The Nightmare closet

Gary Ridgway

(Killings between 1982 and 1984)

Known as the Green River Killer, Ridgway murdered numerous women in Washington during the 1980s and 1990s. He strangled them with rope, fishing line and anything else he could find. He also engaged in forms of torture including rape and necrophilia. 

Ridgway's birthplace is Salt Lake City, Utah and he had two brothers. He had a domineering mother who constantly yelled at their father and controlled Ted completely, and was never pleased with what he did. Ridgway's IQ was 80, which signified a slight mental deficiency. He was a troubled teen and stabbed a kid of six when he was 16. He always had an obsession with prostitutes. He was married for fourteen years and he managed two totally different identities: a wonderful husband going on romantic vacations and the other of the serial killer.

Aurora Avenue on the banks of the Green River, where hundreds of prostitutes hang around and where on July 15, 1982, the body of a 16-year-old woman prostitute was found. She was the first victim of the infamous Green River Killer and was raped and strangled to death. He had the habit of finding a landmark and leaving a group of dead bodies in "clusters," to remember easily. Driving by these clusters and remembering them gave him a high.


While the killings continued and police could not find a clue, the "Green River Taskforce" was formed in the year 1984 as the death toll reached 26 by then.

Another serial killer, Ted Bundy, who was sitting on a death row, offered to assist the police and gave them several clues into the working of a serial killer's mind, until the time he was executed.

The Green River Killer caused mayhem for two and a half years during the 1980s. He pleaded guilty to 48 charges in 2003 but claimed to have killed 71 women. A controversial plea bargain he entered into spares him execution in exchange for helping locate the remains of all those women and provide details. This created a controversy as many people believed that a person who murdered so many people should not be spared execution. He was sentenced to 48 life sentences and is currently incarcerated in Washington at the Washington State Penitentiary.

"I hate most prostitutes. I did not want to pay them for sex. I also picked prostitutes as victims because they were easy to pick up, without being noticed. I knew they would not be reported missing right away, and might never be reported missing." These were the words of one of the worst slayers in American history, who was said to have killed more women than any other serial killer.