Son by Jack Olsen


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 ...

Details Son

Release DateApr 1st, 1985
GenreCrime, True Crime, Nonfiction, Mystery, Audiobook

Reviews Son

  • BAM The Bibliomaniac
    In the 1970s and early '80s the Spokane area was haunted by a serial rapist. This is the story of that man monster, his dysfunctional family, and his blind to his ways wife. There is a TON of coarse language, so be prepared. Olsen does his typical great job of research and storytelling. The majority of the book details his attacks and his masking behavior.
  • Anna Janelle
    There hasn't been a mother-son dynamic this disturbing since the fictional one portrayed in Psycho; however, unlike Norman Bates, Freddie Kevin Coe isn't figment of the page or silver screen. He's a real, living, breathing nightmare, who terrorized the city of Spokane, Washington in the 1980s, raping countless women joggers and bus passengers while maintaining a carefully crafted (and entirely untrue) persona for the benefit of his girlfriends an...
  • Jim Leckband
    True crime doesn't get much better than this. Olsen examines Spokane's South Hill Rapist from all points of view - the victims and their families, the police and reporters who are trying to get information on the guy (or guys), and the family and friends of the psychopath who terrorized the city for three years. Olsen chooses a time based narrative so that we get the story as it comes out, with Olsen masterfully weaving all the voices and action ...
  • Della Scott
    No need to recommend--I read it and it's one of my all-time favorite true-crime books. Though Kevin Coe never killed anybody(though since his attacks were escalating in violence, I I think that he might have if he had not been caught), he seemed similar to Ted Bundy to me in some ways. Both operated in Washington state, both were charming, smart, good looking and talented,and could have had great futures going straight, and both were almost certa...
  • Lady ♥ Belleza
    Spokane had a reputation as a old-fashioned town, "the All-American City". The newspapers downplayed violent crimes like rape. This thinking was described as inward and backward and such comments where shushed, after all Spokane was "a safe and pure place in an unsafe, impure world." That was before Fred and Ruth Coe, Spokane would never be the same.After reading this book, all I can say is WOW. The Coe's redefine dysfunctional family. Jack Olsen...
  • Teddie
    An above average true crime bookBetween 1979 and 1982, a serial rapist was roaming the streets of Spokane, WA. Eventually Fred "Kevin" Coe was charged with raping six women, although he was suspected of sexually assaulting at least 44 victims. And heaven knows how many rapes went unreported.This book was well researched and well written. The reader will learn about the psychopath, his victims, his parents, best friend, ex-wife, and girlfriend; th...
  • Samyann
    Written by Jack Olsen, a long audiobook at close to twenty-three hours of listening, and narrated by Kevin Pierce. Son, originally published in 1983, is an accounting of a serial rapist in Spokane, WA in the late 1970s, early 1980s.An update to the true crime of this story, information not included in the book. The saga of Fred Coe continued for a few years after the release of the book with appeals, convictions overturned, etc., but fortunately,...
  • Mary Ronan Drew
    In 1980 there were 127 rapes in the city of Spokane. In 1978 there had been 49. Most of these crimes were being committed in the neighborhood where I now live and they bore certain similarities. The rapist was reported by many victims to have jammed his hand, covered with an oven mitt, into their mouth so that they couldn’t scream. Most of them were attacked while out running or after getting off a bus. Spokane was the victim of The South Hill ...
  • The Behrg
    A glimpse into the mind of a psychopath? Sign me up. Son tell the story of Frederick Harland Coe, a serial rapist and psychopath who haunted Spokane Washington in the 80's. The author takes his time in delivering a realistic account of not only the multiple occurrences but also in providing the backdrop of the time and town in which these crimes were committed. F.H. Coe is one of those characters so eccentric ("don't call me eccentric!") and psyc...
  • Bob Schnell
    Most true crime books are about murderers, gangsters or con men. "Son" by Jack Olsen focuses on a serial rapist. Most readers will be uncomfortable with that just from the description on the cover. Reading the entire book is a prolonged, queasy experience but one worth the time as it is well written and thought provoking. The author certainly keeps the victims in mind, being graphic enough to describe the details of the criminal acts without bein...
  • Linda Strong
    This is a true crime novel about a serial rapist in the 1980s in Spokane, Washington. I don't normally read true crime, but I was taken by the cover art. I also have a personal interest as my youngest son and his family live in Spokane and have since about 2000. The author paints a much different Spokane as it was back then.This is an older book ... first published in 1983. The author has since passed away. However, it's been re-published with a ...
  • Violet
    No matter what problems you have with your mother-in-law, she is going to seem like Julie Andrews by the time you're through reading about the bejeweled harpy who rules this true-crime wonder. The "son" of the title is her slick, creepy offspring, Kevin "Fred" Coe, who's not only a real estate agent, he's a serial rapist! The best parts of this book are the inane nicknames Coe and his mother have for one another and the details about the book Coe...
  • Nikmaack
    I was in Mexico, and I'd run out of things to read. Amazon suggested this classic true crime book. While I want to like true crime, most of those books are trashy and sad. This book? Wow. A classic, for sure. If I'd known going in that it was a book about a serial rapist, I probably would have said no thanks. But I'm glad I didn't know, as this book was stellar. Simply written, clear, concise, fact based, nothing fancy. Pure journalism. All true ...
  • Rebecca McNutt
    Incredibly creepy, I found myself thinking back to several low budget horror films while reading this! It was certainly well-written and detailed, but very disturbing and weird.
  • Marti
    I'm not sure how I never heard of this case of a serial rapist and his delusional mother in Spokane, Washington which seemingly garnered worldwide attention (it is one of the strangest stories ever). My only complaint is there are not enough photographs and there is very little online. I was specifically looking for an actual interview with Fred aka "Kevin" Coe (the one he did for Spokane TV circa 1981, against the advice of his attorneys). I als...
  • Katherine Addison
    So far as anyone knows, Kevin Coe never escalated to murder, but Jack Olsen's narrative makes it clear it was only going to be a matter of time. Coe is currently incarcerated in a "Special Commitment Center"--a dreadfully Orwellian title for a facility that holds sexual predators; the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's article about his attempt to sue the state of Washington makes it absolutely clear that he hasn't changed a particle since 1981 when he...
  • Jlsimon
    This book was very well researched, and very well written. It was a bit long, but not belabored as so many books that exceed 400 pages seem to be. The story itself is dark. True crime novels usually are dark, but this one went deeper into the dark side and gave quotes from Fredrick (Kevin) Coe that showed him to be deeply disturbed. After reading this book I felt compelled to Google the whereabouts of Mr. Coe and verify that the system has not fa...
  • Fishface
    A must read for all women who are against rape. Amazingly detailed portrait of how to raise your child to be a good-for-nothing, all-talk-and-no-action ne'er-do-well and a serial rapist to boot. Provides step by step instructions for robbing your child of any sense of right and wrong. Includes the breathtaking derscription of how one woman took matters into her own hands and chased the assailant off, and how the others clubbed together and prosec...
  • Michelle Noelle
    I was living in Spokane when this happened. I remember women getting escorted to their car from the grocery store, in broad daylight. The thing that really creeped me out when I was young is that they had red stamps throughout the city that said, "A woman was raped here."
  • Peter Landau
    “You got to read this book,” my wife said. It was unusual. Whenever I ask my wife how’s the book she’s reading, I get a look. Maybe that’s because I ask before she's started reading. But you can get a feel for a book from the cover, the typography, paperweight, you know. Not having read a book has never stopped me from having an opinion on it. So, the fact that my wife suggested I read SON by Jack Olsen, more than once, was nothing for ...
  • Paul Gaya Ochieng Simeon Juma
    Chilling! That is how I can describe the crimes of Fredrick 'Kevin' Coe. His crimes sent shudders to the public in Spokane County and his wife Gini. H raped at least 100 women in the period between 1978 and 1979. In the course of his crimes, he preferred working under the cover of darkness where he could follow his victims, thrust his hands down their throats, beat them up, ask them to urinate on him, perform oral sex on them and vise versa, ejac...
  • Elaine Nickolan
    What a great book! Jack Olsen can write true crime masterfully. The story about Fred Coe, the South Hill Rapist, is written so well I wanted to yell at some of the people in the story, almost like yelling at atheletes on TV when they do something stupid. To think that there were people that actually believed in his innocence boggles ones mind. The apple certainly did not fall far from the tree between mother and son. This is a must read for any t...
  • Ellen
    Interesting and brutalCuriosity struck so I bit. It’s brutally honest, horrific, hard to read at times because it’s true. The author did an amazing job, the content though is tough. The brain of a psychopath and mental illness are intriguing and baffling. Not for the light reading or entertainment.
  • CJ
    I have an unhealthy obsession with true crime. I read these books to try and gain some insight into why people do the terrible things they do. It took a very long time to finish this one and I shook my head for quite a while afterwards.
  • Amy
    Very interesting case, presented in a direct way.
  • Mylie
    Really great true crime, couldn't put it down.
  • Ola
    this book was given to me for an honest review this book talks about a case of rapist ,his crimes , his arrest , and his court.with a lot of details, characters , and psychological analyzing jack Olsen tell us the story of a society who face a serial rapist , the reaction of people , the stigma against raped women ,and how people with gathered huge efforts could face a crisis .Kevin Pierce’s performance was great ,his voice volume was very stea...
  • Charlene
    This is true crime at its best. I chose this book in audio format and listened while I worked out. Made the time fly! Jack Olsen is a superb crime author. Not too long ago I read a true crime book by Jerry Bledsoe. It was so sensational that it made me not want to keep reading. The case Bledsoe reviewed was interesting and could have easily held my interest, but the author's depiction of the individuals involved was so over the top, it ruined the...