9. Green River Killer: A True Detective Story by Jeff Jensen

Green River Killer: A True Detective Story by Jeff Jensen. Art by Jonathan Case (US) - (Canada)

Pages: 239
Ages: 18+
Finished: Jan. 8, 2012
First Published: Sep. 13, 2011
Publisher: Dark Horse Books
Genre: graphic novel, true crime, non-fiction, serial killer
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:

They got us surrounded.

Acquired: Received an egalley from Dark Horse through NetGalley.

Reason for Reading: I love true crime depicted in the graphic format.

Publisher's Summary: "Throughout the 1980s, the highest priority of Seattle-area police was the apprehension of the Green River Killer, the man responsible for the murders of dozens of women. In 1990, with the body count numbering at least forty-eight, the case was put in the hands of a single detective, Tom Jensen. After twenty years, when the killer was finally captured with the help of DNA technology, Jensen spent 180 days interviewing Gary Leon Ridgway in an effort to learn his most closely held secrets--an epic confrontation with evil that proved as disturbing and surreal as can be imagined.

Written by Jensen's own son, acclaimed entertainment writer Jeff Jensen, Green River Killer: A True Detective Story presents the ultimate insider's account of America's most prolific serial killer.

An outstanding insider's look into the Green River Killer case which took twenty years to solve and while detectives and officers came and went that participated on the case, one man was there from the beginning to the end, Detective Tom Jensen. This book is written by that detective's son who gives a unique perspective on the case.  The book concentrates mainly on how once Gary Ridgway was apprehended, how the current detectives and Tom Jensen, now retired, and working as a civilian analyst for the police got Ridgway to confess to the murders and prove beyond a doubt that he had information only the killer could know.  The book starts with the time of arrest and then goes back and forth to times in the past when Jensen was working the case and times when Ridgway was on his killing spree.  Thus we get perspectives from both the law enforcement and the serial killer himself.

I found the book flowed nicely, the date was always given so the reader knew whether it was past or present and both Ridgway and Jensen's character's appeared remarkable different from past and present as well.  Done in stark black and white ink, the artwork is a perfect match for this type of story and Case has captured the unremarkableness of the "ordinary guy" many serial killers appear to be to others.  A fantastic read, a great introduction to the case, and a great new media through which to experience the case for those familiar with it.  Recommended!


  1. I saw this on NetGalley, but I am not so sure about graphic novels on an e-reader. It just isn't the same. I am glad it was good, though.

  2. I've been reading the graphic novels using the apps for PCs (the Kindle and Adobe ones) and reading them on my laptop in bed. That way I get the best of both worlds. I've only had one I would have preferred in book format (review coming soon!)


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