State officials change story on why the Green River killer was moved

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The head of Washington's Department of Corrections says serial killer Gary Ridgway was moved from  Walla Walla to a prison in Colorado because he was a security threat who might harm staff.

State Corrections Secretary Dan Pacholke told lawmakers Friday that while in isolation, the 66-year-old Ridgway could study the cell, staff and prison routines and look for weaknesses at the Walla Walla facility.

The Seattle Times reports ( ) the statements Friday contradicted comments made two months ago by then-DOC Secretary Bernie Warner, who said Ridgway was "not necessarily a threat to others."

Ridgway was returned to Walla Walla in October, after families of victims and others protested his  move to Colorado. He is serving a life sentence without parole for the murders of 49 women over 20 years. He has also confessed to or been suspected of dozens more.