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Chasing the Devil: My Twenty-Year Quest to Capture the Green River Killer Hardcover – July 28, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Several years after Ted Bundys 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 Bundys 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 Sheriffs 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, Reicharts account gives readers a chance to see the hard work that went on behind the scenes.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Front-and-center account by the first detective assigned to Washington State's notorious serial murders, who later became King County sheriff and arrested the now-convicted killer. The most engaging feature of Reichert's mainly straightforward though sometimes awkwardly embellished narrative is that he lets his interior monologues bubble up; he needs you to know he's a straight-up guy who hopes, for instance, killers are headed for hell and who never once believed that prostitution was a victimless crime. He chronicles friction with associates, frustration with the system and his superiors, and petty jealousies that spilled over with the involvement of a big-time FBI "profiler," which was not even a recognized specialty when the first victims were discovered in 1982. (Robert Keppel weighed in with his own Green River book, The Riverman, in 1995.) With professional pride not quite suppressed by the modesty he knows he should project, Reichert writes at one point, "You would be surprised how many cases are cracked when we simply pick up the most likely suspect and take him in for a conversation . . . you say things like 'I can understand if things just got out of hand . . . just tell us what happened.' Eventually, one of these questions is like a pinprick on a balloon." It wasn't quite that way, of course, with Gary Ridgway, who finally confessed in 2001 to the murders of 48 women, almost all prostitutes, and who remains the prime suspect in perhaps dozens more cases as bodies still turn up. Reichert unflinchingly depicts the endless hours of interviews with pimps, whores, johns, and the taxi drivers often sought as objective chroniclers of doings on the street. Likewise, as Ridgway's grotesque compulsions play out, there seems no way to dance around necrophilia with euphemism. Ultimately, the epic hunt turns into a nightmare of gnawing anxiety relieved by the stupefying banality of yet another corpse. As gruesome as guilty pleasures get for rabid crime readers. (Kirkus Reviews)
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The book was very informative on how crime fighting was in the 80's and how a serial killer could elude capture for so many years. As a true crime fan I'd recommend this book.
Let's face it, on TV dramas about crime, it always is presented as if it doesn't take long to solve a murder, but sometimes it is a long process even with ALL members of the police force working on it.
I would definitely recommend it.