< Browse to Previous Essay | Browse to Next Essay >
Police arrest Green River Killer suspect on November 30, 2001.
HistoryLink.org Essay 3648
: Printer-Friendly Format
On November 30, 2001, police arrest Gary Leon Ridgway as a suspect in the Green River Killer case. The case is one of the nation's worst unsolved serial murder cases, involving the murders of at least 49 young women beginning in 1982. Many of the women were prostitutes. Their bodies were dumped in or near the Green River, which flows from east King County through Auburn and Kent, Washington, toward Seattle's Elliott Bay.
The case opened with the discovery of the body of Debra Lynn Bonner, age 23, on August 12, 1982. A previous Green River murder was that of Wendy Lee Coffield, age 16, whose body was found on July 15, 1982. DNA evidence ties Ridgway not to these two murders, but to those of Opal Mills, 16; Marcia Chapman, 31; and Carol Christensen, 21. Opal Mills was found on the bank of the Green River near Kent on August 15, 1982, the same day the bodies of Marcia Chapman and Cynthia Hinds, 17, were found in the water, weighed down by rocks. The body of Carol Christensen was found in woods outside Maple Valley in May 1983. Circumstantial evidence links Ridgway to a number of the other murders as well.
Ridgway, a truck painter raised near SeaTac, is a Tyee High School graduate. He has been a suspect for a long time. He is circumstantially associated with a number of the cases, but before now, detectives have not found adequate evidence to build a case against him.
Ian Ith, Carlton Smith, and Tomas Guillen, "Ridgway Awaits Charges; Detectives Scour Homes," The Seattle Times December 2, 2001 (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com).
Travel through time (chronological order):
< Browse to Previous Essay
Browse to Next Essay >
Washington Rivers |
Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that
encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both
HistoryLink.org and to the author, and sources must be included with any
reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this
Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For
more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact
the source noted in the image credit.
Major Support for HistoryLink.org Provided
By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins
| Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry
| 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle
| City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach
Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private
Sponsors and Visitors Like You