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Green River, Running Red

Cover of Green River, Running Red

Green River, Running Red

The Real Story of the Green River Killer—America's Deadliest Serial Murderer
by Ann Rule
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In the most extraordinary book Ann Rule has ever undertaken, America's master of true crime has spent more than two decades researching the story of the Green River Killer, who murdered more than...More
In the most extraordinary book Ann Rule has ever undertaken, America's master of true crime has spent more than two decades researching the story of the Green River Killer, who murdered more than...More
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Description-
  • In the most extraordinary book Ann Rule has ever undertaken, America's master of true crime has spent more than two decades researching the story of the Green River Killer, who murdered more than forty-nine young women. The quest to discover the most prolific serial killer in American history has been an intimate part of Ann Rule's life, with some of the corpses found only a mile or so from where she lived and raised her own daughters. She did not know the killer, but he apparently knew her and attended many of her book signings.
    For twenty-one years, the killer carried out his self-described "career" as a killing machine, ridding the world of women he considered evil. His eerie ability to lure his victims to their deaths and hide their bodies made him far more dangerous than any infamous multiple murderer in the annals of crime.
    A few men — including a law student, a truck painter, and a taxi driver — eventually emerged as the prime suspects among an unprecedented forty thousand scrutinized by the Green River Task Force. Still, there was no physical evidence linking any of them to the murders until 2001, when investigators used a new DNA process on a saliva sample they had preserved since 1987, with stunning results.
    Ann Rule has followed the case since July 1982, when the first body — that of teenager Wendy Lee Coffield — was found in the Green River, snagged on pilings under a bridge. Rule has compiled voluminous files, working through an incredible 95,000 pages of official police records, transcripts, photographs, and maps, winnowing out the chaff and identifying what is truly important. Over the years, she gained unparalleled access to all the key players — from King County Sheriff Dave Reichert to those close to the killer and his victims.
    When finally apprehended and convicted, the killer made a detailed confession — of his twisted sexual obsessions — that will shock even the most jaded reader. Green River, Running Red is a harrowing account of a modern monster, a killer who walked among us undetected. It is also the story of his quarry — of who these young girls were, and who they might have become. A chilling look at the darkest side of human nature, this is the most important and most personal book of Ann Rule's long career.

Excerpts-
  • From the book

    INTRODUCTION

    As I began this most horrifying of all books in my long career as a true-crime writer, I found myself faced with the same dilemma I encountered some twenty-five years ago. In the early 1970s, I worked as a volunteer at the Crisis Clinic in Seattle, Washington. Two nights a week, I worked an all-night shift with a young male psychology student at the University of Washington as my partner. Together we fielded calls from suicidal and distraught people. I hadn't published a book yet, but by 1975 I had a contract to write one if the nameless killer of at least seven young coeds in Washington and Oregon was ever caught. As many readers know, that murderer turned out to be my partner: Ted Bundy. By the time I learned that, however, he had left the Northwest and continued his murderous rampage in Utah, Idaho, and Colorado. Convicted of attempted kidnapping in Utah, Ted was extradited to Colorado in 1976 to await his murder trials for eight victims in that state, but he escaped from two jails, making his way to Florida after his second -- successful -- escape onNew Year's Eve, 1977. There he took the lives of three more young women and left another three for dead in Tallahassee and Jacksonville before he was finally arrested, convicted of murder in two trials, and sentenced to death. After nine years of appeals, Ted was electrocuted on January 24, 1989, at Raiford Prison.

    How many women did Ted Bundy kill? No one really knows for sure, but when Florida detectives told him that the F.B.I. believed his toll was thirty-six victims, he said, "Add one digit to that, and you'll have it." Only he knew if he meant 37, 136, or 360.

    Throughout his years of imprisonment, Ted wrote dozens of letters to me, and sometimes made oblique statements that could be construed as partial confessions.

    Initially, I tried to write the Ted Bundy saga as if I were only an observer, and no part of the story. It didn't work because I had been part of the story, so after two hundred pages, I started over on The Stranger Beside Me. There were times when I had to drop in and out of the scenario with memories and connections that seemed relevant. Stranger was my first book; this is my twenty-third. Once again, I have found myself part of the story, more than I would choose to be in some instances. Many of the men and women who investigated these cases are longtime friends. I have taught seminars at law enforcement conferences with some of them and worked beside others on various task forces, although I am no longer a police officer. I have known them as human beings who faced an almost incomprehensible task and somehow stood up to it and, in the end, won. And I have known them when they were relaxed and having a good time at my house or theirs, setting aside for a short while the frustrations, disappointments, and tragedies with which they had to deal.

    Was I privy to secret information? Only rarely. I didn't ask questions that I knew they couldn't answer. What I did learn I kept to myself until the time came when it could be revealed without negatively impacting the investigation.

    So, the twenty-two-year quest to find, arrest, convict, and sentence the man who is, perhaps, the most prolific serial killer in history has been part of my life, too. It all began so close to where I lived and brought up my children. This time, I didn't know the killer, but he, apparently, knew me, read my books about true homicide cases, and was sometimes so close that I could have reached out and touched him. As it turned out, varying degrees of connection also existed between his victims and people close to me, but I would learn that only in retrospect.

    There were...

About the Author-
  • Ann Rule is the author of thirty New York Times bestsellers, all of them still in print. Her first bestseller was The Stranger Beside Me, about her personal relationship to infamous serial killer Ted Bundy. A former Seattle police officer, she knows the crime scene firsthand. For more than two decades, she has been a powerful advocate for victims of violent crime. She lives near Seattle. Visit her at AnnRules.com.
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The Real Story of the Green River Killer—America's Deadliest Serial Murderer
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