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Gary Leon Ridgway

The Green River Killer

Gary Ridgway didn't think much of prostitutes. Operating largely in the ghost town that surrounds Seattle's SEA-TAC airport during 1982-84, he embarked on a hobby that earned him the position of most prolific serial killer in United States history. Russian Andrei Chikatilo, among others, hold the international equivalent of that designation.

Ridgway didn't make very many mistakes, and he studied the errors of others in his field, including those of Ted Bundy. In fact he and Ted shared many of the same haunts; one of Ridgway's pursuers, Keppel, feels that jealousy may be the motivation that brought Bundy's cooperation in the hunt for the Green River Killer.

To save himself from the death sentence, Ridgway entered into a plea bargain in November 2003. Ultimately it may be a lost cause; he can be tried in other states and face that punishment in those jurisdictions.


18 Feb 1949 Gary Ridgway born to Tom and Mary Ridgway, Utah.
1970 Marries first wife, Claudia.
1971 Discharged from U.S. Navy.
1971 Claudia and Gary divorce.
Dec 1973 Marries second wife, Marcia Winslow.
1975 Son, Matthew, born.
May 1981 Marcia and Gary divorce.
21 Jan 1982 Leann Wilcox, age 16, discovered in a field.
12 May 1982 Gary Leon Ridgway arrested for soliciting a prostitute.
7 Jul 1982 Amina Agisheff missing.
15 Jul 1982 Two boys discover the body of Wendy Lee Coffield, age 16, floating in the Green River, Kent WA.
12 Aug 1982 A man discoveres prostitute Deborah Lynn Bonner, age 23, floating in the Green River.
15 Aug 1982 Two bodies discovered by Robert Ainsworth in the Green River: Marcia Chapman, Cynthia Hinds. Police discover a third body nearby, Opal Mills.
1982 In different incidents, both his ex-wife Marcia and lady friend Rebecca Quay were placed in "police type choke holds" by Ridgway.
8 Mar 1983 Delores Williams, age 17, missing.
8 May 1983 Police discover body of Carol Ann Christensen, age 21. Her body is found in a totem-like display, with strategically placed fish, freshly ground beef on her hand.
17 Jul 1983 James Tindal reports girlfriend Gisele Loworn missing.
18 Sep 1983 Body of Delores Williams discovered, Star Lake.
15 Oct 1983 Skeletal remains of Yvonne Antosh discovered.
29 Oct 1983 Skeletal remains of Kelly Ware, age 22, discovered.
13 Nov 1983 Skeletal remains of Mary Meehan discovered, with her unborn baby.
15 Dec 1983 Skull of Kimi-Kai Pitsor discovered, Auburn WA.
Jan 1984 Task force for the Green River killings formed.
14 Feb 1984 Skeletal remains of Denise Louise Plager discovered.
26 May 1984 Skeletal remains of Colleen Brockman, age 15, discovered in Pierce County.
c. Jan 1985 Serial Killer Ted Bundy offers his assistance.
10 Mar 1985 Skeletal remains of Carrie Rois discovered.
8 Apr 1987 Police search Gary Leon Ridgway's residence, and take tissue samples.
1990 Green River Task Force disbanded.
1 Sep 1995 Book, The Riverman: Ted Bundy and I Hunt for the Green River Killer.
Mar 2001 Mother dies from cancer.
30 Nov 2001 Gary Leon Ridgway arrested for four of the Green River murders.
18 Dec 2001 Ridgway enters innocent plea for the four murders.
26 Dec 2001 Kathy Mills, mother of Opal Mills, files a wrongful death lawsuit against Gary and Judith Ridgway, King County Superior Court.
5 Sep 2002 Judith Lynch and Gary file for legal separation.
27 Mar 2003 Ridgway charged with 3 more counts of murder (Coffield, Estes, Bonner.)
3 Apr 2003 Ridgway enters innocent plea for the 3 additional counts.
5 Nov 2003 In a plea bargain, Gary Leon Ridgway pleads guilty to 48 murders.
18 Dec 2003 Gary Leon Ridgway sentenced to life without possibility of parole.

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