The Behavioural Characteristics of the Green River Killer - Paper Example

Published: 2024-01-20
The Behavioural Characteristics of the Green River Killer - Paper Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  United States Police Behavior
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1902 words
16 min read


The Green River Killer by Gary Ridgwaycan is regarded as one of the creative serial killers in the United States of America’s history. He preyed on the most susceptible of his victims, who are mostly prostitutes. The analysis looks at the difficulties experienced by the police officials while trying to create the profile that matches that of one serial sexual offender who also doubles as a murderer. Such is portrayed in the case of the Green River. The experiences and the lives of prostitutes, which this paper examines, establishes the extent of susceptibility to many crimes and, at the same time, explore the nature of customers that frequents the serial sexual murderer. Therefore, the paper summarizes criminal profiling, which is studied in line with the Green River case to obtain understandings of the motivations and drives behind crimes. Additionally, the ethical implications and forensics of cases are discussed.

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Evaluation of the criminal act itself

Between the 1980s to 1990s, the records report that around seventy-one females got murdered next to Tacoma and Seattle towns. The deceased's bodies were comprised mostly of young adults and adolescents within the age range of 15 years to 26. The bodies of these victims got discovered after being disposed of in the woods. The woods were located in very remote areas within Green River banks, located near King County. Most of these victims were mainly underage runaways or prostitutes. For almost two decades, the investigations went on before the suspect in these cases of serial sexual murders got found. The investigations came to a halt after the investigators identified Gary Leon Ridgway, who was considered the main suspect for all the killings. Besides, by the end of November in 2001, the police apprehended Ridgway. At the time of his arrests for the murders of the victims, he was around 52 years old. Subsequent interrogations by the police are what resulted in his convictions for the 48 counts of murder.

An additional count for another victim was later added, making the counts reach 49. He finally offered his confession of almost two times the number of counts he initially got convicted on, thus making him become amongst the most serial killer in America's history. The common mode of operation that he used involved luring his preys, which mainly consisted of underage girls and prostitutes, to his house for sex, where he ended up strangling them to their death. He later disposed of the bodies of his victims in the woods and specific remote areas. The confessions he made revealed that he would, in most cases, return to the places he disposed of his victims and perform necrophilic acts, which means engaging in sexual intercourse with their corpses. So on 18th December 2001, the suspect pleaded guilty to the first degree's 48 murder charges. What followed was his conviction of 480 years in jail. Further, he was to be subjected to solitary confinements at the State Penitentiary in Walla Walla in Washington.

A comprehensive evaluation of the specifics of the crime scene(s)

The case itself takes its names from Green River. The river flows through the state of Washington and drains at Seattle at a place called Puget Sound. When the investigation began in 1982, it did not go beyond six months before five victims' bodies were found near a river called Green River (Castillo, 2020). Among the victims, most of those who fell victims were prostitutes who got raped and strangled. Most of the investigations the police carried out were mainly done in Sea-Tac Strip. It was a harbour for prostitutes where the majority of girls strangely vanished at a cumulative rate. The investigation continued towards 1987, where the body counts for the victims that got decomposed in Seattle had risen to 40. All these victims were believed to have been victims of Gary Ridgway. While these investigations entered the year 1987, the law enforcement officers transformed their attention in only a single suspect by Gary Ridgway, who was also a resident truck artist. He frequented the Sea-Tac Strip, where the prostitutes were got (Castillo, 2020). By 1984 he passed a lie detector test concerning the killings of the Green River. The police sought search warrants for the Ridgeway residence. Here the police obtained saliva and hair samples. But due to short pieces of evidence, the suspect got released from the custody of the police. Once again, Ridgeway got released from police custody because of insufficient evidence. Apart from one more killing that occurred in the year 1998, the killing spree came to a halt in 1990, and the case into the murders got dormant for around ten years.

But with the beginning of the DNA testing, there was new life into an investigation that followed. For example, by the year 2001, samples of semen collected from previous victims suspect in the Green River case got likened to the saliva obtained from the Ridgway by 1987. This DNA matched, meaning the police had found their man. An extra forensic association with Ridgway got when the small quantity of the sprays of paint in the six victims' clothing items compared to that collected from the place Ridgeway worked. Ridgway eventually confessed to the killings of the 48 victims, thus avoiding the death penalty. In evaluating specifics of crime scenes, the victims' bodies got found in some familiar sites like old vehicles and places where he worked.

Evaluation of preliminary police reports

There are the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s mental profiles of the killer linked to the Green River. The profile which got used for several years matched Gary Ridgeway in several aspects. The statement is reliable because such proclamations on the suspect’s life as revealed by law enforcement and in the court's documents are true. Some of the police reports that seem to link the suspect to the murder charges stated that he knew the crimes well. According to these reports, Ridgeway got familiar with the scenes where the victims’ bodies got found. Besides, the reports described him as having older vehicles, slightly great intelligence, being divorced, good physical conditions, and still interacting with prostitutes.

The reports also painted the profile of the killer as one in his mid-20s to 30s. Such claims are correct as, at the time of arrest, Ridgeway was 33 years old. At 52 years, the suspect got charged with the murders of 4 women among them Cynthia Hinds, Opal Mills, Carol Ann, and Marcia Chapman. These are among the deaths linked to the serial sexual murderer associated with the Green River incidence. Whereas the County Sheriff's Office tries so much to determine whether Ridgeway may be linked to any or all the remaining victims of murder, the people investigating still think that there may be more than one killer for the deaths.

There was a profile that got created in 1982. Since its creation, it has been perceived as one of the guarded secrets. During the time, the county management hoped these profiles would provide a breakthrough in identifying the killer's identity (Chan, 2019). The created profile got revised in 1984. It helped law enforcement officers in rating defendants as medium, high and low importance during the investigation. Based on different information gathered during various warrants offered on the suspect during 1987 and in the recent weeks, this suspect got rated as A-minus.

Evaluation of the medical examiner’s autopsy protocol

Even though the collection of information coding proved to have crucial forensic suggestions, DNA pieces of evidence played very important roles in ensuring that this suspect linked to the Green River got apprehended. Early during investigations, DNA samples got taken from different victim bodies that got disposed of recently. Unfortunately, numerous skeletal remains got recovered several years after the killings occurred. Even though DNA samples were collected as evidence during these times, the main problem was a lack of sufficient and adequate technology to ensure easier identification. It meant the samples had to be held for many years with hopes that advances would be made in this field, which would necessitate the identification of collected DNA samples (Martin, Schwarting & Chase, 2020).

Following a decade of waiting, a new lab testing for the DNA samples was obtained by the Washington state crime, which eventually led to the arrest of Garry Ridgway, who got considered the prime suspect in the Green River murders. The Green River case illustrated significant roles that DNA technology played towards making sure Garry Ridgway got apprehended. Obviously, without the evolution of DNA technology, there would be no linking of the prime suspect here to the Green River slayings. Statements given by Reichert make a summary of the forensic implications resulting from the case. All through investigations, investigators had redefined processing associated with outdoor crimes parts to degrees that may be regarded as scientific disciplines. The investigators also invented improved approaches to the management of cases and also the usage of processers. It means that the development may be adopted and applied further by many other teams that carry investigations in other similar murders. The medical examiner’s autopsy protocol made it possible to solve murders linked to strangers on stranger crimes and have the least evidence. It, therefore, gave hopes to investigating such kinds of crimes.

Development of profile with critical offender characteristics

Gary Ridgway, who is the offender of the case, got born on 18th February 1949. The place of his birth was Utah, but he grew in Seattle. The suspect’s mother was called Mary Ridgway. The mother subjugated the home with her audacity and strange ways of parenting. Tom, the father, was also a submissive man and thus failed to stand up to the wife. Here are several tales that have been told of Mary Ridgway. She is said to have broken plates over the head of her husband. However, whenever Mary did these, the husband did not react apart from getting up and leaving. In Ridgway's past, it appears the father fails to play any significant roles in his life apart from not standing up to women. He thus introduced the inkling of necrophilia ideas to his son. While growing, the suspect observed the father work in a mortuary. He would frequently come to the household telling the stories of partners who appreciated appealing necrophilism in the undertaker. In the period, the story became the subject of Ridgway's teen sexual imaginations. He treasured the idea of committing sexual intercourse with a corpse who is deceased for the reason that you would not get caught. In doing sex with a corpse, there are no feelings as a corpse would not feel anything.

Besides his blood relation dysfunctional connection and the father's shocking work narrations, Gary Ridgway's youth was filled with severe issues (Martin, Schwarting & Chase, 2020). In his early years, he endured bed-wetting. Whenever this occurred, the mother scolded him right in front of the siblings. She stood him up forcefully in the shower, thus giving him a cold bubble bath while at the same time paying unusual attention to Garry’s genitals. Often, the mother did all these to him while barely dressed. Mary Ridgway acquiesced the son to extra terrible events and talks. She always described dressing in very sexually aggressive ways while at work in the men's unit of a home-grown branch store. She often told Ridgway tales of how she always got aroused whenever she compared men with the suits they wore.

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