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A snitch fingers Colin Ridgway's widow in her husband's murder

But when he filed for divorce, Bicking III did not reveal that his wife was hiding from him because of the abuse allegations. "He came in here and lied to us," says family-court Associate Judge Mary Brown.

Katherine Bicking did not show up in Judge Dee Miller's court for a February 16 hearing to decide who would have custody of the children while the divorce is pending. Katherine Bicking later told another judge that she did not receive a summons for the hearing.

Miller awarded the couple joint custody of the two children. Bicking III was to have actual physical custody of the children, the judge ordered, and Katherine Bicking was supposed to turn the children over to her estranged husband by May 1.

Before that deadline passed, the unnamed informant began providing University Park police with information about Bicking III's alleged involvement in the Ridgway killing.

According to authorities, Bicking III told the witness that he traveled from Florida to Dallas to kill Colin Ridgway for money, with the payment arranged by his father and Joan Ridgway.

The affidavit states that the Bicking men and Joan Ridgway "shared a financial interest" before Colin Ridgway was shot to death, but does not elaborate. A bank statement obtained by the Observer shows that Joan Ridgway and Bicking Jr. jointly held a certificate of deposit worth $100,000 in 1995.

Using a Florida probation report and U.S. Naval-leave records, investigators were able to confirm that Bicking III did indeed travel to Dallas from Florida the day before the murder, the affidavit says. Kay confirms that his client was in Dallas on the night of the murder.

Bicking III supposedly told the witness that he had been lying in wait in a bedroom and shot Ridgway when he walked through the door, a description consistent with the crime scene.

"Witness testimony of Bicking's confession revealed that he was glad that the man fell when he shot him, because he was a big man," the affidavit states. "Ridgway was 6'5" and weighed 230 pounds."

The informant also told investigators that Bicking III claimed his father cut the brake lines on Joan Ridgway's car about eight months after the murder in an effort to lead police away from her as a suspect. The witness told police that Bicking III recalled that Joan Ridgway had "almost broken down" as the investigation began to focus on her.

In January 1995, the affidavit reveals, Joan Ridgway drove up to two University Park police officers who were working on a routine traffic stop and told them her life was in danger.

"She stated she had previously been involved in an accident in her Mercedes in the city of Dallas and that she had her vehicle towed to a place of secrecy," the affidavit states. "A mechanic had informed her that her car had been tampered with."

But, Joan Ridgway would not tell the officers where her car had been taken. Eventually, the affidavit states, she drove away in a GMC Jimmy. Police say the Jimmy was registered to Kenneth Bicking Jr.

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