A Kenworth truck painter
was charged Dec. 5 with four long-unsolved deaths linked to the Green River
killings. The case has long been considered to be the biggest unsolved serial-killing
case in the nation.
Gary Leon Ridgway,
52, of Auburn, WA, is charged with four counts of aggravated first-degree
murder, which, if he's convicted, would carry the death penalty or life in
prison without parole. He was arrested Nov. 30 at the Kenworth plant in Reston,
Advances in DNA science
has allowed investigators to link Ridgway to three of the slayings, coupled
with circumstantial evidence connecting him to a fourth victim. Prosecutors
are reviewing other homicides linked to the Green River killer to see if he
could be charged in those cases.
Authorities say the
Green River killer murdered as many as 49 women in the Seattle area from 1982
to 1984. Most were runaways or prostitutes.
Ridgway was once identified
as a prime suspect in the case. He was accused by one prostitute of trying
to choke her to death in a wooded area in 1984, but charges were dropped after
he told the authorities the woman had tried to bite him.
Ridgway, who has worked at Kenworth for 32 years, as "out-of-the way
friendly," "creepy-friendly" and "just goofy," according
to a published report.
is scheduled for Dec. 18 in King County Superior Court. He is being held without