Review-Green River Killer – A True Detective Story

By Chuck Suffel

Writer – Jeff Jensen Artist – Jonathan Case

This graphic novel from Dark Horse tells the story of the Green River Killer, the 48 murders which took place in the Seattle area in the 1980’s that were attributed to him and the twenty year manhunt that led to his capture and conviction.

But its more than just a true crime book, it was written by the son of Detective Tom Jensen, you see Jeff’s father is one of the only detectives to work the case from start to finish. Even in his retirement as a consultant. His father spent almost his whole career tracking this killer and after finally catching him he spent 180 days interviewing him and documenting his story. Jeff has said he wrote this to gain a better understanding of his father and to express his love for him. The writing of this must have been no easy feat as he shows us through out the story that his father didn’t speak much to his family about the case. One can only imagine the sessions father and son had getting all this on paper.

The author gives us a good look at the detectives, some of the victims families and the killer. He takes his time with the story really letting us feel the frustration the task force felt as well as the misery the victims families endured. He also let’s us see the toll it took on his father. The art is good, Jonathan Case’s pencils tell the story well giving life to the characters in a very natural way. The only thing I can take away from this book is that the nonlinear story-telling can be a little confusing, we get to see how the case was solved and subsequent interviews with the killer all at once and I will admit to being a little lost now and again.

The facts of the case are public record and several TV movies and documentaries have been made so what does this graphic novel add to all that? It adds the insights of a son into his fathers world, a view he graciously shares with us.

Genre: Non-Fiction, Crime Publication Date: August 31, 2011 Format: B&W, 240 pages, HC, 6″ x 9″ Price: $24.99
Age range: 16 ISBN-10: 1-59582-560-6 ISBN-13: 978-1-59582-560-5

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