GRK and the Zodiac Message Board: General Zodiac Discussion: GRK and the Zodiac

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Tuesday, May 28, 2002 - 12:32 pm:

I picked up the latest issue of Maxim (June 2002) because Jeri Ryan was on the cover (Seven of Nine on Star Trek: Voyager), plus there was a story on her. At home, I looked more closely at the index, and was surprised and pleased to see a story on Gary Ridgway, the Greek River Killer. I'd never read any books about the case (other than short treatments in various serial killer books), so this enlightened me somewhat. What follows is an outline of what happened during the investigation regarding Ridgway (I'll be getting to how this relates to Z at the end).

The first thing that struck me was that on April 30th, 1983, a hooker by the name of Marie Malvar was picked up by Ridgway. Her boyfriend/pimp followed them, because he'd heard someone was murdering prostitutes, and he eventually lost them in traffic. He would never see her again. Three days later, he called her father, and the father, her brother and the pimp set out in search of the truck. They scoured the streets of Seattle, and spotted it not far from where she was picked up. An hour later, a cop showed up, asked a few standard questions, then filed a report and forgot all about Ridgway. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to put two and two together, or at least wonder if he might have anything to do with the rash of prostitute murders.

On November 29th, 1984, a Rebecca Garde Guay called the GRK Task Force with a lead. Two years earlier, she was picked up by a john, and since she was understandably cautious because of the recent prostitute murders, she made him show her his driver's license. He was none other than Gary Ridgway. He drove her out to some woods near a desolate area of town, and after a few minutes, he claimed she bit him, and tried to kill her. She managed to elbow him and escape. Considering that this happened sometime in 1982, she was almost one of Ridgway's earliest victims. However, it wasn't until March 17th, 1986, that the FBI even bothered to interview him. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to put two and two together, or at least put him in a list of the top five suspects.

Robert Keppel seemed to be more interested in talking to Ted Bundy to try to get into the GRK's mind to build a profile instead of looking at the suspects' files to see who might look likely. Oh, well.

A detective by the name of Haney had interviewed Marcia Winslow, Ridgway's ex-wife. She said Ridgway was fanatically religious and would often cry at church, and was sometimes volatile and once choked her. He also liked having sex with her on the banks of the Green River, and, on occasion, would come home late at night all wet, covered in dirt and with no explanation. One would think the wife of someone who behaved like that would eventually wonder if he had anything to do with murdered prostitutes. I certainly would.

On September 14th, 1986, Haney drove Winslow around to see where Ridgway liked having sex with her, and one of his favorite places was where GRK victim Amina Agisheff had been found on April 18th, 1984. Haney was positive Ridgway was the GRK. It wasn't until April 8th, 1987, that they bothered to get a search warrant for his house and DNA samples. However, the DNA sample they collected from Opal Mills' killer (found on August 15th, 1982) was not enough to test.

In the mid 90's, a new DNA technology was developed, called Polymerase Chain Reaction-Short Tandem Repeats, or PCR-STR, and it allowed small amounts of DNA to be multiplied to enable testing. It would not be until October 2001 before the GRK Task Force would bother to send Ridgway's samples to the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab to be analyzed. He was finally arrested on November 30th, 2001, based on the DNA results. They also looked at the four places he lived in the 80's, his vehicles, safety deposit box and his parents' home, and they finally found the trophies he kept of his victims. One must therefore wonder why they couldn't find those trophies fourteen and a half years earlier. It also turns out that he and his wife would take RV trips along the coast, and I don't think it's a coincidence that murders similar to the GRK's occurred in Vancouver, Portland and San Diego. Ridgway may be responsible for close to one hundred murders.

After reading all that, I couldn't believe it. Despite everything else, the evidence pointed to Ridgway: he was last seen with one prostitute who was never seen again, and attempted to kill another one. His behavior also speaks volumes. And the GRK Task Force couldn't be bothered to even put a tail on the guy to keep an eye on him? One is forced to wonder how many women would still be alive today had they bothered to take that simple precaution.

But we've seen this before many times. Peter Sutcliffe was questioned more than once, as was Carey Stayner, Heriberto Seda, etc etc. Obviously, the cops were very suspicious of these suspects, and yet couldn't put two and two together.

Now that I think about it, I am convinced now more than ever that VPD, SFPD and/or NSD actually questioned Z during the course of the investigation, and, for whatever reason, couldn't be bothered to follow up on him because he didn't fit their idea of what Z was supposed to be like. And I think he was interviewed as early as 1969 and cleared. Out of the 2,500+ suspects in the Z files in the various jurisdictions, I am now almost positive that Z's real name is located there. And the PCR-STR test has obvious applications with Z as well: some DNA was pulled from the envelopes, and so why has that not been tested yet using the new technology?

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Tuesday, May 28, 2002 - 08:38 pm:

I'm thinking that the Keystone Kop award should go to the Green River Killer Task Force. But it's really a toss up between them, the DC police and SFPD... I'm not sure which circus of clowns is the most incompetent at this point.

By Classic (Classic) ( - on Wednesday, May 29, 2002 - 10:45 am:

Dallas PD should get honorable (or dishonrable) mention. They had a high profile murder in Nov. 1963 that is as yet unsolvable. Classic

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Wednesday, May 29, 2002 - 01:30 pm:


Good point. However, I believe that particular crime falls within the FBI's jurisdiction, not Dallas PD's.


Who gets the bonehead award in the Z case? Lynch?


By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( - on Wednesday, May 29, 2002 - 02:01 pm:

No no no guys, gotta give it to Boulder PD. They were out eating doughtnuts when they gave Crime Scene Investigation 101.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Wednesday, May 29, 2002 - 02:26 pm:


Actually, I agree with you. How in the world does a guy get to be police chief without ever having investigated a homicide? Only in Boulder . . .


By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Wednesday, May 29, 2002 - 03:05 pm:

Whoever eats the most donuts gets to be king of the dungheap, uhh, chief of police?

Regardless, I really must wonder how these clowns get into such positions of responsibility considering their general incompetence. I know the Peter Principle says (to paraphrase) that people tend to rise to their level of incompetence, but I think they started out at the bottom of the totem pole that way.

Then again, when we take into account the fact that with the GRK we're dealing with a serial killer who happens to enjoy murdering prostitutes, no one really cares, especially the cops it seems. I don't have a high opinion about people who choose to do nothing with their lives and decide to turn to the oldest profession to get enough money so they can buy their drugs, alcohol and cigarettes, but we must consider that if the cops treat prostitute serial killers with a "who cares?" attitude, they very well might treat other cases in the same manner. Coupled with what appears to be general incompetence from top to bottom, plus the attitude that they have to close a case no matter what, even if it means manufacturing and/or suppressing evidence, that really bothers me.

By Mike (Oklahoma_Mike) ( on Wednesday, May 29, 2002 - 07:32 pm:

EdN: The book, Search for the Green River Killer, by Smith and Guillen is the only thing other than newspaper articles I have read on GRK but it seems to be well done. They do not identify Ridgeway by name but it is obvious that is who they talk about. They list most of the evidence against Ridgeway you document as well as even more.
The GRK Task Force definitely deserves a Keystone Cops award, as do the others listed in this thread.
I would like to nominate the Minneapolis police for sn incident in the Dahmer case: Two cops respond to a call about a naked guy on the street and find a young asian, bruised, naked, bleeding, with no identification, appearing underage and who evidently cannot speak English. Dahmer appears, offers the line that it is just a lovers quarrel between them, the guy is an adult because 'asians look young for their age', we've got it worked out now', etc. What do the 2 cops do? Give him back to Dahmer, or course! I can hear the pratfalls and whipped-cream pies smacking home now!

By Spencer (Spencer) ( - on Wednesday, May 29, 2002 - 07:49 pm:

That was the Milwaukee Police Department in the Dahmer case. That department and its incompetence is responsible for the murder of that 14-year-old boy and the four other men who were killed before the police finally caught on to Dahmer's game. 5 deaths directly on the heads of the Milwaukee Police Department -- that's Keystone Kopping to the extreme.


By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( - on Wednesday, May 29, 2002 - 09:49 pm:

And let us not forget the bumbling Petaluma PD who, horror of all horrors, let Richard Davis go (with Polly Klass most probably still alive at the time.)

By Classic (Classic) ( - on Thursday, May 30, 2002 - 04:43 pm:

I guess the New Jersey State Police get mention too, for their railroading an innocent man to the electric chair, non other than Bruno Richard Hauptmann. Gen. "Stormin" Norman Schwartzkopf's dad was in charge of that one. Classic

By Mike (Oklahoma_Mike) ( on Thursday, May 30, 2002 - 06:11 pm:

Spencer, Thanks for the correction. My apologies to the Minneapolis Police Department for confusing them with the Milwaukee Kestoners.

By Mike_D (Mike_D) ( - on Thursday, May 30, 2002 - 09:08 pm:

The Boston Bureau of the FBI deserves a clunk on the head for allowing it's men to become unofficial members of an organized crime gang....
Read the book "Black Mass"bout ole Whitey Bulger and his accomplacises in the Bureau....

By Tony (Mahalo) ( - on Tuesday, June 04, 2002 - 10:00 pm:

The S.F.P.D. dispatcher in the PH case gets my award. If BMA would have been correctly pronounced (amongst much confusion if you believe RG's version) as WMA, this board & site may have never existed.