“… if one killer is responsible, he is likely trying to cleanse the world of prostitutes or deliberately picking victims he knows won’t be missed.” So says, Vivian Lord, Chairman of the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.
If she is correct, and she may very well be, North Carolina has a serious problem. They have another Ridgway on their hands. Gary Leon Ridgway, the Green River Killer, plied his trade in the Seattle area back in the 1970s and 80s. It took over two decades to bring him to justice. Why did he chose prostitutes along the SeaTac area as his victims? Apparently Gary hated prostitutes and felt that should be extreminated. By his own admission he killed at least 48 of them, but many believe the list is longer.
The Green River nightmare began when prostitutes were reported missing and bodies begin appearing in the Green River basin just outside Seattle. Now in North Carolina, at least nine prostitutes have been reported missing and 6 composed bodies have been found. The parallels are chilling.
The victimology in play here is very similar to that of the Green River scenario. Victims can be considered high risk, medium risk, or low risk. A low-risk victim is one who has a family, a job, doesn’t participate in risky behaviors, doesn’t use drugs or alcohol to excess, and doesn’t frequent places where violence could occur. These low risk victims can still become the victim of murder but it is not very likely that they will. One the other hand, high-risk victims cross paths with murderers all too often. Prostitutes are the classic example of such victims and in fact are essentially the perfect serial killer victim. They live on the fringe with a few friends and usually no family support. They move around from city to city so that if they disappear for a few weeks or months it is assumed that they’ve gone somewhere else to work or sadly no one misses them at all. They constantly interact with strangers and climb into their cars all the time. This sets the stage for them to become victims.
High-risk victims are low risk for the perpetrator. Whether the killer is Gary Ridgway or whoever this animal in North Carolina is, it is much easier to ensnare a prostitute that willingly gets in to the killer’s automobile than it is to try to kidnap someone from their office building or their home. High-risk victims pose low risk for the killer.
It is likely that these killings are the workings of a single person and if so his name will one day be a household name. It will be listed beside those of Ridgeway, Bundy, Gacy, Dahmer, Lucas, and the list goes on.