Gary Ridgeway: The Most Mysterious Serial Killers

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1. Thesis Gary Leon Ridgeway is one of the most atrocious serial killers of our time. While the exact count is not known, it is believed that he lured approximately 75-80 young women to their deaths in twenty years and managed to lead an exemplary home life while doing so. He created a façade of an innocent hard working family man while preying on young women who he felt would not be missed. Gary meticulously planned these killings and the disposal of the bodies to leave limited evidence so that he would not get caught. He made the decision repeatedly that the thrill and satisfaction of killing far outweighed the risk of getting caught and facing punishment for his actions.

2. Describe Gary Ridgeway Gary Ridgeway was born in Utah
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The first known victim was a young woman named Wendy Lee Coffield. Wendy was sixteen years old when she was murdered. Wendy’s mother, Virginia Coffield, described Wendy’s childhood as being troubled. They were poor and often picked blackberries for money. Virgina stated that Wendy dropped out of school in Jr. High School and had gotten rapped while hitchhiking one day. Virgina stated that after Wendy was rapped she changed. Virgina stated that Wendy got put into foster care and ran away from the foster home. Virgina stated that is when she suspects Wendy got into prostitution considering that the next time she was seen again she was dead. (Rule,pgs…show more content…
Describe/define the Rational Choice Theory and how it relates to Gary Ridgeway. The Rational Choice Theory is a view that crime is a function of a decision-making process in which the potential offender weighs the potential costs and benefits of an illegal act. (Criminology the Core pgs 92-116 ) Gary made several decisions while he was committing murders that showed that he weighed the potential costs and benefits of killing. Gary showed he did not want to get caught by carefully deciding who his victims were going to be. Gary stated in the prosecutor’s summary of the evidence that he had the urge to kill his third wife but he did not because the risk of getting caught was too great. Gary also had stated that he had picked up prostitutes that he had not killed, even after getting in “the mood”. He stated that he did this because other prostitutes had seen him pick them up and he did not want them being able to say that he was the last person with the victim. Even after getting caught in 2001 he made a deal with the prosecutor to tell him about the murders only after he was told if he did he would not face the death penalty.

7. Write your conclusion regarding the Gary Ridgeway and the Rational Choice
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