Predator by Jack Olsen (February 1992)

It Could Happen To You
Review by Kim Cantrell

Steve Titus was 31-years-old when Port of Seattle officer Ronald A. Parker decided that he looked good as a suspect in recent rape crime.

Why?  Because he matched the physical description given by the victim and drove a similar car.

Not to mention that Parker was looking to redeem himself of some recent personal troubles that had  put his career in jeopardy.

But Titus wasn’t guilty, and it would take a dedicated, intent Seattle Times reporter to prove it.

What the police weren’t willing to admit, reporter Paul Henderson was; and loudly, even though it could put his job at stake.

While Snohomish and King County departments were chasing and convicting the wrong man, McDonald Joseph Smith (a.k.a. Edward Lee King) was terrorizing women from all walks of life.

Predator by the late author Jack Olsen details this two-fold story of Titus’ wrongful conviction and the capture of Smith (King).

Why Olsen chose to use an alias for Edward King in this book is an answer that still eludes me.  The only explanation he provides is that it is “in the interests of a larger truth.”

Pseudonyms aside, Predator is a gripping tale that is a classic example of what true crime should be.

Olsen searches deep into the background of Smith (King); from his birth in Appalachia to his capture in conviction in a Washington courtroom.

Readers are invited into the life of Steve Titus, a young man well on his way but would lose it all at the hands of a rogue cop.

This is sure to be one of those books that stays with you forever. 

These things can happen in America, they do happen…question is:  could it happen to you?

Updates on this case:  Edward Lee King remains incarcerated at the Airway Heights Correction Center in Spokane, Washington.   He was first eligible for parole in 2006; however, for reasons unknown, his first possible date for release is now 2042.  King will be 89 years old.