This is one of the most fascinating and intriguing books that I’ve ever read! I actually listen to it, in audiobook format, and it was about 21 hours long, but it was so jampacked with intriguing, riveting narration about the characters involved with the South Hill Rapist case that captivated the city of Spokane Washington from the late 1970s until the trial in 1982.
The story centered around Fred Coe, and some fascinating court transcripts, but also, the author, Jack Olsen, did a fantastic job of weaving all of the characters in and out throughout the story, and also, getting us to readers, to really get a feel for who they are and who they were.
Ultimately, Coe was convicted for a series of rapes, but it wasn’t so much to rapes, as it was the odd, almost demonic, psychopathic and schizophrenic behaviors that he exhibited throughout, as told by the author, Jack Olsen.
Another intriguing character, was Fred Coe’s mother, Ruth, who could best be described as eccentric, somewhat delusional, and probably psychopathic as well. She got arrested at the end of the trial for Fred Coe, for meeting with an undercover agent, and arranging to have the judge and one of the prosecutors murdered, and a murder for hire scenario.
I read a lot of true crime books, and books about serial killers especially, but is probably the first time, that I became so involved with one of the books, mainly because I had heard of the South Hill Rapist throughout the years, but I didn’t really know a lot of the details.
As I mentioned, this all took place in the late 1970s in Spokane Washington, just 75 miles up the road from where I went to school at Washington State University, even though I wasn’t aware so much what was going on up the road in Spokane, there seem to be so many close connections with Fred Coe, even enrolling as a student at Washington State University at some point.
The book is very straightforward, not filled with a lot of guts and gore, and bloodshed, (no doubt, there is plenty, but not an overabundance), but the riveting part about the book, was the trial, the examinations and cross examinations, and Fred Coe’s strange behavior throughout.