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Green River Killer: A True Detective Story Hardcover – September 13, 2011

54 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jeff Jensen is an American comic book writer who did the bulk of his work in the 1990s. Jensen wrote the four-issue X Factor miniseries in 2002 and the graphic novel Captain America: Red White and Blue in September, 2002. In 2012 he won an Eisner Award for his 2011 book, The Green River Killer. The author lives in Los Angeles.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse; F First Edition edition (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595825606
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595825605
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #364,486 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Word Nerd on February 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Let me preface this review by saying that I don't "get" graphic novels, particularly non-fiction graphic novels. I do understand where they could be useful in explaining complicated matters to children, but I don't understand why anyone else would choose a graphic novel over a traditionally formatted book. They are just not my thing.

That said, I truly enjoyed this book. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I am going to give the entire genre another try.

The story begins with a brief flashback to give us a sense of the depravity of the Green River Killer, Gary Ridgway. Moving quickly, the story then jumps to the early life of Detective Tom Jensen, demonstrating his sense of duty to keep lawbreakers off the streets, as well as his deep commitment to family.

Weaving across the decades, the story follows Jensen as his team first identifies a possible serial killer is on the loose, through mounds of evidence and false leads, finally resting suspicion on Ridgway. At that point, the real story is just getting started. Once identified as the only really viable suspect, they must then gather enough evidence and/or a confession to put Ridgway away for life. Sprinkled with vignettes from Jensen's personal life, we are reminded that he is an ordinary man who has been tasked with an extraordinary burden.

We are reminded of the passing years through the subtle aging of the characters in the graphics (wonderfully rendered by Jonathan Case) and the introduction of new technology, new babies and the loss of old friends.

I enjoyed that the graphics do not seem to fight the story for your attention. They work hand in hand together to tell a creepy and compelling tale.

My verdict: Read it! Even if you are not a fan of graphic novels, this one is worth a second look- especially for True Crime aficionados. However, I don't recommend reading it right before bed in a strange place.

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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jamie on September 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a great read. I read it in one sitting. Not that it was a spectacular feat, it only took about an hour. There are a lot of pages, but not a crazy amount of dialogue. The art is very good and does a great job of making you experience the grim nature of the material without ever becoming exploitative.

The writer is the son of one of the detectives and the story is more about his father than the killer, but the way he uses the subject matter to tell a great story while also expressing his respect and love for his father is exceptional.

I just really enjoyed this book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kevin on March 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I picked up "Green River Killer" after the author Jeff Jensen appeared on an episode of RadioLab (podcast) dealing with evil and people who do bad things.

My recommendation for this book/graphic novel comes from the ability of Jeff to tell the story in a way that illustrates the common denominator between altruists and psychopaths: empathy. Aside from "The Walking Dead" series, I have never read a story where the hero shows no greater empathy and the villain shows complete lack of empathy.

In "Green River Killer", Jeff recounts the past thirty years where his father was the primary detective on the Green River case. Although there are numerous flashbacks, the story primarily takes place in 2003 when Jeff's father has to travel around with the recently captured Green River Killer - Gary Ridgway - to isolate locations where he left or dumped bodies and murdered some of his victims.

Overall it is written and illustrated very well where I highly recommend to anyone interested in crime or mystery.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sam Quixote TOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is the true crime story of Gary Ridgway, aka the Green River Killer, who murdered a number of women in Seattle starting in the 80s and remains one of the most notorious serial killers in history.

The detective tasked with bringing the killer to justice is the author's father, Tom Jensen (who looks like Commissioner Gordon), who sees the case through to its remarkable conclusion in 2003 when Ridgway was finally apprehended thanks to DNA evidence taken in 1987, and in order to bargain his fate from death to life imprisonment, he was moved into a bunker to live separate from other prisoners, with police around him at all times, to provide information on more women who were missing and whether he killed them and where he buried them.

The book is a fascinating and grim look at this sad, disturbed psychopath and the terror he wrought upon scores of victims. Despite Ridgway's confessions, many of the missing women he claimed to have killed were never found and remain unknown to day. Ridgway himself is still alive serving 48 life sentences for his crimes.

Jeff Jensen does a fine job of telling this complicated case through the life of his father, for whom this book is written for. The story shifts from the present to the past effortlessly weaving in moments from decades ago and showing their relevance in the case as it was being built. The book is well written and the details morbidly fascinating, as is the case with all true crime. Ridgway himself remains something of an enigma, as his motivations are either unclear to himself or he is hiding them from others. The best he can offer is "I just had to kill".

Jonathan Case's black and white inks compliment the story well and the book is easier and enjoyable to read through his treatment of Jensen's script.
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