Gary Ridgeway, aka The Green River Killer, raped, strangled, murdered and discarded 48 females over the course of 20 years; many of his victims were under the age of 22.
[excerpts from Silja J. A. Talvi, Alternet]
Ridgway was a married man and a father, a white guy from Auburn, Washington who held the same job for 30 years – and who got away with killing one female after another for over 20 years.Now why do I think that didn't fit the FBI profile?
Detective work, diligence, and a decision on the part of the King County Prosecutor to spare Ridgway the death sentence in exchange for information are all being hailed as a job well done. Ridgway will never kill again.
But the question remains: Why was he allowed to kill, again and again, when so much evidence had already pointed in his direction two decades ago?
The answer, in great part, lies in Ridgway's own admission of who he preyed upon.
"I picked prostitutes as my victims because I hate most prostitutes and I did not want to pay them for sex," Ridgway said in his confessional statement. "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. I picked prostitutes because I thought I could kill as many of them as I wanted without getting caught."
Attitudes toward prostitutes – their very dehumanization – underlies the Green River Killer case, and yet prostitutes are the aspect of this story that has been least discussed.
Would Ridgway have been stopped in his tracks 20 or fifteen years ago if his female victims had had different class backgrounds, had not participated in the street economy, been more "innocent" in the eyes of the law?
What about today?