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Chasing the Devil: My Twenty-Year Quest to Capture the Green River Killer Mass Market Paperback – December 27, 2005

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Editorial Reviews


"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."--Publishers Weekly

"Reichert has lived a hero's life."--The Seattle Times

"Reichert uses a strong voice throughout the book."--San Mateo Daily Journal

"[Reichert] focuses on the grueling investigation, which spanned 20 years, many political upheavals, funding uncertainties and thousands of false leads...stunning."
--The Kitsup Sun (Pacific NW)

From the Back Cover

It began with the discovery of three women's bodies found near suburban Seattle's Green River in August, 1982. Soon more corpses and human remains would be found, some as far as Oregon. They were teenage runaways or other women whose anonymous lifestyles had made them easy, vulnerable targets--and they were all the victims of a faceless murderer whose rampage would span two decades and take as many as forty-nine lives. No other serial killer in the nation's history had killed so many people.

For twenty long years, Sheriff David Reichert played a cat and mouse game with the Green River killer who managed to stay one step ahead of Reichert, the local authorities, and even the FBI. But Reichert had no doubt in his mind that he was going to find the Green River killer-- no matter how long it took…

That day came in 2001 when DNA evidence linked fifty-two-year-old truck painter Gary Ridgway to three of the murder victims. The long nightmare was finally over for Reichert and the families of the murder victims. With startling insider disclosures and the fascinating forensic details of the relentless manhunt itself--Chasing the Devil exposes the heart of true evil and reveals the dauntless efforts behind one man's quest to chase it...

"Front-and-center account...straightforward...ultimately, the epic turns into a nightmare of gnawing anxiety...as gruesome as guilty pleasures get for rabid crime readers."
--Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 316 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's True Crime; First Edition edition (December 27, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312938195
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312938192
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 0.9 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #669,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By SportingBlue on February 10, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Gary Ridgway is a pretty unremarkable man, but he inspired a remarkable story. This is one of the few serial killer cases where the investigative team is more interesting than the actual killer. At no point has Gary Ridgway crossed over from being a heartless murderer to pop culture antihero like, say, Charles Manson has. Being prostitutes, Ridgway's victims were almost too vulnerable, practically laid out on a buffet for him to prey upon. David Reichert struggles with this fact and many others throughout this story. You'll get a good sense of the intense pressure he and his team felt during their experience. The community was outraged at the task force's seeming lack of progress; the media fueled the fire by pointing out mistakes and missed opportunities. Later, budget cuts and over-involvement by the FBI were enough to drive many task force members to seek other assignments. Reichert's views on all of these are made clear, and the politics of a major city's police force are on display for all to see. Incredibly, at one point, the case had become so fruitless that only one man (not Reichert) was assigned to it for the duration. The task force's tireless work and evidence-collecting paid off in the end, and the prolific killing spree was finally ended. Others reviewing this book have called Reichert an egomaniac but I don't think he comes off like that at all. He gives a lot of credit where it's due, admits his errors, and is respectful to the victims at all times. His obsession is the reason the case got as far as it ever did. If David Reichert wanted to look like a big shot, I'd say he sacrificed a lot to get there.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Kimimila on February 24, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was in junior high school when the Green River Killer was making his rounds. I remember watching about it on the TV news. While books have been written about the case, I was waiting until it had been solved to read about it. When I saw this book, I knew this was the one I would finally purchase because it was written by someone who actually had worked the case, not an outsider.

This book is excellent--it is very well written, concise, and full of factual evidence. It also shows that we in law enforcement are humans and have feelings, too. We just often have to set them aside while we deal with horrible incidents.

I am a dispatcher at a sheriff's office in a western state. I was almost finished with the book when I brought it to work with me. Within minutes of its discovery, co-workers were calling out dibs on who got to read it next. One deputy even called me on the radio to ask if I was finished reading it yet!

So, this book is making the rounds at our office. And, everyone agrees with me that it is a VERY GOOD book.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Sylviastel VINE VOICE on March 23, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sheriff David G. Reichert might have written his autobiography here. After all, he was one in charge in regards to the Green River case. Reichert got involved from the first victim until the killer, Gary Leon Ridgway, finally confessed to killing over 50 victims and finding locations for the remains of some of them.

For his confession, he was given life in prison without the possibility of parole. I'm sure some people felt that he deserved the death penalty and probably so. He murdered almost all women mostly prostitutes and drug addicts and runaways. Hardly the population that needed publicity. In a sense, they are transient and unstable in location. They are likely to move around a lot without being noticed if they go missing. They usually don't report their absences in fear for their survival. Many of them don't want police involvement if they are involved in illegal activities such as prostitution and drugs. They risk their lives in order to survive on the streets.

In Ted Bundy's day, he went after well-respected daughters, college students. Bundy referred to the Green River Killer's victims as bottom feeders because most families and friends wouldn't report them missing so soon.

Reichert writes about the frustration and aggravation in almost every turn in trying to chase the devil who was the Green River Killer. I think we forget that law enforcement can be human and make mistakes. There were those that covered. The girls on the strip were in danger and they even knew it too.

The Green River Killer took 20 years to find and he was a regular employee at Kenworth company as a truck driver. He was interviewed at times but nothing added up until the technology and DNA evidence.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Highmountain on April 28, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read many of the true-life crime novels, and this ranks among the best. The author is very good about keeping the many, many characters distinct, and unforgettable. He also gives insight on the victims' families and why they reacted to things the way they did. Sheriff Reichert must truly be a good man as he has a very forgiving nature, brought out by the many times the media, the families of the victims, and the politicians that he had to deal with made life so much harder for him. I thought the book was very good and I highly recommend it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mamacat on March 30, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I am surprised that I had never heard about the Green River Killer until I was older but then again we are talking about something that happened beginning 30 years ago this year, and we didn't have the internet like we do today. When I first read another book years ago about the Green River Killer and got to the end only to find that he had not been caught, I was stunned so I remember very well my reaction when Gary Ridgway was finally caught in 2001--again stunned. I have to say that while I do understand the frustration of the families because this guy could not be caught, I also have to say that I can understand the limitations of investigative tools that law enforcement had back in the 80's and early 90's. DNA technology was not available in the 80's and it was in its infancy in the early 90's so without fingerprints or living witnesses, there really just wasn't much they could do. Although Ridgway was not an intelligent man, he knew the evidence that could be used at the time to tie him to the murders so he made sure that he destroyed that evidence. Luckily, he wasn't smart enough to envision the technology of the future that would eventually lead to his arrest. I was intrigued by this book because I am the same age as some of the victims were so when dates were mentioned, I could remember where I was in my own life and what I was doing on many of the dates. Hindsight being 20/20, it is easy to see now, as the book also says, why it took so long to catch Ridgway. He was very discreet in how he picked up women. He would pull over and wait for them to come to him. And even Ted Bundy hit the nail on the head when he told investigators that when you get too much into the profile, you lose something. Ridgway did not fit the FBI's profile.Read more ›
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