SEATTLE -- The man suspected of being the Green River Killer has agreed to plead guilty next week to the murders of 48 women in a deal that would spare him from execution, a person involved in the case told The Associated Press yesterday.
Gary Leon Ridgway, a 54-year-old truck painter arrested in the serial killer case in 2001, will admit to murdering 42 women on investigators' list of Green River Killer victims, as well as six women not on the list, said the source, who spoke about the case on condition of anonymity.
The Green River Killer preyed mostly on prostitutes, drug addicts, young runaways, and other women on the streets. The case is named for the waterway where the first bodies were found in the suburbs south of Seattle in mid-1982. Most of the slayings were in the mid-1980s, but one of the slayings to which Ridgway will plead guilty was in 1998, the source said.
In many cases, the killer had sex with his victim and then strangled her.
Ridgway was arrested nearly two years ago and has been charged with seven slayings.
Prosecutors said DNA evidence and microscopic paint particles linked him to most of those killings.