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The Search for the Green River Killer

The True Story of America's Most Prolific Serial Killer
Narrated by: Keith Sellon-Wright
Length: 17 hrs and 27 mins
4 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the 1980s and 1990s, 49 women in the Seattle area were brutally murdered, their bodies dumped along the Green River and Pacific Highway South in Washington State. Despite an exhaustive investigation - even serial killer Ted Bundy was consulted to assist with psychological profiling - the sadistic killer continued to elude authorities for nearly 20 years.  

Then, in 2001, after mounting suspicion and with DNA evidence finally in hand, King County police charged a 52-year-old truck painter, Gary Ridgway, with the murders. His confession and the horrific details of his crimes only added fuel to the notoriety of the Green River Killer.   

Journalists Carlton Smith and Tomas Guillen covered the murders for the Seattle Times from day one, receiving a Pulitzer Prize nomination for their work. They wrote the first edition of this book before the police had their man. Revised after Ridgway's conviction, The Search for the Green River Killer is the ultimate authoritative account of the Pacific Northwest killing spree that held a nation spellbound - and continues to horrify and fascinate, spawning dramatizations and documentaries of a demented killer who seemed unstoppable for decades.

©1991 Carlton Smith and Tomas Guillen (P)2019 Tantor
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  • Overall
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  • Christopher
  • 2019-04-16

The Definitive Green River Killer Book

When you listen to this book, you must keep in mind that it was originally written in 1991. When this book was first written, they knew about the truck painter and the paint particles. This book ended up being eerily spot on, and even Ridgeway owned a copy of it. I remember reading it for the first time in the early 1990s and thinking they needed to arrest the truck painter. Their summary of Ridgeway was not added after he was caught. When it lists the contacts the Green River team has with him over the years, it points a finger right at him.

That being said, this is not the book if you want to get to know the victims of the crime. Ann Rule's book is better at being about that. But if you want a book that was written at the time when nobody knew who the GRK was, that relates the true scope of the manhunt to find a man who was believed still on the loose, this is the book. A chapter was added when Ridgeway was arrested and convicted, but everything else remains the book from 1991 that even the killer himself viewed as the definitive account of his crimes.

21 people found this helpful

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  • Katherine F. Paddon
  • 2019-04-14

A litany of misery

I am a frequent listener to true crime books, and I was interested to hear whatever happened with the Green River case. I found myself becoming numb as the story progressed. I think the sheer volume of killing made it almost impossible to communicate the humanity of those lost and grieving. This book is meticulous in telling the story of the ups and downs of the investigation which was interesting, but ultimately the human element was lost - and so the long book became almost unbearable to listen to. Also, the narrator was not a great choice for this book. I kept flashing back to my annoying algebra teacher somehow. His air quotes were audible in his repeated use of "street language" like "ho" and "john" and "trick", which the authors had him define for those not "hip" to the language. I am not sure it would be possible to tell this story without ultimately alienating the listener though. Such and endless and bottomless series of murder - the most ever committed by a known serial killer. Glad they finally nailed the monster. So sad it took so long.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Dominic B.
  • 2019-06-16

Mostly boring

I realize the original book was written long before they actually caught Gary Ridgway, It was hard for me to stay interested in it but I finished... i guess I am more fascinated with a profile of the killer rather than most of the other details this book gives. Keith sellon-wright is great at what he does, I also have the Btk book he narrated, but this just wasnt interesting really.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • J. Daniell
  • 2019-09-29

to hunt a killer

Loved....very truthful and detailed....would recommend you to read it ..if you love true crime stories

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ashley
  • 2019-09-04

Monotonous Facts

I wouldnt recommend for your first true crime read. It is very monotonous & very heavy on facts. That being said, I loved it! The way the story is written and the timeline is laid out, really hammers home the extent of the crimes & how prolific of a serial killer he was.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anna L Dedrick
  • 2019-08-09

A Little Slow

Gets into a lot of office fights and not a lot about the criminal. Ok

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-06-21

Overall Quite Good

Very thorough accounting of law enforcement efforts to catch the Green River Killer, AKA Gary Ridgeway. The book was initially written and published before Ridgeway was caught, but the author did add a somewhat hurried chapter in the epilog to include his arrest and conviction. I think the book would be improved if more time was dedicated to analyzing the MO, signature and motivation of the murders, and less time to funding issues faced by the Police.

The narration is quite good.

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  • Jacob Albrecht
  • 2020-06-15

excellently done!

I didn't know much about the Green River Killer before this book. Now I feel like there cant be much I could have missed. This book is incredibly well researched and written. When it got to the end, I was angry that there hadn't been a capture. Then the epilogue started playing and I had gotten my hopes up, just to be let down. Then. finally, the last part of the book which was apparently written after the guy was caught started playing. That wrapped it up for me.

Great read if this is your kind of thing.

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  • Matt Tabor
  • 2020-06-04

Ehhh...

This book is more of a reading of information rather than the telling of a story. Felt like a homework assignment. Skip it and check out American Predator by Maureen Callahan. That’s an incredible book.

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  • James Ussery
  • 2020-06-04

Excellent

Great book. Job well done by the authors and the police who did their best