Gary Ridgway – Killed 49
During the span of 1982 through 2001, Washington state was a blood soaked playground for former Vietnam Vet, Gary Ridgway. Though it would be easy to blame the war for Ridgway’s disturbing nature, even as a young boy there was an evil brewing. At the age of 16, Gary stabbed a six-year-old boy in the liver, laughing after the deed was done, stating “I always wondered what it would be like to kill someone.” Though the boy lived, Gary got his first taste for blood. At the age of 33 in 1982, Ridgway started a spree of murders that would throw the state of Washington into a frenzy, starting with Wendy Lee Coffield. Known as the Green River Killer for his m.o. of dumping bodies in the areas surrounding Green River, Ridgway targeted what were speculated to be teenage runaways and prostitutes, strangling them to death. Even in death, Ridgway offered no reprieve for his victim’s bodies as he often revisited the site to have sex with them. On November 30, 2001, The Green River Killer was picked up after DNA evidence linked him to the string of murders. In order to retrieve his victim’s bodies, the prosecuting attorney, Norm Maleng entered a plea bargain with Ridgway, foregoing the death penalty in favor of life in prison without parol. How many women Ridgway actually killed is unknown, as even Ridgway himself claims to have killed so many that he lost count, but the final confirmed number that he was convicted on was 49.