Updated: 3:01 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010 | Posted: 5:55 a.m. Monday, Feb. 9, 2004

Tapes Show Ridgway's Horrifying Confession



SEATTLE —

Video released Monday shows Gary Ridgway uttering his chilling confession for the first time to King County Sheriff's detectives, telling investigators about the killing spree in which he admitted to murdering 48 women.

Gary Ridgway Green River Sidebar Green River Murders (generic - composite of victims, Ridgway) Green River Murders GREEN RIVER MURDERS CASEComplete Coverage Of The CaseSlideshow: Images From The Courtroom Slideshow: Ridgway At Crime Scenes Timeline: Key Moments In The Case Photo Gallery: Ridgway, Victims, Police InvestigationSurvey: Support Plea Bargain?

The hours of video, released at the request of news organizations, show Ridgway displaying no remorse for the killings in conversations with detectives at the headquarters of the Green River Task Force near Boeing Field last summer.

Question: "How did you kill her?" Ridgway: "I choked her, with my arm. One or two I choked with a towel."

In the tapes, Ridgway describes in brutal detail how he strangled least 49 women.

"All the women I killed them 'cause I wanted and it was hate, hated them," he said.

During hours of taped interviews, Ridgway re-lived his killings step by step as investigators probed for answers.

When Ridgway first started sharing information, he would turn to the side and say it was "the old Gary speaking."

"I had control when I killed the women. I got my rage out for the time," he said. "I did cry, yes I did, and that was the good part of me. I cried, but I still killed them and didn't care anything about them."

Ridgway said he didn't think of his victims as human.

"They were just pieces of trash to me. They were garbage," he said.

Ridgway sometimes claimed he could not remember details, but he admitted to all the killings.

"I did it and I killed 49 to 50 people between '82 and '85."

Along with hundreds of hours of interviews, detectives took Ridgway out to a site where they recovered remains and where he believed there were still victims.

"I don't know how big a hole it was, big enough for her. I put her face up, I covered her with the rocks and stuff and the dirt," Ridgway said in one interview.

Ridgway described to detectives why he started burying his victims.

"I had to bury her so I wouldn't go back. That's when I had to start burying them. I was keeping away from an urge of doing that," he said.

Detective: "You had an urge to go back and have sex with them." Ridgway: "I did have an urge but I didn't do it."

Investigators released 248 videos and 6,600 pages of documents on over 100 DVDs and CDs.

Spokesman Dan Donohoe said the video was released in response to public disclosure requests from the media, but the CDs cost news organizations $2,400.

The video covers five months of interviews last summer when Ridgway was giving investigators details of his killings.

Ridgway pled guilty to 48 of the Green River murders and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Ridgway avoided the death penalty by striking a plea deal with King County prosecutors.

He is currently being held in the Walla Walla state penitentiary.

Over coming months police and prosecutors will release more video, photos and documents from their investigation of the worst convicted serial killer in the United States.

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