tv Larry King Live CNN November 7, 2010 2:00am-3:00am EST
but everyone is somebody's somebody. these are not the faces of the forgotten. you know their faces. you know their names. but do you know their victims? if you think you know serial killers, think again. >> authorities say they found the remain of six people at the property. >> for all the carnage and grief
they cause, what is it that make serial killers so hard to catch? how do many get away with it for so long? the answer in many cases is simple. easy prey. serial killers often target those who go unnoticed. the missing, the vulnerable, the forgotten. >> if you're an offender and you want to 34 risk that you'll get identified and apprehended, you'll look for the most vulnerable people you can. >> serial killers strike at the vulnerable. across the country. from a river in seattle, washington, to a house in cleveland, ohio. even a country flowed rocky mount, north carolina. three different communities. but each playinged by a string of serial murders. the victims, all vulnerable women. preyed upon without mercy. to their killers, they meant nothing. but to their families, the world.
>> she was a great mom. dependable, right there when she needed to be right there. >> she loved sports. she was my little angel. >> she called me to say, anybody told you today that i love you? and that would make my day. >> in cleveland, it is only the stench that hung over imperial avenue that anyone appeared to notice. some blame the sausage factory on the corner. others, the sewers. at time, it was unbearable. the whole street smelled like death. and yet an entire city seemed to hold its nose. on october 29th, 2009, cleveland police head to imperial avenue armed with a search warrant for anthony sole. a convicted sex offender. they came looking for a rape suspect who was nowhere to be found. but what they walked into was
unimaginable. in the living room, two dead bodies. the first of many. despite all the ominous warning signs, it was only at that moment cleveland finally realized it had a serial killer. in the spring of 2007, women began disappearing into this cleveland home. but by the time anyone figured out what was going on, 11 women had lost their lives. >> i'm known for the one that got away. >> gladdis willer in forget that december night in 2008. she said that night anthony sole nearly made her another victim of imperial avenue. according to gladdis, he punched her in the face outside her home knocking her out and dragging her inside. upstairs to an uncertain fate. >> when i woke up, i started screaming. he came to the door and started
beating me. and he said, come here, you bitch. you're going to die. >> instead, gladdis fought back and got away. she was bleeding badly from a gash in her thumb but she was alive and running for help. >> i ran over to the restaurant that was across the street. can you all call the police? this man just tried to kill me. and they told me that, no, that they didn't want to have nothing to do with it. that i had to get out of their store because i was bleeding on their floor. >> gladdis did finally manage to flag down two police officers shelf received medical care and told the officers what had happened to her. anthony sole was arrested in his home. >> they actually went to the house. >> they went in the house. they found my blood all up the stairs, on the walls, everywhere. they said it smelled so bad in there, that they could not stand it. they had to get out. they said it smelled like
nothing but death in that whole house. >> despite the smell of death at his house, sole didn't stay in police custody for long. >> how is it possible that they let him out of jail? what did they tell you? >> they told us that they did not have enough evidence to keep him in jail. and that he said i assaulted him. >> anthony sole was now back at home. and sycamore women would allegedly die by his hand. coming up -- >> does that keep you up at night? >> a lot have us lost a lot of sleep over this. you cannot help it. >> you had him.
11 women missing. murdered. and no one in cleveland seem to blink an eye. >> at that time i was saying, why me? >> she could have easily been just another victim at this house. when she said her alleged attacker anthony sole tried to kill her. on the evening of december 8th, 2008. but she got away. police arrested sole that same
night but gladdis said she was told police didn't have enough evidence to hold him so they let him go. no one knew at the time that bodies were piling up in his house. martin flask is cleveland's public safety director. the police chief's boss. >> is that just kind of keep you up at night? >> a lot of us lost a lot of sleep over this. you cannot help it. >> you had him. >> we had him. perhaps we may have in a different set of circumstances, knowing what you know now, maybe have saved a couple victims. >> six. >> potentially. but clearly, that didn't happen. >> crystal dosier was 35 years old when she went missing. she was like all of his allege victim. she was poor and black. like many she struggled with addiction and had onins with police. but crystal like the others was also more than just her mug shot. florence bray is crystal's
mother. >> what can you tell me about crystal? >> crystal was fun-loving person. she cared, took care of a lot of people. she had her struggles with smoking crack, but after she did a couple of time in all-and she realized that was not the right thing to be doing so she started going back to church and getting her life back together. >> it's painful, frustrating. >> reporter: sarah is crystal's younger sister. she is angry at police for not doing more to help find crystal. >> i can't speak for the other families but i know what my family did. my niece still has a bag full of fliers where they were out here taping them to poles and passing them out every where. i know my family did everything we could to help my sister. >> they truly felt that law enforcement did not care about their loved ones because they were black. because they were poor and some of them were addicted to drug. is that true?
>> i understand that question. but it's not true. did we care? absolutely we cared. this is our home. this is where we live. this is where we're sworn to serb and protect. >> it would take 2 1/2 years from the time crystal dosier was reported missing and teths of ten more women to finally find crystal's body. >> crystal died here. at 12205 imperial avenue. she was then buried in a shallow grave right back there. she is believed to be sole's first victim. >> 2 1/2 years we look for my child. 2 1/2 years. >> a long time. >> and all the time she was over there in that yard. decomposing. >> in a cruel twist, crystal wasn't the only loved one florence lost at the house on imperial avenue. >> i have two that he killed. i have a niece, amelda hunter.
where crystal was in the grave, amelda was on top in the backyard. >> both women were buried in this makeshift grave discovered by police. these photos were taken from that day. >> how do you think this could have happened? 11 bodies in this house. >> they just didn't care. had they found her body, they probably would have saved most of the we will. they probably could have saved my cousin. i'm angry at everybody. i mean, it starts at the top with him but i'm angry at everybody. they can call me an angry person. they can say what they want but i'm pissed off about it. >> given the nature and the gruesomeness of the allegations that have been placed against you -- >> anthony was arrested on october 31st, 2009. just two days after police stumbled on to his alleged house of death. >> we've had a lot of tragedies
in this communicate but certainly this is one of the most significant things that has happened during my career. >> how do you feel that this crime impacted this entire community? >> i think it was a polarizing event in the city of cleveland. there are some citizens in this community who lay the blame, the fault at the victims. because of the lifestyle choices. some blame the loved ones for not reporting their loved ones missing. >> for those who blame the police, they point to things like the lack of a central missing persons unit. at the time they went missing, each district handled cases separately. since these murders, some very basic change have been made. like giving sex crime investigators their own cell phones. >> did you say give them cell phones? >> cell phones. some did have, some did not. >> some did not even have cell phones? >> that's correct. >> how is that possible? >> they have communication
equipment, radio communications and telephones but some did not have cell phones. >> clearly that's a problem. >> it was a problem. something that has been corrected. >> no matter who was to blame or what change have been made, it is too late for the activism imperial avenue. crystal dozier. her sister. >> a living nightmare. it's something that you never wake up from. >> and her mother. >> it is real hard but do i my best. i do my best to try to keep my head above the water. keep my head up. but the hurry, in time it will be better but it will never go away.
>> a serial killer speaks. >> all the rage. i took the towel and wrapped around their neck and pulled them and killed them. >> a rare and disturbing glimpse into the mind of a sexual psycho path. >> what are you feeling? >> kill, kill, kill, kill. >> gary ridgeway. the green river killer. for nearly two decades, he murdered with impunity and terrorized seattle, washington. when he was finally caught in 2001, ridgeway had become one of the nation's most notorious and prolific serial killers. >> i killed because i wanted to kill. >> to escape the death penalty, ridgeway agreed to months of interrogations. all of it recorded. all of it chilling. >> it was always the sex first. then the satisfaction of killing them after the sex.
>> this was gary ridgeway's hunting ground. what locals called the strip in suburban seattle. a collection of bars and dive motels, frequented by prostitutes. ridgeway's victims of choice. >> i could kill a prostitute and have a lot less chance of getting caught. you don't know them. they don't know you. they're -- the police won't look as hard as they would have if it was a senator's daughter or something, you know. >> throughout his 19-year killing spree, ridgeway dumped the bodies of as many as 70 women throughout the seattle area. at the end of a runway, in woods along rural roads, and of course, in the green river.
>> this is the green river, the site have where the first five of ridgeway's victims were found. >> mark is ridgeway's attorney. >> one of the reasons he left them together at a certain site was so he would have some ability to remember where they were and go back and visit those sites to relive the thrill of what he had done. >> it got to a point where i couldn't have sex anymore, i buried them and tried to hide them as much as i can so i could go out and kill another one. >> sometimes ridgeway killed as many as four women in a single week. yet this man with the below average i.q. was never caught dumping a single body. >> he is not that bright of a person. but it doesn't take that bright of a person to murder people. >> robert is an expert on serial killers. he consulted with the green
river police task force. >> he had honed his skills so well that he knew those victims better than they knew their friends and themselves. >> victim like linda janie rule. a prostitute but also a daughter. >> remembering the wonderful times we shared. >> her mother linda still holds on to the post card janie send her just days before she went missing. >> mommy, sorry i didn't call back. very sorry. love you always again, janie there. >> for jany, growing up was difficult. her parents divorced when she was just 3 but remarried 20 years later. >> she would rather go to her mom's because mom was softer on her. and i was too hard.
and i shouldn't have been, i guess. >> with her parents' rocky relationship at home, janie began to wander. at 14 she ran away from home. she was living on the streets with her boyfriend. >> he was somebody that our daughter thought that she was in love with. he was her boyfriend/pimp. he put her out on the streets. >> these were women whose life styles were such that they did not regularly check in with their families or their loved ones. >> then fbi agent mary o'toole was one of the investigators who interviewed ridgeway. >> it gave him a lot of flexibility and a lot of latitude. it could be months before they would go reported missing, if at all. >> king county medical examiner says the skeleton had been there from anywhere between six months and a year.
>> janie was missing for four months before her body was found. the police didn't immediately identify the body. but linda knew what she saw on tv was her worst fear. >> all i saw was them bringing out the body bag. i knew that was her. because this body was found out by northwest hospital. so i knew that had to have been her. >> janie was just a 16-year-old girl when she was killed. not that it mat ordered the gary ridgeway. >> i did it because i hated them. they're just pieces of trash to me. >> initially ridgeway was charged with just seven cases. five of those bodies were found right in this area. but by the end of his confession, he would be charged with 48 murders. coming up -- >> i wasn't holding my breath. >> how investigators finally close in the on the green river killer.
he moves to new delhi. street are quiet in oak ladd, california, after the sentencing of a police officer. police say a peaceful march to remember the victim of a shooting turned unruly at nightfall when a small number of people began throwing rocks and bottles. more than 150 people were arrested. the former transit officer johannes mezerly was sentenced to two years for shooting and killing 22-year-old oscar grant on a train platform. it was captured on a cell phone camera. mexico an authorities say they have killed one of the top leaders in the notorious cartel. he was killed during a two-hour gun battle in the border city. four other suspected cartel members and three members of the mexican navy were also killed in the clash. the gun fire was loud enough to be heard at an american university on the other side of the borders. throws the headlines this hour. keeping you inform, cnn, the
most trusted name in news. >> here's a guy, not really muscle bound. just an ordinary john. and yet that was their downfall. my appearance was different from what i really was. >> gary ridgeway's unassuming personality allowed him a 19-year killing plea and took the lives of dozens of girls. more than half of the victims were under eeg. like deborah estes, 15. hand is a summers, 17, and linda, 16. critics say a controversial law at the time made washington state a refuge for runaways. juveniles who fell through the
cracks. young and vulnerable. just what ridgeway was looking for. >> he had like the perfect storm. he could access them at night under the cover have darkness, and co-access a lot of them. >> more than 45 women have apparently fallen victim. >> gary ridgeway had long been a person of interest in the infamous green river killings but by 2001 the cases had gone cold. according to detective tom jensen, ridgeway had been questioned as far back as 1982. >> he was arrested on what we call a john patrol. a decoy prostitute was placed on the street. >> in 1983, ridgeway was questioned about the disappearance of a 15-year-old prostitute name marie malvar. >> in '84, he was reported having assaulted another prostitute.
>> in 1985, ridgeway was even questioned about choking a prostitute. one who escaped his hands. in 1987, ridgeway's home was search asked police took a saliva swab in hopes of determining his blood type. he was under constant surveillance by the green river task force. again, and again, there was never enough evidence to charge him. but by 2001, dna technology had advanced and jensen took one last shot. he resubmitted the swab test. >> i was not holding my breath. it was really our last hopeful. >> the dna test came back with a positive match for gary ridgeway. >> today at approximately 3:00 p.m., detectives from the king county sheriff's office arrested a 52-year-old man for homicide. the man arrested is gary leon ridgeway.
>> when he was finally captured, investigators found family photos of ridgeway's picture perfect life. the greenriver killer was married. he had a 26-year-old son. and he had worked the same job for more than 30 years. painting truck at this plant. >> everybody wants to see the monster in the neighborhood. the guy the trenchcoat hiding behind the tree. and quite often these guys aren't physically or behaviorally monsters in the workplace or the neighborhood. >> we have a scale. one to five. five being the worst possible evil person that could have done this kind of thing. where do you want to fall on the scale? >> a three. >> a three? >> uh-huh. one thing, i killed them i didn't torture them it went fast. >> he did not see himself as a bad person.
he did not see himself as an evil person. he saw himself as very competent serial kill here should stand out in the history book. >> how do you plead to the charge of aggravated murder in the first degree as charged in down 19 for the deftsz linda rule? >> guilty. >> facing the death penalty, ridgeway confessed to 48 murders. >> guilty. >> exchange for a life sentence. >> my sexual part, my hate would jump in. >> as part of his plea deal, ridgeway agreed to speak with investigators in grim detail about his two decade long killing spree. >> the pleasure in killing is to -- to be control, to have sex with them if i wanted to afterwards, and to take away another woman so she won't hurt anybody else.
>> so she won't hurt anybody else. >> yeah. like my ex-wife did and everything. >> ridgeway also led a series of gruesome field trips, pointing investigators to as many bodies and dump sites as he could remember. >> this is when i took work and killed her in the morning on the way to work. >> from those field trips, he remembered the details of where he dumped the body. were you surprised by that? 20 years later he's pointing out exactly, this is where it happened? >> it was -- it was surreal. >> could we walk down there? that tree looked familiar. >> he wouldn't remember faces or names. >> he just remembered where he dumped the bodies. >> he would remember them by where he dumped their bodies. >> just as he did in the case of linda janie rule. >> i killed her at that site. >> do you we found her? >> you found her.
it is across from the northwest hospital. >> linda rule? >> who? >> linda jane rule? ziggy? >> i don't remember her name. >> robert rule remembers the day in court when he faced his daughter's killer. >> mr. ridgeway, i had prayed for about two or three week before as to what to say. there are people here that hate you. i'm not one of them. i forgive you for what you've done. >> it is a commandment that you forgive thine enemy and god doesn't say to forgive just one. you have to forgive all. >> so you are forgiven, sir. >> while ridgeway pleaded guilty to 48 murders, his name has been connected to as many as 70 deaths. but the larger question of why
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there is a mystery unfolding outside rocky mount, north carolina. during the last seven years, nine women have gone missing. >> you see very little activity on this road. it is very secluded. so someone was trying to hide something, this would be an ideal place. >> one after another, the nine women would turn up dead. >> most of the bodies that were found were so decomposed, just the bones, just the skeleton. >> many of their bodies make the, dumped in the woods. and many were hidden here. along seven bridges road. talk of a serial killer was spreading throughout this community. someone was targeting black women.
all were poor, many were addicted to drugs and were prostitutes. working these streets in this neighborhood. andre knight is a city councilman here. he grew up here and knew some of the women who were killed. he became concerned when multiple women started disappearing from the streets. >> why do you do these particular women were targeted by a possible serial killer? >> because they felt that no one probably would have missed them. not much would have been said about their disappearance. >> easy targets. >> exactly. >> jacky wiggins' daughter was the fourth woman to go missing. tell me about your daughter. >> she was a high spirited, always had a smile, didn't know any strangers. she was a good mom. like a sister, instead of mom i'm in charge type person. she was always, you know, my perfect little girl.
>> jacky did not realize her daughter was in trouble. at what point did you start seeing, there might be a problem here? >> i really didn't see a problem except her friends changed. >> what kind of drugs did she use? >> as far as i knew, it was marijuana. but i later found out, cocaine and crack form. >> in may 2007, jacky became worried. she was helping raise nicky's five children and nicky hadn't called or stop by in days. she feared the worst. >> i reported her missing on the fourth day. i called to say i think something is going on. >> what did they tell you? >> truthfully, i told them more than they told me because me and two, three of my girlfriends would go to the areas where they roamed, just checking. i would call every two or three days. have you heard anything? no, miss wiggins. have you heard anything? i'm feeding them what i've learned just by going through streets.
and -- >> did you feel like they were taking your missing persons report seriously at all? >> i really don't think they took it as a mom reporting her child missing. i don't. >> you think they heard prostitute, drug addict. >> i do. yes, i do. >> john manley is the police chief in rocky mount where many of the women were reported missing. >> some of the family members tell us they did not feel like the police department took the missing persons report seriously enough. >> we make a diligent effort to look for anyone regardless, whether their socioeconomic class y be. so i understand what they're saying but it is just not true.
>> did their lifestyle make it even more challenging for to you try to find these people? >> the bottom line is it is hard trying to track someone that does not really have a true pattern that their own loved ones can follow. >> on august 17th, 2007, three months after she disappeared, nicky thorpe was found dead. all that remained was her decomposed body, a pair of socks, and green underwear. behind this burned down house off seven bridges road. >> when you got that knock on the door, what was that like? >> relief, hurt. anger. how i am a going to tell her kids?
and i was so, so frustrated with the police. because i really felt if they had really taken me seriously, you know, busting into some of these houses i told them about, even though she wasn't found in one of those houses, none of that was done. >> seven months after nicky's body was found, another woman's remains were discovered less than a mile away on the same road. that's when chief manley says he began to wonder if the deaths were somehow connected. >> i think any reasonable person would conclude that they didn't just go out there and lay down and die and all of them in a certain particular area. they wouldn't have done that. someone had to assist them in their death. >> a serial killer. >> in my opinion, that's exactly what we're dealing with.
>> but as the profile of the victims emerged, the councilwoman said the authorities didn't seem to care. >> i was told several times by many people involved in this case, it was not a priority to investigate the women that were being killed because they were drug addicts, crack heads, and prostitutes. >> when we interviewed the chief, he said that did not have an impact on the way they handled this case at all. >> i beg to differ. when you look at the women that are dead and you look at their faces, they look like me. and my opinion, i think it would have been a greater outcry and a greater resources would have been put on the ground if the women were white women. >> and looked more like me.
her mother diana is now raising them. >> what is it that you miss so much about her? >> she keeps you laughing. i just can't believe that someone took her. that was my baby. >> your baby. >> we just had so much fun together. >> in april 2009, a possible lead in the case. a search warrant filing a year later shows a state trooper was call to seven bridges road. there they found this man. antwan pittman, asleep in his car. he had dirt on his boots and his zipper was down. pittman was charged with driving while impaired. two months later, the body of jarnise was found 200 yards from where pittman slept in his car. a medical examiner report would show she died approximately the same day that pittman was found
on seven bridges road. though police chief manley said he had suspicions of a possible serial killer after the first two bodies were found on the same row, it wasn't until more than a year later on the same day this body was found that sheriff james knight formed a task force. andre knight and many of the victim's families say it was far too late. >> do you feel that if more was done sooner, that lives could have been saved? >> if more was done, quite a few lives would have been saved. >> after the second body was found and you're thinking, we might have a serial killer on your hands, why not search that entire area for more bodies? >> the only answer i can give you this one. the decision making is me. when it gets into the county know you're dealing with a whole other person as an authority calling the shots.
whatever that decision is, we follow. >> would you have done it the same way? >> it's hard to say what i would have done. >> while many of the women went missing in rocky mount, most of their bodies were found if edgecombe county. >> why didn't you go to the public sooner to let them know they might be dealing with a serial killer in their own community? >> you have to sfwee, can you want to arrest this person. but at the same time, you want to be able to convict them. in a case such as this, you have to be very careful what you put out into the public. >> if you had it your way, you would have done things differently. >> i am an open, out front type of guy. there is nothing that i will with hole from the general public that i think they have a rate to know and a need to know. >> if you would have told the public early on that, listen, there might be a pattern here.
do you think it could have saved lives? >> i don't know. i don't know. >> it is a question diana nicholson thinks about all the time. in fact, it would be the death of her daughter tara that would ultimately lead to the only murder charge for any of the deaths. in september 2009, antwan pittman was indicted for tara's murder. pittman was already a registered sex offender because of a felony convict involving a child. the search warrant filing in march, 2010, shows pittman's dna was found on tara's body and it says there's probable cause to believe pittman was also involved in the deaths of nicky thorpe, jarnise, and two other women. >> do you think antwan pittman is the serial killer? >> i think antwan pittman is a strong person of interest, as i stated before. and a number of those days along seven bridges road.
and since his arrest, there has not been one person that was reported missing since that date that has been found dead, harmed in any way whatsoever. >> pittman has pleaded not guilty to the one murder charge against him and is behind bars awaiting trial. pit machine's defense attorney said he does not see pittman being charged with anything else. nicky thorpe's mother, jacky wiggins, is still overcome with grief. for the first time, she visited the site where nicky's body was found. >> okay. okay. >> we've been told she was found right here. >> how could somebody be so cold?
i know she knows i'm trying. she know i won't be satisfied until something is done. something. somewhere. okay. okay. i'm ready. >> a country road outside rocky mount north carolina. a river in seattle, washington. a house in cleveland, ohio. so many serial murders. so many victims. targeted because they were vulnerable. because they were easy prey.
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