Chasing the Devil is the gripping firsthand account of Sheriff David Reichert's relentless pursuit of the Green River Killer -- a 21-year odyssey full of near-misses and startling revelations.
For eight years, Sheriff David Reichert devoted his days and nights to capturing the Green River Killer. He was the first detective on the case in 1982, doggedly pursuing clues as the body count climbed to 49 and it became the most infamous unsolved case in the nation.
Frantically following all of his leads, Sheriff Reichert befriended the victims families, publicly challenged the killer, and risked his own safety -- and the endurance and love of his family -- before he found his madman. But Reichert's hunt didn't end when he finally cornered a truck painter named Gary Ridgway. It would be yet another 11 haunting years before forensic science could prove Ridgway's guilt beyond a shadow of a doubt. Told in vivid detail by the man who knows the whole story, this is a real life suspense story of unparalleled heroism.
Several years after Ted Bundy's killing spree began in Washington, the deadliest serial killer in U.S. history embarked on a murderous rampage that would remain unsolved for two decades. Both preyed on young women but, while Bundy's victims were often college students, the Green River Killer pursued prostitutes: runaway teenagers and women whose precarious lifestyle, Reichert says, made them easy targets for a murderer. The author, then a homicide detective in the King County Sheriff's Office, was the lead investigator on the Green River case from the beginning, when the bodies of three women were found in and near the Green River in suburban Seattle in August 1982. Twenty years later, DNA testing linked Gary Ridgway to his first victims, and he eventually confessed to killing 53 women. Reichert, by then the county sheriff, finally got to close a case that many thought would never be solved. His absorbing account offers an in-depth look at the obstacles and the frustrations, the leads that went nowhere and the prime suspects who were eventually cleared. In this straightforward, just-the-facts approach, Reichert downplays some of the more sensational aspects that TV has seized on, such as detectives calling on the imprisoned Bundy for help and using an FBI profiler. He illustrates how policing evolved during the course of the case, thanks to new technology, and only occasionally slips into defensiveness. Reichert vehemently stands up for his office, which was constantly second-guessed by the feds, criticized by the press and mistrusted by the victims' families, who thought the police would have made a greater effort to find the killer if the women had been more respectable. A great book for true crime fans, Reichart's account gives readers a chance to see the hard work that went on behind the scenes.