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I don't know about society because I've never really been that great with it, but I know that personally I am a monster.
~ Austin Sigg
[1]

Austin Sigg is an American murderer who, as a teenager, abducted, killed and dismemebered a 10-year-old girl called Jessica Ridgeway in a sexually motivated sadistic attack. Aged 17, he bundled the girl into his car and killed her at his mother's home. After handing himself in he received a life sentence.

Background

Sigg lived with his mother[1] in Westminster, Colorado.[2] He had unusual interests dating back to the age of 12 when his stepmother took him for treatment over extensive viewing of violent pornography.[1] A victim of bullying, Sigg dropped out of high school but later earned an equivalent diploma.[3] He was interested in death and mortuary science,[2] and told his brother a community college class he took was helping him learn how to commit murder undetected.[3] In May 2012 he used homemade chloroform in an attack on a jogger in a Westminster park; she escaped.[2] Ahead of the murder of Ridgeway Sigg practiced binding his mother using zip ties.[3] Child pornography was discovered on his computer following his apprehension.[1] His mother had also found child porn on his computer in 2008.[4]

Murder

Ridgeway vanished on October 5th, 2012.[5] Siggs was 17 a the time.[1] A massive search involving hundreds followed, with police photographing cars in the area where she was heading to school.[2] Within days the girl's backpack was found nearby in a suburb of Superior.[1] Five days after the abduction her torso was discovered in a field near Westminster wrapped in rubbish bag.[5] A tipoff to the FBI on October 19th brought Sigg into authorities' notice, describing his obsession with death.[2]

On October 22 Sigg told friends at college he felt "sick" and "wobbly";[3] FBI agents had taken his DNA.[2] The following day, after spending the night in his mother's bed, he confessed to the crime.[2] She called 911 with her son telling the dispatcher "I murdered Jessica Ridgeway, I have proof that I did. I'm giving myself up completely, there will be no resistance whatsoever."[1] Sigg falsely told his mother he had not raped the child.[4] He would later repeat this lie to police.[6]

Dismembered remains from the child were found concealed inside the house.[2] Sigg told officers the abduction was done by hauling Ridgeway into his car and driving around for around 30 minutes while her hands and feet were tied.[5] He drove his victim to his mother's house where he raped her before strangling her and cutting her up in the bathtub.[1][5] He had cut her hair and made her switch her clothes for some he supplied.[4] An initial attempt at strangulation failed when a zip tie snapped.[4] He also confessed to the attack on the jogger, having told the 911 dispatcher that was his only other crime.[1]

Sigg told officers he told Ridgeway everything was going to be fine but this was a lie: "The second I pulled her into my car, I knew she was dead."[5] At the house he told the girl she would see her mother again after she asked him.[7] After the murder he labelled her removed organs and kept her skull.[4]

Aftermath

Due to his age Siggs was ineligible for the death penalty.[2] He admitted 15 crimes covering his attacks on Ridgeway and the female jogger.[1] These included first-degree murder, sexual exploitation of a child and robbery of Ridgeway and attempted kidnapping of the jogger.[7] The crime of murder carried a mandatory life sentence with parole after 40 years.[2] He had initially taken the media by surprise with a not guilty plea.[6] His representatives were unsuccessful in an application, and subsequent appeal, seeking to try him as a minor rather than an adult.[8] In defiance of his legal advice, Sigg changed his pleas to guilty in October 2013.[7] This was accepted by a judge with sentencing set for the following month.[9]

At sentencing Anna Salter said Siggs, who she had not actually examined, was a sadistic necrophiliac with psychopathic traits but was not psychopathic.[1] The defense cited US Supreme Court decisions in asking District Judge Stephen Munsinger to limit his sentence to 40 years overall, but this was rejected and Sigg received an additional 86 years on top of his life sentence meaning he will die in prison.[1][2]

In 2014 Sigg was transferred to a secret location out of Colorado, with officials citing the privacy of himself, his family and his victim's family as well as their safety as reasons for the move.[10]

References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Austin Sigg Sentenced To Life In Prison Plus 86 Years For Murder Of Jessica Ridgeway - Huffington Post
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 Colorado judge orders teen who killed, dismembered 10-year-old girl to spend life in prison - NY Daily News
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Austin Sigg practiced zip tying his mother before kidnapping, raping and dismembering 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway - NY Daily News
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Austin Sigg cries as Jessica Ridgeway’s family remembers 10-year-old girl he killed - The Denver Post
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Teen killer Austin Sigg confesses to raping, dismembering Jessica Ridgeway - News.com.au
  6. 6.0 6.1 Austin Reed Sigg Enters Not Guilty Plea In Jessica Ridgeway Case - The Huffington Post
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Colorado teen who dismembered girl to spend life in prison - Reuters
  8. Austin Sigg faces new charges in Jessica Ridgeway murder case - KDVR
  9. Austin Sigg’s guilty plea accepted by judge in Ridgeway murder case - Fox4KC
  10. [http://denver.cbslocal.com/2014/06/21/austin-sigg-moved-to-out-of-state-prison/ Austin Sigg Moved To Out-Of-State Prison] - CBS
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