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Report: Suspect will confess to 48 slayings

By wire services
Published October 31, 2003

SEATTLE - The man suspected of being the Green River Killer has agreed to plead guilty next week to the murders of 48 women in a deal that would spare him from execution, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

Gary Leon Ridgway, a 54-year-old truck painter arrested in the serial killer case in 2001, will admit to killing 42 women on investigators' list of Green River Killer victims, as well as six women not on the list, the AP reported, citing a source who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Green River Killer preyed mostly on prostitutes, drug addicts, young runaways and other women on the streets. The case is named for the waterway where the first bodies were found in the suburbs south of Seattle in mid 1982. Most of the slayings were in the mid 1980s. Ridgway was arrested nearly two years ago and was ultimately charged with seven slayings. Prosecutors said DNA evidence and microscopic paint particles linked him to most of those killings.

With the death penalty off the table, Ridgway would face life in prison without parole.

Lawyers: Ferry captain too traumatized to testify

NEW YORK - Two weeks after the fatal crash of a Staten Island ferry, lawyers for the ship's captain said that he's still too traumatized to explain what went wrong.

Forcing the captain, Michael Gansas, to answer questions from federal authorities "would be potentially detrimental to his mental health," his lawyers argued in papers filed Thursday in federal court in Brooklyn.

The papers say that doctors have diagnosed Gansas, 38, with post-traumatic stress disorder and believe he needs at least two more weeks to recover before being interviewed.

The ferry slammed into the Staten Island pier Oct. 15, killing 10 people and injuring dozens.

Music group files 80 more suits against downloaders

The recording industry filed 80 more federal lawsuits around the country Thursday against computer users it said were illegally sharing music files across the Internet.

Those 80 people were among 204 who had been threatened with lawsuits earlier this month by the Recording Industry Association of America unless they contacted the trade association to discuss a financial settlement. The RIAA said the remaining 124 people had approached music industry lawyers about settling the claims.

The group previously filed lawsuits against 261 others. It said it has reached settlements with 156 people, who lawyers have said agreed to pay penalties ranging from $2,500 to $7,500 each.

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