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Snippet of Crime Junkie: SERIAL KILLER: The Green River Killer

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The Horrifying Story of the Green River Killer Told Through Podcasts On the surface, Gary Ridgway was just another average guy. He was a devoted husband, a hardworking employee, and a regular churchgoer. Ridgeway was also the second-most prolific serial killer in the history of the United States. Over the course of what he calls his "career," Ridgeway murdered at least 49 girls and young women. According to him, the total was closer to 70. The so-called, "Green River Killer," terrorized the Pacific Coast Highway for almost two decades. Ridgway baffled the police—who were aided by Ted Bundy—and even passed a polygraph test to stay at large. If it weren't for the invention of DNA profiling, Ridgeway might never have been caught. Discover the whole disturbing story in this playlist full of expert documentation and analysis of Ridgeway's monstrous life. Vurbl Riveting True Crime Stories
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In this snippet, Ashley and Brit dissect the childhood of "The Green River Killer." Gary Ridgeway was not a normal child. His mother was domineering, and physically and sexually abusive. His father was a meek man, who absorbed his wife's fury instead of fighting back. His parents' relationship dynamic bred a rage in Gary that festered in his psyche—creating warped, violent thoughts that plagued him into adolescence and adulthood.
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way. So obviously we're talking about a case that was solved over 15 years ago. We all know that Gary Ridgway is the Green River killer. But I also know that he's responsible for a minimum of 49 deaths. But you're telling me the police were at his door after victim number 23? Yes. Spoiler alert. They don't arrest him. They go to his home, have a conversation with him. But he comes off as a very normal dude. And while he might be on police radar now, there's nothing to make them think that he's the killer. Oh, nothing except a witness spotting his car, picking up the victim. Yeah, decides. So I don't know how much police looked into Gary after this first encounter, but if they would have dug deep, this is what they would have found. I don't think Gary was ever a normal child. There wasn't one instance I can point to really that made him into the killer he became. But his childhood was troubled. He was the middle child of three boys. He was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. But at a young age, he and his family moved to Washington state. Specifically, they bought a home very close to the Pacific Highway South, which is a street where it was well known that you could go and meet a sex worker. And this is where Gary would later stock in abduct his victims. His home life was rocky as a child, although they looked like the All American family on the outside. They were not a happy family. Gerri's mother was very domineering and could be both physically and verbally abusive to the family, especially to her husband. One time she even smashed a plate over his head at dinner, and he didn't do anything. He just gets up, walks away from the table, and this is how he was in most of their confrontation. So she overpowered him and he was too meek or didn't care enough to fight back. And some psychologists have attributed this interaction between Gerri's parents as the building block for his hatred toward women. He hated the way his mother treated all of them, and he really hated the fact that his father was never strong enough to really stand up to her, and he didn't protect himself. He didn't protect Gary or his brothers from his mother. People say that when Gary grew up, he wanted to be the exact opposite. Like basically an extreme to what his father was. His mother was also very mean to the boys. She would scream at them. She would ridicule and embarrassed Gerry as he grew up, sometimes in front of his friends or his brothers. He actually had a problem wetting the bed until he was 13 years old and his mom would make fun of him in front of his brothers, and she would force him into a cold bath where, even at the ages of 11 12 13, she would hand wash him and she would scrub his quote dirtiest parts, which were his genitals. And she would do this all while. She was barely dressed like in her underwear. This is just again all super inappropriate and especially at his age. And there are other things that she would dio. She worked at a clothing store fitting men for suits, and she would tell Gary these stories about how wall she was down on her knees, measuring these men's in scene. They would get aroused, and she would explain to him what their erections were like and what their genitals smelled like. And this all contributed to very confusing thoughts about his mother, about women and about sex in general. And this was noticeable early on. Gary said that he used to fantasize about his mother like sexually. Partly, he said, he had two competing fantasies. The first was sexual. She used to come home sometimes and lay out in the backyard in her bikini, sometimes even topless, and he said she was the only female figure he had ever seen. So while he's going through puberty, which was already confusing for him because she was washing his genitals and talking to him about really inappropriate sexual things, he's seeing her like this and getting very confused. He would get aroused looking at her. And he said he liked the sexual aspect of his mother better than the actual mothering part of her. But at the same time, he said he had those thoughts. He also thought about torturing her like mutilating her, cutting her throat and even burning down their house with her in it. Wait, are you familiar with the Oedipus complex? Kind of like doing explain? Sure, it's a Freudian theory that all boys are sexually attracted to their mothers at a young age and they see their fathers as a competitors. Er, if you have a healthy relationship with your mother, you eventually grow out of it. You're never gonna win her over. You're never going to beat your dad and it becomes nothing. It's just something that you experience and doesn't really affect you at all. Freud's theories. Everyone feels like this as a child, and we all just grow out of everyone, right, everyone, It's pretty broad. I agree. E feel like this is like one of his more like controversial. Yeah, very. I don't know why I could think of the word E, but if you consider that in this case Gary was never threatened by his dad, his dad was a very weak figure in their family. So though, according to Freud, everyone experiences this and the majority of us grow out of it. Gary never had to grow out of it because he never had a competitor for his mom. So he believed that he could actually be with his mother. And I'm sure like the stuff that she was doing was making him think that. I mean, she's talking to him about these sexual things. Stuff a mother shouldn't be talking to her son about bathing him while he's, like, way too old to be bathed, literally nurturing his edifice complex. Interesting, I wonder. I mean, I have no research about this. It's just the thought that I have. I wonder how many serial killers have this complex would be super interesting to know, Freud says. All of them true. So whether he had this or not, he said, the new these feelings were wrong to have about his mother, but he couldn't stop them. So he got thes sexual feelings mixed together with all of these violent thoughts, all during some of his most formative years, when really his sexual preferences are developing, so you can see how a violent man came from this childhood that was laid before him. But it wasn't just Gerri's mother that we can see in his actions as an adult. Gerry's father worked in a mortuary, and he used to come home, and he would tell Gary stories about how his co worker would have sex with the dead bodies. Oh my God, why Would you tell a kid that? Why would you tell anybody that? You know these parents I know. Also note to self.