7. Gary Ridgway
Gary Ridgway became known as the “Green River Killer” after he confessed to murdering 48 sex workers and runaways in the state of Washington during the 1980s and 1990s. Ridgway said, “I picked prostitutes because I thought I could kill as many of them as I wanted without getting caught.”
In 1984, he wrote a letter about the murders titled “what you need to know about the green river man” and sent it to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. In disturbing detail, the killer wrote about necrophilia and cutting off the fingernails of victims before signing off as “callmefred.”
Police claimed that it was a “brazen attempt to throw off investigators.” At the time, they did not follow up on this key evidence. Ridgway’s game of playing cat and mouse with the police finally came to an end in 2001 when DNA evidence connected him to the murders. He was spared the death penalty as part of a plea bargain where he disclosed the locations of the missing bodies. His plea bargain raised his murder convictions to 49.