CATEGORY: TRUE CRIME
BOOK FORMAT: Audio CD # OF TAPES/CDs: 5
PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster PUB DATE: 2004
When best-selling true-crime author Rule began tracking a series of murders taking place, by morbid coincidence, in her own southwest Seattle neighborhood, she said she caught herself referring to the female victims as numbers, based on the sequence of their disappearances. "I was horrified when that dawned on me," she admitted. "I never wanted to do that again." And so in detailing the grim story of Seattle's Green River killings--from the discovery of the body of Wendy Lee Coffield in July 1982 to the sentencing of truck painter Gary Ridgway last November on 48 counts of murder--Rule devotes most of her book neither to Ridgway nor to the noble efforts of law-enforcement officials to catch him, but focuses, instead, on the victims themselves. These women, most of them prostitutes, were victims even before their deaths--of disconnected home lives, of misplaced trust in boyfriends (who often pimped them on Seattle's notorious Pac HiWay), of their own need to rebel against their pain. Interweaving her individual profiles of the murdered women with the story of Ridgway and the officials who caught him (presciently swabbing his mouth years before DNA testing would finally give him away), Rule gives full, heartbreaking emotional weight to what America's most notorious serial killer truly wrought.