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The Riverman: Ted Bundy and I Hunt for the Green River Killer
by Robert Keppel
July 15, 1982: 3 woman's strangled body was filed, caught on the pilings of Washington state's Green River. Before long, the "Green River Killer" would be suspected in at least 49 homicides, with no end in sight. Then authorities received a letter from Bundy -- on death row -- offering to help catch the Green River Killer. But he would only talk to Robert Keppel, the former homicide detective who helped track Bundy's cross-county killing spree.

"When I talked to Ted Bundy," Keppel said, "he cautioned me that you should not think for a minute that a killer wouldn't drive 300 miles in a day to kill someone, said Robert Keppel, former King County detective and consultant to the original Green River task force.

Long after 1984, women were disappearing. King County Sheriff's Office is looking at cases of other women who disappeared or were found dead in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties of WA since 1985, said John Urquhart, a sheriff's spokesman. "It's not that we weren't still finding bodies, but they didn't have enough of the characteristics to be put on the list."

151 cases statewide share at least one factor with the Green River killings from body locations to lifestyle according to Homicide Information Tips Systems.

HITS claims 68 of those unsolved cases are in King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties. They started in 1985, 1 year after Green River Killings "officially" ended and continued up to Dec. 31, 2000, when Anitra Mulwee disappeared from a downtown Seattle New Year's Eve party.

Bob Gebo, former task force member, now on the HITS team feels there were killings after 1984 by the Green River killer. " I don't think he changed the target population, but I think he changed things enough so we weren't smart enough to see it."

"Going to Portland is nothing. Going to Vancouver is nothing. Going to Spokane is nothing." Keppel cautioned against thinking of the Green River killings as only 49 slain or missing women. "Those 49 are news media victims," he said. "They are what the news media put together. The police have a different set of numbers." If only 49 women were killed, that means the slayings stopped, which may be unlikely. "The likelihood of stopping is real small," Keppel said. "Every serial killer we know of in history has continued until he is stopped."

There is interest in a series of 40 murders of prostitutes in the San Diego, CA area from 1985 through 1991. Police there say Ridgway's son was living in the area at the time.

Portland OR and British Columbia authorities also have cases they think could involve Gary Ridgway.

Timeline of key dates in the life of Gary Ridgway, with a map of his homes since childhood.

Copyright Kari Sable 1994-2006

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