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  • FBI profiler Mary Ellen O'Toole

  • is using a carefully devised psychological strategy

  • her interrogation of the Green River Killer, Gary Ridgway.

  • Her goal is to get him to confess

  • to 44 unsolved homicides, where no physical evidence exists

  • that could link him to the crimes.

  • O'Toole is recognized as the FBI's leading expert

  • in the area of psychopathy.

  • Many of these men kill women.

  • They may maim them and sexually assault them,

  • but they love talking to women.

  • They love talking to people that are good interviewers

  • and that will listen.

  • My strategy was to get him talking

  • and to have him do most of the talking.

  • How are you this morning?

  • Pretty good.

  • Slept real good.

  • A little tossing and turning, but pretty good.

  • Good.

  • Good.

  • I'm glad to hear that.

  • I would also sit very close to him

  • so that I could maybe touch his elbow

  • and say, Gary, tell me what it feels like.

  • NARRATOR: The questioning goes on for weeks.

  • Some sessions last for hours.

  • Turn him off, and he will not talk,

  • and your goal is to keep him talking.

  • And finally, something within Gary Ridgway cracks.

  • Bit by bit, he starts talking.

  • (INAUDIBLE) that it started at an early age,

  • but sex and hurting the-- hurting the woman.

  • And he loved being able to talk finally after all

  • these years, and in doing so, he kind of walked us down the path

  • of all of his murders.

  • At one point, Gary referred to himself

  • as something like the lean, mean killing machine,

  • and he was very efficient, like a machine.

  • Explain that process to me.

  • Let's say she's already in the car.

  • I'm driving down the road.

  • So I whipped out my ID, and my ID

  • would be my-- I'd put my finger over my driver's

  • license to hide my name.

  • Then on the opposite side was pictures, a picture of my son.

  • They would know I was probably a normal person.

  • But you were really using your son as part of your ruse.

  • The girls would think Ridgway was a kind family man.

  • They had no idea they were setting

  • off with a serial killer.

  • And he would drive up to them, and sometimes he'd

  • even have his son's toys in the front seat,

  • and that would be a very effective ruse

  • to convince these women that, hey,

  • I can't be that serial killer.

  • I've got my little boy's toys in the car.

  • He was a very normal, kind of vanilla-type looking person,

  • and there was nothing that stood out about him, not dangerous.

  • He could have been anybody living next door.

  • He was anybody living next door.

FBI profiler Mary Ellen O'Toole

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This Interview Strategy Led a Serial Killer to Confess

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    Jade Weng posted on 2020/04/22
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