Thursday, November 2, 2006

Defending the Green River Killer

Seattle attorney Mark Prothero, one of Gary Ridgway's attorney's has written (with Carlton Smith) Defending Gary: Unraveling the Mind of the Green River Killer.

The publisher's information about the book is here.

See the review by Gene Barton in the September 2006 Bar Bulletin. Here's a taste:

Prothero, who along with the other members of the defense team and Norm Maleng's prosecution team, was one of KCBA's Attorneys of the Year for 2003, saves his most biting - and delightful - criticisms for the FBI and its serial killer "science." The mousy, often tearful, unassuming man, with the big glasses and the doughy face, befuddled and confounded an FBI profiler sent to interview him because he could not be made to fit the mold. The serial killer profile "is what it is," the FBI tells us, and cannot, will not be circumscribed by the protestations of a killer who, for example, insists that he did not collect "trophies" from his victims. Ridgway, who by all accounts actually told the truth about this, took jewelry from his victims, but often left it scattered around his workplace to be found by female employees. They often wore it - rather than turning it in - much to Ridgway's delight.

The one true insight comes very early on and that is into Prothero's motivation, not Ridgway's. In my days as a reporter on the crime and courthouse beat, I once asked a public defender how he could defend people who he knew were guilty of the crimes with which they were charged. His response was simple, yet profound: "Even the guilty have constitutional rights." Prothero follows the same credo and it is an admirable one.
The book is available in the law library (HV6533.W2 P76 2006 at Good Reads) and through Summit.

Prothero's website has two domain names, by the way: and

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