involves examining the details crime to describe the psychological
state of the offender at the time of the crime and ultimately
the type of person who committed the crime.
Serial killers driven
to act out the brutality repeatedly, leave psychological markers.
"In multiple-victim cases, we always look to see if there
is a signature so we can tie victims
together," said King County sheriff's Sgt. John Urquhart,
a spokesman for the King County Sheriff's Office.
The Green River Task
Force's internal investigative tool, unknown to the public was
a 12 page FBI profile
psychological profile of the Green River killer, written by John
Douglas, then an FBI special agent with the Behavioral Science
Unit, Quantico, VA in the summer of 1982, revised
in 1984. The profile was never made public and will not be now,
Urquhart said. Details have surfaced from news stories over the
years and from the book "The Search for the Green River Killer,"
written by former Seattle Times reporters.
Douglas' initial 1982
profile was based on crime scene photographs, the first 5 victims
and the bureau's studies of serial killers. It
was so vague it could have been 1/2 the men in King County.
In March 1984, a revised
more details based on additional evidence from crime scenes, additional
victims and additional experience with psychopathic serial offenders.
The original Task Force
officers had doubts about the FBI profile, developed in September
1982 and revised in 1984."It's an art, not a science,"
said Urquhart. "It's my understanding, talking to the task
force people, they never put a lot of stock in the profile,"
Urquhart said. "We're not now being held to it in very much
may be useful in eliminating suspects. The profile was used to
rank suspects into high, medium and low priorities. An A, B and
C system of ranking thousands of suspects.
For years, officers
said the killer almost certainly was dead or in prison or had
moved from the Pacific Northwest. "That
he was unemployed, that he had left the area -- none of that fits
Ridgway," Urquhart said.
Leon Ridgway didn't match his profile very closely.
49 killings were the work of one person
with sites where bodies were found
a lot. Drives in a van or 4 door car, at least 3 years old,
not well maintained, and drives conservatively.
or slightly higher intelligence
man in good physical condition
racial preference in his choice of victims (in
his mid 20s and early 30s
from a family background of marital discord
is basically shy and has strong personal feelings of inadequacy
not the type who can hustle women in a bar. He is not a smooth
talker, is basically shy and has very strong feelings of inadequacy.
a prior criminal history of assault and rape, or psychological
not go with the intentions of killing someone
(the killer) has felt that he has been 'burned' or 'lied to
and fooled by women one too many times.' In his way of thinking,
women are no good and cannot be trusted, and he feels women
will prostitute themselves for whatever reason, and when he
sees women openly prostituting themselves, this makes his
nonviolent encounters with prostitutes that ended normally
a strong interest in police work. Killer may have initiated
contact with victims by posing as a police officer or other
by a single parent
- 2 people were involved
not "plan to put his victims through some sort of ritual
sexual act or body positioning"
is an angry individual who demonstrates power over his victim
the publicity he is receiving
- A beer drinker and
probably a smoker.
Is unemployed or chronically
underemployed. When he does work he has a job requires more strength
- An outdoorsman, recreational
fisherman and hunter.
- Not very neat or meticulous
- Had trouble in school
and dropped out during his junior or senior year.
- Possible strong religious
fit the profile?
1 -- Unknown - Body
clusters are strong evidence that only one person (or perhaps
two acting together) was responsible for the murders.
2-- Ridgway was familiar
with all of the sites according to his ex wife Marcia
3 -- His vehicles now
are from 1992 or older. Ridgway was known to drive extensively
in a succession of pickups. Recently, he drove a 1992 Ford Ranger
truck. Police searched a 1992 Mercury Sable 4-door sedan and a
1992 Flair motor home. He liked washing his truck and keeping
it nice. At the time of the murders he drove an older truck matching
the description of witnesses.
"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
4 -- Unknown but seems
consistent with what is known
5 -- Divorced twice
and married 3 times. Green River Killings were most active after
Ridgway's second divorce
6 -- Self Esteem -
Some say he is a social person and others say he has few friends
and low self-esteem. Read what his former
lovers, neighbors and
coworkers say about him and
decide for yourself.
7 -- Apparently Ridgway
is small in stature, unassuming in appearance. 5' 10" tall,
155 pounds, he is in good shape.
8 -- Accurate
9 -- 2 of the
4 victim's Ridgway is charged with killing, are African American,
1 mixed race 1 is Caucasian
10 -- Ridgway has always
acknowledged frequent, nonviolent encounters with prostitutes
11 -- Accurate -- Ridgway
was 33 when the killings started
12 -- Accurate
-- His mother once broke a plate over his father's head. His mother
was a domineering woman. His father had an open hatred for prostitutes.
Ridgway was close to his mother not his father. His mother is
portrayed as being very dominant. His first wife said his mother
ran their lives.
13 -- See 6 -- He doesn't
sound outwardly shy by most accounts.
14 -- He was arrested
only in 1982 on prostitution charges and a couple weeks before
being arrested for murder, again on prostitution charges. His
ex wife, Marcia did take
out a restraining order on him when the first split up. He had
no record of arrest for violent crimes. Though there has since
been a report of a victim who survived him and ID'd him in a line
15 -- Accurate
-- Ridgway acknowledged
frequent, nonviolent encounters with prostitutes
16 -- Accurate, he
accused both of his first two wives of prostituting themselves
and spoke of them in degrading ways.
17 -- Accurate see
18 -- Interest in law
wanted to be a policeman when he was younger.
- Ridgway told several
girlfriends he applied to become a policeman, but was turned down
or failed the entrance exam.
- He met an ex-wife
when he pulled her over in what she described as a "police
was the self-appointed neighborhood crime informer, going around
telling neighbors of break-ins or to report prostitutes were
working in their neighborhood.
aroused Task Force suspicions when he contacted them with information
about one of the prostitutes.
19 -- Not Accurate
-- Ridgway was
raised by both his natural parents. His mother was very domineering
and yelled at the father continually. His mother was even physically
abuse to his father at least once.
20 -- Not Accurate
from what we know so far
21 -- Not Accurate
-- Robert Keppel, a former investigator for the state attorney
general and an expert on serial murder, believes some of the victims
attributed to Ridgway were posed. Carol
Ann Christensen's fully clothed body was found with fish,
sausage and a wine bottle on it. At least two other victims had
pyramid-shaped stones inserted in their bodies.
22 -- Seems somewhat
accurate. I would assume only angry person who got off on power
would commit these types of crimes. Ridgway sounds like he displayed
some anger over things like prostitution an his ex-wives.
23 -- It doesn't seem
that way, so far. He has made no statements, his family is not
talking to the media, he waived his initial hearing to avoid the
24 -- His girlfriend
said he never smoked or used narcotics, but occasionally drank
Bud Lite in a can.
25 -- Ridgway worked
steadily for Kenworth for 32 years, a journeyman painter, making
$21 an hour, applying designs to trucks before they entered the
paint booths. Prior to that he served in the Navy for the 2 years.
26 -- He did enjoy
the outdoors, hunting and fishing. Gino Duarte, neighbor, said
Ridgway seemed only interested in discussing hunting. Ridgway
would tell him about how he and a brother liked to hunt in the
mountains. His primary hobbies were flea markets, salvage and
27 -- By all accounts
Ridgway was a very meticulous person at work and at home.
28 -- He received mostly
D's. He didn't graduate from Tyee High School until he was 20.
29 -- In 1975, after
his son, was born he and his then wife, were active in a Baptist
Church, initially, then a Pentecostal church. That had ceased
by the time they divorced in 1981. Though coworkers remember Ridgway
carrying a Bible and preaching to others beyond that time.
Copyright Kari Sable 1994-2006