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Gary Leon Ridgway (born February 18, 1949) is an American serial killer known as the Green River Killer.
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Most of his victims were alleged to be prostitutes and other women in vulnerable situations, including underage runaways.
The press gave him his nickname after the first five victims were found in the Green River before his identity was known.
He strangled the women, usually by hand but sometimes using ligatures.
After strangling them, he would dump their bodies in forested and overgrown areas in King County, often returning to the dead bodies to have sexual intercourse with them.
On November 30, 2001, as he was leaving the Kenworth truck factory where he worked in Renton, Washington, he was arrested for the murders of four women whose cases were linked to him through DNA evidence.
Ridgway was born the second of three boys in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1949.His home life was somewhat troubled; relatives have described his mother as domineering and have said that young Ridgway witnessed more than one violent argument between his parents.As a young child, Ridgway was tested with an IQ of 82, signifying below average intelligence.He did very poorly in school and his classmates described him as being quiet and largely forgettable.His teenage years were troubled; he wet the bed up until the age of 14.When his mother found out about the incidents, she would have him march naked all the way into the bathroom. This both aroused and embarrassed Ridgway, which caused him to have both sexual and violent fantasies about his mother.