollars has been spent since
1982 investigating 49 deaths Green River killer related deaths.
It could cost $12 million to prosecute Gary Ridgway and analyze
evidence linked to more Green River killings.