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Green River, Running Red: The Real Story of the Green River Killer--America's Deadliest Serial Murderer
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Green River, Running Red: The Real Story of the Green River Killer--America's Deadliest Serial Murderer

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  6,758 ratings  ·  379 reviews
In her most personal and provocative book to date, the #1 bestselling master of true crime presents "her long-awaited definitive narrative of the brutal and senseless crimes that haunted the Seattle area for decades" (Publishers Weekly). This is the extraordinary true story of the most prolific serial killer the nation had ever seen -- a case involving more than forty-nine ...more
Paperback, 704 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Pocket Star (first published 2004)
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In Cold Blood by Truman CapoteHelter Skelter by Vincent BugliosiThe Stranger Beside Me by Ann RuleThe Devil in the White City by Erik LarsonMidnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
Best True Crime
20th out of 507 books — 819 voters
Serial Killer Case Files by R.J. ParkerUnsolved Serial Killings by R.J. ParkerThe Stranger Beside Me by Ann RuleGreen River, Running Red by Ann RuleThe Manson File by Nikolas Schreck
True Crime--Serial killers
4th out of 83 books — 135 voters


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Community Reviews

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Lightreads
And apparently the other thing I needed to be reading while studying for finals was a book about the man who raped and strangled (and often strangled and raped) over fifty women in Washington State.

This is an utterly fascinating story, unfortunately packaged by an annoying true crime author. I wanted to read about Gary Ridgeway not because he’s a killer, but because he’s such an odd specimen. I mean, from a profiling standpoint, he just doesn’t make sense. He was married happily for twenty year
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Catten
Stepping away from her typical formula of featuring multiple stories in one book, Ann Rule takes on a hefty project with Green River, Running Red.

Rule began compiling information on this well-known serial killer in 1982, waiting for detectives to figure out whodunit so she could write about the self-described "killing machine," Gary Ridgway, who confessed in 2003 to strangling 48 women, starting with Wendy Lee Coffield in 1982 and ending with Patricia Yellowrobe in 1998.

Because Ridgway operated
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JBradford
I was visiting a friend in her office the other day when I noticed this book in her IN box and commented on the title, and she said “Do you want to read it?” I have read it; I could not put the damn thing down! Ann Rule has a marvelous facility for capturing your attention and making you want to see what comes next, and I was intrigued by the way she wove the threads of this plot into something that reads like a novel with alternate points of view.

This book is the story of the Green River Killer
...more
rachel
I didn't mind the endless descriptions of the victims. In fact, I liked that -- it keeps the memory of the transient, wayward girls Ridgway killed alive, even if the details of their lives were nothing remarkable. What I didn't like was reading about Ann Rule's awesome books and her awesome role as a tip call taker and how everyone in the true crime world looks to her as an expert, etcetera. The crime reporting is good, though the book could have been a welcome 50 pages shorter if Ann had talked ...more
Betsey Smith
If this is a typical Ann Rule book, I won't be reading any more of her books. Her topic was very interesting but her writing was disjointed and self-serving. She jumps around between topics and between time periods. Yes, I know those methods can create interest and maintain some level of suspense to a story that's already played out, but not in this case. The jumps here seemed unintentional, like this book was a combination of several versions of the same story thrown together but not given a fi ...more
Teresa
Two decades...

More than forty victims...

And the lives of many women ended in the reign of the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history.

For more than nineteen years, the prostitutes of King County, Washington were terrorized by the most sadistic serial killer in the nation's history. Although most of the victims disappeared between 1982 & 1984, it would take close to 100 detectives and more than 10 million fruitless tips for law enforcement to zero in on Gary Leon Ridgway as the Green Rive
...more
Donna
This is my first Ann Rule book. It's very thorough, and at the beginning I worried that it would be a bit TOO detailed, but I stuck with it and was glad I did.
The narrator, whose name escapes me at this moment, spoke in a very 'proper' manner, so it was a little disconcerting to hear her say things like 'oral sex' or 'anal sex' or a few of the other things she had to read, lol.
I hadn't actually heard of the Green River Killer before finding this book on Audible - his case would have been happeni
...more
Debra
This doesn't read a like a suspense thriller, so if you are looking for that, you may want to skip this true crime non-fiction book. There is a lot of biography for the unfortunates girls strangled by this horrible serial killer. You get to know many of them and it tears your heart out. Although, I'm glad they finally found the killer, I'm sorry it took so long.
Vivienne
The subtitle of this book: The Real Story of the Green River Killer--America's Deadliest Serial Murderer pretty much sums up its content as Ann Rule writes an account of the twenty-one year hunt for this serial murderer.

This is my first book by Ann Rule. Although I had heard references to the Green River Killer and seen a TV movie, I was not aware of many details of the case or how he was finally apprehended thanks to advances in forensics and how the case was resolved. I applauded the fact tha
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Aimee Regina Belle
I am a big Ann Rule fan, but I found this book disappointing for the same reason Stranger Beside Me was so good -- an overabundance of Ann Rule.

In Stranger, Rule gets to know and like Ted Bundy before coming to the horrifying realization that he is a serial killer.

In Running Red, Rule is no longer the struggling young single mother about to embark on her first true-crime novel, but an established writer who is close to many of the officers on the case.

And it shows.

The best part of the book i
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Danielle Lemon
I have a thing for reading true crime when I can't sleep. I know - weird, right? Why read something that scares the crap out of you and makes you sleepless, when you're trying to sleep?! I can't explain it. True crime is a thoughtless read for me - sure, I could read romance novels, but I guess I'm just made of darker stuff. Anyway, Ann Rule really has no equal when it comes to true crime. As with all Rules' books, this one was an easy page-turner, although the litany of victims' background stor ...more
Amber
I waited a few years to read this book. I'm from the area and where I'm from, stories of Ridgway are like six-degrees-of-separation tales. His look, voice and mannerisms are very Washingtonian and he reminds me of a lot of different unextraordinary men I know. I also came from a family that was interested in true crime so I followed the story all my life, basically.

I love Ann Rule, absolutely love her. But closer to my heart is being an advocate for kids that are victims of sexual abuse. And I f
...more
J.w. Schnarr
The last half of the book is very insightful into the investigation and capture of the GRK. Also some interesting insights into the mind of the man. However, the first 200+ pages or so are pretty much filled with little bios of all the women Ridgeway killed, and as heartless as it sounds I found slogging through one brief history after another very fatiguing.

The women all bled together after a while, and it was impossible to tell them apart. I imagine part of this is because their stories were
...more
David Bales
Another terribly sad but very comprehensively written book by crime writer Ann Rule on the Green River Killer case that haunted the Pacific Northwest back in the '80s. Rule takes a different take this time, concentrating on the victims and their lives instead of solely on the lives of the police investigators and the murderer, Gary Ridgeway, who began murdering young women in 1981 and was not apprehended, (through DNA evidence) for another 20 years. At the time of the murders, the King County Sh ...more
♥ Marlene♥
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Daria Stepanova
Having read Rule's "The Stranger Beside Me", I was really eager to dive into the mind of another prolific American serial killer. However, I was in for a bit of a surprise. "Green River, Running Red" is an ode to the victims of Gary Ridgway and the investigation that lead to his capture. In fact, if we were to combine all the chapters on the killer himself, they would amount to about a quarter of the book. At first, I thought this would be a problem and that I would not be able to enjoy the nove ...more
Christina
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anissa
This was a horrible book. Story was disjointed and details were all over the place. Poor character development. It was very easy to put this book down and not even care about the outcome. No suspense or tension, no real story built, just details that lead nowhere. The author inserted herself into the story with ridiculous sensational comments added nothing to the story. Worst thing I have read since Patterson's King Tut book. I wish I could give it No stars.
Mekye
I was disappointed with this book I was hoping for more info about Gary ridgeway this prolific killer. Instead this book was more about the victims ,although this was admirable that this book was more about the victims. I still wanted to learn more about this sick twisted man.
Nannie Bittinger
As usual, an Ann Rule book is a real page-turner. As horrific as this serial killer's story is, Ann Rule manages to bring out the sadness and humanity of it all, not just the horror. The fact that she was personally living in the area where the deaths occurred makes the writing all the more effective and believable.
Chris
This genre (thriller/mystery... James Patterson BS) tends to be one I particularly loathe, but due to the severe lack of audio book selection at my local po dunk library, this seemed like one of the least atrocious choices. At least this one is based on a historical incident instead of some crap someone made up. Because we really don't have enough murderers and wackos in the world and need people to make more up....

This being said, I was actually pleasantly surprised with her solid writing. Rule
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Anna Engel
[3.5 stars]

This is the story of the women who were raped and murdered by the Green River Killer. Ms. Rule very pointedly centers the narrative around the young women (Ms. Rule calls them "girls," which I find demeaning). The story also focuses on law enforcement's efforts to find the killer, which was a very drawn-out process for a variety of reasons, including technology, bad luck, and too much information. Her analysis is amply aided by 20/20 hindsight.

The story is morbidly fascinating, but pr
...more
Lisa
All the facts were there but the writing did not impress. Very disjointed, awkward, and confusing. It felt very long and Ann Rule came off as a little self-important. I was actually very surprised to find that this was Ann Rule's 22nd novel.

Just one example of sloppiness:
"...he had to signal passersby and ask them to call the King County Sheriff's Office.
The officer responding realized at once that the female forms were human, but oddly, something held them close to the river bottom.
Dave Reich
...more
Stephanie Whittaker
i lived in san francisco when these murders were going on i remember the natural food store i shopped at had pictures of the victims in its window and remember how terribly sad it was
Emily
Well written with a nod to each of the victim's and their families. This book highlights urban blight and the scary crimes that befall those living in it's midst.
Janet Moss
I have been an "ARF" for many years,..(for all of you out there wondering what ARF means - "Ann Rule Fan") and was hoping for years she would cover the Green River murders . Ann never disappoints and this book is no exception. I would also suggest as a follow up, the YouTube video about Det. Dave Riechert who's single obsession from the day he randomly picked up the phone in Homicide div making him the lead on the next case. The "next" case happened to take the next 20+ years to solve and we see ...more
Eunyoung
This is my first book by Ann Rule. I was a little disappointed with this book. There were so many victims that the entire book just felt like a long list of names. I guess I was hoping for more of an insight into the psyche of the murderer and a more in depth storyline of the victims. Perhaps the author can't be blamed for the latter (cursory list of victims' names). If she were to spend a satisfactory amount of time on each and every victim, this book would be quite a lengthy one. Still I can't ...more
Julia Smith
I lived in the Seattle area during the whole Green River Killer uproar and being terrified he would kill my mom (No, my mother is not a prostitute, I was 6 and had no idea what a prostitute was, just that women were getting murdered.) Unlike a lot of of reviews that complain about Ann Rule talking about the victims, that is one thing I enjoyed about the book. I like that she described the victims as well as what led them to that point in their lives. It made them real, it made me sympathetic to ...more
Michelle Bouchor
I really enjoy reading Ann Rule books, especially since this one took place over many decades. But the title is lame.
Amanda T
It's a little disjointed in that Rule flips back and forth between victims and Gary Ridgway's early life. I almost would have preferred the book to be organized differently.

I understand she wanted to write a book that was more of a tribute to the victims than about the killer, but it's a little heavy handed. Ridgway's name isn't mentioned until more than 3/4 of the way through the book and his early life is occasionally visited throughout the book without ever using his name.

One thing I thought
...more
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Non-Fiction Chall...: * Green River Running Red - Mar/Apr Group Read 20 27 Apr 08, 2014 07:36AM  
Non-Fiction Chall...: Poll results March/April '14 1 11 Mar 09, 2014 04:15AM  
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Ann Rule was a popular American true crime writer. Raised in a law enforcement and criminal justice system environment, she grew up wanting to work in law enforcement herself. She was a former Seattle Policewoman and was well educated in psychology and criminology.

She came to prominence with her first book, The Stranger Beside Me, about the Ted Bundy murders. At the time she started researching th
...more
More about Ann Rule...
The Stranger Beside Me: Ted Bundy The Shocking Inside Story Small Sacrifices: A True Story of Passion and Murder If You Really Loved Me And Never Let Her Go: Thomas Capano: The Deadly Seducer Every Breath You Take: A True Story of Obsession, Revenge, and Murder

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“Anfering sex for money is not a profession that glorifies women; it is a profession born of desperation, poverty, alieatioin, and loneliness.” 2 likes
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