The Serial Killer Compendium, p.11R. J. Parker
Ridgway was arrested on a prostitution charge in 1982 and by 1983 he was a suspect in the Green River killings. He was given a polygraph test, however, and passed it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until 1987 that police obtained a DNA test from Ridgway. In 1982, Ridgway killed sixteen women and twenty-three in 1983. He killed another ten after that, spread out over several years. Again, this are confirmed kills. Most likely the actual numbers were higher.
Judith Mawson married Ridgway in 1988 after dating for three years. Around this time, Ridgway stopped killing. He later said that once he was in a relationship with Mawson, the urge to kill was not there for him because he truly loved her.
As I said a couple paragraphs back, his DNA was collected in 1987 for analysis. Back then it took a long time to acquire comparison results. On November 30th, 2001, the police arrived at Ridgway’s place of work, the Kenworth Truck Factory, with an arrest warrant in hand.
Ridgway, the serial killer, was arrested for the murder of four women; Opal Mills, sixteen, killed on August 12th, 1982; Marcia Chapman, thirty-one, killed on August 1st, 1982; Cynthia Hinds, seventeen, killed on August 11th, 1982; and Carol Ann Christensen, twenty-one, killed May 3rd, 1983. Obviously the F.B.I. have not connected Ridgway to all the killings yet because Carol Ann was actually his twenty-third killing. After the indictment, and more evidence was obtained, three more victims were added to the charges of murder: Wendy Coffield, sixteen, killed July 8th, 1982 (Wendy was Ridgway’s first victim); Debra Bonner, twenty-three, killed July 25th, 1982; and Debra Estes, fifteen, killed September 20th, 1982.
The Green River Killer was finally captured, and on December 18th, 2001, Ridgway was arraigned on charges of multiple murders and brought into the courtroom by several security officers. He seemed relaxed during his ten-minute appearance. Aloud, prosecutor Jeff Baird read the detailed charges for each victim, mentioning their names each time, saying that Ridgway caused the death of each woman, and referred to them all as human beings. In reply, Ridgway's defense attorney, Tony Savage, said, "His plea is not guilty to all charges. Let them prove it. I don't think they can.” Ridgway was ordered to appear in court again on January 2nd, 2002, when the King County prosecutors would be seeking the death penalty. In the meantime, Ridgway was held without bail.
It was reported in August of 2003 that his lawyers, led by Anthony Savage, were close to a plea bargain deal that would spare Ridgway the death penalty in return for his confession and assistance in locating the victims in the Green River murders. So, on November 5th, 2003, Ridgway entered a guilty plea to forty-eight charges of motivated murder in the first degree as part of the plea bargain that would spare him execution. In exchange, he would collaborate in locating the remains of his victims and provide other details. In his statement supplementing his guilty plea, Ridgway explained that all of his victims had been killed inside King County, Washington, and that he had transported and deposited the remains of the two other women near Portland just to confuse the police.
On December 18th, 2003, King County Superior Court Judge, Richard Jones, sentenced Ridgway to forty-eight life sentences with no possibility of parole, and one life sentence, to be served consecutively. He was also sentenced to an additional ten years for tampering with evidence for each of the forty-eight victims, adding 480 years to his forty-eight life sentences.
Ridgway resides at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, Washington where another notorious killer lives, Kenneth Bianchi, the Hillside Strangler.
The Milwaukee Monster
Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer was born on May 21st, 1960, in West Allis, Wisconsin, to Lionel and Joyce (nee Flint) Dahmer. Jeffrey was considered a normal boy until around ten years old. However, he lacked interest in activities or hobbies; he withdrew from friends and family; he would ride around on his bike in search of dead animals so that he could take them home and dissect them. He once went to the extreme of putting a stake in a dog’s head. By the time he reached his teens, Dahmer was a full-blown alcoholic.
At seventeen years old, Dahmer was always having fantasies about killing men and having sex with their dead bodies, but he did not act on his fantasy until just after he graduated high school in June, 1978. He picked up a hitchhiker, Steven Hicks, nineteen. They had sex, drank beer, and after that, Hicks wanted to go home. Dahmer did not want Hicks to leave and struck him in the head with a ten-pound barbell, killing him. Needing to dispose of the body, Dahmer cut the body up, packaged it in plastic garbage bags, and buried the bags in the woods behind his home. That was his first kill. It would be another nine years before he killed again.
Dahmer went on to attend the University of Ohio State for one semester. He drank most of the time, missed a lot of classes, dropped out, and then signed up for the U.S. Army. Of course, being an alcoholic, his stint in the army did not last long. Two years later, in 1981, he was discharged and went to live with his grandmother in West Allis where he lived for the next six years.
On September 15th, 1987, Dahmer was in a hotel room with Steven Toumi, twenty-six, after spending the night at a popular gay bar. Dahmer later confessed that he did not know how he killed Toumi, but when he woke up, Steven was dead, and he had blood on his mouth. He went to a store, bought a large suitcase, stuffed the body inside it, took the suitcase to his grandmother's basement, had sex with the corpse, masturbated on it, dismembered it, and threw it in the garbage.
While staying at his grandmother’s, she noticed increasingly strange behaviors in her grandson over time. She found a fully dressed male mannequin in his bedroom closet; another time she found a .357 Magnum pistol under his bed, and then there was that terrible smell coming from the basement which Dahmer said was just a dead squirrel he’d brought home and dissolved with chemicals. In 1982 he was arrested twice for indecent exposure and then, in 1986, masturbated in front of two boys and was arrested again, but only got a slap on the wrist.
His grandmother had had enough of his weird behavior, the foul smells in the basement, the arrests, his late night outs. In 1988 she asked him to leave. At the time Dahmer was working at a Chocolate Factory and decided to get an apartment closer to his work on the west side of Milwaukee. Just one day after he moved into his apartment on September 27th, 1988, he was arrested again for drugging and sexually molesting a thirteen-year-old boy. He was found guilty, fired from his job, sentenced to five years probation and one year working in a release camp for offenders, and was required by law to register as a sex offender.
Dahmer worked the release camp, was paroled two months early, and moved into a new apartment. Soon after moving in, he began his murder binge.
In 1988 and 1989, Dahmer killed James Doxtator, fourteen; Richard Guerrero, twenty-five; and Anthony Sears, twenty-six. He would party with them, have sex, murder them, dismember them, masturbate on their corpses, and then store them in the basement. Keeping the skull of Anthony Sears, he boiled it to remove the skin, painted it gray to make it look like a plastic model, and saved the trophy for two years – until it was recovered from his apartment on July 23rd, 1991. Later he explained that he used to masturbate in front of the skull for gratification.
In May of 1990, Dahmer moved into the apartment that later would become infamous: Apartment 213, 924 North 25th Street, Milwaukee.
In 1990, Dahmer picked the pace up of his killings. He murdered Eddie Smith, thirty-six, in June; Ricky Beeks, twenty-seven, in July; Ernest Miller, twenty-two, in September; David Thomas, twenty-three, also in September; Curtis Straughter, nineteen, in February 1991; Errol Lindsey, nineteen, in April; and Tony Hughes, thirty-one, in May.
In the wee hours of May 27th, 1991, Konerak Sinthasomphone, fourteen, was discovered wandering naked on the street, heavily drugged and bleeding from his rectum. Two young women from the neighborhood found the confused young boy and called 911. Dahmer chased after the boy to take hi
On June 30th, 1991, Dahmer killed Matt Turner, twenty; Jeremiah Weinberger, twenty-three, on July 5th; Oliver Lacy, twenty-three, on July 12th; and Joseph Brandehoft, twenty-five, on July 19th. While the victims were still alive, Dahmer would drill holes into their skulls and inject hydrochloric acid into their frontal lobes with a syringe to make them into submissive zombies, and then have sex with them. Residents of the Oxford Apartment building noticed terrible odors coming from Apartment 213, as well as the thumps of falling objects and the occasional buzzing of a power saw.
A young man by the name of Tracy Edwards is Dahmer’s only known living survivor and in my eyes, a hero.
On July 22nd, 1991, Dahmer enticed Tracy Edwards into his home. According to Tracy’s later testimony, Dahmer struggled with Edwards in order to handcuff him, but failed to cuff his wrists together. With a large knife in his hand, Dahmer forced Edwards into the bedroom where Edwards saw pictures of mangled bodies on the wall and noticed the terrible stench coming from a large blue barrel. Edwards turned and punched Dahmer in the face, kicked him in the stomach, ran out the door, and escaped. As he ran through the streets, he still had the handcuffs hanging from one hand, but Edwards waved for help at a police car driven by Officer Robert Rauth and Officer Rolf Mueller of the Milwaukee police department. Edwards took the Officers back to Dahmer's apartment where Dahmer acted friendly towards them. However, remembering that the knife Dahmer had threatened him with was in the bedroom, Edwards asked the police to check. When one of the officers checked the bedroom, he saw the photographs of mangled bodies, and called for his partner to arrest Dahmer. As one Officer restrained Dahmer, the other opened the refrigerator and found a human head. A search of the apartment revealed three more decapitated heads, multiple photographs of murdered victims and human remains, severed hands and penises, and pictures of dismembered victims and human remains in his refrigerator. The officers called for backup and C.S.I. agents. Dahmer was taken into custody. Once the media was alerted, the notorious apartment gained infamy. It was reported that several bodies were stored in acid filled vats, he kept human skulls in his closet, and a human heart in the freezer. It was soon believed that Jeffrey Dahmer was not only a serial rapist/killer, but also a cannibal and necrophiliac.
Dahmer was indicted on seventeen murders; however, he was not charged with the attempted murder of Tracy Edwards. On January 30th, 1992, his trial began with overwhelming evidence consisting of not only pictures but also body parts. He was found guilty and sentenced to 957 years in prison.
Dahmer was incarcerated at the Columbia Correctional Institution. During his short stay, he professed to be a “born again Christian.” In prison, Dahmer was attacked twice. In July of 1994, another inmate tried to slit his throat with a razor while Dahmer was returning from the prison chapel. Dahmer was only wounded. He was not so lucky on November 28th, 1994 when a prisoner by the name of Christopher Scarver beat Dahmer over the head in the prison gym with a broomstick. Dahmer died on the way to the hospital. When asked why he’d attacked Dahmer, Scarver replied, “It was the work of God.”
The BTK Killer
BTK stands for Bind, Torture, Kill
Dennis Rader was born on March 9th, 1945 in Wichita, Kansas, to William and Dorothea Rader, the oldest of four boys. As a young boy in grade school, according to his own admission, he fantasized about tying up girls and having his way with them. He tortured small animals and had a fetish for women’s panties.
At twenty-one years old, Rader joined the U.S. Air Force where he spent four years in active duty stationed in various places around the world. He had an honorable discharge in 1970 as Sergeant and received medals for marksmanship, good conduct, and defense service. By all indications, he was a good, upstanding soldier. Later in life, when he was arrested, his comrades were very shocked.
Once he returned stateside, Rader continued to lead a normal life. He got a job at a local IGA supermarket, remained in the reserves, went to the Community College, and got a degree in Electronics in 1973. He later attended Wichita State University and in 1979 graduated with a degree in Administration of Justice. On May 22nd, 1971, he married Paula Dietz and had two children. Everything appeared normal on the outside, but in his mind Rader still maintained his fantasies of binding, torturing, and killing women. He would walk or drive around and admire women until in 1974, he decided to act on his desires and calculated a plan.
Bind, Torture, Kill
A new Hispanic family had recently moved into Rader’s neighborhood. One day, while dropping his wife off where she worked at the hospital, he noticed this beautiful Hispanic woman with dark hair, which he liked. He scouted the house for several days trying to get a routine of the family’s activities, and concluded that he could strike in the morning after the husband went to work. On January 15th, 1974, at 8 a.m., Rader crept around the house and cut the telephone wire. But as Murphy’s Law would have it, the entire family was home when Rader broke in: the husband, wife, kids, and the dog. He used his gun and told them he only wanted money and a car to escape as he was a wanted man, and he ordered everyone into the bedroom. Joe Otero, thirty-eight, was killed first as he fought Rader to keep from putting a bag over his head. Rader then proceeded to strangle and kill Joe Jr., aged nine, and his sister Josephine, eleven, before he took Julie, thirty-four, to the basement where he hung her and masturbated over her. Rader did not know that the Oteros had three other children who had already gone to school. Those children arrived home to found their family killed.
He killed again 1974, and then “cooled off” until 1977. On April 4th, 1974, he broke into the home of Kathryn Bright, twenty-one, and hid in her bedroom closet until she came home. Again, he was not expecting anyone but Kathryn, but her brother Kevin, nineteen, was out running errands with her and came back to her house. When they entered, Rader came out of the bedroom with his gun and told them that he was a wanted fugitive traveling from California to New York and only needed a car and some money. He instructed Kevin to tie up his sister. Kevin then turned on Rader and put up a fight for their lives, only to be shot in the face. Kevin continued to fight, however, and only stopped when Rader shot him in the head.
Rader thought Kevin was dead and went to work on Kathryn, who also put up a struggle, until Rader stabbed her multiple times. But he then had to make a quick exit when Kevin came to and ran for help. Kathryn died later in the hospital. Kevin Bright is the only known survivor of the BTK killer.
In October of 1974, the killer wrote to the Wichita Eagle Newspaper describing the murders of the Otero family with details that only the killer could know. He ended the note by saying, “I did it myself with noone's help, the code words for me will be... Bind them, toture them, kill them, B.T.K...." Very poor penmanship and grammar as you can see.
On March 17th, 1977, Shirley Vian, twenty-four, was at home with her children when Rader entered and told her to put the three kids in the bathroom. He told her that he was not going to have his way with her and began binding her. Rader tied her with rope and then strangled he
Also in 1977, Rader stalked another young woman, and on December 8th, Nancy Fox, twenty-five years old, died at the hands of the BTK killer. As he’d done earlier in the year, he broke into her home and hid out in the bedroom, waiting her arrival; he knew she lived alone. Once she came home, he displayed the same MO. He used his gun to lure her into the bedroom, tied her to the bed, and strangled her. He later said that before doing so, he told her that he was the killer the police were after. He left more DNA by way of semen on her nightgown.
The next day he went to a random telephone booth and called the police dispatcher. All calls to dispatch are recorded, and this call would later be played numerous times through the media in hopes of someone identifying his voice. He said, "Yes, you will find a homicide at 843 South Pershing. Nancy Fox...That is correct". The police dispatched a unit to the home of Nancy Fox and found her body. No one seemed to recognize the voice, not even his family, wife, or co-workers. Shortly after that, he wrote another letter to the newspaper taking credit for the murders of Shirley Vian, Nancy Fox, the Otero family, and Kathryn Bright. The letter is not edited and is as follows, as he wrote it:
The Serial Killer Compendium by R. J. Parker / History & Fiction have rating 3.6 out of 5 / Based on25 votes