Monday, 30 September 2013

Dave Reichert - Green River Cop

One of the main cops involved in the hunt for Gary Ridgway and always subsequently pops up in documentaries on the case, is Dave Reichert, who was there right from the start.  Whilst at the scene of one of the earliest victims found in the Green River, he went down a grassy slope and stumbled over another body.  He was never able to catch the killer but he did interview him many years later, when DNA evidence led to him.

    David George Reichert was born in Detroit Lakes in Minnesota on August 29th 1950, and in 1951 his family moved to Washington State, settling first in Renton, then in Kent, in King County.  He attended Kent Meridian High School and graduated in 1968, then went to Concordia Lutheran College, in Portland in Oregon, gaining an AA in Social Work in 1970.  He then joined the Air Force Reserve serving active duty spells until 1976.  He joined the King County Sheriffs Department in 1972, and rose through the ranks, through the years he had become Commander of a SWAT unit, a bomb disposal unit, a hostage negotiation unit and even Internal Affairs.  He joined the Green River team at the start, but failed to catch the killer.  He believed taxi driver Melvyn Foster was the killer at first, because Foster tried to put himself at the centre of the investigation, probably thinking "I am the key to this case" but basically showing an ego problem.

    In 1997, he was elected Sheriff of King County and re-elected in 2001.  He interviewed Gary Ridgway, and a clip from this interview showed Reichert leaning close in to Ridgway, and Ridgway leaning as far back as he can.  He showed fear as Reichert leaned towards him but he had no fear strangling all his victims!  Married with three children, Reichert went into politics after retiring from the Police and was elected to the House of Representatives as a Republican.

    There were many protests by women's` groups that the Police did not care about the Green River killer because the victims were prostitutes, but this was untrue as not only Reichert, Fae Brooks, Matt Haney, Sue Peters, Randy Mullinax, and many others, put in extraordinary amounts of time into trying to catch Ridgway, that even threatened their home life.  Yes, there are cops like that but not all.  Many give their all to the investigations, but surprisingly, many negative comments about the victims actually came from townspeople!  Not surprisingly, these never raise their heads into the public domain.  It is ALWAYS the cops.  The media does have a lot to answer for.