Gary Leon Ridgway (born February 18, 1949) is an American serial killer known as the Green River Killer, convicted of 48 separate murders and confessed to nearly double that number. He murdered numerous women and girls, most of whom were also alleged prostitutes, in Washington during the 1980s and 1990s, earning his nickname when the first five victims were found in the Green River. He strangled them, usually with his arm but sometimes using ligatures. After strangling the women, he would dump their bodies throughout forested and overgrown areas in King County, often returning to the dead bodies to have sexual intercourse with them.
On November 30, 2001, as he was leaving the Renton, Washington Kenworth Truck factory where he worked, he was arrested for the murders of four women whose cases were linked to him through DNA evidence. As part of a plea bargain wherein he agreed to disclose the whereabouts of still-missing women, he was spared the death penalty and received a sentence of Life imprisonment without parole.
He was caught after Ted Bundy provided advice to catch the killer where he was dumping the bodies.