It was an emotional scene in a King County courtroom as the man known as the Green River killer pleaded guilty to his 49th murder. Gary Ridgway is already serving 48 consecutive life terms. The latest plea is for murdering Becky Marrero in 1982, whose remains were found last December.
In court, Becky's sister Mary said the murder has ruined her life. She says she often thinks of killing herself and attributes a brother's life of crime to his anger over the murder. Mary Marrero addressed the court as Ridgway sat, his arms and legs shackled, just a few feet away. She told the court she was disgusted that Ridgway escaped the death penalty through his guilty plea in 2003.
"It makes me sick to my stomach that he beat the system. He's a waste to society and a waste of space. If I had one thing to ask you today it would be to kill him," Marrero told the judge.
King County Superior Court Judge Mary E. Roberts, herself close to tears, accepted Ridgway's guilty plea. She said she usually is able to show humanity to perpetrators of even the worst crime, but she told Ridgway she can find no compassion in this case.
"I am sorry for your loss and that you've had to wait 28 years for the truth and some justice," Roberts told the family of Becky Marrero.
Ridgway, when asked if he had anything to say, started to apologize, but was cut off by Marrero family members who shouted obscenities and told him "nobody wants to hear what you have to say."