In the most extraordinary book Ann Rule has ever undertaken, America's master of true crime has spent more than two decades researching the story of the Green River Killer, who murdered more than forty-nine young women. The quest to discover the most prolific serial killer in American history has been an intimate part of Ann Rule's life, with some of the corpses found only a mile or so from where she lived and raised her own daughters. She did not know the killer, but he apparently knew her and attended many of her book signings.
For twenty-one years, the killer carried out his self-described "career" as a killing machine, ridding the world of women he considered evil. His eerie ability to lure his victims to their deaths and hide their bodies made him far more dangerous than any infamous multiple murderer in the annals of crime.
A few men -- including a law student, a truck painter, and a taxi driver -- eventually emerged as the prime suspects among an unprecedented forty thousand scrutinized by the Green River Task Force. Still, there was no physical evidence linking any of them to the murders until 2001, when investigators used a new DNA process on a saliva sample they had preserved since 1987, with stunning results.
Ann Rule has followed the case since July 1982, when the first body -- that of teenager Wendy Lee Coffield -- was found in the Green River, snagged on pilings under a bridge. Rule has compiled voluminous files, working through an incredible 95,000 pages of official police records, transcripts, photographs, and maps, winnowing out the chaff and identifying what is truly important. Over the years, she gained unparalleled access to all the key players -- from King County Sheriff Dave Reichert to those close to the killer and his victims.
When finally apprehended and convicted, the killer made a detailed confession -- of his twisted sexual obsessions -- that will shock even the most jaded reader. Green River, Running Red is a harrowing account of a modern monster, a killer who walked among us undetected. It is also the story of his quarry -- of who these young girls were, and who they might have become. A chilling look at the darkest side of human nature, this is the most important and most personal book of Ann Rule's long career.
Following the winter 2003 sentencing of the Green River serial killer, Gary Ridgeway, perennial true-crime bestseller Rule (Heart Full of Lies, etc.) has finally completed her long-awaited definitive narrative of the brutal and senseless crimes that haunted the Seattle area for decades. Rule once again validates her standing as one of the pre-eminent chroniclers of modern serial murder, calling upon her experience as a former police officer and a civilian adviser to the VICAP Task Force to present a nuanced and easily comprehensible account of the hunt for the man responsible for at least 48 killings. She succeeds on a number of levels; perhaps her greatest achievement is bringing Ridgeway's victims to life as distinct individuals, most of whom led lives of quiet desperation that brought them to prostitution and, eventually, to death at his hands. Rule also captures the profound sadness pervading this grim chapter in U.S. crime history by humanizing the grieving relatives, as well as the dedicated investigators who, tragically, had interviewed Ridgeway several times and then moved on to other suspects. Her eventual realization that the murderer had attended some of her lectures and book signings will give readers the creeps. This account is a good counterpoint to Sheriff David Reichert's recent insider account, Chasing the Devil, and should expand Rule's already large readership.
Customer ReviewsSee All
After slogging though about half of this book I am giving up. How she made this story boring is beyond me but she managed to do it. Do no waste your money.
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner
Another deep honest and brutal probe into the darkness of death at the hands of the most prolific serial killer America will hopefully ever see. Hats off to Ann Rule for another riveting true crime book.
Great read, great writer, highly recommend for avid true crime readers.