The Green River killer is being returned to the Washington State Penitentiary, reports the Seattle Times. The state Department of Corrections (DOC) told the federal Bureau of Prisons it will bring Gary Ridgway back, four months after his surprise transfer to a Colorado prison. The decision was made after Washington law-enforcement officials expressed concern about keeping Ridgway easily accessible if investigators want to interview him about open homicide cases. Ridgway has pleaded guilty to 49 murders, but has estimated that his victim count is closer to 70.
Corrections Secretary Bernie Warner said, “What we weighed was law enforcement said it would hamper their ability in discovering any additional crimes by Gary Ridgway (if he was out of state).” Warner conceded that his decision was also based on anger voiced last week by Mary Marrero, whose sister was murdered by Ridgway in December 1982. During an emotional news conference, Marrero assailed the decision to transfer the serial killer as “dumb.”The about-face comes amid mounting criticism over the transfer of Ridgway from Washington to the federal prison in Florence, Co. Since his arrival in May, he has been in a high-security facility for intake and assessment.