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USA: A WASHINGTON STATE MAN WHO PLED GUILTY TO THE MURDERS OF 48 WOMEN IS SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON

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A Washington state man who pled guilty to the murders of 48 women is sentenced to life in prison. The man who confessed to being the "Green River killer," the murderer of 48 young women near Seattle over at least 15 years, was sentenced to life in prison without parole on Thursday (December 18, 2003), avoiding the death penalty after agreeing to help police find the bodies. Ridgway, a former truck painter who was dubbed the "Green River Killer" after the location where he dumped several bodies, showed little emotion as a stream of his victims' family members stood in court to voice their anger and sorrow. He sobbed when one father expressed pity for him, a confessed serial killer. Ridgway had earlier claimed a mixture of lust and hatred of women drove him to kill. Some witnesses came to forgive Ridgway, 54, others to tell him to go to hell for killing their sisters, daughters and mothers during his unprecedented murder spree. "You are nobody, you're an animal. Thank God you got these police officers in front of me, because if I had the chance to do what I want to do I would do it right now right here and over with. I hope you rot in hell," said Jose Malvar, Jr., the brother of one of Ridgway's victims. "I can only hope that someday someone gets the opportunity to choke you unconscious 48 times," said Tim Meehan. "I was that daughter at home. I was that daughter at home waiting for my mom to come home. And no matter what you say I will never, ever, ever, ever forgive you," said Sarah King, who was 5 years old when Ridgway killed her mother Carol Christesen in May 1993. For years, despite their suspicions, police could not prove that he was the killer. They finally linked him to the murders using a new DNA test on a saliva sample he provided years ago. In a statement read by one of his lawyers, Ridgway's family members said they were "profoundly sorry" for his crimes, saying they shocked them and showed them he was not the person they thought they knew. "Be assured that we were shocked to hear that Gary could the things that he has admitted to doing. However, we love Gary and we believe that the Gary Ridgway America now knows is different from the person known by our family," the statement read. The death penalty issue divided the victims' families, with some speakers saying he would suffer more by living and others making implied threats to kill him themselves. "I believe we've been sold by the prosecutor for not getting us the justice that we could expect," said Helen Dexter, mother of one of the victims. The speakers choked back tears and took deep breaths to steady their quivering voices as they told how the victims had played on swing-sets as children and dreamed of becoming rich or having grandchildren, dreams shattered by Ridgway. Other speakers called him an animal, a parasite, a terrorist, a loser and a remorseless, heartless coward, saying they couldn't forgive him. As he read his sentence, Judge Richard Jones told Ridgway "And sir if you have that drop of emotion you will be haunted for the balance of your life."

Reference: 17959/03

Tape: 9392

Timecode: 16:33:54:00 - 16:37:20:00

Duration: 00:03:26:00 sec.

Sound: NATURAL WITH ENGLISH SPEECH

Copyright: NBC (USA) (No Resale - USA) / NBC (USA) (No Resale - USA) / NBC (USA) (No Resale - USA) / GRAPHIC

Restrictions: Restrictions on certain uses may apply, and may vary from those listed.NO ACCESS USA/CNN/INTERNET/WIRELESS


16:33:49:12 - 16:33:54:10 GRAPHIC
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16:33:54:11 - 16:36:49:06 NBC (USA) (No Resale - USA)
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(U1) SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES (DECEMBER 18, 2003) (NBC - NO ACCESS USA/CNN/INTERNET/WIRELESS) SV CONFESSED GREEN RIVER KILLER GARY RIDGWAY ARRIVING IN COURT 0.05 LV OF COURT 0.08 MCU/SV OF VICTIMS' FAMILIES LISTENING TO COURT PROCEEDINGS (2 SHOTS) 0.13 MCU (English) JOSE MALVAR JR., A VICTIM'S BROTHER SAYING "You are nobody, you're an animal. Thank God you got these police officers in front of me, because if I had the chance to do what I want to do I would do it right now right here and over with. I hope you rot in hell."/CU OF RIDGWAY LISTENING (4 SHOTS) 0.28 SLV OF COURT 0.34 MCU (English) VIRGINIA GRAHAM, A VICTIM'S SISTER SAYING "Shame on you Gary Ridgway. May God have mercy on your pathetic soul, because the rest of us who know the truth about you won't." 0.42 MCU RIDGWAY WIPING FACE 0.47 MCU (English) SARAH KING, A VICTIM'S DAUGHTER SAYING "I was that daughter at home. I was that daughter at home waiting for my mom to come home. And no matter what you say I will never, ever, ever, ever forgive you."/CU OF RIDGWAY LISTENING (3 SHOTS) 1.04 CU RIDGWAY WIPING TEARS FROM HIS EYES 1.11 SLV OF COURT 1.19 MCU RIDGWAY LISTENING, NODDING AS VICTIM'S RELATIVE SAYS SHE FORGIVES HIM 1.28 MCU RELATIVE OF A VICTIM BEING COMFORTED/RIDGWAY WATCHING (2 SHOTS) 1.35 MCU (English) VICKY WARE, VICTIM'S SISTER SAYING "He's an animal. I don't wish for him to die. I wish for him to have a long suffering cruel death." 1.43 MCU (English) TIM MEEHAN, A VICTIM'S BROTHER SAYING "I can only hope that someday someone gets the opportunity to choke you unconscious forty eight times." 1.53 SLV OF COURTROOM 1.57 MCU (English) HELEN DEXTER, VICTIM'S MOTHER SAYING "I believe we've been sold by the prosecutor for not getting us the justice that we could expect." 2.07 MCU RIDGWAY LISTENING 2.11 MCU (English) MICHELE SHAW, RIDGWAY'S ATTORNEY READING STATEMENT FROM RIDGWAY'S ATTORNEY, SAYING "Be assured that we were shocked to hear that Gary could do the things that he has admitted to doing. However, we love Gary and we believe that the Gary Ridgway America now knows is different from the person known by our family."/CU OF RIDGWAY NODDING HEAD (2 SHOTS) 2.32 SLV OF PROCEEDINGS 2.35 MCU JUDGE SPEAKING /RIDGWAY LISTENING TO SENTENCING (2 SHOTS) 2.42 MCU (English) RICHARD JONES, JUDGE SAYING "And sir if you have that drop of emotion you will be haunted for the balance of your life." 2.50 (U1) SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES (FILE) (NBC - NO ACCESS USA/CNN/INTERNET/WIRELESS) STILL PHOTOGRAPHS OF MURDER VICTIMS 2.55

16:36:49:07 - 16:36:53:16 NBC (USA) (No Resale - USA)
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POLICE MUG SHOT OF GARY RIDGWAY 2.59

16:36:53:17 - 16:37:10:19 NBC (USA) (No Resale - USA)
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SV POLICE PLACING BODY INTO A TRUNK OF A CAR 3.04 LV POLICE SEARCHING WOODED AREAS FOR CLUES 3.06 SLV POLICE SEARCHING FOR CLUES TO MURDERS ON THEIR HANDS AND KNEES/DOG SEARCHING (2 SHOTS) 3.12 CU SEARCHING FOR CLUES 3.14 AERIAL OF CRIME SCENE 3.16 Initials

ENDS 16:37:20:00

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16:33:49:12 - 16:33:54:10 GRAPHIC
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SLATE INFORMATION

16:33:54:11 - 16:36:49:06 NBC (USA) (No Resale - USA)
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(U1) SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES (DECEMBER 18, 2003) (NBC - NO ACCESS USA/CNN/INTERNET/WIRELESS) SV CONFESSED GREEN RIVER KILLER GARY RIDGWAY ARRIVING IN COURT 0.05 LV OF COURT 0.08 MCU/SV OF VICTIMS' FAMILIES LISTENING TO COURT PROCEEDINGS (2 SHOTS) 0.13 MCU (English) JOSE MALVAR JR., A VICTIM'S BROTHER SAYING "You are nobody, you're an animal. Thank God you got these police officers in front of me, because if I had the chance to do what I want to do I would do it right now right here and over with. I hope you rot in hell."/CU OF RIDGWAY LISTENING (4 SHOTS) 0.28 SLV OF COURT 0.34 MCU (English) VIRGINIA GRAHAM, A VICTIM'S SISTER SAYING "Shame on you Gary Ridgway. May God have mercy on your pathetic soul, because the rest of us who know the truth about you won't." 0.42 MCU RIDGWAY WIPING FACE 0.47 MCU (English) SARAH KING, A VICTIM'S DAUGHTER SAYING "I was that daughter at home. I was that daughter at home waiting for my mom to come home. And no matter what you say I will never, ever, ever, ever forgive you."/CU OF RIDGWAY LISTENING (3 SHOTS) 1.04 CU RIDGWAY WIPING TEARS FROM HIS EYES 1.11 SLV OF COURT 1.19 MCU RIDGWAY LISTENING, NODDING AS VICTIM'S RELATIVE SAYS SHE FORGIVES HIM 1.28 MCU RELATIVE OF A VICTIM BEING COMFORTED/RIDGWAY WATCHING (2 SHOTS) 1.35 MCU (English) VICKY WARE, VICTIM'S SISTER SAYING "He's an animal. I don't wish for him to die. I wish for him to have a long suffering cruel death." 1.43 MCU (English) TIM MEEHAN, A VICTIM'S BROTHER SAYING "I can only hope that someday someone gets the opportunity to choke you unconscious forty eight times." 1.53 SLV OF COURTROOM 1.57 MCU (English) HELEN DEXTER, VICTIM'S MOTHER SAYING "I believe we've been sold by the prosecutor for not getting us the justice that we could expect." 2.07 MCU RIDGWAY LISTENING 2.11 MCU (English) MICHELE SHAW, RIDGWAY'S ATTORNEY READING STATEMENT FROM RIDGWAY'S ATTORNEY, SAYING "Be assured that we were shocked to hear that Gary could do the things that he has admitted to doing. However, we love Gary and we believe that the Gary Ridgway America now knows is different from the person known by our family."/CU OF RIDGWAY NODDING HEAD (2 SHOTS) 2.32 SLV OF PROCEEDINGS 2.35 MCU JUDGE SPEAKING /RIDGWAY LISTENING TO SENTENCING (2 SHOTS) 2.42 MCU (English) RICHARD JONES, JUDGE SAYING "And sir if you have that drop of emotion you will be haunted for the balance of your life." 2.50 (U1) SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES (FILE) (NBC - NO ACCESS USA/CNN/INTERNET/WIRELESS) STILL PHOTOGRAPHS OF MURDER VICTIMS 2.55

16:36:49:07 - 16:36:53:16 NBC (USA) (No Resale - USA)
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POLICE MUG SHOT OF GARY RIDGWAY 2.59

16:36:53:17 - 16:37:10:19 NBC (USA) (No Resale - USA)
No Resale

SV POLICE PLACING BODY INTO A TRUNK OF A CAR 3.04 LV POLICE SEARCHING WOODED AREAS FOR CLUES 3.06 SLV POLICE SEARCHING FOR CLUES TO MURDERS ON THEIR HANDS AND KNEES/DOG SEARCHING (2 SHOTS) 3.12 CU SEARCHING FOR CLUES 3.14 AERIAL OF CRIME SCENE 3.16 Initials

Ref: 312180037

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