So, last Thursday (the 17th), I noticed several news vans at the Regional Justice Center in downtown Kent when I swung by on my way to meet up with Janice after work. I had a strong suspicion of what was going on, based on a news story in the local free weekly paper the week before: Gary Ridgeway, the Green River Killer, has coming to town to plead guilty to another murder (his 49th)*
Sure enough, the next morning Janice saw a gaggle of news vans already there when she passed by on her way in at 7.30. And some of them where still there when she got off late that afternoon (say fiveish). I assume a few reporters had been at the RJC the day before to do a little background/set-up for the main story to follow, but given that the arraignment, plea, victim's family speeches, and sentencing wd all be over in just a few hours that afternoon, it's a bit odd the reporters were there for all-day coverage. All I can assume is that they did 'live updates on our breaking story' for dramatic effect. I'm a little surprised Congressman Richert didn't show up for a little speechifying, having parlayed his failure to catch the Green River Killer for twenty years (during which time he murdered seventy-one women) into a political career, but so far as I know he didn't.
As for Ridgeway himself, it's good to know they have him safely locked up for life. It's no less than he deserves. -- though a little disconcerting, reading the terms of his confinement, to realize that they're slightly less harsh than those Bradley Manning has been subjected to for the past seven months without ever even been charged with a crime. Something seems a bit off there.
And, despite the fact he'll never be able to hurt anyone else, it's still chilling to know that someone like this was physically here, that near to where we live, in the here-and-now.
*the terms of his plea bargain, according to the article, being that he pled guilty to all the murders where they could find the bodies of his victims -- 48 in all -- and confessed to twenty more where the bodies were never recovered, with the understanding that he'd plea guilty to each that might be found afterwards.