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The Sociopath of Seattle

Updated on April 5, 2015
Edward Lee King
Edward Lee King | Source

A Youngster

Edward Lee King was born in 1950, the second child of four. He was never abused, but it abounded around him, due to his father. If dad wasn’t beating his mother, he was after his older brother. Ed learned a great deal of things through his father and uncles. As a matter of fact, young Edward was his father’s favorite, who made every excuse for him that he could. Therefore, Ed learned that if his older brother was punished, he must be at fault. It sure wasn’t fair, but neither was life. Ed got along by going along, general noninvolvement.

During his youth, he was an excellent athlete, usually picked for a teammate first. He made friends easily, was highly competitive and hid his emotions, just like his hard-working father. His father worked night and day, but they were still poor. During one of their visits to relatives in Ohio, an uncle taught the boys to shoplift with a heavy overcoat. They also learned how to stack a deck and make crooked bets.

A Young Man

Growing toward his teens, he had feelings of revulsion and shame about himself. He still wet the bed at twelve, and as an adolescent, he retreated into sexual fantasies. Before his thirteenth birthday, his mother came under the power of a fundamentalist minister. That summer, the church held a contest to increase membership, and Edward worked hard to sign up everyone that he could. He was the proud winner of a shiny new Schwinn bicycle. Of course, with church nearly every day in one form or another, there was no time for sports. His skills in lying escalated. Edward tried to revive his faith by attending a Billy Graham Crusade, but again, he felt nothing. He tried to straighten out and bought a picture of Jesus. His mother asked him where he stole it.

In November 1965, Edward's father left home after he found another woman, and family life started to backslide. The church and the Salvation Army provided food and a Christmas tree. For two months, the family lived on handouts and the money that the brothers brought home from paper routes and odd jobs. Then his wife went to where he was living to convince him to return. She smashed the front door, Walter stepped between his parents to keep them from fighting, and dad knocked him down. His mother hacked his hands with a tire iron. His father kicked his son in the groin, causing him to be hospitalized. Three months later, Ed's father returned home. The mother‘s response was “that the Lord always answers prayers.” Not even a month passed, and father left again. Ed blamed himself, due to the fact that his father was in tears one day and tried to tell him, but the words never came out.

At fifteen he got involved with a friend to hot-wire cars, they stole from the restaurant that they were employed at, then they took money from the register and claimed a robbery, after they learned that another store in the chain was robbed a few months prior. They didn’t get caught, so the friends were on the way to a life of many more robberies. Ed’s family started living better, as he couldn’t support them with his meager salary.

Then he began abusing the cat. That finally stopped when he met a girl, but she ended up marrying his literal partner in crime. He congratulated the happy couple. The fast food bandits continued to strike and Ed got his driver’s license. He served as driver. At the age of seventeen and a dozen robberies, an employee finally began firing upon the getaway car. When the friends discovered a bullet hole in the car, it was pushed off a cliff. Three days later, Edward was arrested, as the ownership was traced. Ed was sentenced to six months in a juvenile home, but served two. His mother forced him into church again.

Ed was reintroduced to a cousin who became pregnant by him. The families decided that she would have an abortion, and she was out of his life. He moved into an apartment with another juvenile. The apartment burned a short time later, as his roommate fell asleep while smoking. He was back home again. But now his mother was married.

Edward began drinking heavily, soon moving in with his father and his new wife. His new family was dirt poor, and his stepmother didn’t work. Finally he left there and moved back in with his mother and new husband. His fantasies became more and more violent, and he never forgave the women that left him for better things in life. At nineteen, he began his life of rape, encouraged by magazine articles that very few were reported.

He still dated while raping women, and even got involved in working as a realtor after he raped his first realtor. But that would come back to haunt him, for she was the wife of a police officer. He frequently changed cars to keep the police off his tail, and looked for women and youths that were runaways, prostitutes, and on the seedier side. They would be less likely to report the crimes, but some of them did.

Steven Gary Titus
Steven Gary Titus | Source

Enter Steven Gary Titus

Eventually, the wrong man was caught for one of the rapes, due to the corrupt work of the Port of Seattle Police, namely Ronald Parker. This ruined the life of Steven Gary Titus in more ways than one. He was just weeks short of being sentenced for the crime. What compounded his problems even more, was that he looked very similar to Ed King, the real perpetrator.

Source

Work of Paul Henderson, News Reporter

Then came Paul Henderson, a news reporter for the Seattle Times. Through investigations of his own and the patience of his editors and the judge, he rallied for what was right. He discovered the lies, inconsistencies in the police investigation, as well as false evidence. Not only did he win the Pulitizer Prize for his work, he kept an innocent man from being put behind bars for ten years. But it was too late. Titus lost his job, became mentally ill, and eventually died of a heart attack due to the stress of the ordeal.

The Final Days of the Hunt

The King County Police in Washington state put many of the correct pieces of the puzzle together. The latest rape victim recognized the perpetrator, and the hunt was on. King was finally arrested at the home of his stepfather and mother. After 55 rapes, the days of horror seemed to be over.

On Sept. 18, 1981, the forty year sentence was plea bargained to a three year stay at Western State Hospital. He did everything right and was a model patient for the overworked and understaffed facility. Fortunately, when his treatment time was up, two psychologists were called in by the court and decided that King was not fit to re-enter society. He was just too good and too calm. He would spend the rest of his original sentence in Walla Walla until he was an old man.

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      Daughter of victim 2 months ago

      They should never release this man . He may have completed his sentence but my mother's is life long . I have seen her have so much fear in what most people would not bat an eye at and are part of every day activities . He should not get to live free while his victims are in a eternal prison he put them in . With 50 plus victims most of witch he was never convicted for he is right where he belongs . He had court yesterday and we will find out within the next 30 days if this monster will be free.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      I agree with you, victim. Do contact the prison and give your feelings on this matter to keep him behind bars. I wish you peace.

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      victim 2 months ago

      he has a parole hearing may 2 and 3 2017 so hard to believe they would even consider . my life has been forever changed becouse off this creature so scared

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 12 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      I had heard that while he was in treatment, he confessed to additional crimes, which added to his sentence. By the time he gets out, he'll be too old to cause any harm or will pass away before then.

    • profile image

      Beenaround 12 months ago

      Been awhile, but I was just wondering if there has been any update as to the status of Edward Lee King? I hope/trust Wa DOC didn't do any so stupid as to 1) reduce this scum-buckets sentence, or 2) even worse, realease him..

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      With all the petition sites around now, if that was even a mere thought, it would be quelled at once. Thanks for looking this over, Jackie.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Wow; I hope they never let him back out on the streets! Makes no sense they would. ^+

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thank you, Richard. A person doesn't always turn into a sociopath due to the parents, but it can raise many other issues, like PTSD does for soldiers on the front line. Glad that you enjoyed this read. Luckily, the man was caught, taken into custody, and will never return to society to repeat these events.

    • Richard1988 profile image

      Richard 2 years ago from Hampshire - England

      What an incredibly sad, traumatic upbringing - with two train-wrecks for parents you can see how he was twisted into the violent sociopath described here. I am glad he will never be released, but I also feel sorry that his family failed him so badly. Well written aviannovice!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Beenaround, I just found your comment, which for reasons unknown, was filed under spam. King has injured many people, I agree, and you have paid your debt to society. Thanks for what you have told me, and I am sure that's why King's name was never mentioned in the book, as it was part of the "deal". Glad to hear that he'll never be released, as that would certainly be a huge mistake.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Peg. It isn't just one thing, according to what I have learned. It is psychological, socioeconomic, and a few other things. Not only that, these people have no empathy for others, only what they want matters, which makes them psychopaths. They cross the line because they have no empathy. Can it be made by others. Yes. Can it be inherited genetically? It appears to be that way, sometimes skipping a generation or two. There is still a good deal that is not known, but it certainly bears watching...

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      It's so hard to imagine what goes wrong to make a person commit these types of violent crimes. Maybe one day it will be discovered what actually goes on in the DNA or the brain of these individuals that allow cruelty and perversion to enter their thoughts and further, to act on those impulses. You've presented an interesting study of this guy, Deb.

    • profile image

      Beenaround 4 years ago

      I was an Ed King victim also, but in a different sense. I met him in the King County jail in fall of '82. Admittedly, I was facing some very serious charges (which while it doesn't matter anymore one way or the other, I was not guilty of---yeah, I know "we've all heard that before...") but the prosecutor's case was quite thin and shaky. That is, until Mr. King decided the snitch (i.e., turn state's evidence).

      King was in the jail awaiting one of his, what has become many, hearings (fortunately ALL of which he has lost), and decided he would try to improve his standing with the prosecutor's office (Norm Maeling at the time) by giving them all kind of stories as to my supposed confessing to him the all the details of my "crimes" while playing chess late at night.

      Yes, we did chess quite and usually at night, but that's the ONLY part of his stories that had any truth. But he was giving the prosecutor exactly what the prosecutor needed in order to convict me.

      When asked on the witness stand why he was testifying against me, he stated, with big ol' alligator tears in his eyes, "well, ma'am, I've hurt too many people in my life and I just don't want to see anyone else get hurt." Sitting at the defense table, even in the predicament I was in, I still had to choke back a laugh.

      The prosecutor never told my defense attorney exactly how many rapes, assaults, etc., Mr. King had committed ("convicted of" would be an improper term as he NEVER has been convicted of any--he was allowed to plead guilty) simply because at the time even they DID NOT KNOW. We were told the number was 5.

      Years later, I learned that the prosecutor actually knew about almost twice that number, and years even later, the truth now ("truth" as King would allow us all to know) is his horrors number past 50.

      I spent 15 years of my life locked up because of Edward Lee King, but I too survived. I've put my life back together (as much as possible) and have become once again a productive member of society.

      King on the other hand is currently (as of back in 2011 sometime) STILL incarcerated at the Airway Heights Correction center there in Washington State. As I understand the situation, he will NEVER be released.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Exactly, KoffeeKlatch Gals. Many people have had horrid lives, but some just short-circuit. Some serial killers were actually released to fight in Viet Nam, as the government thought that their mentality was suited for it, but they also killed innocents. They just don't get the difference. Naturally, they were all rounded back up again and sent back to prison.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Very interesting. How sad his family life was so bad. I certainly am glad they decided not to let him out in public after three years. think of how many women they saved with that decision.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks for reading, Eddy. It is always good to see you, and thanks for your continued support.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      victim, let's hope that never happens! I never realized that he had been released from the hospital facility. Thanks for the information.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      So sad and so very well told.

      Here's to so many more for us both to share on here.

      Have a wonderful day Deb and lots of love.

      Eddy.

    • profile image

      victim 4 years ago

      Edward Lee King now at Monroe Correctional Complex, minimum security, earliest possible earned-parole date 9/9/2015, according to the Monroe facility.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Absolutely, Lela. These are things that can affect a rich as well as a poor family. It is negative stimulus(cruelty and fighting) that can cause a child to fear and block it out. Then it becomes interesting, and finally a part of their lives. Not everyone is affected in this manner, fortunately. We just need to figure out WHAT exactly triggers the mindset and behavior.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, kasmir. Glad that you are enjoying the series.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Alicia, everyone has issues when crimes affect them. It shows what the human psyche can crumble under, day after day and year after year.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Beckie! Take a look at what I wrote to Carol and see if you agree.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Martin. Glad that it held your attention.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Unfortunately, Carol, if someone IS a sociopath, this is what they will do. When these things are imprinted on the brain, it seems to create a chemical reaction, and sadistic things excite them. It's like the chemical reaction with depression, which of course, can be treated. I haven't done any research yet on sociopathy to see if it can be treated in the same way. The best that I can determine that, if a child is reached early enough and the stimulant removed, it could well be treatable, but don't quote me on that.

    • CreatePerfection profile image

      CreatePerfection 4 years ago from Beautiful Colorado

      Hi aviannovice,

      I often wonder why people are so casual in their decision to have children. It is a serious mistake to have children without the means to support them, firstly, and without the intention of raising them in a manner which will make them useful adults, secondly. Having children is not a right, it is a priviledge and those who do not take on this responsibility with caution are looking for trouble.

      Lela

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      This was a very interesting article and account of this guy's crime spree. Well done !

      Vote up and more !!!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a very sad story, Deb, but it makes an interesting hub. The crimes were horrible, and so many people were injured in one way or another by the events that you describe. Thanks for sharing the information - I hadn't heard of this case before I read your hub.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Never heard of him but 55 rapes!!! My God! Blessings to those two psychologists who had the trust in their instincts to see through the calm.

      The criminal mind has always fascinated me. I always want to figure out what the hell makes them tick. What makes them think they will get a way with it? Most importantly, what kind of a mind would enjoy rape, murder, torturing animals.

      I do believe I should have gone into the field of forensics. My older sister and I enjoy trying to solve "unsolved" crimes.

      I hope you don't take this the wrong way but I am THOROUGHLY enjoying this series.

      At the moment I am immersed in this Jodi Arias case.

      I look forward to the next.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this.This was really something.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Very well told..read every word...Interesting how kids turn bad...May have had a chance with a decent life. Some survive and others don't;

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      The authorities and the court really couldn't afford to screw up again after they arrested an innocent man. Thanks for visiting, Billy, my loyal friend.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It's interesting that I barely remember this guy; I live fifty miles from Seattle but have a bare recollection of these crimes. I'm sure glad they didn't release him after three years.

      Thanks for an interesting true life story.

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