By J. Chess 2024-01-23 15:19:35.
Final Identification of Serial Killer Gary Ridgway’s Last Victim
After more than four decades, the remains of the last known victim of notorious serial killer Gary Ridgway (the Green River Killer) have been positively identified in Washington State. The King County Sheriff’s Office declared on Monday that the remains belonged to Tammie Liles, a 16-year-old girl from Everett, located just north of Seattle.
The Green River Case Closed
The Sheriff’s Office made the announcement, stating, “With this identification, no other unidentified remains are associated with the Green River Case.” This marks a significant milestone in a case that has haunted Washington State for decades, bringing a sense of closure to many.
Deep Dive into Ridgway’s Infamous Crimes
Ridgway became infamous for his crimes during the 1980s and 1990s when he preyed on marginalized women and girls, especially sex workers and runaways. His reign of terror, known as the Green River killings (named after the location where the first victims were found), continued for years before he was finally apprehended in 2001. His arrest came about due to advancements in DNA technology, which allowed investigators to link a 1987 saliva sample from Ridgway to several of his victims.
Recognising Tammie Liles: From Missing Person to Victim
Tammie Liles was first reported missing in June 1983. Her body was discovered in April 1985 and was identified as a Green River victim in 1988. Following Ridgway’s arrest, he led investigators to a second set of her remains in 2003. A new DNA profile was created in 2022, which eventually led to one of Liles’ relatives, thereby confirming the match.
Final Closure for Ridgway’s Victims
Speaking about the significant development, King County sheriff’s spokesperson Eric White expressed immense satisfaction. “In this case that started in the early 80s, we are able to identify all of Gary Ridgway’s victims,” he said. “All 49 of them.”
Ridgway pleaded guilty to 49 murders, including Liles’, in 2003, to avoid the death penalty. He is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla.
The resolution of this case serves as a reminder of the relentless pursuit of justice and the importance of technology in solving crimes, even decades after they occur.