Green River Killer: A True Detective Story

green river killer a true detective story cover
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Art: 9/10

Good story, strong art

Jumps around some

Comic Info

Book Title:  Green River Killer:  A True Detective Story

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Jeff Jensen

Artist:  Jonathan Case

Release Date:  September 13, 2011

green river killer jeff jenson tom jenson

Tom and Jeff Jenson

A serial killer has been killing prostitutes and women in the Green River area of Washington since the 1980s. In 2001, Gary Ridgway is brought in after years of hard work by the detectives. A decision to offer a plea deal to the killer in exchange for the locations of more victims has the lead detective Tom Jensen reliving the events of the past twenty years in an attempt to bring peace to the families of the missing victims.

Written by Tom Jensen’s son Jeff Jensen, Green River Killer: A True Detective Story is a black-and-white graphic novel telling his father’s side of the investigation into the Green River killings. The graphic novel was the winner of the Eisner Award for Best Reality-Based Work in 2012.

As Jeff Jensen explains it, this is his attempt to understand the quest that consumed his father’s life almost his entire life. Jensen is a writer for Entertainment Weekly and this venture isn’t really in his normal realm of writing. Despite this, Jensen does bring together a compelling story.

green-river-killer-a-true-detective-story-victims

The victims…

Much like other “true crime” graphic novels like My Friend Dahmer and something which are more of a blend of truth and fiction like Torso, the series has a strange flow that isn’t like a standard comic and does read more like a novel. The story does jump around a lot and has some overlap later in the telling. The disjointed nature can be a bit challenging, but it still has a good flow.

Both Tom Jensen and Gary Ridgway end up being rather compelling “characters”. I have to assume due to the strange speaking patterns of Ridgway’s character that it is almost verbatim conversations…he is usually strangely polite and in that politeness is rather unnerving. Jensen is a guy that tries to fight becoming obsessed with a possibly unsolvable case. He must keep sight of the goal, but also has to distance himself to stop himself from letting the case drag him down.

Green River Killer: A True Detective Story is a rather quick read with a strong story. Case’s art is basic but does a great job telling the story. If you are a fan of true crime reads, this is a pretty good one with extra insight into one of history’s prolific serial killers from the man who helped catch him.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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