SEATTLE – Serial killer Gary Leon Ridgway (search), who pleaded guilty to 48 counts of murder, has finished leading investigators to sites where he left his victims and will be formally sentenced next month to life in prison without parole, authorities said.
Ridgway's plea Nov. 5 to a two-decade killing spree that targeted runaways and prostitutes put more murders on his record than any other serial killer in U.S. history. Prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty in exchange for Ridgway's cooperation on some of the unresolved Green River killings (search).
At the time, King County Superior Court Judge Richard Jones said he would delay formal sentencing for six months while investigators checked places where Ridgway remembered hiding bodies.
On Tuesday, however, Jones set the sentencing for Dec. 18.
"He has taken them to every place he thinks he left a body," said Dave Roberson, one of Ridgway's lawyers.
Kathleen Larson, a Green River Task Force detective, said investigators also believe Ridgway has shown them all the sites he remembers but added that the task force will continue interviewing him.
"If his memory is triggered from whatever, or we find a reason to take him out, we can do that," she said. She said the task force searched one area Monday and has another search planned next week.
Ridgway, 54, was arrested in 2001 after DNA evidence linked him to bodies found along the Green River. He has led detectives to dozens of sites since he began cooperating in June. Four sets of remains were found this summer.