Green River Killer by Jeff Jensen & Jonathan Case

Green River Killer: A True Detective Story
by Jeff Jensen & Jonathan Case
Dark Horse, 2011

An intimate and unnerving look at the long police investigation leading to the capture the Green River Killer, who murdered at least 49 women in the state of Washington during the ’80s and ’90s. Unavoidably, the antagonist looms large: Gary Ridgway is a classic devoted family man, except for his pathological need to kill. He first became a suspect nearly twenty years before he was arrested. It’s obviously not a pleasant story, but at least it’s more conclusive than Zodiac.

Detective Tom Jensen is the focus and main source for this tale, and as the father of the author, his story is far more human than one assembled from newspaper reports. Obsessed with the case long after he retires from the police force, Jensen is brought back in when Ridgway is interrogated under unusual circumstances. Although Jensen is denied a satisfactory final answer for why Ridgway did what he did so many, many times, he and his long-suffering family are at least able to move on.

The sympathetic monochrome brush artwork has few stylistic tricks, but like the best reportage it tells its story well.

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