Keppel, retired WA State Investigator, 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.
on the Green River list, is not proof all victims were murdered
by the same killer. Sheriff's spokesman John Urquhart said Ridgway's
arrest has not caused detectives to rule out any other suspects
or persons of interest.
have not ruled out the possibility that copycat killers
may be responsible slayings attributed to the Green River Killer.
surrounding the deaths of Mills, Chapman
and Hinds suggests 2 people could
have been involved in the slayings. In 1982, the man who found
Hinds and Chapman in the river was a collector floating down the
river to look for junk, saw 2 men with a pickup near the bodies.
The men left right before the bodies were discovered. The
2 women whose bodies who were found in the Green River were Wendy
Lee Coffield and Debra Lynn Bonner.
Coffield's body was found July 15, 1982. Bonner's was found Aug.
12, 1982. Three days later, Mills, Chapman and Hinds were discovered
by detectives 150 yards up river. Investigators deducted the killer
was there, putting Mills in the river when he noticed the police
downstream, he left quickly leaving Mills onshore, which preserved
Police believed the
Green River killings stopped in 1984, but unsolved cases in the
early 1990s have led some to cast doubt on that timing.
Police don't know if
Ridgway will be linked to murders
He knew "everybody
was looking over his shoulder and he obviously knew that the police
knew he was a suspect," Keppel said.
Experts say a pause
in a string of slayings does not mean a serial killer stopped
on his own. It could mean the killer died, been imprisoned for
an unrelated crime, or may have moved.
Homicide has no statute
of limitations, there are many cases back in property rooms where
the case has been closed and not reopened, said John Turner with
the Washington state attorney generals office. Yet technology
today really encourages us as we encourage other agencies to take
a re-look at those cases.
The Sheriff's Office
is compiling a list of every slain or missing woman in King County
since 1982, Urquhart said.
John Urquhart said
decisions on whether to link certain homicide victims to the Green
River cases were controversial but the current investigation will
look at all unsolved killings of prostitutes in King County.