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Son: A Psychopath and His Victims

Jack Olsen

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ISBN 10: 1501119044 / ISBN 13: 9781501119040
Published by Scribner, 2015
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Son: A Psychopath and His Victims

Publisher: Scribner

Publication Date: 2015

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: New

Edition: Reissue.

About this title

Synopsis:

A classic from “the dean of true crime” (The Washington Post)—now with a new foreword—this 1983 masterpiece tells the incredible story of a Spokane, Washington serial rapist who was exposed as the handsome, privileged son of one of the city’s most elite families.

For more than two years, a rapist prowled the night streets of the homey, All-American city of Spokane, Washington, terrorizing women, sparking a run on gun stores, and finally causing one newspaper to offer a reward—the calls taken by the distinguished managing editor himself, Gordon Coe. In March 1981, luck and inspired police work at last produced an arrest, and Spokane shuddered. The suspect was clean cut and conservative...and Gordon Coe’s son.

For eighteen months, Jack Olsen researched the cases of Fred and Ruth Coe to try to learn not only what happened within that family, but how and why. He interviewed more than 150 people and built up a portrait not only of that extraordinary family, but of the mind of a psychopath. And searching the memories of the women in Fred Coe’s life, he unearthed a most horrifying question: What is it like to love and live with a man for years—and then discover he is a psychopathic criminal?

In this “gruesomely spellbinding” (Glamour) examination of the mind of a psychopath and of the women—and men—who were his victims, Olsen delivers “a harrowing portrait...It has become fashionable with books about vicious crimes to compare them to Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. Finally there is a book that deserves the comparison” (Richmond Times-Dispatch).

Review:

On one level, this 1984 Edgar Award Nominee is the story of a sociopathic rapist, a clean-cut realtor named Fred Coe who raped dozens of women in sunny Spokane, Washington. Olsen paints the portrait of a man whose exterior grandiosity and air of savoir faire barely conceal his deep insecurity about his career failures--a temperamental prima donna who emulates the pathetic hero of "American Gigolo." But on another, even more compelling level, this is the story of the women in Fred's life: His histrionic, clinging mother is a fair-skinned beauty in jet-black wigs, outrageous attire, and excessive jewelry, who eventually plots to kill the judge and prosecutor who put her dear "Son" away. A wife, and later on a girlfriend, both devoted to Fred, are devastated by his exposure as a brutal rapist. And several of Fred's many victims are also compassionately portrayed in all their individuality.

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