There is something about the psyche of a serial killer that has always intrigued me. What is it that makes one desire to take the life of another human being? Is it truly evil? Is it a psychological problem? Is it a flaw in the chemical balances in the brain? One thing for sure, it is beyond the normality to commit murder over and over, and there is a darkness about it that even the innocent fear could be within them.

Many people will not even read a book about serial killers. There seems to be a fear that by reading about it, we may open up some desire to murder that is hidden deep within us. If you tell someone you have a book on Serial Killers, they will often look at you askew, as if wondering what darkness you are hiding. But there is something about Serial Killers that intrigues most of us, even if we will not admit to it. That is why so many will watch horror movies and read books about murders. It's almost as if reading about fictional killings is okay, but true Serial Killers is not.

Jul 6, 2014

Gary Ridgway

Name: Gary Ridgway (The Green River killer)

Born: February 18, 1949 (Salt Lake City, Utah)

Died: Alive

Cause and Effect:
According to witnesses, his mother was a domineering woman and as a child he witnessed several violent fights between his parents. As a child, Gary Ridgway was tested and scored an 82 on the IQ test. This would place him at the very low end of average. Also, Ridgway grew up in a neighborhood that was considered deprived.

Living a normal life, he married three times and had several girl friends while seeking the company of prostitutes, whom he eventually began killing. Ridgway disposed of the bodies in remote woodsy areas. A few of the bodies started turning up along the Green River.

Before the Killings:
On August 18th, 1969, just shortly after graduating high school, Ridgway enlisted in the Navy. According to Navy doctors, he was diagnosed with gonorrhea, and later he told a girlfriend he especially did not like Filipino prostitutes because of his contact with them during his stint in the Navy.

Gary Ridgway married three times. After a courtship of outdoor and in-car sex, he married Claudia Kraig on August 15, 1970. Soon after the marriage, Ridgway left his bride alone as he set out on a 6 month Navy cruise. While away, she had an affair and he returned home to find her living with a female and a male roommate. Their divorce was finalized in January of 1972 and Ridgway stayed bitter about it.

After a year of living together, Gary married Marcia Winslow in December of 1973. In 1975, his son Matthew was born. They tended church and according to Marcia, he had become a fanatical over religion, but as time went on, the church going tapered off. On July 4. 1980, they separated and Marcia moved out.  On July 21st, Marcia filed for a divorce that included a restraining order and Gary countered with one of his own. Both restraining orders said they were afraid the other would become violent.  In May of 1981, the divorce was finalized and Marcia gained custody of their son Matthew.

Gary Ridgway had a few girlfriends after his second divorce. With his first girlfriend, he followed suit as his first two wives and had sex outdoors and in cars. Becoming too domineering in pushing for sex too much, his first girlfriend broke up with him.  His second girlfriend learned he had another girlfriend and broke things off with him. He was arrested for soliciting an undercover deputy posing as a prostitute and according to his present girlfriend she knew about that and said he considered prostitutes as "things" to be used. After she broke up with him, he swiftly went on to another girlfriend.

The Killings:
In 1983, County officers spotted Ridgway on February 23, with a prostitute by the name of Keli McGinness. In June, she turned up missing. Her body has never been found.

On May 4, 1983, Des Moines police spoke to Gary Ridgway about another missing prostitute, Marie Malvar. She was last seen in a truck that resembled Ridgway's. Then in Novemeber, a detective of the Gren River Task force interviewed him again about Malvar and he denied any knowledge of her. She is also listed on the list of Green River victims, but her body has never been found.

In 1984 and 1986, two prostitutes, Dawn White and Paige Miley, spoke to dethe Task Force and told detectives about Ridgways behavior in 1983. Miley said Ridgway had asked her about another prostitute, Kim Nelson, whose remains were discovered near Interstate 90 in 1986.

Gary Ridgway was interviewed several times in the mid-1980's and finally his status as a suspect was cleared after passing a polygraph test in 1984.  Later however, when detectives had a renewed interest in him, he had told them he had a fixation on prostitutes. He said he believed that prostitutes may have the same effect on him as alcohol did on an alcoholic. In 1987, detectives searched his home and found no evidence that was connected to the Green River Victims. They did obtain a saliva sample that they saved for 14 years.

In 1988, Ridgway married Judith Lynch. They bought a house and lived in it until 1997. During those years, Gary Ridgway was outgoing and talked to the neighbors a lot and took excellent care of his home. He became almost obsessed with gardening.

In 2001, a King County Sheriff called a meeting to re-examine the evidence of the Green River killings. Using the new technology of DNA, they found a connection between the victims and Gary Ridgway. They charged him with four counts  of aggravated murder in December of 2001. Rigway eventually pleaded guilty to 48 counts of aggravated first degree murder.

The Sentence:
Facing a possible death sentence, Ridgway began trying to work with the investigators and told them he had killed as many as 60 women. As part of a plea bargain to be spared the death penalty, he revealed where he had hidden the bodies of four women who were never found. In December of 2003, Gary Ridgway was sentenced to 48 life sentences with no possibility of parole.

In tapes of his confessions, Ridgway first admitted to killing 48 woman, of which 42 were on the detectives list of possible Green River Murders. Later, in another tape, he claimed to have killed 71 women. He also claimed (after his sentencing) to have had sex with all of his victims and later started burrying them to take control of his necrophiliac urges.

At the time of writing this, he is serving his sentence at the Washington State  Penitentiary. Gary Ridgeway has confessed to more confirmed murders than any other serial killer in United States history.

Total Kills:
Confirmed - 42
Confessed - 71
Possibly as many as - 90+

May 12, 2011

Ed Gein

Name: Ed Gein

Born: Aug 27, 1906 (La Crosse, Wisconsin)

Died: July 26, 1984

Cause and Effect:
Ed Gein was the product of a Mother who was domineering and continuously preach against the sins of women, and being kept away from others his age as he grew up. After his father died, his brother died four years later. The cause of death was registered as smoke asphyxiation as he and Ed were fighting a fire at the time. The fact his brother was in an unburned area and had bruising to his head was not considered. After his mother died, a year later, Ed took up grave robbing.

Grave Robbery:
When Ed's mother died, he immediately nailed her room shut to keep it as it was the day she died. He became interested in the human anatomy and began reading about the first sex change operation, even considering having one done on himself. He then with a local known as Gus, he went on to begin robbing graves.

He would read obituary columns and look for recently deceased females to rob the fresh graves. Taking souvenirs, he also started taking body parts and sometimes whole bodies.

The Killings:
Their were only two murders that were certain to be at the hands of Ed Gein. The first was a 51 year old Mary Hogan who ran a bar in Pine Grove Wisconsin. They found only blood on the floor and a spent cartridge. Gein was a suspect for the killing, but since there was no hard evidence, the police did not investigate him further.

The second of the two killings was that of Bernice Worden. Another woman in her fifties. Once again there was only blood on the floor to be found, but this time there was more to link Ed Gein to the murder. Her son had witnessed him asking her for a date and was turned down, and another citizen heard Ed say he needed to buy some anti-freeze from her store on the day she died. So the police finally paid Ed's home a visit.

It should be noted that both women he killed had similar looks to that of his mother.

House of Horrors:
The police literally walked into a scene from a horror movie, as Bernice Worden's body hung from rafters with her head and genitalia removed. Her torso was split open and gutted. They found her head being used as a makeshift ornament and her heart was sitting on a sauce pan on the stove. The pistol that matched the cartridge at the first murder was also found.

After his arrest, Gein admitted to the two murders as well as confessed about his grave robbing activities.

The Sentence:
A judge found Ed Gein to be insane and he was sent to a secure mental hospital where he spent the rest of his life.

Ed Gein died of respiratory failure on July 26th, 1984 a month shy of his 78th birthday.