Thursday, April 19, 2012


On August 15, 1982, the body of a young woman named Opal Mills was found floating down the Green River in Seattle, Washington. Upon finding her, police encountered the body of two more women. Prior to these discoveries, the bodies of three more women were also found, their corpses strangled with the clothes they were wearing. (Green River Killer: River of Death) The Seattle Police Force came to the conclusion that there was indeed a serial killer on the loose. Gathering a large group of elite detectives, forensic scientists, and crime scene investigators, the town put together the Green River Task Force, one of the largest put together since the man-hunt for the notorious killer Ted Bundy. After the initial discoveries, the body count continued to rise; the victims ranging from ages eighteen to thirty. (Green River Killer: River of Death) Endless research and police questioning allowed head chief Richard Kraske to discover that the victims had one thing in common: prostitution. Needing help in understanding a serial killer’s point of view, Kraske enlisted the help of Ted Bundy. Their combined minds brought several suspects into the light, but none were able to be singled out. The string of murders, known now as the Green River Murders, continued to plague the Seattle strip. The search eventually died off after a year of runarounds, but Kraske refused to give up.  Years later as more murders occurred, the task force was able to use updated technology to test evidence. The DNA evidence from the scenes and the bodies allowed police to connect the murders to the murderer. Gary Leon Ridgway was finally convicted. The story, the evidence, and the conviction of Ridgway brought an end to the Green River Murders. After being arrested, Ridgway pleaded guilty to murdering 49 female prostitutes. His plea gave the families the comfort they needed as well as allowed Ridgway to escape the 49 death sentences in exchange for 49 life-without-parole sentences.

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