Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Defending Gary: Unraveling the Mind of the Green River Killer” as Want to Read:
Defending Gary: Unraveling the Mind of the Green River Killer
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Defending Gary: Unraveling the Mind of the Green River Killer

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  111 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
At first, Mark Prothero, Defense Attorney for Gary Ridgway, thought: "This can't be the Green River Killer! He's too ordinary! He's too small. He's too calm. He's too polite! He can't possibly have murdered forty-nine women. They can't be serious! They must have screwed up! I didn't realize then, but I was right. Gary Ridgway hadn't killed forty-nine women. He'd killed eve ...more
Paperback, 558 pages
Published May 25th 2007 by Jossey-Bass (first published 2006)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Defending Gary, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Defending Gary

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Paul Bryant
Sep 22, 2014 Paul Bryant rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-crime
In case you may have forgotten, what with everything else that's gone on since, Gary Ridgway was the no-mark who confessed to the murder of 71 (at least) prostitutes in Washington State in the 1980s and 1990s. He was sent down for life in 2003 and is currently aged 65, serving out his nasty life in Washington State Pen. This book is by his main defence lawyer.

The defense lawyers in a big serial killer case must get a lot of stick - "how could you defend that creep?" - and you rarely hear them de
Mar 21, 2009 Brenna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To call Defending Gary a harrowing read would be as great an understatement as to say Green River serial killer Gary Ridgway was merely "prolific."

With a total of 48 charged murders in Washington committed over a two-decade timespan, Ridgway remains the most murderous serial killer to be on record in the United States - in fact, the true number of murders is speculated to be at more than seventy. To one unfamiliar with the case, this number seems highly unlikely... until one reads the manner in
Mary Whisner
"The Green River Killer" killed dozens of women in South King County in the early 1980s. Despite intensive work by the King County Sheriff's Office, no one had been arrested. Until November 2001, when officers announced that they had him.

Defending Gary picks up there, as Mark Prothero, a public defender away from his office, hears the rumor that someone has been arrested. One friend says that there's DNA evidence and speculates that Prothero will get the case, since he's "the DNA guy" in his off
Gary Daly
Nov 23, 2012 Gary Daly rated it really liked it
Engrossing read, though disturbing and for me it's an intellectual paradox whereby I read this huge book with great enthusiasm learning about this grotesque killer and on the again what is known or revealed about his countless victims. We always hear the media commentary when these men get caught, about how 'banal' and 'normal' or 'boring' they are to friends, family and police. Yet the only people who see the monster are his victims and regardless of the research I feel it's impossible to know ...more
Sep 30, 2007 Lauri rated it really liked it
Yet another book that I just couldn't put down. It's pretty rare for me to be so into a book that I want to read it above all other activites, including breathing. Well, this book was one of those books. Growing up as a kid in Renton (Seattle) in the 80s, it was impossible to escape the boogie man of the day --- The Green River Killer. My best friend of 28 years and I were curious then and became obsessed later. We read the Green River Killer when it was published - at the time, the crimes were ...more
Sep 01, 2015 amanda rated it really liked it
this was a well-written book by a veteran attorney dropped into the case of his life. the value of this book is several-fold, for me, at least. first, you are really allowed into the mindset of a criminal defense attorney who strongly believes in the constitution and the right to a fair trial, even when his client is a) pretty obviously guilty and b) guilty of heinous acts. on that note alone, i think it's valuable, because a lot of people really don't understand that.

prothero's insights into ri
Jan 05, 2009 Kimberly rated it really liked it
I seem to have a penchant for reading about serial killers these days. I started reading about Gary because he lived, worked and killed in Kent for many years, and it freaked me out when I learned this.

I think I want to know more about him so I feel comfortable again. I drive past the 'cluster' sites and get the chills. I can't seem to forget the faces of the ladies he killed.

A friend says I like people puzzles, and can't seem to solve these, so will continue to read and ponder until SOMETHING
Jan 22, 2016 Fishface rated it really liked it
This massive book tracks the monumental effort by the defense team of the Green River Killer (Gary Ridgway) to make sure he got a fair shake in court. Reveals the tough, tough job faced in a case like this, even by the public defenders of a guy who's confessed already and plans to work out a plea bargain. Made me come away with fresh respect for the legal profession and anyone who has to work anywhere near a serial murder case.
Dec 24, 2007 Rock rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: true crime readers
Shelves: true-crime
This book was fascinating on a number of levels. Learning about the process of mounting a death penalty case was very enlightening. Then, add to that the stunning horror of the crimes and the strange person who committed them, and this becomes a must-read for true crime followers. I'd suggest reading "Green River Running Red" first to get the full story of the crimes, then take a deep breath and see what happened after this man was finally caught and put in the legal system.
Dec 07, 2007 Sarah rated it really liked it
After reading Ann Rule's book on the Gary Ridgeway, and then having the honer to sit in on a case study presented by the forensic psychologist and prosecutor of this case, I can't imagine a better way to wrap my reading on green river killer. The defense attorney had a wonderful perspective and was honest about the case and his client.
Jan 21, 2016 A.r. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written by the defence atorney. I don't know if I've read any other books by the defence that admits their client's guilt, so it was interesting in this way. I felt Anne Rule's book was a bit better with the details of these crimes, but this was still a good book. It's a large book, but the font is also large.
Angie crosby
I really enjoyed the different perspective this book gave. Normally true crime are written by interested authors. This book written by a defense lawyer of mr. ridgeway. Gives insights that other green river books don't give. More than a book about Gary Ridgeway, this book is about the process of defending someone charged with a capitol crime.
Apr 24, 2008 Derek rated it liked it
One of the partners at the law firm i currently work at wrote this book, as he "Defend[ed] Gary." It's a pretty well written true crime novel that doens't get too preachy or judgmental. After all, the author is a criminal defense attorney. Ridgway is one fucked up dude.
Aug 06, 2016 Gord rated it it was ok
Not overly well written,very slow and tedious reading mostly and far to long. Two of the chapters are probably the most disturbing things I have ever read/thought of/ or thought a person could do to a human corpse. Can't say I would recommend it!
Carie Parkin
Jun 06, 2008 Carie Parkin rated it really liked it
I am currently reading and it is a great book. It is from his lawyers eyes - all the other ones i've read on Gary is about the victims and the police investigations. It is nice to see another view.
Nov 14, 2015 William rated it it was amazing
This was a book that really gives Ridgways defence lawyers insight into the case. If the Green River case interests you then this is a book you'll want to read.
Steve Kemp
Jul 16, 2015 Steve Kemp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this one ! A must for the Serial Killer enthusiasts . Much better than the stuff put out by Sheriff Hairspray and the like .
Dec 23, 2007 Cailen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very interesting account of what it takes--money, manpower, strategy--to defend the green river killer.;/
Nov 29, 2012 Beverly rated it really liked it
A very interesting look into the mind of a serial killer...and the defense attorneys responsible for representing him.
Shelby Parkin
Jan 13, 2015 Shelby Parkin rated it really liked it
Might be 500 pages but I read this in two days. A little dense but really fantastic read filled with detail.
Lysa rated it really liked it
Aug 22, 2008
Par rated it liked it
May 10, 2013
Julie rated it really liked it
May 25, 2014
Matilda rated it it was amazing
Jun 22, 2016
Lynette rated it really liked it
Apr 27, 2014
Karrie Higgins
Karrie Higgins rated it really liked it
Oct 27, 2013
Valerie rated it liked it
Jun 30, 2014
Krista rated it really liked it
Apr 28, 2012
Paul rated it really liked it
Sep 06, 2012
David Harley
David Harley rated it it was amazing
Jan 15, 2008
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Killing for Company: The Case of Dennis Nilsen
  • Charmer: The True Story of a Ladies' Man and His Victims
  • Fallet Thomas Quick: Att skapa en seriemördare
  • Dr. Feelgood: The Story of the Doctor Who Influenced History by Treating and Drugging Prominent Figures Including President Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, and Elvis Presley
  • Chasing the Devil: My Twenty-Year Quest to Capture the Green River Killer
  • Bite Marks: A Vampire Testament
  • Forever Flying
  • The Evil That Men Do: FBI Profiler Roy Hazelwood's Journey into the Minds of Serial Killers
  • Hung: A Meditation on the Measure of Black Men in America
  • Bad Boy: The True Story of Kenneth Allen McDuff, the Most Notorious Serial Killer in Texas History
  • Wicked Beyond Belief: The Hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper
  • Gone Boy: A Walkabout
  • Bind, Torture, Kill: The Inside Story of the Serial Killer Next Door
  • Our Town: A Heartland Lynching, a Haunted Town, and the Hidden History of White America
  • True Stories of Law & Order: The Real Crimes Behind the Best Episodes of the Hit TV Show
  • Jack the Ripper: The Definitive History
  • Waking the Buddha: How the Most Dynamic and Empowering Buddhist Movement in History Is Changing Our Concept of Religion
  • The CarbLovers Diet: Eat What You Love, Get Slim For Life

Share This Book