Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Riverman: Ted Bundy and I Hunt for the Green River Killer” as Want to Read:
The Riverman: Ted Bundy and I Hunt for the Green River Killer
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Riverman: Ted Bundy and I Hunt for the Green River Killer

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  2,700 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
After a search of over twenty years, one of America's most elusive serial killers was finally apprehended. Now, read the true story of one man's attempt to get inside se mind of the Green River Killer

July 15, 1982: 3 woman's strangled body was filed, caught on the pilings of Washington state's Green River. Before long, the "Green River Killer" would be suspected in at leas
ebook, 624 pages
Published June 15th 2010 by Pocket Books (first published 1989)
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 The Riverman, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Riverman

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
I was between a host of other books when I got my hands upon a stack of some twenty true crime books. The Riverman jumped out of the lot at me. The subtitle killed any doubts left "Ted Bundy and I hunt for the Green River Killer". This sounded like one of those Japanese monster vs monster premises. Moreover, at a point of time, Ted Bundy used to be my "favorite" serial killer. How could I resist?

It was a red herring though. This book is neither about The Riverman (the Green River Killer), nor ab
Mar 12, 2008 Tamara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, how I love trashy serial killer true crime. Although, with all the shame I have buying these, Borders might as well stack them next to the porno mags. Robert Keppel has a bit of a superiority complex, but I would too if I was working with Ted Bundy. Note: This book should have been titled "All You Ever Wanted to Know about the Primitive Filing Systems of Pre-Computerized Crime Fighting”.
Aug 20, 2008 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: obsessives, true-crime buffs, those curious about abnormal psychology
Shelves: non-fiction, faves
I don't have the discipline to be a serial killer and I certainly don't have the drive and obsession to catch one. Be glad people like Robert Keppel are applying their considerable talents to stop them.

Keppel combines memoir, procedural textbook, history and evolution of serial murder investigative techniques and interviews with Bundy and Ridgway with very little ego. He focuses on the facts and not how awesome he is. (I'm looking at you, John Douglas.)

Obsessive, detailed, dense. If you only rea
Jen Stelling
Aug 03, 2011 Jen Stelling rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most thoughtful true crime books I have ever read. Compelling stor(ies) from Robert Keppel, who has held many positions in Washington State law enforcement and is now an academic. Keppel was involved with the development of VICAP and investigated or assisted with the investigations of Bundy's Wash State victims and with the years-long hunt for the Green River killer. Unlike some authors, Keppel is not awed by the monstrous people with whom has conversed. Interesting perspectives on th ...more
Jan 07, 2011 Kelly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
7/30/13 I feel a bit gypped. I'm on page 150 (out of 475 pages), and only the first 100 pages were about Ted Bundy. There's been nothing about the Green River Killer yet. The title should be more all-inclusive to describe the entirety of the content; more accurately, it should have been called "Bob Keppel Helps Others Hunt Serial Killers." This is not to say that it's a bad book, just that the title and cover are misleading. I just finished reading Ann Rule's The Stranger Beside Me: Ted Bundy Th ...more
Aug 15, 2007 Samantha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: True Crime Fans
Shelves: true-crime
To tell the truth, I never would have even picked up this book if the name "Ted Bundy" hadn't been in the subtitle. My morbid curiosity about Ted Bundy - his crimes and the motivations behind them - made me buy this one.

Bob Keppel, the detective who, as he says, "cut his teeth" on the Ted Bundy case, writes a very interesting book which, at times, gets bogged down in the details of a police investigation.

The premise of this book is this: there is a serial killer preying on young women in the Sea
Jen Bailey Bergen
Feb 11, 2011 Jen Bailey Bergen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While a bit repetitive at times, this book is the not just a record of the hunt for Gary Rigeway (aka "The Green River Killer"). Bob Keppel is a giant in his field, and much has been made of his contribution to Dave Reichert's "Riverman" case. That is, of course, what this book is about. True crime junkies already know all about Keppel's multi-year conversations with Bundy; in these pages we delve super deep into Bundy's madness as Keppel relates, at times, straight transcripts of these discussi ...more
Nov 27, 2011 Ted rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Strange book. It's really about Bundy, not the Green River Killer. And the author also includes all kinds of extraneous material, such as a chapter on the Wayne Williams case. In other words, the book is poorly edited.

The interviews with Bundy were somewhat interesting. However, the author failed to deliver on Bundy's confession. After hyping the confession for hundreds of pages, we just get a few scanty details in a rushed interview a few days before Bundy's execution.

I would only read this if
Feb 20, 2009 Hollyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think it would have been possible for this book to be 100 pages shorter.
It was definitely an interesting read. Very interesting. I learned new things.
I feel that this was a bit of a information overload. Many times I found the author repeating the same sentence over and over again.
The first portion of the book was a recap on Ted Bundy's crimes that spanned through Washington to Florida.
Different cases were also described in extent in portions of the book.

I walked away feeling a bit depres
Not exactly what I expected from the title of the book but it was still good.
The majority of the book talks about Bundy as a serial killer, his victims & his interviews with Detective Keppel. If you know about Bundy already, this was a big recap of him as a killer, what he did, how/what he thought, how he "got" his victims & the victims themselves. He takes you into the mind of a serial killer during his interviews while sitting on death row in Fl. It was creepy reading what came out of
Nov 20, 2015 Blagica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
its fair to mention that this book was recommended to me by a friend and I am grateful that is how much i enjoyed it. I didn't enjoy it because the subject matter was easy breezy, I enjoyed it because the way it was written i couldn't put it down.

Every now and again, a true crime book appears that delivers even more than it promises, and Robert Keppel's remarkable book belongs in that category.
Before I praise it too highly, I should state that despite the title, this book is most definitely not
Jun 10, 2011 Traci rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Highly recommended for anyone who has ever wondered how a serial killer thinks.
Katherine Addison
This book makes a fascinating counterpoint to Ann Rule's bookends, The Stranger Beside Me: Ted Bundy The Shocking Inside Story and Green River, Running Red: The Real Story of the Green River Killer--America's Deadliest Serial Murderer. It charts Keppel's path from the investigation of Ted Bundy's murders (which I've had to tag "the ted murders" instead of by geographical location as I usually do, since Bundy ranged from Washington State to Florida) to the investigation of the Green River murders ...more
This is a strange book. Keppel, one of the team searching for the Green River Killer, gets a letter offering to help... from Ted Bundy. This book is about the whole process, start to finish: the search for the Green River Killer, the decision to say yes to Bundy's offer, Bundy's execution, and then through to the arrest of Gary Ridgway as the Green River Killer and the plea bargain that saved his life.

It is not the best written book in the world - Keppel has a tendency to repeat himself. His app
Make no mistake: this book is much more about Ted Bundy than "the Riverman." But that's okay, if you are fascinated by how Ted Bundy turned out to be who he was. Ann Rule's book on Ted Bundy, "The Stranger Beside Me," is still the best written on him, in my opinion, because she was friends with him and had no idea that he was, in fact, the "Ted" the police were searching for. She mentions Keppel in her book as one of the lead detectives on the Ted case. But this book is an essential companion to ...more
This book provides an interesting overview of several serial murderers. The author was the primary investigator of Ted Bundy's Washington murder series and served as a consultant in the investigation into the Green River killings. The scope of this book is pretty broad which creates some problems. The book is ostensibly about the assistance Bundy attempted to provide in profiling "The Riverman." However, it ends up describing all of Bundy's crimes in detail, all of Ridgway's crimes in detail, an ...more
Jun 29, 2015 Anna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
If you are thinking about reading this book, I will tell you now that you will learn more about Ted Bundy than Gary Ridgeway.

This book is an interview and correspondence between Detective Robert D. Keppel who helped catch Bundy and was, at the time of this communication, searching for Ridgeway, The Riverman, as Bundy called him. Both of these killers hunted in Washington State; Seattle and the surrounding area. Much of this book is learning more about a killer's psychology and behavior in close
Bryn Dunham
Pretty good "bundy book" I like Dr.Keppel's common sense approach w/o the braggadocio tone of other profiler books. Just a memoir of Keppel's involement with the bundy murders and the subsequent green river murderr. this was written before gary ridgeway was finally caught and convicted. bundy interjected himself into the investigation to offer his two cents (which really didn't amount to too much of any useful advice). the first half of the book is about the bundy hunt followed by bundy's contac ...more
Sn0t BuBBLe
Jan 22, 2014 Sn0t BuBBLe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
First and foremost this book is about the Ted Bundy murders and Robert Keppel's role investigating those missing young women near Seattle in the mid-1970's.

The title is catchy but don't expect any payoff in the "Hunt" department as Bundy was executed years before the key suspect materialized in the Green River killings.

Spoiler alert: Bundy did nail a few aspects of the Green River Killer's personality and habits but the majority of his output on the subject amounted to inane, repetitive rambli
Great reading for those who somewhat enjoy reading about crime.
(I also recommend listening to the last segment of Radiolab episode 'The bad show', featuring some of the interrogation of Ridgeway)


Story of the relationship between a serial killer and the detectives who pursue them. This, at times, is truly mind bending - reading on public transport not advised.

Only as much gory details as necessary (still some of the descriptions of crime scenes and crimes were hard to handle).

One Flew
Nov 12, 2016 One Flew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating look at the horrific world of serial killers and the people tasked to hunt them down. Keppel had a unique career that made him one of the most qualified experts on serial murders. The reader is rapidly shown that homicide investigations are rarely the easily solved cases that we see on CSI or the Mentalist. The first half of this book where we get to see the searches for Bundy, The Riverman and the Atlanta child killer are the most interesting.

The second half of the book has pacing
Mar 03, 2009 Sam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, biography
This was a very interesting read and gave an insight not only into the investigation of the Green River Killer but also an insight into the mind of Ted Bundy and Keppel himself.

Bundy cam across mildly arrogant and self righteous to start with but by the end the finality of his situation makes him appear rather pathetic and weak. Keppel comes across rather angry and certaintly at odds with the FBI as a whole as everything that went wrong seems to be blamed on them and nothing else.

Some of the inf
May 19, 2008 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2008
I love true crime!
I had to read this for a sociology course in murder that I am currently in... but I would gladly read it anyway... though it's called the Riverman, it's largely focused on the life and times of Ted Bundy, probably America's most notorious serial killer... and he started out right here in my own backyard.

Ann Rule calls this "the definitive book on serials" and I'd have to agree, it really is. If you are interested in the psychology behind serial killers, police investig
Jan Deelstra
Oct 28, 2013 Jan Deelstra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Oh my.... Because I lived and worked in Utah when Ted Bundy was attending the U of U, and because I worked with a young woman who identified Ted Bundy as "the good-looking man with tiny feet in the hall at the Viewmont High School Homecoming Dance" just before the victims began to be identified on the media, this was a book I was drawn to. I suppose it's akin to the fascination that people watching thrillers and such experience: I am enthralled with the horror. Moreover, I am captivated with the ...more
Carmel King
Jul 29, 2011 Carmel King rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is really about Bob Keppell's interviews with Ted Bundy to find out what makes a serial killer tick. A terrifying insight into Bundy's mind and a massive wake up call to the authorities who believed they were chasing an all out psychotic maniac; dagger in teeth! Ted was as cool as a cucumber as he plotted, abducted, murdered and carried out necrophilic acts on his victims. This was the only way they were going to pinpoint who was killing Sea-Tac prostitutes and dumping them in various ...more
Nov 16, 2014 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating content, but lazily put together. Author seems to have written a number of shorter articles on Bundy or Ridgway and then mushed them together without removing the repetitions--there are entire passages that are repeated pretty much word-for-word. Result is a very long book, but there's lots you can just skim. I can forgive a lot wrt this book, though, because the subject is so interesting, and because the author seems intelligent and appropriately skeptical.
Dec 11, 2010 Jess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
Another true crime/Ted Bundy/Green River killer book that I loved. Maybe I'm bias; I'm pretty sure I'd love anything following these cases. To me, this is the ultimate fascination. To read Ted Bundy's words, to see what he was right about, what he was wrong about, how he interpreted things. You can just hear his sense of self-importance, his sociopathic mind, the way the his mind worked, dripping off the pages. Impossible to put down!
Alfredo González
Far too many pages to describe what essentially is a collection of horror stories.
I feel that most of the information in this book should only be published only to professionals dedicated to crime investigator and such.
Who can possibly enjoy reading this tales, well, maybe it is pleasurable to psychopaths and deviants.
Sad that there are people such as described in this book that take pleasure in destroying life and cause such a pain to so many people that are affected by this crimes
Danie Tanaka
Aug 22, 2013 Danie Tanaka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought it was a good book. A good addition to the Canon on Ted Bundy. A study in still the scariest serial killer ever who had NO inhibitions about going into a young coeds room filled with roommates and steal her from her bed fate whacking her in the head... carrying her out the front door wrapped in her sheet with no one in the house noticing or hearing a thing. That is supremely horrifying. his thoughts on his "river man" says a lot about serial killers & Bundy.
Jul 28, 2009 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was an interesting look into police procedure for criminal investigations. I found several examples that I can use in my software classes.

The book was a bit repetitive, talking about the same aspects of the case over and and over again. I would also say that this book isn't an easy read as the main subjects are totally evil.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • In the Still of the Night: The Strange Death of Ronda Reynolds and Her Mother's Unceasing Quest for the Truth
  • The Devil's Dozen: How Cutting-Edge Forensics Took Down 12 Notorious Serial Killers
  • Deranged: The Shocking True Story of America's Most Fiendish Killer
  • The Only Living Witness: The True Story of Serial Sex Killer Ted Bundy
  • The Hillside Stranglers
  • Inside the Mind of BTK: The True Story Behind the Thirty-Year Hunt for the Notorious Wichita Serial Killer
  • Chasing the Devil: My Twenty-Year Quest to Capture the Green River Killer
  • The Best American Crime Reporting 2009
  • King of the Godfathers
  • Made Men: The True Rise-And-Fall Story of a New Jersey Mob Family
  • Bind, Torture, Kill: The Inside Story of the Serial Killer Next Door
  • Cellar of Horror: The Story of Gary Heidnik
  • Final Analysis: The Untold Story of the Susan Polk Murder Case
  • The Search for the Green River Killer
  • Invisible Darkness

Share This Book