Special Reports

Snohomish detectives take new look at Ridgway

EVERETT - Snohomish County detectives plan to take a good look at Green River Killer Gary Ridgway as a potential suspect in four unsolved slayings in the county.

The cases share enough similarities with the Green River killings, Sheriff Rick Bart said.

"I think we owe it to the families to find some kind of resolution, at least as to what happened to their family members," Bart told The Herald of Everett on Monday. "That said, with an opportunity like this with Mr. Ridgway, we can't pass it up."

Ridgway, 54, pleaded guilty in King County Superior Court last Wednesday to 48 murders between 1982 and 1998.

Bart personally investigated some of the local cases he thinks should be screened for potential links to Ridgway.

Bart said that all of the cases previously were examined for links to the Green River case, but investigators at the time concluded they didn't easily fit with what was then known about the killer.

The sheriff has since reviewed legal papers spelling out Ridgway's admissions. He said there now are stronger reasons to suspect potential links.

Bart noted Ridgway was willing to travel considerable distances to place false clues designed to throw investigators off his trail.

"Did he try to do it again by bringing some of his victims up to Snohomish County?" Bart asked.

The sheriff said detectives hope to meet soon with the investigators who have been closest to Ridgway's arrest to learn if they have any information that could be helpful.

Bart said it is too soon to identify which cases he believes could be linked to Ridgway.