Local woman linked to Green River case

Suzanne Fournier
The Province; with files by Barbara McLintock

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Gary Bigg, former fiance of Heather Chinnock, an alleged murder victim of Robert Pickton, has come forward with information that has piqued the interest of a Seattle-based police investigation into the so-called 'Green River' killer.

Gary Bigg

Bigg, a musician and former logger who says he is "devastated" by Chinnock's death, said he wants police to know that she was well-acquainted with a "trick" known as Gary Leon and "partied with him in his motorhome."

Gary Leon Ridgway, a 52-year-old Seattle-area truck painter, is believed to have killed up to 49 victims, most drug-addicted prostitutes, who disappeared between 1982 and 1984. He was charged last December with four of the murders.

Bigg said Chinnock had a Seattle phone number for Ridgway.

"I believe this was definitely Gary Leon Ridgway. Heather said he was 'weird' but definitely saw him a few times."

King County Det. Kathleen Larson, a member of the Green River Task Force, said investigators are "very interested in this new information" and will interview Bigg, who says he gave Vancouver police a Ridgway tip.

Heather Chinnock

Larson noted that the Green River investigators met with the Vancouver police-RCMP Missing Women's Task Force and Canadian customs, but were unable to establish a definite link between any B.C. missing woman and Ridgway, whose neighbours say that he and his wife, Judith, travelled frequently in their motorhome, often to B.C.

Bigg also said that Chinnock, who was 30 when she went missing in April 2001, was "kind and honest" and loved her two children, but was hopelessly addicted to cocaine and alcohol. "She was deathly allergic to heroin and totally afraid of needles but she couldn't kick the cocaine or booze, and I just couldn't compete with it," he said.

Bigg, who met Pickton in September 1998 when he picked up Chinnock at Bigg's Surrey apartment, said "she'd been going to the pig farm for more than a decade."

Bigg also revealed a possible link between Chinnock and the Surrey "House of Horrors," where Surrey RCMP believe to have been the scene of drug-taking, extortion and at least two murders. Two people have been charged with the murder of a prostitute at the house.

"Heather called it the little crack shack, and I'd take her over there when she had to score," said Bigg.

"I've never touched drugs in my life and I hate what they did to Heather, made her vulnerable to every creep."

Surrey RCMP Cpl. Pete Cross, lead investigator in the crack house case, confirmed he has interviewed Bigg.

"Heather Chinnock and some of the other Surrey working women did very likely visit the house on 108th Avenue but we don't believe at this time there were any direct dealings or business connections to the Pickton case," he said.

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 Copyright 2002 The Province

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Updated: August 21, 2016