Green River Killer – Judith Lorraine Lynch, Husband Gary Ridgway Who Killed over 70 Women:
Judith Mawson Ridgway was happily married. Gary was her husband, an ordinary truck painter. They lived in marital bliss for 14 years.
Judith opened the door to two police detectives one day when Gary was at work. They had staggering news: the arrest of her husband. The infamous Green River killer was accused of being Gary.
He was blamed for the murder spree that Seattle had been terrorizing for over 20 years. He picked up call girls and teenage runaways, strangled them during sex, and dumped their bodies near the Green River in remote areas.
Judith refused to believe these horrible allegations at first. Until he admitted, she stood by Gary. Her husband was known to her as a caring, gentle, and considerate man. There were never any bursts of irritation or unexplained absences. There were no clues that he had a secret life. “He was always happy.
He had a smile that would never change. He made me feel like a newlywed every day,” said Judith. The police were told by Gary Ridgway that he tried to stop the killing, but he couldn’t. Curiously, long before he met Judith, he was a suspect in the murders. He left no physical proof behind and dispersed his victims’ bodies through many states.
He even passed examinations for polygraphs. Between 1982 and 1984, most of the murders happened. In ’88, Gary married Judith. He assassinated at least three (3) women while they were married.
The police were eventually able to match Ridgway’s DNA in 2001 with the evidence contained in the bodies of the victims. He pleaded guilty to the assassinations of 70 women. These victims were confirmed, although he admitted to a total of 71 murders. In return for his cooperation with the police in finding the bodies of some of his victims, he was spared the death penalty. His third wife, Judith, was heartbroken. She changed her name, appearance, and life (to Judith Lorraine Lynch).
She said, “I love the man I knew and hate the man who took him away,”
At the moment, Gary Ridgway is serving his life sentence. No one knows what Judith has been.
‘I had the perfect husband… but he was the perfect murderer’: Wife reveals moment she found out she was married to Green River Serial Killer who murdered up to 70 women
Newly single after a failed marriage, she was swept off her feet by a man she describes as being ‘perfect’ and who would later become her second husband.
But it turned out that Judith Mawson’s husband was far from perfect as, after 13 years of marriage, she discovered he was the Green River Serial Killer with the blood of up to 70 women on his hands.
When Judith, 67, met Gary Ridgway at a bar in Seattle in 1985, she recalled he seemed like the perfect suitor – he was handsome, polite, had a good job, and treated her like a lady.
Trusting: Judith Mawson, 67, had no idea that her devoted husband of 13 years was America’s most prolific killer
In love: Around 1985, Ridgway began dating Judith Mawson, who became his third wife in 1988. She said he was the ‘perfect husband’
Sentencing: In 2003, Ridgway received 48 life sentences, without the possibility of parole, for killing 48 women over the past 20 years in the Green River Killer serial murder case
She found a man she adored and wanted to spend the rest of her life with. Two years later they moved in together, a year after that they were married.
Judith Lorraine Lynch – What she thought of Her Husband
‘He made me smile every day. I had the perfect husband, perfect life. I absolutely adored him.’
But Ridgway was also the perfect killer.
For 13 years Judith was living with the most prolific serial killers in U.S. history. She never suspected a thing.
She told People Magazine that she believed him when he told her his carpet was destroyed by kids and removed and that his ex-girlfriend had taken her bed back. She trusted him when he said he was late because of a union meeting.
When police turned up at her door one chilly November morning she realised that her ‘perfect’ life with her husband was one big lie.
‘I was crying, no it cant be him. Then I found out that he’d had the carpets removed because he’d killed women on them and there were bloodstains.
‘He’d had sex with some of them on the bed and killed them. I look back and think, “Was my life real with him or did he just use me?”.’
Gary Ridgway, now 62, is suspected of murdering more than 70 women in the Seattle area over a period of 20 years.
It took two years after his arrest to plead guilty to 48 of the murders in exchange for life without parole instead of the death penalty.
In February of this year he pleaded guilty to a 49th murder, after the skull of Rebecca Marrero, 20, was found. She died in 1982.
He is currently housed in a Washington prison in solitary confinement. He is allowed out of his cell for one hour day, four days a week.
When he was first arrested, Judith said she believed her husband when he told her they had the wrong man.
When she visited the former truck painter in jail she said: ‘We were trying to touch each other through the glass. I would cry.’
When he confessed she cut all contact with him and spent the next two years hiding at home in virtual isolation, drowning her sorrows in wine and pain pills.
She told People: ‘I was scared, in hiding, ashamed. I dreamed about him all the time. he kept reaching out to me.’
Jim Bailey, Ridgway’s best friend and a coworker said he couldn’t even talk about the arrest for three years after his arrest, he was so stunned and upset.
His wife Linda tried to reach out to her and when it seemed she wasn’t getting any better, she suggested she write a book to help her heal.
Her book Green River Serial Killer: Biography of an Unsuspecting Wife came out in 2007 and though it helped her recover, she said she will never forgive her husband.
‘Telling my story, getting all the poison out of me helped me to heal. But how do you forgive someone who is suspected of killing 70 women?’
Judith has not dated since her husband’s arrest, believing she may never trust another man again but spends her time with friends and at her local church.