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Thursday, October 9, 1997
Texas executes suspected serial killer Ricky
By MICHAEL GRACZYK / Associated Press Writer
HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) -- A convicted serial killer tied to
four murders in Texas and suspected of at least eight more deaths
was executed Wednesday for a sexual mutilation slaying almost
11 years ago.
Ricky Lee Green, 36, was pronounced dead at 6:31 p.m., seven
minutes after a dose of lethal drugs was released into his right
In his final statement, Green thanked "the Lord above,"
his friends and his fellow death-row inmates. He also noted that
he had been in prison for 8-1/2 years, the last seven on death
row, and caused no trouble.
"I feel I'm not a threat to society no more," he
said, speaking quietly and slowly. "I feel my punishment
is over and now my friends and family are being punished."
Green addressed four relatives of his victims, who watched
through a window a few feet away, and said he was "really
sorry, but this to me is another killing and it's not going to
As the lethal solution took effect, he gasped several times
before he stopped breathing. Only one needle was used on Green
instead of the customary two. Prison officials were unable to
locate a suitable vein in the left arm of the longtime drug user.
Green, a one-eyed radiator repairman portrayed by prosecutors
as a psychopath, was condemned for the Dec. 27, 1986 death of
Steven Fefferman, an advertising executive with Fort Worth television
Fefferman, 28, was castrated and repeatedly stabbed with a
butcher knife at his home after he and Green had sex on a nearby
beach, according to testimony at Green's trial. The murder occurred
on Green's 26th birthday.
"He's more than deserving of his execution," Danny
LaRue, the Fort Worth police detective who obtained the confessions
from Green, said. "He's the best candidate I know in the
criminal justice system.
"He's real cold. When I finally got through with the confessions
and asked him why he killed these people, his reply was: ÔThey
all deserved it. They were kind of the dregs of society.' "
Green declined to be interviewed on death row but did agree
to have his picture taken.
"I'm ready to meet my maker," Green last week told
a photographer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
The execution was the 31st this year in Texas, adding to what
already is a record year for capital punishment in the state.
Nationally, Green was the 58th condemned killer put to death this
year, the most active year for executions in the United States
since 1957, when 65 took place.
Green was sentenced to life prison terms for two other killings
Jeffery Davis, 16, of Lake Worth, was castrated and stabbed
like Fefferman in April 1985. His nearly decapitated body was
found in a swamp at the Fort Worth Nature Center.
Sandra Bailey, 27, of Fort Worth, who met Green in a country-western
bar in November 1985, died from stab wounds and hammer blows to
the head. Her body was dumped in a ditch.
He also confessed to killing 28-year-old Betty Jo Monroe of
Amarillo, a topless dancer who was hitchhiking in Fort Worth in
October 1985 when she was picked up by Green. When found dead
in a remote area of Wise County, she had been stabbed, mutilated
and beaten in the head with a hammer. That 1985 case was dismissed
in exchange for confessions to the Bailey and Davis slayings.
Defense attorneys said Green suffered serious mental disorders
growing up because of prolonged abuse from his father.
LaRue, now retired and working as a private detective, said
eight other unsolved murders in North Texas bear Green's trademarks.
"His signature is all over these other crimes," LaRue
said. "We know he did them but we just can't prove it.
"He's not going to acknowledge them. It bothers me, but
I don't know what else to do about it."
When arrested, Green was carrying an old driver's license belonging
to an out-of-state woman. Contacted by authorities, the woman
told of being assaulted eight or nine years earlier by a man with
a glass eye, LaRue said. Green as a child lost the use of one
eye in an accident involving barbed wire.
"That gal described Ricky to a T," LaRue said. "And
he kept her driver's license as a souvenir in his billfold for
all those years.
"What other cases he may have done over a long span of
time out of state, or in other areas of Texas, I have no idea,"
the detective added. "But he traveled extensively through
the United States. Wherever there is an unsolved murder with his
peculiar trademark of sexual mutilation and multiple stabbing,
he's a possible suspect if he was out and about at that time.
He's a legitimate serial killer, no doubt."
Green, an eighth-grade dropout, wasn't charged with Fefferman's
death until his wife went to police in April 1989.
Sharon Green was convicted of the Monroe death and pleaded
guilty to the Bailey murder and received 10 years probation. She
told authorities she participated in the slayings on orders from
her husband and did so because she feared for her own life.
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