Jeff Jensen & Jonathan Case
A graphic novel detailing the hunt, capture, and interviews with the Green River Killer.
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.
Before reading this book, I did not know much about the Green River Killer. (I was not born until the late 80s and grew up in the Midwest.) So it was fun to dive into a book and learn about an unfamiliar serial killer. Afterall, I am a white woman and we love that shit. However, if you are looking for a book that focuses on the killer and their crimes, this is not one I would suggest.
Green River Killer is a narrative nonfiction graphic novel detailing the hunt for, capture of, and interviews with the Green River Killer, who murder dozens of women in the 1980s.
As the subtitle states, this book is really more of a detective story. The author’s father, Tom Jensen, was reassigned from another police division to the Green River Killer case shortly after the first killings and was the sole detective on the case until the killer’s capture. The story really follows Jensen’s career on the case.
The storyline was not particularly exciting. The story does not really provide much information about the crimes until after the killer’s capture. Instead, Green River Killer really depicts the humanity and struggles of the detectives that worked case. I found this to be an interesting angle and was evocative. I also liked the glimpses into police departments of that era.
I found the art in Green River Killer to be okay. It is not secret that I am partial to color panels, which this book did not have. I found that it was often difficult to distinguish between the faces of the middle-aged white male detectives. Without any hair colors, etc. to discern them, they largely looked the same. Otherwise, I thought that the art was nothing special and that it could have depicted more interesting scenes.
Overall, I thought Green River Killer was an okay read. It provided an introduction to the cases and the strangeness of the killer. However, I was left wanting more details rather than a retrospective tale.
Green River Killer: A True Detective Story
Nonfiction – True Crime;
February 12, 2019