‘The Green River Killer: Mind of a Monster’ is a show by Investigation Discovery that takes an in-depth look at the alarming case of Gary Ridgway, the notorious serial killer who was caught two decades after his crimes started. The man even said that killing women was his career. On the other hand, his family members back then said that he was the perfect husband and father. So what exactly did the relationship between a son and his clandestine serial killer father look like?
Who is Matthew Ridgway?
Gary Ridgway was married thrice in his life, and Matthew is his son from his second marriage to Marcia Lorene Brown. The couple got married in 1973 and divorced in 1981. Matthew was born in 1975. Owing to the divorce, Gary was not a constant presence in his son’s life, and he had visitation rights for every other weekend when his son was growing up. Consequently, the pair did not share a very close bond then.
But this did not mean that they never spent time together. Matthew saw his father as a quiet man, who was frugal with his money and had a few friends. They would spend time together on the weekends driving to garage sales and swap meets so that Gary could buy items like broken watches, toys, and furniture just to fix them again. They also played baseball together and rode motorcycles. He also had memories of them going to doughnut shops early in the morning.
Matthew was a 26-year old Marine when he found out about his father’s dark side. In fact, Gary had also served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, and the two grew closer once Matthew enrolled as well. When asked by Detective Scott Strathy if his father ever attended his school functions, Matthew said, “I don’t think I ever remember him not being there.”
A confession that Gary made stated that for one of the murders, he had taken along his son in July 1982. He had picked up a prostitute and taken her into the woods. He returned after murdering her, and he told his son that she had decided to walk home. On another occasion, Matthew was sleeping in the car when Gary went and had sex with a corpse. In fact, the serial killer would lure his victims into his car by showing them photos of his son and assuring them that he was a family man.
The Marine stated that he had no inkling of his father’s crimes, and felt that Gary was just a regular dad. The man who was eventually confessed to more than 70 murders was not volatile at home and had no suspicious personality traits like mood swings or hostility towards women in daily life.
Where is Matthew Ridgway Now?
Matthew stated that his father gave him a normal and happy childhood, something that he would always be thankful for. In 2003, when Matthew gave his last interview, he was stationed at Camp Pendleton in San Diego and was married as well. It seems he is still living there, happy and well-settled.
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