Ricky Lee Green committed some of the most heinous murders in the north Texas history. Today in Famous Crimes, Staff Writer Bill Miller tells us about Green, whose own tortured childhood led him to kill, but who in the end tried to help others through his faith, according to an author who wrote a book about the killer.
-- Lance Murray
History shows that Ricky Lee Green stabbed and sexually mutilated Steven Fefferman on this date in 1986, but Green, a Wise County mechanic, also confessed to three earlier fatal mutilations -- a teen-age boy and two women.
All were separate, but equally grisly and nearly unspeakable to North Texas police who investigated the murders.
In succeeding years, residents of Green's native Boyd could only speculate on the origins of such evil.
But author Patricia Springer tried to break it down in Blood Rush, her 1994 paperback about Green, who was 36 in 1997 when he was executed by lethal injection for killing Fefferman.
In a 1997 interview with Star-Telegram Staff Writer John Moritz, Springer recounted how Green "had the worst childhood anyone could have imagined."
Springer said she learned that Green had been abused physically and sexually by relatives and threatened with castration for wetting the bed.
At 15, he began prostituting himself to men to pay for a growing drug habit, Springer said.
Sober, he was meek and eager to please, she said, but while on drugs and alcohol, he turned evil.
Investigators believe his first known victim was 16-year-old Jeffery Davis, whom he met one night in April 1985 at a hangout on the shores of Lake Worth.
Springer said Green told her that he killed Davis because the youth had made a sexual advance.
His body was discovered a day later in a swampy section of the Fort Worth Nature Center. He was stabbed repeatedly, castrated and almost beheaded.
Investigators learned that the next victim was Betty Jo Monroe, 28, of Amarillo. She was hitchhiking in October 1985 on U.S. 287 on Fort Worth's north side when Green offered a her ride. She was stabbed and hammered to death in Green's home, according to reports.
Police didn't have a break in any of the killings until Green's ex-wife, Sharon Dollar, linked him with the deaths of Davis and Fefferman. She also told police that she had helped Green kill Monroe and Bailey. She received 10 years' probation for her part in the killings, according to reports.
In the end, Springer said, Green turned his life over to Jesus and chose not to blame anyone but himself for his murderous behavior.
"Ricky took his own tortured life and used it to turn others around," Springer wrote. "His testimony has been presented to spellbound students in the Austin area as an example of how abuse and addiction can take not only one's own life but the lives of others."
Springer also wrote that Green told her, "If I can save one kid, my death was worth it."
-- Bill Miller