Death has always woven its way through my days like rope handles through a sea grass casket. Back in the late 80s I fancied myself a real super sleuth. I had a blue file full of newspaper clippings regarding the Green River Killer, and I decided to go in hot pursuit of him. I made it my 1996 New Year’s Resolution that I was going to be the person to track him down. I actually had it on my resume for a while, listed as one of my “hobbies.”
This Green River Killer was a menace to my particular society. He was anonymously out there, murdering numerous women in Washington during the 1980s and 1990s. After strangling the women, he would dump their bodies throughout Seattle’s King County.
My status as fledgling crime-fighter was a big laugh for my then boyfriend, but our region needed someone passionate to step in—everyone had waited more than 15 years to see an ending to this saga of abduction and death.
The librarian knew what I was after when I made my way daily into the local library. I tracked a beeline straight to the rack with the Seattle Post Intelligencer and Seattle Times, and slowly turned the pages to see if any new articles had appeared. There were many unsolved murders of young women between Vancouver, Canada and Portland, Oregon during that time, and many of the clues matched up, but didn’t help me solve the crime.
Then a break came in the case. I received a tip from an acquaintance that had done some jail time. He was positive he had fingered the guy, but this ex-con friend also believed in prisoner confidentiality so he wouldn’t rat him out. I had sworn my allegiance to no such pack, so I was free to carry on with the investigation and sniff our killer out.
It was time to make “The Phone Call”. I called the hot line for the Green River Task Force to offer my new lead, but never got a phone call back. Local authorities weren’t too much help, either. It was all odd to me. I wasn’t afraid to scour the Earth for the evil that lurked in every shadow, but no one was paying attention to the Northwest Nancy Drew.
That was it then, I had nowhere to go. My portfolio was plush with hard-earned research and clues, yet the police powers-that-be just didn’t seem to need my services any longer, or at all. I was off the case.
The following year I got a computer. One evening I sat in front of the many open browsers of the World Wide Web, and it hit me that my part-time job was in fact, ahead of its time. Little did I know that, with the arrival of computer world, I would be able to get my crime-solving fill and not even leave the house. My reputation as an amateur criminal profiler and armchair detective could by improved by chats on Internet message boards. Now I could actually share my theories and strike down rival possibilities to a captive and dedicated audience.
Finally, in 2001, Gary Ridgway admitted to the murders, which ended the search for the notorious Green River Killer. It turned out Ridgway was no one I ever was suspicious about, he surely wasn’t my guy. This, therefore, proved the theory that I should not quit my day job.