Episode 009: Gary Ridgway – The Green River Killer, Part 1on December 24, 2010 in Podcast Episodes, Serial Killers by Brian Combs
It was April 2001, and Sheriff Dave Reichert had been a cop for nearly thirty years. With experience in SWAT, Hostage Negotiation, Bomb Disposal, and as a murder detective, he had pretty much seen it all. He had solved countless cases, and failed to solve his share as well. But one had stuck with him.
In the early 1980’s, a tidal wave of bodies had been discovered in and around the Green River in the Seattle-Tacoma area of Washington State. Most were either known prostitutes or runaways, and they had generally been strangled. The unknown subject who committed the murders became known as the Green River Killer. Reichert had been one of the principal members of the task force formed to investigate the murders.
After nine years, nearly 50 victims, and $15 million dollars spent, the task force had failed to catch the Green River Killer. The task force wound down, but Reichert could never forgot.
He became Sheriff of King County, Washington in 1997. And, in 2001, he renewed the investigation.
Reichert hoped technology developed in the two decades since the killings began would lead the investigation in new, more fruitful, directions. Forensic samples from victims and DNA samples from suspects were sent to labs for additional testing.
On September 10, 2001, Reichert received news that brought him to tears: A match had been found, and he already knew the suspect.
The unsub was unknown no more.
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