Historic Unedited Photos They Don't Want You To See
Publication: Historical Archives. Posted by
Historic Unedited Photos They Don't Want You To See
More commonly known as the Green River Killer, Ridgway has the grim distinction of being the American serial killer with the highest number of confirmed victims.
Very rarely will you see a serial killer that is still alive more than 20 years after the crimes that they’ve committed. One of these rare cases is that of Gary Ridgway, a man that was convicted of nearly 50 murders throughout the 1980s and 1990s and confessed to more than 70 in total. He’s known as the Green River Killer because of his actions, and he’s truly one of the most despicable people to ever live.
Many called for Ridgway to receive the death penalty because of how heinous his crimes were and the span of time in which he did them, but he was instead given life in prison. The reason behind it is that Ridgway says that he has more victims that he wasn’t caught for, and offered up a plea deal to give away the locations of the bodies in exchange for him not being put to death. It wasn’t a trade that people were happy with, but if it leads to some closure for the families of their victims, it will have been worth it for them.
What you see here is a troubled young man. Ridgway was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on February 18, 1949 into a home with two other siblings. Both of his parents had shown almost no compassion or interest in raising Ridgway, especially as he had problems wetting the bed into his teenage years. It was clear that Ridgway wasn’t mentally stable at a young age thanks in large part to his upbringing, and he had a low mental capacity on top of that that hindered his school work while being raised near Seattle, Washington.
It was in Seattle that Ridgway attended Tyee High School, graduating in the late 1960s during the Vietnam War. Shortly after graduating, Ridgway married his girlfriend at the time and enlisted with the Navy where he was shipped off to the war. The marriage ended when Ridgway returned as both of them had been unfaithful during his deployment. He’d have many relationships that followed his divorce, which included another pair of marriages.
However, those that knew Ridgway during his younger days didn’t feel that he was capable of any violence toward women. One of his neighbors from that time, Gilbert Mendiola, explained. “That was my neighbor,” he said. “I went to school with this guy. It was really sad. He never exhibited anything like an oddity that way toward women or anything that I would see that would make me suspect him of having that kind of personality.”
Unfortunately, the real Ridgway had been hiding from the public and some of those that had known him the best. “He didn’t really stand out,” one of his classmates said, calling him “actually a nice guy…You’d see him going to the principal’s office, but nothing bad.” What Ridgway was able to hide was a strong allure to women while also trying to balance his deep religious beliefs. He took things to the extremes in the 1980s, sending many in the Pacific Northwest into a panic.
Between that decade and the one that followed, there were at least 70 women that disappeared and were eventually murdered along Washington’s Green River, which earned Ridgway his moniker. Ridgway performed cruel acts toward the women that he picked up, many of which were escorts that he assaulted, taking them to his home to hide the bodies from being discovered. Early into his crime spree, Ridgway was actually arrested, but only on charges of hiring the women as escorts. Law enforcement even suspected that he might be the Green River Killer, but he was let go after he passed a lie detector test, claiming his innocence.
Five years later, though, while Ridgway was in what seemed like a stable relationship, a warrant was issued for his arrest as the killings continued. It wasn’t until late in 2001 that Ridgway was actually caught, as police had used DNA samples to link him back to the crimes that they suspected he might have committed all those years ago. The apprehension of the Green River Killer was big news, not only in the northwest but around the country.
The charges against Ridgway never even made it to trial as he had pleaded guilty to four dozen charges of murder. As part of the agreement to plead guilty, Ridgway’s defense team insisted that he didn’t receive the death penalty, but he’d still receive life in prison without a possibility of parole. With Ridgway alive, he started to tell authorities where some of the bodies were, but couldn’t recollect all of his killings as he claimed he lost count and track of where some had been hidden. According to the murderer, he said the victim count was much higher than what he was charged with, and the now 70 year old will be in prison for the rest of his life trying to remember where he hid many of those victims.
After years of not speaking with the media, Ridgway finally broke his silence in 2013 when he encountered a journalist that he felt comfortable speaking with named Charlie Harger. “The strange thing about Gary Ridgway is if you didn’t know the depravity, if you didn’t know the evil that this man committed, you would have no clue when you talked on the phone with him,” Harger said. “This man sounds like he would be a perfect neighbor.”
It just goes to show you that you can’t take things on a surface level, especially when it comes to people. Ridgway has been described as being somebody that’s still toying with authorities and the media, even sounding remorseful and wanting to help find the victims to bring closure. “You can’t go back and change the past; it’s over with,” the murderer said. “All we can do is try to make it better.” While he claims that, there are still plenty that don’t buy a word that he says.