DEATH: July 8, 1982
Wendy, 16, was a victim of The Green River Killer.
Two boys riding their bicycles across a bridge spotted the tennis shoes first of fully clothed body. They stopped on the bridge over the Green River to rest. “The thing that caught my eye was tennis shoes. That doesn’t go away.” They waded into the water, thinking it was a mannequin, then they saw hair floating under water.
The body was that of Wendy Lee Coffield, a dropout and runaway. She had been killed by ligature strangulation.
Women, many of them just girls, really, started disappearing in 1982. Some of them had histories of prostitution, and many were last seen along Pacific Highway South near Sea-Tac airport. By 1984, the number of dead or missing women reached 49, becoming the nation’s largest unsolved serial-murder case. In 2003 the case was finally solved with the arrest of Gary Ridgway.