Chasing the Devil: My Twenty-Year Quest to Capture the Green River Killer
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

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

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  531 ratings  ·  64 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
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published July 28th 2004 by Little, Brown and Company
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

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

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,136)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
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...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...more
Derek Davis
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...more
Jul 30, 2008 Kimberly rated it 5 of 5 stars 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....more
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
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
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!...more
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.
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...more
Sep 16, 2009 Jessica rated it 4 of 5 stars 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
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
(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
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...more
Aug 08, 2010 Rose added it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jason Gusman
If you are picking a book to read about Gary Ridgeway, I'd direct you toward Ann Rule's book. My sole reason for this is because I feel like Dave Reichert's version is just too damn angry. He is the sheriff that was in charge of the investigation. I believe that Reichert and his staff made a lot of mistakes along the way. I understand that dealing with an innundation of information can lead to mistakes also. But Reichert just spins a vibe of a bitter person when he takes the uniform off. Now he'...more
This history of a serial murderer is most notable for the demonstration of the flaw afflicting most investigations of multiple-killings; information overload. The investigators, as usual, have the name of the killer and he's been interviewed, long before he's caught. There are so many suspects, so many tip-offs, that the truth is buried under a mountain of misdirection. The killer is thus able to continue unhindered for too long. There also doesn't seem to be a damn thing that can be done about...more
Erica Larson
Very interesting insight into an investigation that has heavily impacted the community I live in for decades. So often we hear the true crime stories from the perspective of the convicted or the victims, but this is directly from the investigating officer. Fascinating look at the Green River Killer made even more fascinating after local news radio ran a week long interview series with Gary Ridgway since it's been ten years ago he finally got put away. Hearing his voice discuss what he did the sa...more
This book was great. Due to the man who wrote is was personally involved with the Green River Murders from the beginning to the very end. He became Sheriff over the years. This makes it even better as some criminals write books and make $$ off of their crimes. This is written by the other side, not the criminal. This book shows the criminal for what he truly is, it also has discussions of the Bible, God, and forgiveness. And it shows respect to human life via the victims by respecting them as hu...more
Susan  Odetta
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
When I was a kid, my neighborhood friends and I used to tease eachother in the dark, saying "don't go in the woods, the Green River Killer will get you!" This book was interesting because it tells the story of how this legendary monster was finally caught. However, the author, the King County Sherrif at the time, comes across as bitter, defensive, and a bit conceited a lot of the time. Can't blame him too much, though, seeing as how he "chased the devil" for over 20 years.
A decent book. But, I can sure see how this author was able to (oh so humbly, to hear him tell it) rose to the office of Sheriff. He's got a golden tongued approach that makes everything come out "just so." In the end, it's all just so much bland pap, with no real bite to it, despite the topic. If you can image how Disney would tell this tale for it's kids network -- this is about how it'd end up. (Subtracting the brief accounts of necrephilia, of course).
Michelle Combs
A good read for true crime fans

As someone who is generally interested in true crime, I thought this story was well told and extremely interesting. It is a great inside view of the investigation leading up to the arrest of the Green River Killer. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about this investigation and Gary Ridgway.
The terrifying tale of Det. David Reichert's quest to capture & bring to justice the Green River Killer. Remember him??? The crazed killer that terrified residents of Seattle for yrs. This book goes into much detail about his victims & how River Man was able to walk free for 20 yrs. One very dedicated, brave man - Det. Reichert would not back down or walk away. He watned justice for these women, most of them children. and justice he got...
This is the story of detective David Reichert's pursuit for 20+ years of the Green River killer. He killed at least 48 women in his horrific serial killer career. It is the graphic story of the unrelenting pursuit of this monster. Technology eventually caught up and DNA evidence that was obtained years earlier helped to crack the case. An intense read, which is very graphic, but based on actual real-life events.
Colin Kemmis
Fascinating to read about the investigation, the politics, the victims, and the killer's psyche, all straight from the lead investigator. Surprisingly the writing was very good after the first few chapter (too vague).

They talked a lot about forgiveness at the end of the book and I'm not sure I could forgive someone that murdered 48 people or my daughter.
Really interesting history of the Green River killings. I listened to the audiobook, so I also got to hear the first-hand interviews with Ted Bundy.

I was especially interested to see how money and time flowed to and from the hunt for the killer, and how much politics played into everything. Not what you usually think of or expect to have an influence on most police investigations.
This was a great book about the green River case and the author is the perfect person to explain this valuable information. I think sheriff Reichert is a kind man, and someone who truly defines what it means to be a good cop. The details were graphic, and I was impressed with his explanations of the crime scenes as well as the later sections about Ridgeway.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 37 38 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Bind, Torture, Kill: The Inside Story of the Serial Killer Next Door
  • The Riverman: Ted Bundy and I Hunt for the Green River Killer
  • A Descent Into Hell
  • Killer Colt: Murder, Disgrace, and the Making of an American Legend
  • Cruel Deception
  • Stalling for Time: My Life as an FBI Hostage Negotiator
  • Killers: the Most Barbaric Murderers of Our Times
  • Delivered from Evil: True Stories of Ordinary People Who Faced Monstrous Mass Killers and Survived
  • The Devil's Dozen: How Cutting-Edge Forensics Took Down 12 Notorious Serial Killers
  • Serial Killers: The Method and Madness of Monsters
  • Cannibal: The True Story Behind the Maneater of Rotenburg
  • Angel Face: The Real Story of Student Killer Amanda Knox
  • Perfect Murder, Perfect Town: The Uncensored Story of the JonBenet Murder and the Grand Jury's Search for the Truth
  • Cellar of Horror: The Story of Gary Heidnik
  • In the Still of the Night: The Strange Death of Ronda Reynolds and Her Mother's Unceasing Quest for the Truth
  • The Last Victim: A True-Life Journey into the Mind of the Serial Killer
  • Pure Murder
  • I: The Creation of a Serial Killer

Share This Book