The so-called Green River Killer, Gary Ridgway, now says he killed close to 75 to 80 victims instead of the 49 murders he pleaded guilty to in 2003.
Ridgway, 64, gave an exclusive interview to Seattle television station KOMO, aired Tuesday, in which he said he was responsible for more killings than he was convicted of.
"The total number is 75 to 80,” Ridgway said of the number of victims he killed in the 1980s and 1990s in the Seattle-Tacoma area. Most of the victims, either prostitutes or runaways, were dumped around the Green River, which led authorities to dub the then-unknown culprit the “Green River Killer.”
Ridgway said he agreed to the interview and admitted to more murders so he could provide closure for the victims’ families.
“You can’t go back and change the past; it’s over with,” Ridgway said. “All we can do is try to make it better.”
But there are doubts as to whether Ridgway can actually bring closure to the families. Former professional investigator Rob Fitzgerald is working with the Green River Killer in an effort to locate victims’ remains, but he has so far been unsuccessful.
"I want people to bury their daughters," Fitzgerald said. "Whatever that price is, I’m going to have to pay it. I can’t stop now.”
Fitzgerald told KOMO that he believes Ridgway is making up some of the details of exactly where he dumped bodies, but he also thinks he’ll eventually find some of the missing victims.
“That just means I’m one day closer to finding that piece of key evidence," he said when asked if he’s frustrated over Ridgway’s deceptions. "It could be the next search we do, the next conversation I have with him. I guess that’s hope, right?”
The Green River Killer said he wants to change his reputation among investigators as a liar and manipulator.
“I want to prove them wrong," he said. "I want to prove there’s 80 bodies out there, or 85 or whatever."