Gary Leon Ridgway is famous for admitting to the most serial killings. He is linked to the deaths of 48 young women; most were strangled to death around Seattle and Tacoma, Washington. It took nearly 20 years for Ridgway to be caught and brought to justice. He committed the majority of his murders between and , during which time the bodies of many of his victims were found near Green River in Washington.
Bundy and Ridgway both had Washington upbringings
Ridgway grew up in what became SeaTac, Washington. His father was a bus driver and his mother a salesclerk. The younger Ridgway later claimed that his mother engaged in inappropriate behaviour. Notably, he alleged that after wetting the bed—a habit that persisted into his early teens—she would wash his genitals. At some point he began fantasizing about killing her, and in the mids he stabbed a young boy. After graduating from high school in —at the age of 20—Ridgway served a two-year stint in the U. Navy and later settled in the Seattle area, where he worked as a truck painter. Over the next 30 years, he married three times and had a son. In Ridgway was arrested for allegedly choking a prostitute, but no charges were filed after he claimed that the woman had bit him.
He was initially convicted of 48 separate murders. As part of his plea bargain , another conviction was added, bringing the total number of convictions to 49, making him the second most prolific serial killer in United States history according to confirmed murders. Most of Ridgway's victims were alleged to be sex workers and other women in vulnerable circumstances, including underage runaways. The press gave him his nickname after the first five victims were found in the Green River before his identity was known.
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