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Inside The Mind Of A Serial Killer

Tom Cavanagh stars as Dave Reichert in the Lifetime Movie Network original miniseries, "The Capture of the Green River Killer," the story of the Green River serial killer who preyed on women in the Seattle area in the 1980s and '90s. The program will air Sunday and Monday, March 30-31 at 8:00 p.m. EDT.
AP Photo/Lifetime
By The Showbuzz's Melissa Castellanos

Getting inside the mind of one of the most notorious serial killers in U.S. history may have taken two decades for Dave Reichert, but it was worth the effort, an effort being portrayed in a new Lifetime original movie.

During the 1980s and 90s, the Seattle area was plagued by a serial killer who preyed on young female prostitutes and runaways.

Dead bodies began to surface in and around Seattle's Green River, leaving the media, police departments and FBI perplexed and lacking enough evidence to convict a killer.


Photos: Spring 2008 Movies
Reichert, who headed the task force that investigated thousands of dead ends, lived with the lingering burden of capturing the serial killer, bringing him to justice and giving the grieving families some form of closure.

Reichert and fellow task force members even met with notorious serial killer Ted Bundy before he was sentenced to the electric chair to help them get inside the mind of a serial killer and come up with clues for their investigation.

Finally, nearly 20 years after first being identified as a potential suspect, Gary Ridgway was arrested on suspicion of murder for four deaths after DNA evidence linked him to multiple victims. Dubbed "The Green River Killer," Ridgway eventually admitted to killing 48 women. He was considered a "normal" citizen by day and a brutal, emotionally detached serial killer by night.

Executive Producer and writer John Pielmeier, who wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation "Agnes of God," based his script on Reichert's book "Chasing The Devil" to make the Lifetime movie.

2"Part One of "The Capture of the Green River Killer" premieres Sunday, March 30 and Part Two on Monday, March 31, at 8 p.m. each night on Lifetime Movie Network.

Golden Globe Nominee Tom Cavanagh ("Ed," "Love Monkey," "Scrubs" "Eli Stone") portrays Reichert, the relentless detective obsessed with breaking the case in one of the largest manhunts conducted in the U.S.

"When you're an actor you're getting ready to do a part, oftentimes it's just simply fiction and you're a figment of the writer's imagination," Cavanagh told The Showbuzz. "In this case it's a real life story. … The person that I play, Detective Dave Reichert, now Congressman Dave Reichert, was the man that devoted his life to bringing the serial killer Gary Ridgway to justice.

"He's just a force of nature. … You don't often run into the kind of tenacity and commitment that Dave exhibited. Two decades of his life - before the advent of all the technology that we see on CSI. … He was doing that - trying to bring this man to justice before he had that forensic advantage. It says a lot to his character that he didn't give up."

Portions of the two-part mini series were filmed in Seattle and also Winnipeg and Manitoba, Canada.

We had a number of different rivers to try and get the location to look exactly right in modern day," Cavanagh said. "We had a good team of scouts that would go about and canvass the globe to make it look exactly like it looked back when these crimes were happening."

Viewers can also catch Cavanagh on ABC's "Eli Stone" as Johnny Lee Miller, the lead character's father who appears in a flashback.

Cavanagh is also known for his role in the short-lived CBS show "Love Monkey" about a record label in New York City. The show, which developed a cult following, was picked up and rebroadcast by VH1.

"That experience alone falls into the 'more than you can ever ask for' department. It was great. Would we have liked for it to go three or four years? The answer is 'yes,' but then, you never know … eight months worth of 'Love Monkey' … we're grateful for it."

Cavanagh was also nominated for a Golden Globe for his starring role in the hit NBC television series "Ed," which ended in 2004.