Green River Killer victim identified after 40 years
A previously unidentified victim of Gary Ridgway, dubbed the Green River Killer has been identified some 40 years after her murder.
The King County Prosecutor, Dan Satterberg said she was identified as Wendy Stephens of Denver, Colorado who was only 14 when she was killed. Her remains were identified through a DNA match.
Ridgway was convicted of 49 separate murders during the 1980's and 1990's. He confessed to 71 crimes.
Statement from King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg:
This weekend we learned the name of a young woman murdered by Gary Ridgway in King County in the early 1980’s. Wendy Stephens was from Denver, Colorado and only 14 years old when she was killed. Ridgway’s murderous spree left a trail of profound grief for so many families of murdered and missing women. His crimes left an impact on our community that continues today.
Ridgway was convicted of the murder of Wendy Stephens in the original court plea. She was referred to only as “Jane Doe” in Count number 24. He has been found guilty of 49 counts of murder, and will spend the rest of his life in prison.
Thanks to the hard work of the diligence and hard work of the King County Sheriff’s Office and Dr. Katherine Taylor, we can now say her name. We are thankful that Wendy Stephens’ family will now have answers to their enormous loss suffered nearly 40 years ago.
Wendy was found March 21, 1984 at the Highline Baseball Field, just west of the intersection of 16th Avenue South and South 146th Street. That’s since been incorporated as part of the City of SeaTac.
As a Jane Doe, she was believed to be 15. We now know Wendy was 14 when she was killed.