The Sociopath of Seattle
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.
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.
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.