Special Reports

Gary Leon Ridgway: In his own words

The Judge has asked me to state what I did in my own words that makes me guilty of these crimes. This is my statement:

I killed the 48 women listed in the State's second amended information.In most cases, when I murdered these women, I did not know their names. Most of the time, I killed them the first time I met them and I do not have a good memory for their faces. I killed so many women I have a hard time keeping them straight.

I have reviewed information and discovery about each of the murders with my attorneys, and I am positive that I killed each one of the women charged in the Second Amended Information. I killed them all in King County. I killed most of them in my house near Military Road, and I killed a lot of them in my truck, not far from where I picked them up. I killed some of the outside. I remember leaving each woman's body in the place where she was found.

I have discussed with my attorneys the "common scheme or plan" aggravating circumstance charged in all these murders. I agree that each of the murders I committed was part of a "common scheme or plan." The plan was: I wanted to kill as many women I thought were prostitutes as I possibly could.

I picked prostitutes as my victims because I hate most prostitutes and 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. I picked prostitutes because I though I could kill as many of them as I wanted without getting caught.

Another part of my plan was where I put the bodies of these women. Most of the time I took the women's jewelry and their clothes to get rid of any evidence and make them harder to identify. I placed most of the bodies in groups which I call "clusters." I did this because I wanted to keep track of all the women I killed. I liked to drive by the "clusters" around the county and think about the women I placed there. I usually used a landmark to remember a "cluster" and the women I placed there. Sometimes I killed and dumped a woman, intending to start a new "cluster," and never returned because I thought I might get caught putting more women there.

Source: State vs. Ridgway, Statement of Defendant on Plea of Guilty