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 most infamous unsolved case in the nation. Frantically following all leads, even as more bodies surfaced near the river outside Seattle, Sheriff Reichert befriended the victims families, publicly challenged the killer, and risked his own safety--and the endurance and love of his family--before he found his madman. But Reicherts hunt didnt end when he finally cornered a truck painter named Gary Ridgway. It would be yet another 11 haunting years before forensic science could prove Ridgways guilt beyond a shadow of a doubt. CHASING THE DEVIL is the gripping firsthand account of Reicherts relentless pursuit--a 21-year odyssey full of near-misses and startling revelations. Told in vivid detail by the man who knows the whole story--the man who has stared into the eyes of absolute evil--this is a page-turning real-life suspense story of unparalleled heroism.
Front-and-center account by the first detective assigned to Washington State's notorious serial murders, who later became King County sheriff and arrested the now-convicted killer. The most engaging feature of Reichert's mainly straightforward though sometimes awkwardly embellished narrative is that he lets his interior monologues bubble up; he needs you to know he's a straight-up guy who hopes, for instance, killers are headed for hell and who never once believed that prostitution was a victimless crime. He chronicles friction with associates, frustration with the system and his superiors, and petty jealousies that spilled over with the involvement of a big-time FBI "profiler," which was not even a recognized specialty when the first victims were discovered in 1982. (Robert Keppel weighed in with his own Green River book, The Riverman, in 1995.) With professional pride not quite suppressed by the modesty he knows he should project, Reichert writes at one point, "You would be surprised how many cases are cracked when we simply pick up the most likely suspect and take him in for a conversation . . . you say things like 'I can understand if things just got out of hand . . . just tell us what happened.' Eventually, one of these questions is like a pinprick on a balloon." It wasn't quite that way, of course, with Gary Ridgway, who finally confessed in 2001 to the murders of 48 women, almost all prostitutes, and who remains the prime suspect in perhaps dozens more cases as bodies still turn up. Reichert unflinchingly depicts the endless hours of interviews with pimps, whores, johns, and the taxi drivers often sought as objective chroniclers of doings on the street. Likewise, as Ridgway's grotesque compulsions play out, there seems no way to dance around necrophilia with euphemism. Ultimately, the epic hunt turns into a nightmare of gnawing anxiety relieved by the stupefying banality of yet another corpse. As gruesome as guilty pleasures get for rabid crime readers. (Kirkus Reviews)