Eastern WA Woman Says She Was Raped By Green River Killer
NEAR NORTHPORT, Wash. – Long before Gary Ridgway given the name "Green River Killer" a woman in Eastern Washington claims she knew him simply as the man in a green car.
Jennifer Loran-Paxton admits she was not an angel in 1979. She often lived on the streets and experimented with drugs. She was a teenager when she extended her thumb on a rural road to hitchhike home.
Loran-Paxton describes being picked-up by a man in a green car who raped her in the woods outside Kent.
"I asked him if he was gonna kill me and I was crying," she said. "He said, ‘No. If you're good, it will be over soon.'"
KHQ-TV does not generally identify the victims of sexual assault. Loran-Paxton contacted KHQ wanting to share her story to help other victims of crime report their cases.
"I didn't say anything for so many years and it change my life," said Jennifer Loran-Paxton. "It changed my personality."
She never filed a police report.
"I didn't think I was deserving," she said. "I was from the wrong side of the tracks."
More than two decades later she had moved to the mountains in the Colville National Forest. She did not watch television and did not have the Internet.
Five years ago she was shopping at the grocery store when she noticed a book at the check stand.
She picked-up a copy of "Green River, Running Red" by Ann Rule. The best-selling author investigated the history of Gary Ridgway.
Loran-Paxton was stunned to stumble onto a picture of the man she recognized from decades earlier in the green car.
"There's no question in my mind at all," Loran-Paxton said. "I lost my breath. I almost went down to my knees."
Authorities at the King County Sheriff's Office were not immediately available to comment on whether Ridgway was a suspect in Loran-Paxon's attack.
Authorities discovered dozens of bodies south of Seattle starting in 1982, arresting Ridgway with the help of DNA evidence in 2001.
Ridgway is scheduled to plead guilty to a 49th murder Friday in King County.
Loran-Paxton plans to attend the hearing in person to look at Ridgway and determine if the man she saw in the book is the same man she remembers.
"I'm sure of it," she said. "I think I'll be able to look in his eyes and I will know if he remembers me. I don't know that it will change anything or help me in any way, but I think I could finally just put it aside."
She hopes her story will inspire others to share their stories with police sooner.
"I just want to help other women that haven't come out that have these secrets," she said.
KHQ Local News Reporter Anthony Gomes contributed to this report.
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