The prosecutor who helped convict the infamous Green River Killer for killing at least 49 women in the 1980s, says she is still being haunted by the serial killer’s lack of emotion about their death – as authorities reveal that they are still always trying to identify some of the victims.
Gary Ridgway, now 70, is serving a life sentence after being convicted in 2003 of murdering 49 women in Washington state.
Ridgway, who is considered one of the country’s most productive serial killers, has announced that he has murdered no fewer than 80 women, but there was only sufficient evidence at the time to secure a conviction for 49 of them.
He would focus primarily on young female prostitutes or runaways and then dump their bodies in the Seattle area.
Ridgway was called the Green River killer because the bodies of several of his victims were found in or near that river in the early 1980s.
Green River Killer Gary Ridgway, now 70, is serving a life sentence after being convicted in 2003 of murdering 49 women in Washington state. It is pictured above in 2003
His horror case has since been profiled in the new Investigation Discovery – Green River Killer documentary: Mind of a Monster.
Patty Eakes, one of the prosecutors assigned to the case, said that the lack of emotion Ridgway showed when he finally admitted that he had murdered the women still worried her.
She remembers confessing the brutal crimes as if “he was walking.”
“A few things have come up to me,” she said Fox news of the murders. “He would take his son and leave him in the car while he went back and had sex with the bodies … He didn’t seem to know how messy that was.
“So corrupt and real, no recognition on his part that he took a child and left the child in the car while he killed a woman or went back another time to have sex with another dead body.
“It has brought me to such a high level that it was shocking, even to someone like me who unfortunately has been exposed to many murders.”
Patty Eakes, one of the prosecutors assigned to the case, said that the lack of emotion Ridgway showed when he finally admitted that he had murdered the women still worried her. Photo courtesy of KCPQ
Some of his victims: Amina Agisheff, Wendy Lee Coffield, Gisele Ann Lovvorn, Debra Lynn Bonner, Marcia Faye Chapman, Cynthia Jean Hinds, Charmal Mills Opal, Kassee Ann Lee, Terry Rene Milligan and Mary Bridget Meehan
Some of his victims: Carrie A. Rois, Kimberly L. Nelson, Lisa Yates, Mary Exzetta West and Cindy Anne Smith
It is said that Ridgway came across as an average “goofy, middle-aged man.”
“You had to remind yourself who he was and what he was able to do,” she said, adding that some victims feel comfortable stepping into his truck because of his seemingly harmless personality.
“I think he was looking for vulnerable women. He had the strange, underlying need to feel that he had a beautiful woman by his side. Often the women he picked up were attractive. He wanted to be one of those guys with something like: “I have a beautiful woman with me.” He didn’t necessarily feel that he had that in his personal life … Physical attractiveness was certainly part of it, “she said.
The first of his victims appeared in the Green River in 1982, which the then unknown attacker named Green River Killer. At the end of 1984 the bodies of 42 women were found.
Ridgway, an old painter at a truck company and father of one child, has been a suspect since 1984.
The friend of one of his victims, Marie Malvar, had reported that she had boarded a pickup truck identified as Ridgway’s. Ridgway then told the police that he did not know Malvar and a police investigator who knew him had cleared him up as a suspect.
He offered to help authorities find the remains of his other victims if prosecutors agreed not to pursue the death penalty
Ridgway was finally arrested in 2001 after detectives linked his DNA to sperm found in three of the first victims
Ridgway was finally arrested in 2001 after detectives linked his DNA to sperm found in three of the first victims.
By 2002, prosecutors had accused him of seven murders, but had given up all hope of connecting him with the dozens of other women.
He offered to help authorities find the remains of his other victims if prosecutors agreed not to pursue the death penalty.
Eakes was one of those who worked with Ridgway for six months to identify the remaining murders.
“Women remain missing. There remain women who will probably never be found. He claims other murders and you just don’t know if they happened, “Eakes said.
The King County Sheriff’s Office said they continued to investigate Ridgway even after he was imprisoned.
They say they still have three open cases where remains have been found and they are actively trying to identify them.
Ridgway had been a suspect since 1984, but a police investigator who knew him cleared him up as a suspect. He was finally arrested in 2001 after detectives linked his DNA to sperm found in three of the first victims