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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  ·  5,911 ratings  ·  337 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 LarsonColumbine by Dave Cullen
Best True Crime
21st out of 437 books — 688 voters
Serial Killer Series Boxed Set 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 73 books — 122 voters

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Community Reviews

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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...more
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...more
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
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
Aimee 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...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
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
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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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
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
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.
i absolutely loved this book, probably one of my favorites, i tend to like books about true life crime, this one really got me simply because i grew up in Washington and lived there since i was 2. So some of the locations that Ann Rule would refer to was CRAZY because i've been there, of course not during the time of these murders, but still, wow. I would recommend this book to anyone.
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.
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.
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
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.
Michelle Bouchor
I really enjoy reading Ann Rule books, especially since this one took place over many decades. But the title is lame.
I personally enjoyed this book a lot! It was defiantly a page turner, one small criticism I have is that the short Bio's of ALL the victims was a little daunting. It was very hard to keep them all straight (seeing as how there were 48 of them) other than that I believe Ann told Ridgeway's story perfectly, not leaving out any perverted details. It also really put prostitution in the eighties into perspective. I grew up in King County and lived very close to some of these victims and their final r...more
Shew this was a long book to read. I'm not really sure if I thought it was good or not tho. It started out just with victims, which, I guess, is how it starts out when you're investigating. When it did give you snippets of the killer's early life, you still had no idea who he was (and I really didn't because I'd never actually heard of this guy before this), which I liked.

But there were so many victims, and they did start to blur together. It would've been nice to have a timeline or something. I...more
Laura Beth
This is my first Ann Rule book. I am new to the true crime genre, and while this is the first Rule book it not the first in the genre. With that said, Rule's book was very different than the others I have read. I am not sure if it was her or just this book. I have criticized some of the others I have read for their lack of organization and for being confusing. I found this book fairly easy to follow. (I did listen to the audio vs. reading it so the names of all the victims were a little hard to...more
Gabriel Wallis
How can you like a book that's filled with the real stories of murder committed by a man called the Green River Killer (Gary Ridgway)? I had a hard time rating this book. It was well researched, but the subject of the book was difficult to handle. I read the book because it was sitting on my bookshelf for a couple of years now, and I thought I better get to it. I recently read "The Stranger Beside Me" written by Ann Rule and thought it was an interesting read, and so I thought I'd read "Green Ri...more
Curtis Butturff
This book is one account of a chapter in American history that in some ways has become a characteristic of the modern age. The Green River Killer went on killing in the Seattle area for several decades and in total killed somewhere in the area of sixty women. Rule makes a living as a true crime author and court reporter and this work and press treatment in general speaks to the celebrity of the serial killer. As it happens the career of the GRK spanned the evolution of the modern FBI profiler an...more
I enjoyed this book and learning more about the Green River Killer aka Gary Ridgway, but there were also a few things that disappointed me. I know that there had to be a ton of information regarding this case and that it was probably hard to decide what to include and what to leave out. The book is already 434 pages but I feel that the author skimmed over a lot of information that I would have liked to know. Some of the victim's stories she goes into somewhat in depth and others have only a para...more
I found this book riveting. I realized that it is actually the third book I've read about the GRK. The other two were actually published before he was caught. I enjoyed learning more details about the victims. This book also demonstrated that Ted Bundy’s advice was right. If law enforcement had kept it secret that bodies had been discovered and staked out the dump sites they would have caught Ridgway revisiting the scene of his crimes. On a few occasions he even brought his girlfriend and had se...more
i couldnt make up my mind if i disliked the way the book was written, or if it was brilliantly written. 3/4ths of the book was mostly facts, the prostitutes that were killed and their stories, in the middle of endless victims would be a fictional probably tale of a boy who grew up to kill and things he was feeling. i get the sense that ann rule was trying to create a background of the killer by going into his thoughts, but she never came out and said that "he said he felt this and thought that w...more
Jill Hutchinson
Most people know about the Green River Killer, Gary Ridgeway, but know very little about his 48 victims....young women who made their living as prostitutes on the SeaTac "Strip" in Seattle. True crime writer Ann Rule, instead of concentrating solely on Ridgeway, tells us the life stories of many of these unfortunate women and their families. Many who were abused as children, from broken homes, and not wanted by their parents, they did what they could to survive; however, some were from loving an...more
? In her book Green River, Running Red, renowned true crime author Ann Rule chronicles the murder of over fifty women in the Seattle area, as well as the police department���s agonizing search for their killer ��� a search that began in 1981 and ended 20 years later in 2001, with the arrest of Gary Ridgway.
Green River, Running Red is both a fascinating insight into a high-profile murder investigation, as well as a horrifying portrait of a real-life serial killer that goes beyond anything I���ve...more
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Non-Fiction Chall...: * Green River Running Red - Mar/Apr Group Read 20 23 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 is a popular American true crime writer. She came to prominence with her first book, The Stranger Beside Me, about the Ted Bundy murders.
At the time she started researching the book, the murders were still unsolved. In the course of time, it became clear that the killer was Bundy, her friend and her colleague as a trained volunteer on the suicide hotline at the Seattle, Washington Crisis...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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