Green River Killer Nicole French
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The Riverman: Ted Bundy and I Hunt for the Green River Killer
by Robert Keppel
July 15, 1982: 3 woman's strangled body was filed, caught on the pilings of Washington state's Green River. Before long, the "Green River Killer" would be suspected in at least 49 homicides, with no end in sight. Then authorities received a letter from Bundy -- on death row -- offering to help catch the Green River Killer. But he would only talk to Robert Keppel, the former homicide detective who helped track Bundy's cross-county killing spree.

The Search for the Green River Killer by Carlton Smith, Tomas Guillen
This reckoning of the deaths of almost 50 women in Seattle is distressing not only for the gruesomeness of the crimes but also for reasons probably not intended by Smith and Guillen, who reported on the murders for the Seattle Times.

Nicole French, 19 - As a girl she mastered horsemanship and was a frequent blue ribbon winner.

She was molested at an early age by a relative, and she began to withdraw from her mother and sister, skipping school, drinking with friends and using drugs.

She had a daughter she left with her grandmother to raise.

"We tried to help," her mother, Judith Mangan said. "But I guess what we gave her just wasn't what she needed."

She got counseling but it never seemed to take, her mother said.

She tried to get away from drugs "but couldn't," said Kim Delaney, a friend.

Summer 1992, Nicole left Sacramento for Seattle to straighten out her life and get away from drugs. She found a job in Seattle and seemed to be making progress. The family was considering giving her back her daughter.

She lost her job after returning to Sacramento to serve jail time for bounced checks.

When she returned she was kicked out of the home she was staying in with another woman and moved into a hotel. She had been arrested by police on prostitution and again questioned by the police but not arrested, both times in the Pacific Highway South area.

12 hours before her body was found, she was seen making a phone call from Pacific Highway South. She disappeared from the same intersection as two Green River Killer's victims 9 years earlier.

Her partially clothed body was found found by a hunter Nov. 7, 1992, 10 miles from North Bend, at the end of a Forest Service logging road, near the middle fork of the Snoqualmie river. She was strangled with her own sweat pants near an area Ridgway liked to go to.

Her body was in the same area as her friend Sarah Habakangas, 17, found. At the time, no connection was established between the deaths, police claimed it was an "unusual" circumstance.

Mangan with her husband, operates a Sacramento-area business.

She raised the daughter Nicole had as a teenager. Granddaughter, Briteny French, calls her grandparents "Mom and Dad."

"All I ever wanted to do was find out why, why somebody does things like that," she said. "I was searching for answers for why that happens. You just want to know why, what gives (someone) the right? I'm glad if he's the one. It's terrible to know they can be out there and continue (to kill) and no one ever stops them. We just hope they've got the right one."

She said, if convicted, Ridgway should be executed or put in prison for life without the possibility of parole.

To work through her grief, Judy Mangan sought counseling and visited the wooded area where the body of her daughter was found. She read books about serial killers and, for several years, watched every movie that came out about them. Mangan with her husband, operates a Sacramento-area business.

Mangan said when Briteny heard of Ridgway's arrest, "she said 'I hope they put him in jail and they don't feed him."

Her grandparents stress to her to not go out at night alone or walk on darkened streets.

Copyright Kari Sable 1994-2006

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Death's Acre: Inside the Legendary Forensic Lab/the Body Farm/Where the Dead Do Tell Tales -- A pioneer of modern forensic anthropology reveals secrets of the world's first-and only-laboratory devoted to death.

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