Excerpt: 'Green River Serial Killer'

Judith fought for control over her body. She was racking her brain to figure out why the detectives were at her house, on this day, asking her so many questions. She tried desperately to hear what the detectives were saying and give them answers, but the buzzing in her ears was blocking out sound. At times she only saw the detectives' faces, mouths opening and closing like fish, as they gestured their questions to her. The floor felt like it was tipping now.

After a few moments, she could hear the detectives again. They pressed on with questions. At times they were aggressive. Then they would back off. They asked Judith about her relationship with Gary. Had he ever been violent toward her? She protested vehemently with fists clenched and explained that her husband was funny and kind and always smiling. She could not understand why they were asking her these questions. Judith told the detectives about the sad year they had been though with Gary's mother dying of cancer. Gary's father had passed away in 1998 from complications of Alzheimer's, and they had always imagined his mother coming to live with them. It was a terrible shock when they found out she was dying of cancer.

The detectives asked Judith if she knew that her husband had been arrested back in May of l982 for offering to pay for a sex act with an undercover police officer. Anxiety had Judith in its full grip now. Her fingertips felt numb. Her lips began to tingle. She wondered if she would lose consciousness in front of the detectives. As she answered that she didn't know anything about the arrest, and that she didn't know Gary in 1982, her fingers violently wrestled with the fingers of the opposite hand, pinching and pulling flesh so that she could feel something real.

The female detective aggressively asked Judith questions about Judith and Gary's sex life. Judith felt a brief surge of strength from anger. Judith stammered angrily at the detectives. She defended Gary, describing him as gentle, soft-spoken, always smiling and polite to her. Their sex life was beautiful. The best she had ever had.

Had they ever done anything kinky such as tying each other up or having sex in the outdoors? No, Judith protested. Why would they do that?

As the detectives pushed on with more questions about the Ridgway's sex life, the doorbell rang, and then the telephone began ringing a few seconds later. Judith asked, "Should I answer it?" She motioned toward the telephone in the kitchen. The detectives nodded for her to go ahead. The incoming caller was Judith's sister-in-law. Judith quickly ended the call by saying, "I'm busy right now, goodbye."

Judith then walked toward the front door, still feeling shaky and disoriented. As Judith opened the front door, Detective Peters quickly inserted her body between Judith and the front door, partially blocking Judith from the view of the news reporter who was ringing the doorbell.

Apparently, word had gotten out about Gary's arrest and the first reporter had arrived at the Ridgway home in Auburn. But Judith was still in the dark about why a reporter would be at her home. The detectives had not yet told Judith that Gary was under arrest and that the biggest story in two decades was about to break in Washington.

A cameraman taped a few moments of Judith's pale face staring out, expressionless, just before the door was slammed shut by Detective Peters. The reporter failed to get any comment from Judith.

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