41 thoughts on “Updated Kelli McGinness today

  1. Saffy April 10, 2012 / 11:30 pm

    Poor thing. I guess, as a prostitute, that was probably her gimmick, that she looked like Marilyn.

    • Meaghan April 11, 2012 / 12:01 am

      Yeah, I know. She’s on my list — but so are hundreds of others.

      • Kim April 11, 2012 / 12:59 am

        Ok I was just curious its rare that I do not find a missing person on your website. This man must have researched older lesser known cases as there are about 10 names so far that are not on your website.

  2. Kathie April 11, 2012 / 12:00 am

    I always thought she bore a strong resemblance to Marilyn, yes. Looked as if she was trying to play it up in the makeup pic, but she did naturally have very similar features. Poor girl.

    • Meaghan April 11, 2012 / 12:03 am

      Reminds me of L.A. Confidential, set in the 1950s, where there was a prostitution ring where all the prostitutes were deliberately made to look like movie stars. In one case, the real Lana Turner was mistaken for the prostitute meant to look like her. The woman who was meant to dress like Veronica Lake explained, “Most of us came to LA to become famous actresses. At least now, we still get to act a little.”

  3. Peter Henderson April 11, 2012 / 4:46 am

    Kelli was considered to be more then just a streetwalker, earning far more then the average girl on the streets, and its probable her looks played a part. She also liked to write poetry.

    She is more then just an assumed Green River victim. Not only did Ridgway confess to killing her he even lead police to what he felt was Kelli’s body. It turned out to be another victim, April Buttram, who looked a lot like Kelli. So, minus a body, Ridgway was never charged with Kelli’s murder.

    The same set of circumstances applies to Kase Ann Lee, 16. Ridgway stated that he strangled Lee in 1982 and left her body near a drive-in theatre off the SeaTac Strip but her remains have never been found. So, like Kelli, he was never charged with Kase’s murder.

    This also applied to Rebecca “Becky” Marrero, 20, before her remains were found in December of 2010.

    In addition 3 recovered victims still remain unidentified and police have two photo’s of women they believe are Green River victims but have never learned their true identities.

    And then there is the open ended question, did one of the nation’s most prolific serial killers confine himself to one county?

    Some of the general public believe that Ridgway stopped killing after 1984. He didn’t, but as far as King county goes he slowed way down. Only confessing to four murders after 1984.

    I believe there is a reason for that which I elude to in my missing person post for Deborah Wims.
    You can read it here if your so inclined.

    A number of teens and young adult women living similar lifestyles went missing from neighboring Tacoma in Pierce County during the late ‘80’s, early to mid ‘90’s. In fact similar disappearances in Pierce county pick up as those in King county diminish.

    BTW: The King County Sheriff’s Office spells Kelli’s first name as Kelly.

    • Meaghan April 11, 2012 / 3:30 pm

      Of course he didn’t confine himself to one county. He’s only saying that so the other counties won’t prosecute and seek the death penalty against him.

      • Peter Henderson April 11, 2012 / 4:36 pm


      • Princess Shantae April 11, 2012 / 5:13 pm

        Shows how dumb he really is if he thinks he has anything to fear from another county. He’ll die of old age in prison even if he got 50 death sentences.

    • Melinda March 7, 2015 / 7:59 pm

      I’ve always thought Deborah Wims was a pretty girl…wonder if she is/was biracial? Both she and her sister Cheryl were very light-skinned. I’m of mixed race myself so I can sometimes “spot” other people who might share a similar background.

      Ridgway admitted to killing Cheryl; her remains were found after she disappeared in 1983, if I remember correctly.
      But I’m not sure if he ever admitted to Deborah’s disappearance…she is still listed as a missing person. I wonder if their mother is still alive? I know she was heartbroken at having one daughter murdered and never knowing what happened to the other.

      The book by Ann Rule did a fine job of profiling the victims…it showed them as diverse, complex human beings with hopes and dreams and people who cared about them.
      Sometimes folks forget that prostitutes are people too. These girls were all “somebody” despite Ridgway’s idea of them being trash.

  4. Princess Shantae April 11, 2012 / 8:04 am

    I’ve also seen her name spelled Keli. SHe’s a good-looking girl. On the hefty side but she carried it well. Ann Rule thought she looked like Lana Turner. Maybe Marilyn tried to look like Lana and Kelli tried to look like Marilyn?
    Kelli came from money and she knew how to act like a classy person, so that was also how she made more money. She could go to the nicer hotel bars and look like she belonged there wher as most of the other GRK girls wouldn’t be able to pull it off.

    • Meaghan April 11, 2012 / 3:33 pm

      Marilyn also carried her weight very well. By modern standards she’d be considered fat — but today’s fashion/acting industry wants all women to look like stick figures with balloons attached. I’m a size 4 and have been since I was like twelve, and I’m sure talent scouts would tell ME I’m fat.

      (An aside: a curious thing about me and my weight. I’ve remained a size 4 in spite of weight fluctuations. When I was 12/13 I started wearing size 4 pants and weighed like 110 or 115 pounds at 5’5 tall. I grew another inch and gained a few pounds and became 5’6ish and 120 pounds, and remained size 4. In the aftermath of the rape I got all traumatized and basically stopped eating and dropped down to 108 pounds in only a month. I knew this was bad, and my family doctor begged me to eat, so I forced myself to and went back to 120 pounds. Then, last summer I started taking Depakote and, like, instantly gained ten pounds. So I’m now 5’6 and 130 pounds…and still a size 4 pants. I don’t understand it. I was under the impression that gaining or losing 10-15 pounds meant you had to change clothing sizes. Shrug. I’m still 130 pounds, approximately, and I’m okay with that. It’s healthy and I’m still thin.)

      • Princess Shantae April 11, 2012 / 7:10 pm

        I’m five six and 130 and I can’t wear size 4 pants. At least not most pants. Sizes are not standard so a few jeans in size 4 I can wear and other brands I have to go up to 8.
        I read last year when they were auctioning some of Marilyn Monroe’s clothes that she was really a size 2 and the dresses couldn’t even zip all the way on the size 2 dress form. Well I think that’s BS. Marilyn wasn’t a 16 like some people say, but looking at her I’d say she was probably a 10 or maybe an 8. She had a little waist but her boobs and her butt were big. There’s just no way she could get into a size 2. I don’t think her waist was even that small and her waist was very small compared to the rest of her.

      • Meaghan April 11, 2012 / 7:19 pm

        I’ve noticed that the more upscale the outlet is, the smaller their sizes are — that is, a size medium at, say, Bloomingdale’s would be a size large at Wal-Mart. Probably it’s to boost customers’ egos.

        I would also think of Marilyn as being a 10 or so, based on her height and weight and the pics I’ve seen of her. I’ve got a boyish athletic type build: slim shoulders, small breasts and no hips to speak of. I’m told that my figure is the kind fashion designers love, because I’m the human equivalent of a clothes hanger. I’ve never given it much thought. I don’t care much what clothes I wear as long as they are comfortable, not too warm or too cold, the colors match and I’m not wildly over- or under-dressed for the occasion.

        Hence my frantically running around trying to find dress shoes for the Elizabeth Smart cocktail party because the only alternative would be to show up in sneakers. But that was pretty much my only concession to vanity: I wore an old dress I’d bought at the Salvation Army and had had for a long time (making sure it had long sleeves for the cold, and wasn’t so short as to be inappropriate) and didn’t bother with makeup or hair styling.

        My mom, at 5’4, was very thin for the first twenty or thirty years of her life. She was 98 pounds when she had her first child at age 21. Now she’s like a size 8 and thinks she’s fat.

      • Princess Shantae April 11, 2012 / 7:34 pm

        Hollywood people can have their clothes made specially for them and they can call it whatever size they want.
        I have slim shoulders and medium-small breasts and a little waist but I have your typical black-girl butt. 🙂 It doesn’t make it easy to find pants that fit right. They tend to be either so big in the waist not even a belt helps or else they are so tight in the hips I can’t get them up all the way.
        That’s why I like dresses and skirts in warm weather.

      • Princess Shantae April 13, 2012 / 10:01 am

        Kelli’s mother married a guy with money when Kelli was small, and for a few years there she had the private school, nice vacations, everything kind of experience. Then they divorced and the money got tighter. Kelli claimed to have been gang-raped while babysitting at 13. I don’t know if that was true or not but she kinda went downhill after that, and got involved in the street life. Ann Rule said Kelli’s daughter who was adopted out after Kelli went missing, ended up on the street herself as a young woman.
        I really can’t say that Kelli was a high-class hooker. High class hookers don’t walk the highway. There is kind of a pecking order among prostitutes and the ones that work the streets are at the bottom. Kelli did work the bars and hotels but Gary Ridgeway didn’t go to those places; they met on the highway.
        I think Kelli’s called high-class because she was young and good-looking and knew how to conduct herself; she definitely was a cut above most of her co workers. But if she kept it up for a few years, let the drugs take hold and got beat up a few times she would lose that.
        In her booking pic she already looks pretty hard. Everybody looks guilty in their mug shot but still.

    • Diane April 13, 2012 / 1:16 am

      I don’t know why I’m surprised to find out that Kelli McGinness came from money. This seems like such a revelation to me, yet at the same time it explains why she was a “high class” prostitute. If she was going to go into the hooker business, of COURSE she’d be “high class” — she was born into that!! But that does make me wonder why she’d turn away from that wealth and privilege at such an early age.

      If I’d had the opportunity to “come from money” as McGinness did, I would’ve taken the fullest advantage of that. I’d have worked very hard at my studies in private school, aspired to attend an Ivy League institution, enrolled in one of those leafy green East Coast educational institutions, worked toward whatever was my biggest passion, used my family’s connections to translate that into a prestigious position, and worked hard to be the very best at whatever it was that would be. *sigh* I don’t know. Maybe it’s different if you’re actually born into that environment and are thus accustomed to that kind of lifestyle. I’m talking from the biased viewpoint of someone who was raised blue collar. I certainly didn’t “come from money”, but I marvel at all the opportunities such an origin entails.

  5. Crystal April 11, 2012 / 3:27 pm

    Okay, since you asked…no.

    Lots of makeup and blond hair, though.

    • Meaghan April 11, 2012 / 3:32 pm

      I’m afraid you are outnumbered, Crystal. 🙂

      Since we’re on the topic of Marilyn, after Anna Nicole Smith died I got really sick of people comparing her to Mariyn Monroe. Apparently Anna Nicole had made the comparison herself. They were blonde and used way too many drugs and alcohol, but that’s where the resemblance ends — Marilyn was an actual actress with actual talent.

      • Diane April 13, 2012 / 12:48 am


        Also, Marilyn Monroe was a lot smarter than a lot of people give her credit for. It was said by one of her associates that she worshipped Albert Einstein — he was one of her heroes and she daydreamed about having his children. She also enjoyed reading about Sigmund Freud and Charles Darwin, I think. I also heard that Monroe didn’t actually care for sex that much, but used it to get what she wanted, and when some old Hollywood luminary dished about Grace Kelly, she stated that Marilyn was a far better person than Kelly because Marilyn didn’t lie about who she was, whereas the promiscuous, anti-Semitic, alcoholic Princess Grace put up a public facade of being a saintly, virginial woman.

      • Justin April 13, 2012 / 8:17 am

        There was an actress in the 1940s and ’50s named Barbara Payton who was a complete train wreck that reminded me of Anna Nicole Smith. Barbara was probably bipolar and died in 1967 an alcoholic and a prostitute at the age of 39.

        You can find her if you google her name, but a good site to read about her is her bio webpage on the Internet Movie Database at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0668510/bio

      • Peter Henderson April 13, 2012 / 9:42 am

        Sad story Justin, and more indicative of the true downside of the Hollywood lifestyle then we frequently see on today’s tabloid TV news.

        BTW gangster Mickey Cohen, one of Barbara’s old flames, was mentioned as a possible reason aspiring actress Jean Elizabeth Spangler vanished.

        If interested, my take on Jean’s case.

  6. Princess Shantae April 11, 2012 / 4:33 pm

    OMG, I cannot stand Anna Nicole Smith! Nothing about her was real. Marilyn dyed her hair but Anna dyed her hair, was all tattooed up and had ginormous fakies and big fake lips too. I have seen some of her earlier pics, like one of her first Playboy pics where she’s got ona long gown and gloves and is sitting on a chair holding binoculars on her lap, and she is very pretty in that one, but she went all to hell later on.
    Marilyn could act classy. Anna was total trash and I hate to say that about anybody esp now that she’s dead. If even a few of the things are true about how she treated that old man before he died she belonged in jail.

    • Meaghan April 11, 2012 / 5:18 pm

      There are certain celebrities — Anna Nicole being one, Paris Hilton being another — that I can’t understand why they’re famous, and everyone I’ve talked to hates them. Lindsay Lohan is starting to be part of that group too. Yes, she’s an actress and has been in movies and stuff, but lately she’s just a train wreck. Also Britney Spears.

  7. Princess Shantae April 11, 2012 / 6:04 pm

    And Snookie. Explain that one to me.

  8. Kat April 11, 2012 / 10:39 pm

    Kardashians. Any of them. Pick one. Or all.

    • Diane April 13, 2012 / 1:07 am

      They really deserve to be homeless, unknown, and in deep penury. If I ruled the world, I’d divest that useless, talentless, brainless bunch of nitwits of all their wealth and give a big chunk to deserving people such as Jennifer Schuett and the family of Christopher Dansby, and donate the rest to Habitat for Humanity, which supports people who actually WORK for a living and who DESERVE to have the best lives they can possibly have.

  9. Princess Shantae April 12, 2012 / 9:05 am

    Ewwww! To all of them.

  10. LB April 13, 2012 / 1:07 pm

    Memorial page for Keli, which discusses her homicide:


    From what the article claims, Keli did not come from wealth, although her mother was a successful singer. To quote from the memorial: “Keli’s mother remarried, and Keli’s stepfather was
    a teacher making $900 per month, NOT a wealthy man who took care of her and her mother, as mistakenly reported in the SEATTLE TIMES”.

    It sounds like many of her problems started after she was gang raped by a group of teenage boys while babysitting when she was 13. She was afraid to testify against them, and apparently they were never prosecuted. I’d like to believe that some of those SOBs feel responsible, in part, for the circumstances that led her to becoming one of Ridgeway’s victims.

  11. Princess Shantae April 13, 2012 / 5:48 pm

    Its hard to sort out the truth when its Ann Rule writing. I think she likes to make things dramatic or romantic whenever she can without out and out lying about things. Her thing is to paint victims in the best possible light, which is good but sometimes it involves stretching the truth a bit.

  12. Kevin April 13, 2012 / 5:49 pm

    She doesn’t look anything like Marilyn Monroe.

  13. Princess Shantae April 13, 2012 / 6:39 pm

    Now that I have looked at different pics of her, I’m going to say she doesn’t look very much like Marilyn beyond the blonde hair and the big bust. But I think she probably tried to go for a Marilyn look. She wouldn’t be the first.

  14. Janice November 15, 2012 / 12:43 pm

    I am the person who put up a memorial website for Keli, at http://keli-mcginness.memory-of.com. I tracked her mother down to let her know about it, and we have become friends. Her mother said that Keli was definitely raped and after that, everything fell apart. She probably had post-traumatic stress disorder (in those days, people didn’t really know much about that) and went into prostitution because of it. Apparently, that happens a lot to survivors of sexual assault.

    Her murder has had a terrible effect on Keli’s mother, her sister, and Keli’s daughter and son. They are all still struggling. Ridgway ruined so many lives. I think the result of this story is that no matter whether people come from wealth or not, they have problems and they need help. I put up the website for Keli because on the night she died, I had a horrible nightmare about a blonde girl being strangled in a dark, deep forest somewhere. I remembered seeing a face, and when I woke up, I remember thinking that that actually happened somewhere the night before. Many years later, when I saw Ann Rule’s book with the photo of Keli I immediately recognized her and remembered the dream. Scary and eerie.

    • Meaghan November 15, 2012 / 2:42 pm

      I too have been raped, when I was 23. It was of course a terrible experience but somehow, I managed to come out without PTSD or anything like that. I think that’s largely because I had a good support system and the rapist was not anybody I knew.

  15. Lauria December 4, 2012 / 3:52 pm


  16. Peter Henderson December 11, 2012 / 5:10 pm

    A week ago this ongoing blog post got a post from a woman named Laurie. She said, “I AM KELLI’S DAUGHTER. PLEASE LEAVE YOUR RUDE AND/OR DEGRADING COMMENTS OFF OF THE INTERNET. MAY MY MOTHER REST IN LOVE.”

    How do you tell Laurie you meant no disrespect? How do you tell her a factual report about her mom may help another woman from becoming a victim?

    Is there any way you can tell the daughter of a missing woman, facts matter?

    Probably not, the best you can hope for is that in the end, she will understand.

    • Meaghan December 14, 2012 / 10:46 pm

      I know what you mean. Hit the nail on the head there.

  17. Janice December 12, 2012 / 8:49 pm

    I have gotten acquainted with Keli’s daughter also. I think the topic is just a really painful one for her. She is a great girl who has really now made something of her life, and I think reading any comments about her mom are bound to be painful. I just hope and pray her mother is found one day so that the family can have some peace. Not knowing where your mother was left has got to be one of the most horrendous things on earth. My own mother died in 2003 but I know where she is buried and I am able to visit her grave, leave flowers, and sit and talk to her. Keli’s daughter was denied that, thanks to Ridgway.

  18. Melinda March 7, 2015 / 7:41 pm

    I see no resemblance to Marilyn Monroe at all, other than the blonde curls.
    Kelli’s story is certainly unique because of her background compared with Ridgway’s other victims…she had some very traumatic experiences but otherwise, she was privileged. I hope her case (and several others) will be solved to bring closure to the families.

    As to why Kelli might have turned away from the wealth/privilege of her family, I can only guess that maybe she was deeply unhappy. She was supposedly raped as a young girl and experienced some pretty bad things in her life…many people who were/are sex workers have had similar experiences (myself included).
    Money and a more privileged upbringing doesn’t always mean happiness. I was raised in a blue-collar environment and although I sometimes wish I could be wealthy, I know that it comes with its own disadvantages sometimes.

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