Sunday, October 7, 2012

Mission Serial Killers

Mission killers believe that it is their duty or destiny to rid the world of certain types of people as a way of cleansing society. Common targets are prostitutes and homosexuals. “Angels of Death,” that prey on patients in hospitals and nursing homes, committing what they call mercy killings, also fit into this category. These killers believe they have a “mission.”
Gary Ridgway (The Green River Killer) was responsible for the deaths of between 48 and 71 women from 1982-1984. When apprehended, he avoided execution by agreeing to help locate the remains of all of those women and providing details. He was sentenced to 48 life sentences and was incarcerated at the Washington State Penitentiary.
Ridgway was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and had two brothers. His mother was a domineering woman who constantly berated their father and completely controlled him. Ridgway’s IQ was 80, which signified a slight mental deficiency. He was a troubled adolescent and, when he was sixteen years old, he stabbed a six year old child. For whatever reason, he was always obsessed with prostitutes.
His drama unfolds at Aurora Avenue on the banks of the Green River in the state of Washington, an area frequented by hundreds of prostitutes. The body of Ridgway’s first victim, a sixteen year old prostitute, was found there. She was raped and strangled. He was known to leave a group of dead bodies in clusters. Driving by and remembering them gave him a high.
The “Green River Taskforce” was formed in 1984 when the death toll had reached 26. Police enlisted the help of another serial killer, Ted Bundy, who was on death row, to get insight into the workings of a serial killer’s mind. He gave them several valuable clues up until the time he was executed.
Gary Ridgway was one of the worst slayers in American history, who said he killed more women than any other serial killer. In his words, “I hate most prostitutes. I did not want to pay them for sex. I also picked prostitutes as victims because they were easy to pick up without being noticed. I knew they would not be reported missing right away, and might never be reported missing.”
Ridgway was married for fourteen years and he managed two totally separate lives: one the life of a wonderful husband going on romantic vacations with his wife and the other as an infamous serial killer.
Can you imagine how his wife must have felt when she found out that she was living with a serial killer?


  1. Great post, Patricia, thank you!

    What is so fascinating about serial killers and "the Mob"? I don't know, but I fall right in with people who are fascinated by both groups.

    If I were ever a serial killer, it would be the mission variety. I wouldn't target prostitutes or homosexuals. Poor prostitutes! They are always taking it in the shorts, so to speak, and they wouldn't be prostitutes to begin with, if someone had loved and protected and educated them as children. It's not fair to take aim at easy targets.

    No, my mission would be to rid the world of haughty, arrogant people. Or politicians who speak out of both sides of their mouths. Wait a minute-- wouldn't that be all of them?

    Maybe I could set my sights on people who lie, betray, cheat and steal, but then I'd probably have to kill myself first, since I've done all those things for a piece of chocolate.

    I guess I better stick to writing. Better to kill the evil and the wicked ones on paper than in cold blood. Wait-- wouldn't that be a great book title, "In Cold Blood"?

    1. Oh, Marta, thank you! You made me laugh!!! I'm with you; I'll only kill people on paper - hopefully!

  2. Fascinating post, Pat. You've done a lot of research, it's clear. Has anybody done a book about Gary Ridgeway? Sounds like an ideal project for you.

    1. Thanks, John, but I prefer to write only fiction. Reality is something I have to deal with every day and, when I write, I want to create the reality of my choice - one that doesn't really exist. The same thing goes for the books I read - mystery/suspense novels almost exclusively. Someone else will have to write about Ridgway.

  3. Patricia, thank you for this post, I remember the case I lived in Washington State at the time, many people (especially joggers) were afraid of who would be the next target Use this if you can in fiction, 'art imitates life of life imitates art.' Augie

    I love the site.

  4. He murdered that many people in only a two year period? I'm shocked! I didn't realize the number was so high.

    This has been a fascinating, series, Patricia.

    And thanks for the laugh, Marta! Marta and Marja -- imagine if we teamed up to... No, never mind. The world's not ready for the havoc we'd unleash. (Just joking, folks)

    1. Thanks, Marja!
      When I think about Gary Ridgway, I can't help but feel very, very sorry for his wife. How many women find out that their husbands are serial killers? Wow!