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Chasing the Devil: My Twenty-Year Quest to Capture the Green River Killer

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  999 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews
The riveting personal account of one sheriffs epic hunt for America's most heinous serial killer. For eight years, Sheriff David Reichert devoted days and nights to capturing the Green River Killer--the most notorious serial killer in American history. He was the first detective on the case in 1982 and doggedly pursued it as the body count climbed to 49 and it became the m ...more
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Published July 28th 2004 by Little, Brown and Company
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Author Sheriff David Reichert obviously knows a thing or two when it comes to the case of the Green River Killer. He was on the scene from the first dump site discovery in 1982, and conducted some of the final interviews with Gary Ridgway before they locked him up and threw away the key in 2003. However, Reichert is not much of a writer and falls into the common trap of law enforcement-written true crime tales of trying too hard to set the record straight with respect to injustices done un ...more
Apr 12, 2009 Brenna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sheriff David Reichert, according to a variety of well-informed sources, made a damn fine detective. Unfortunately, he does not make a damn fine writer.

Sheriff Reichert details many aspects of what proved to be the definitive crime investigation of his entire career in law enforcement. Having gone unsolved for twenty years, the Green River murders of Washington State occupied much of his man hours - and his home life. For one prolonged period, Reichert "began to question the whole idea of human
Dec 25, 2012 Christopher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sheriff (now Congressman) Dave Reichert tells the story of his personal journey to capture the "Green River Killer", who murdered dozens of women in the Seattle area in the early 80's and beyond. Reichert was on the case from the beginning in 1982, when he was called to the scene of three women whose bodies were found dumped in and around the Green River in King County. Little did he or anyone else know just how massive the investigation would become, and for the next few years they would be ca ...more
May 02, 2011 Rachel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was essentially a conversation between Sheriff Reichert and himself. He is explaining to himself why everyone is picking on him and how those folks are wrong. This book should have been about Ridgeway and Reichert's efforts to catch him, not the Sheriff's rocket-like career and his ability to be right in the face of adversity.
Derek Davis
May 27, 2012 Derek Davis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reichert comes across as a remarkable human being – honest, decent, straightforward, totally lacking in grandstanding while never smarmily humble. Though the point-man for nearly all the history of the Green River investigation, Reichert never grabbed the spotlight except when he thought it would be specifically useful in flushing out the killer or restricting his devastation. There's no "as told to" credited, so it would seem that he wrote the book himself, though obviously with a spot-on edito ...more
Amy (amyb2332)
Well first, I have to say that I am really glad I listened to the audio version of this book. Not only was there an interview with author and lead detective on the Green River case at the end but throughout the book there was audio interviews of Reichert with Ted Bundy and Gary Ridgeway!

I am a big fan of true crime but this was the first book I had read on the Green River Killer and actually I knew very little about the case. I barely remember when Rideway was arrested which I think was sometim
Aug 08, 2010 Rose added it
Shelves: 2010
I can't recommend this book. Reichert is not a good writer and he spends a lot of the time repeating himself, talking about his personal life in detail, and trying to rebut criticisms made of him decades before. He tells us that he cares a lot about the victims about 300 times (really?). He tells us every time his kids cry when they see him on TV. He tells us what a nasty monster Ridgeway was over and over again, like we wouldn't have worked that out ourselves. He didn't even have much to do wit ...more
Occasionally one can find a gem of a true crime novel written by someone entrenched in the investigation. One of the biggest upsides to this book is just that, Sheriff Reichert was the lead investigator into the Green River murders.
Unfortunately, Sheriff Reichert is not particularly good at writing. He attempts a narrative format that goes off into tangents about other investigator's personal lives and motivations for living. Very little of the book is about the Green River Killer or the murder
Susan  Odetta
Dec 09, 2013 Susan Odetta rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The real-life story is compelling: a twenty-year case to find the Green River Killer, who prolifically murdered women, maybe over 50, and dumped thir bodies near the river in Washington. The book is written by the officer who was the lead on the case over the twenty years; he certainly knows the story well. Unfortunately the story as he writes it is not compelling and only marginally interesting, and he comes off as a dim-witted Dudley-Do-Right. Too bad. This story deserves more. Maybe some tale ...more
Mar 25, 2016 Everydayreader1 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When Officer David Reichert was called away from his daughter's Birthday celebration, he had no way to know that it would begin a more than twenty-year hunt for the Green River Killer, Gary Leon Ridgway. This investigation had an impact on so many lives and families, and the author shares much of that with the reader, as he explains the ups and downs of the investigation, and the devastating consequences of the actions of this serial killer.

This book gave me an even greater appreciation for the
Jul 30, 2008 Kimberly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adults
I originally started to get interested in the history of this monster when I learned that I live/work less than a mile from the site of the first discovery of bodies.

I had no idea. I mean, it was worldwide news, but I had no perspective at all, as I had not movedto Kent yet.

But literally, every spot this sociopath hid the bodies is a place I KNOW, and most I drive by regularly.

YIKES!!!! It really gives me the willies. And I had no idea he had killed so many. Heartbreaking. On so many levels.
Dan Moore
Sep 21, 2015 Dan Moore rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
"Chasing the Devil: My Twenty-Year Quest to Capture the Spotlight While Letting the Green River Killer Slip Through My Fingers"

David Reichert's personal obsession with a red herring suspect allowed Gary Ridgway to continue his killing spree. This book is nothing more than the revisionist history and rationalizations of a man who, like so many other self-serving and incompetent phonies, finally found his calling as a congressman.
Jan 06, 2014 Coleen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
(3.5 stars) Written from the point of view of the main investigator of the Green River homicides, this presents the process of identifying the numerous victims, tracking down the killer, then bringing him to justice. Though you can tell the story is somewhat biased toward the investigator's point of view, it gives a fairly good description of the 20-year process involved, from the point of the first recovered bodies until the sentencing. This audio version is interesting in that it includes live ...more
Jul 11, 2011 Cindi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love reading fictional crime stories, so I thought I'd try a true crime story. I picked this up while on vacation because I did not have any other desirable choices. While I loved the idea of the task force and the detectives who diligently pursued the Green River killer, I thought the book itself was dry and at many points, boring--in other words, much like real life. Reichert is a fine detective and sheriff, but an entertaining novelist he isn't. This case is a true life exercise in patience ...more
Feb 26, 2009 Samantha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've had a bit of a sick obsession with serial killers for a while now, a fire that Helter Skelter definitely added fuel to. This novel did the same. While David Reichert doesn't write with quite the same authority and ability that Bugliosi does, he still writes well, and is extremely knowledgeable about the case. The Green River killer is the most heinous killer this country has ever known, killing upwards of 70 women, most of them within a 2-3 year spree. If you liked Helter Skelter, or share ...more
Oct 15, 2007 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just finished this, and it was the audiobook. ANd I am SO glad that I listened to the audiobook, and in this case I recommend it over a regular book! There are actual recorded interviews between sheriff Reichert and Ted Bundy, and a couple with him and Gary Ridgeway also. Very interesting to look at!
I found this extra interesting to listen to, because I work for the king co sheriff's office (where dave reichert was sheriff) and I've been here since before Ridgeway was caught. Very good book!
Kyle Nicholas
Good book, but I saw a couple flaws. Because I finished the audiobook, this format contained a section of a couple of recorded interviews: one with Ted Bundy and a couple with Gary Ridgeway. The interview in which Reichert and Ridgeway converse and talk about the attractiveness of Ridgeway's victims, I thought, was unnecessary and cruel. Sure, it might illustrate how monstrous the Green River killer was, but I couldn't help thinking about the families who had lost these girls... as though their ...more
Jun 13, 2008 Sara rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
More of an ego jerk-off than a serious look at Ridgway. The victims are not personified at all. I know for a fact he didn't do a lot of the things he claims to in this book (like take the DNA swab that finally caught Ridgway) and therefore it just pissed me off the whole time I read it. At least I checked it out from the library and didn't give this guy any money.
Nov 23, 2015 Xonrad rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Interesting insight, not into a serial killer, but the author's mindset, and his flavour of hindsight.

When a person in authority uses objective references to female victims as "somebody's daughter" in a traditionalist attempt to humanise them... it becomes one of many socially conditioned responses that define the author/Sheriff, and many of such pre-programmed instances of his moral conditioning dominate throughout this text.

In short, the antithesis of objectivity lays within. Interesting as a
Jul 11, 2014 Tracy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 I like true crime, and I found this to be an interesting read about a famous serial-killer case (that I had never heard of). Told by the lead detective on the case, it is harrowing to read about how ugly and difficult a case this was. The book gave me a new appreciation for the stresses these type of cases can put on law enforcement agencies and professionals. Like all of these types of books, however, you will be left sickened by the evil that unfortunately exists in individuals like this k ...more
M. Matheson
Jan 13, 2015 M. Matheson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to M. by: Library
Shelves: audio
David Reichert's account of his quest to hunt the Green River Killer was riveting. I listened to the audio book and found the narration great. I downloaded from Overdrive media checking it out from the library, so perhaps that had something to do with the very poor quality of recorded converstions with Ted Bundy and Gary Ridgeway. I skipped over these.
I don't understand other reviewers attacks on the author's skill, motives and character. I found him to be plainly transparent, and opinionated.
Somewhat redeemed by real life audio clips - interviews with top sick fuck Ted Bundy gleefully consulting on 'The River Man', Ridgway's horrifically flat affect, Reichert's own soft-spoken and respectful tone - there's still a rather unpleasant undercurrent of excusing that flavours this account (and some God stuff, but whatever).

There's no denying that catching the Green River Killer was a mammoth and overwhelming task. For all that he is a nasty little sociopath with a basic IQ, Ridgway was r
Jul 12, 2014 Dionne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chasing the Devil is by far the best true crime book that I have read to date. Years ago I watched the Lifetime movie, "The Capture of the Green River Killer" which is based on this book. I have watched it several times and I really connected to Sheriff David Reichert.

When I was looking up some info online about this case, I saw 2 links (both done by the same person) criticizing Dave Reichert and saying he wasn't really responsible for catching Gary Ridgeway, the Green River Killer. I found it h
Sep 16, 2009 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: True Crime Affectionados
True crime books are my guilty pleasure. Voyeuristic in nature. In reading them you find yourself learning the most intimate and sensational information from a safe distance. Information you have no right to know about victims, families, perpetrator etc. This book was no different. I had never heard of the Green River Killer until I picked up this book, amazing since apparently he is the most prolific serial killer in American history. With his admitted victim count hovering in the fifties, incl ...more
Dave Lester
I found this book to be incredibly interesting even though Sheriff Dave Reichert may not be the greatest of writers. The Green River Killer plagued the greater Seattle area (SeaTac area) through the 70s and 80s and beyond until he was caught. Reichert was the man assigned to tail the killer and fought for the FBI to be involved and a special task force to be setup. He ran into political opposition. A serial killer murdering impoverished prostitutes didn't run high on the politician's list of fee ...more
Dec 22, 2014 Doug rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A very VERY self-serving book. Egotistical. I truly think he wrote it to make money and get a bit of fame. Reichert overtly dismisses the importance of the FBI profiling in the case, and goes out of his way to say he has zero interest in why the killer killed. I think most true-crime readers like that kind of information because, as sick and gruesome it may be, it's interesting.

The only purpose for having this book (please don't tell me you bought it!) is drowning it in the bathtub.
Oct 13, 2011 Joe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I chose this book over ann rule's solely for the reason that David Reichert was directly involved with the case since the beginning. I know it took him 20 years to catch the killer and he had a lot of ups and downs with his personal life, his superiors, the public and the media when he was investigating the murders, so I sensed some anger and frustration when he wrote the story. For a long time he had a hunch that it was Gary Ridgeway but just did not have the proof to directly connect him to th ...more
I enjoyed reading this book. I found it to be interesting and overall a decent read. Yes, the author obviously has his point of view and while I see the difficulties they faced in this investigation, it does seem to point the blame at everyone but himself for taking 20 years to solve.

There were really only two things that bothered me about this book, one was when the author so proudly announced that he would nit be able to look at his female Lieutenant as his boss, but only an equal, yeah, sure
Sep 28, 2015 Roblee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very well written, emotional, and gripping account of the decades of searching for the Green River Killer written by the officer who was involved from beginning to end. I've read several accounts of these crimes, but had wanted to hear from Reichart. His compassion for the victims and their families was paramount. Plus, his writing is pretty darn good.
Dec 08, 2014 Nichole rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There was a lot of repetition in this book. It was pretty good in the beginning and got good again at the end when they finally caught Gary Ridgway. But the middle was so boring and repetitive I felt like the writer was just trying to fill in his page quota part of his contract.
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