Review: Green River Killer: A True Detective Story

This review was originally published in 2011 during the graphic novel’s original release

Green River Killer: A True Detective Story

Written by (at the time) Entertainment Weekly contributor Jeff Jensen, this graphic novel covers the true story about the Green River Killer, a serial killer who terrorized the Washington State area. Jensen’s father was the lead detective on the case. I’m a huge crime/noir fan, so being able to read a true story like this is just an added bonus to the type of comic I already like.

We’re taken through the history of the case, leading up to the capture of the person who committed it and what police dealt with afterwards. It’s a rare lifting of the curtain as to the history of such a notorious crime spree.

But, the heart of the graphic novel is the fact that Jensen grew up around this case. It’s very much a “letter” to his father and through it; you can tell he’s dealing with his father’s dedication to the case and how that might have affected the family dynamic. It adds so much depth to the comic that might not have been there.

But as Jensen works through why his father worked as hard as he did, he also attempts to work through the killer’s motivations as well. The last third of the book seems to be focused on that, and it brings a chilling feeling to the story mixed along with Jensen’s personal issues. And it sticks with you.  For days I talked about the story with my friends, like Jensen, like the detectives who worked on the case and like the killer himself, I struggled with the outcome.

It’s so rare to have a ripped from the headlines, true life comic come out and it’s fantastic it’s of this high quality.

Story: Jeff Jensen Art: Jonathan Case
Story: 8.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review