Story Of Spokane's South Hill Rapist, Kevin Coe, Made Into Movie For CBS

SPOKANE - The story of South Hill rapist Kevin Coe and his mother, who tried to hire a hit man to kill the judge and prosecutor in her son's trial, has been made into a television movie.

``Sins of the Mother'' is finished and awaiting an air date on CBS.

``I would guess it would run during the February sweeps, but that's just a guess,'' Ed Devlin, a network spokesman in New York, said yesterday.

The film is based on the book ``Son: A Psychopath and His Victims'' by Jack Olsen, the true-crime writer who lives on Bainbridge Island.

``We're tremendously disgusted CBS or any organization would still be pounding away at us 10 years after this started,'' Gordon Coe, former managing editor of The Spokane Chronicle, said yesterday in a telephone interview.

Coe and his wife, Ruth, have settled in the Southwest, trying to live out their days in peace and anonymity. Their 43-year-old son is in the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla.

``I'm sure they can make a dandy story out of it, but it will bear no relationship to the actual facts,'' Gordon Coe said. ``I hope people realize that.''

Elizabeth Montgomery, who played the twitchy witch Samantha in the old ``Bewitched'' series, stars as Ruth. Dale Midkiff, who was The King himself in the 1988 TV movie ``Elvis and Me,'' portrays Kevin.

Kevin Coe was originally convicted of four of more than 40 attacks attributed to Spokane's South Hill rapist from 1978 to 1981.

Three of those convictions were overturned. Coe could be released from prison as early as October 1991 on the remaining count.

There's Ruth Coe, a former charm-school instructor whose ``extreme attraction to her son plays out to a shocking climax when . . . she takes exception to the verdict,'' a CBS press release states. Her idea of ``taking exception'' was trying to hire a hit man to kill county Prosecutor Don Brockett and Superior Court Judge George Shields. Police learned of the plot and sent an undercover agent to tape Ruth Coe's dealings. She was convicted and sentenced to a year in jail.

``We tried not to make it sensational, exploit the angle of violence,'' Siegel said.

The film faithfully follows the book, which the Coes have repeatedly denounced, and also relies on court transcripts from the trials.