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Snippet of Serial Killers: "The Green River Killer" - Gary Ridgway

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Two years after his divorce from Claudia, Gary Ridgeway married again and had a son. The relationship marked a turning point in Ridgeway's life, as he began to attend church with fanatical devotion. However, as his faith faded, Ridgway began coming home later and later, eventually soliciting prostitutes and practicing his eventual tactics on his own wife. After his second marriage fell apart, Ridgeway came near and nearer to the beginning of his killing spree.
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and perhaps Ridgeway sought an alternate path for himself rather than killing the sex workers he both used and despised, Ridgeway maybe tried to focus on religion to suppress his disturbed sexuality in this more healthy way. Another aspect of his religiosity that interests me is his obsessive tendencies. Ridgeway is a man of great extremes. He despises his mother so much that he wants to murder her. He desires sex so desperately that he rapes women and becomes addicted to prostitution. And now, in trying out religion, he becomes madly fanatical and obsessive, hardly able to sit on the couch without his Bible. It seems as though Ridgeway is unable to act in moderation to enact a level of normal self control. This extreme behavior Shirley factored into his prolific murdering spree as he took on his new for lack of a better word hobby on this religious phase did not last long. He became angry at his inability to convert his neighbors as doors were frequently shut in his face, and soon Ridgway began coming home later and later from his job as a painter. He never had any explanation for his wife, but he returned dirty and wet on, Marsha began suspecting something devious. This possibly marks the beginning of Ridgway's killings, though the identity and date of Ridgway's first victim is unknown. Ridgeway told detectives that it was very possible that he murdered women during this time when he lived with Marcia and was frequently out late at night. Bridgeway described one date with the woman, went quote. Someone went wrong with the date and I killed her. End quote. Ridgeway was simultaneously sexually devious with his wife, Marsha. She stated that Ridgeway demanded sex several times every day and was especially interested in bondage and sex outdoors. They even had sex by the banks of the Green River, where several of his victims bodies would be found. Years later, exactly on other occasions, Ridgeway would lead Marcia deep into the woods. Ridgeway would suddenly disappear from the path he'd hide behind trees. Marcia would look around, not sure where which way went. Then he creep up behind her. Ridgeway would jump out, scaring her, and, according to Marcia Ridgeway, frequently practiced walking silently as he pretended to attack her. Ridgeway clearly used these outings with his wife, is training for his future murders. This is the earliest indication of him refining the details of his M. O in the months leading up to his first kills, and Ridgeway also choked his wife on at least one occasion. One night, as they returned home from a party, Marcia stepped out of their car and stumbled toward their house When bam, suddenly someone was grabbing her, choking her, she felt a police type hold around her neck. Ah, forearm and upper arms squeezed tightly, cutting off her airflow. Marcia fought back and panicked, not yet realizing the assailant was her own husband. But a moment later, Ridgeway let go and dashed to the other side of the car. Then he hopelessly tried to convince her someone else had done it. Not surprisingly, their relationship soon deteriorated after this, causing more damage to their marriage. Marcia decided to have a gastric bypass surgery, resulting in extreme weight loss. Ridgeway worried that other men would now find her attractive, so he became increasingly jealous, though he clearly had no problem cheating on his wives with many other women, Ridgeway could not bear the thought of his wife with anyone else, And so seven years into their marriage, they finally got divorced. Ridgeway's religious years were far gone, and his rage was about to reach new heights. I don't believe in man, God or the Devil. I hate the whole damn human race, including myself, to give you a sense of timing. Ridgeway's marriage with Marcia ended in 1981 and his first known victims body would be found around a year later, the summer of 82. And as Ridgeway inched closer and closer to murder, this marriage ended more aggressively than his first. Yes, Marcia received custody of their son, Matthew, and Ridgway was forced to pay child support $275 a month. A notoriously cheap man, Ridgeway was so furious at this that he actually claims he considered killing Marcia. However, he actually never followed through. Vanessa. Does it surprise you that Ridgeway never killed anyone close to him? Well, it doesn't. Though. Ridgeway was clearly very violent and malicious towards women. He was also manipulative and smart about his crimes. If he had actually killed his wife, he would have been more likely caught. Investigators usually treat the husbands of murdered women as prime suspects. Ridgeway thus knew that he would have to restrain himself, a rare occurrence for him. If he wanted to remain under the radar, his future victims would be strangers that investigators would have a hard time tying back to Ridgeway. That makes sense. Ridgway had to create a normal seeming life so his neighbors and peers wouldn't be suspicious. The following is from a reporter who interviewed Ridgeway's neighbors after his eventual arrest. Neighbors described the 52 year old is ordinary. His arrest and search that included digging up his yard shocked the neighborhood south of Seattle. Ridgway had the same job for 30 years after his divorce with Marcia. Ridgeway did, however, become more engrossed in the local prostitution scene. With an insatiable sex drive, he began soliciting sex workers rather frequently while simultaneously developing an even greater hatred towards them. He felt the sex workers judged him as disdainful. Whether or not the sex workers actually judged him, it's likely that Ridgeway was simply projecting his own insecurities onto them. In other words, he might have been judging himself as disgusting for using sex workers, and so he transferred his self hatred onto others around him and as he continued to listening, sex workers. He also tried dating again. He joined a Parents Without Partners Group, which would prove to be a fertile breeding ground for several short relationships. Ridgeway's sexual demands persisted into these new flings, even as he slept with several these women. Concurrently, Ridgeway constantly demanded sex from them. He preferred having intercourse outdoors and tying the women up. And as Ridgeway edged closer to the starting point of his killing spree, he seemingly became less interested in long term relationships and instead focused on as much sex as possible. That's right. He was even arrested but not charged for suspicion of soliciting an undercover deputy disguised as a sex worker. With several girlfriends and frequent use of sex workers, Ridgeway couldn't satisfy a sex drive. Vanessa, would you hypothesize that he had developed some sort of sex addiction, Right? Well, yeah, it seems likely we already know that Ridgway has a very addictive and obsessive personality. A sex addiction specifically is characterized by compulsive thoughts and actions surrounding sex. Like with most addictions, the sex addict must increase the frequency and intensity of the behavior to achieve the same high per se. And in Ridgway's case, he'd likely became unsatisfied with simply having sex with sex workers. And in a desperate search for his next high, he resorted to violence, sex with sex workers and eventually murder Ridgeway's first confirmed victim with 16 year old Wendy Lee Caufield. Wendy had been living with a foster family in Tacoma, Washington, where she worked as a street sex worker. On July 8th, 1982 Wendy would leave her foster home to never be seen alive again. The plan was I wanted to kill a ZMA any women I thought were prostitutes, as I possibly could. Next week, we'll continue our examination of notorious serial killer Gary Ridgway. His prolific murder spree has on Lee just begun, and so will study the motives and methods of his gruesome crimes, including his obsession with necrophilia. And we'll learn of his twisted methods of avoiding detection for almost two decades. Not only did he deceive his community and the police, but he even tricked his own wife for 10 years of their marriage as he became the man known as the Green River Killer. Don't forget to subscribe to serial killers on iTunes, soundcloud stitcher or any other podcast directory, or through our website podcast dot com. That's p a r C s t dot com A new episode of Serial Killers comes out every Monday. Please let us know what you think and join the conversation on our podcast Facebook page. You can tweet us at Podcast Network.