The news today from the United States (heard on NPR streaming across my broadband Internet) is all about the Green River Killer, Gary Ridgeway, entering his guilty plea to the courts in Seattle. What a scare from the past. Growing up in Seattle, in the early 1980′s we were absolutely terrified by the threat of the Green River Killer. Eventually, I began teaching self defense programs for women and we have to admit that the fear of the Green River Killer helped motivate a lot of women towards these programs. This "monster", as we all called him, targeted runaways and prostitutes. "Easy victims", the throwaways of life, everyone said. How incredibly sad. As always guessed, Ridgeway was an ordinary guy with an ordinary life who killed more than 48 women. He had been brought in for questioning several times and had passed two lie detector tests. The only way he was caught was that he had given them a saliva sample for testing in the early days of DNA testing. It took 20 years for the DNA testing to get to the sophisticated level to prove he was the criminal. Listening to his plea to the court, cold and unfeeling, I am filled with such a sense of loss and relief. Strange combination. According to the reports, he has shown no remorse and provided fairly detailed information on the killings, admitting that he killed the "disposable" women he found.
Washington State still has the death penalty, and while I have recently changed my mind about the death penalty, this tests my beliefs. While he admits to killing 48 over his two decade killing spree, he probably killed even more. Tracking runaways and missing prostitutes is a difficult job. I am starting to think that because he has confessed to 48 murders and the police and prosecutors believe he did it, the death penalty should be seriously considered. But they have done a plea bargain that in exchange for detailed information on the killings, he would get life. But 48 women…that’s disgusting.
Haunted by this for over twenty years, it is amazing to think that it is finally over and the families of these girls have some form of closure.
My friend, Maureen, came over for lunch and ended up visiting with me while I cooked up dinner for the camping trip over the weekend. She is such a joy to spend time with, relaxing and interesting at the same time. She always has fascinating stories to tell and we love going on and on debating a subject. We don’t pick shy subjects, mind you. We tear into Jew bashers, prejudice, politics, international idiocy of government policies, religion, you name it, we will seize a top and tear it to pieces with our opinions and issues over it. One of our current "hurrays" is over the failure of a US southern judge to get away with putting up a monument to the ten commandments in front of the court house. We are both fans of anything that keeps religion on a personal level and out of our faces and the faces of government. We also had a great debate over where to draw the line when it comes to the issue of the Holocaust. A great memorial going up in Germany (I think) has come to a bit of a standstill as they debate over the use of a special chemical spray on the monument that will prevent graffiti from sticking to it. They are paying for its application and have just found out that the company that makes it is the same company that made the gas used in the death camps. Ouch! Some say that this is going too far. Me, well, if they are donating their services and product, I would say it’s okay because it is like they are apologizing. Maureen says it is all a bunch of bullshit. Brent agrees. You can only go so far in penalizing those who did the deeds over 60 years ago. They can’t be punished forever, right? It’s a great thing to debate. Want to spice up your dinner conversation, discuss that!
Other than that, I’m plugging away at the web site and doing my best to get ready for the camping trip tomorrow.
Tel Aviv, Israel