Curtis Butturff's Reviews > Green River, Running Red: The Real Story of the Green River Killer--America's Deadliest Serial Murderer

Green River, Running Red by Ann Rule
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's review
Nov 08, 10

bookshelves: non-fiction

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 and development of computerized methodologies of crime fighting so also speaks to the rise of a new form of criminal that makes this necessary. Serial and mass murder are not really new of course but the mass media savvy killers are so so I'd argue.

Rule to her credit spends much more time profiling the victims than the killer himself who as it turns out unsurprisingly was a rather pathetic man in most every way you can think of. At least to my mind her account of the history and events is probably about the best because of this weighting on the side of the young women who were killed as opposed to the killer who rather proves the idea that oftentimes great evil takes on a banal face.

Compared say to John Douglas and his treatment of the case Rule provides a much wider perspective. Douglas of course was the FBI profiler fictionalized in The Silence Of The Lambs and who nearly died while working the GRK events. His focus on the profile of the killer is understandable but in the accounts he's written he does not delve overly much into the victims story.

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