Flashback Friday: Kristi Vorak

This week’s Flashback Friday case is Kristi Lynn Vorak, who disappeared from Tacoma, Washington only ten days after her thirteenth birthday, on Halloween in 1982. In other words, 32 years ago today. She was living with a foster family at the time.

Kristi has long been considered a possible victim of Gary Leon Ridgway, the Green River Killer, presumably because of the time and place of her disappearance. However in many ways she doesn’t fit the profile: she was younger than any of his other victims and wasn’t a prostitute or a runaway. Only Ridgway himself knows whether or not he was responsible for her disappearance. I wouldn’t be surprised if something else had happened to Kristi, though.

19 thoughts on “Flashback Friday: Kristi Vorak

  1. Mo October 31, 2014 / 10:17 am

    I have always been very puzzled over Kristi’s disappearance. I mean would of Ridgeway gone after some teen running around on Halloween night who was possibly wearing a costume. None the less, I’d think Ridgeway would know to not go hunting for victims on a night that there are potential witnesses walking around. Personally, I doubt Ridgeway was involved in Kristi’s disappear, but then who is actually responsible?

  2. Justin October 31, 2014 / 11:12 am

    Is it Kristi Lynn Vorak or Kristi Diane Vorak?

    • Jo July 15, 2015 / 12:47 am

      No

  3. cris October 31, 2014 / 6:41 pm

    Maybe she did runaway from the foster home and become involved to survive thus becoming a victim of Ridgeway.

    • forthelost October 31, 2014 / 8:06 pm

      Maybe, but I’ve always thought whatever happened to her happened the night she vanished.

      Patricia LeBlanc, on the other hand, seems like a textbook Green River victim.

  4. Michael November 1, 2014 / 11:15 pm

    I’ve never believed that this was a Ridgeway killing. It really doesn’t fit his style; did she suffer from severe mental illness? I kinda get the feeling that she’s alive possibly under another name. Some people, I think, want to disappear. I think this possibly is what happened to Dixie Lee Arensen(Aug 25, 1968)

  5. Justin November 3, 2014 / 2:04 am

    For what it’s worth, an e-mail surfaced online where Green River detective Tom Jensen was quoted as saying he believed Ridgway was likely responsible for her disappearance. There’s potentially another 20-30 cases that he may be connected too, and she was one of a few names that was mentioned. Based on this, I suspect Green River investigators have a good reason to believe he was responsible for her disappearance.

    E-mail in question: http://z10.invisionfree.com/usedtobedoe/ar/t16744.htm

    • Peter Henderson Jr. November 3, 2014 / 7:58 am

      Justin,

      Most of the women mentioned in that e-mail have a known connection to prostitution and in several cases ( Kase Lee and Kelly McGinnis ) Ridgway confessed to murdering them but was never charged due to the lack of a body.

      Kristi Diane Vorak‘s case is more like that of another young Tacoma teen, 13-year-old Angela Mae Meeker, who vanished from Tacoma on July 7, 1979, then any of the documented working girls.

      Police called both Kristi and Angela teen runaways. (Cop translation; they showed no interest in the girls and did little to no investigation resulting in next to no recourses used to find them.)

      Authorities only became interested in the girls when Ridgway’s young victims started turning up like so much discarded cord wood. Only then were their missing person’s profiles publicly recorded and dental records and DNA profile taken. Only then was the possibility that they were the victims of foul play considered.

      Before then both girls fell into the legislatively indorsed Washington state abyss know as the. Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 1977

      About Angela Mae Meeker

      • Justin November 3, 2014 / 4:04 pm

        I tend to agree that the disappearance of Kristi Vorak is a bit more unique, but I’d argue it could still fall right into Ridgway’s patterns.

        To be honest, I had never really given much of a thought to the idea that Vorak’s could be connected to the disappearance of Angela Meeker. Guy Rasmussen is apparently a suspect in the disappearance of Meeker, as he lived just three blocks from her house. I’d be curious if police have tracked Rasmussen’s whereabouts on the night of Vorak’s disappearance.

        To me, a lot of this just comes back to that e-mail from Tom Jensen. Throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, there are several other disappearances that are quite similar to the confirmed Green River cases, but Tom does not list, and he appears to be quite cautious. The first seven disappearances that Jensen lists are very likely to be Green River victims based on what we already know from public record. Then there is Darci Warde and Kristi Vorak. Darci Warde is not usually mentioned as a likely victim in the media, but Ridgway described a murder during his interviews that appeared to resemble Warde’s disappearance. In fact, he even said he thought her name may have been Darci. I’m guessing police are quite confident in the matching detail.

        Then there’s the disappearance of Kristi Vorak. To me, there has to be some reason Jensen lists her as a likely victim, especially over many other potential cases that share similar characteristics. But perhaps I’m reading too much into it, and perhaps investigators have no idea what happened. Maybe that’s just their best guess. I don’t know.

        Really glad to see the interest in these cold cases like Vorak and Meeker’s. Keep up the good work Peter in bringing awareness to Meeker’s disappearance.

      • Peter Henderson Jr. November 4, 2014 / 7:54 am

        There is one major problem with Guy Rasmussen being a likely suspect in Angie‘s case, he had just turned 14 when she vanished. His name was never mentioned as a possible suspect until he was convicted of killing 9-year-old Cindy Allinger in July of 1996, some 17 years later.

        The problem is none of Angie’s siblings ( a older sister and younger brother and sister ) or her childhood friends were ever interviewed when Angie vanished. In fact Tacoma Police would not even take a formal missing persons report till two years had passed.

        In my opinion Guy Rasmussen, much like Gary Ridgway, became a convenient decades later scapegoat to cover up authorities lack of interest back in 1979.

        There are two brothers who were older Tacoma teenagers who knew Angie in ’79 and went on to become multiple killers however. My understanding is they were going to the same Birthday party Angie was invited to.

  6. Mion November 5, 2014 / 8:23 am

    If Ridgway did kill Kristi Vorak, he’s keeping it a secret for a very good reason. Part of his plea deal (which was confessing to the murders in exchange for LWOP) a decade ago was that, if it was discovered that he killed outside of King County, he would face the death penalty. Vorak disappeared in Pierce County.

    I don’t think anyone has any doubt Ridgway killed outside King County, there just isn’t any solid proof. I think it may just be a matter of time before LE finds evidence that he did.

    • Justin November 7, 2014 / 9:51 am

      I completely agree. Victim Debra Estes was left within a couple miles or so of the county line, and other victims were found out of state. He’s also strongly suspected in the murder of Angela Girdner who disappeared down in Oregon. I don’t think he gave county lines a single thought until after his plea deal.

      My mind regularly goes back to Mark Prothero’s (Gary’s attorney) book. In it, he states that Ridgway was responsible for at least 75 murders. It’s hard to arrive at that number without looking at disappearances outside the county or state.

  7. Lauren R November 6, 2014 / 12:15 pm

    Most of the Green River killings took place in and around communities near the SeaTac airport. Tacoma, however, is actually a good 20-30 minutes further south from that area, though. So, while its plausible maybe I’d look to other more likely options.

    Its not likely she had money when she disappeared to so bus or cab fare up and down the Interstate 5 corridor seems less likely. However, Tacoma has a massive army base located within its limits, Joint Base Lewis McCord. The base attracts a certain amount of crime. Further army bases tend to have a built in transient population.

    It wouldn’t surprise me that something happened to her by way of someone connected to the military and they left the area by virtue of reassignment or deployment.

  8. Jo July 15, 2015 / 12:46 am

    i grew up with Kristi and she was a runaway. Our families were close and her and my mom are still very close. Her real dad was molesting her, someone else and me. He is dead now and Kristi ran because of the constant sexual abuse. Ridgeway probably didn’t kill her; I am told she was part of the “underground” child ring in Seattle; though it hasn’t been confirmed. I would not be surprised if her dad did something to her. I had another friend killed and is still not solved Jennifer bastian 1986.

  9. Jo July 15, 2015 / 12:57 am

    She and I along with others were molested by her real dad; she was a runaway too. Her dad is dead now and I wouldn’t be surprised if he did something to her? I knew Kristi and her and my mom are still close. My friend Jennifer bastian is also unsolved too and was to found in 1986 in pt defiance park. I don’t know who did it but anything is possible.

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