This is the story of George, an African American who grew up in a Caucasian suburb of Seattle, where his unaffectionate mother and racial isolation led him to develop an effervescent personality in order to get along. He became a small-time burglar and an accomplished liar--a wisecracking "smoothy" who pretended to be an undercover detective. George made lots of friends, especially within a subculture of giggly young white women who partied endlessly in upscale Seattle clubs during 1989-90. And he murdered three of them, bizarrely mutilating and "staging" their bodies. The drinks, dancing, and deejays--the group pad where George lived with an adoring coterie of feckless college kids--Olsen gives us the quirky details that make the murderer's well-hidden rage and misogyny all the more shocking. As the New York Times
wrote, "Like fine cinema verité, [Charmer
] mesmerizes us with the sense of watching real life, unaugmented, move before our eyes."
From Publishers Weekly
Olsen (Son) has established himself so firmly near the pinnacle of true-crime writers that anything from him not a masterwork is somewhat of a disappointment. That is the case with this story of a young African American from a posh Seattle suburb. George Russell Jr., highly intelligent, supremely articulate and supposedly the son of professionals, became a serial killer who mutilated his victims. His story is told largely through transcripts of interviews with police officers, bar personnel and the far younger women he hung around with (at 28, he enjoyed the company of girls of 13 and 14). Beneath his charm, however, lay a pathological hatred of women, so it is not surprising that his career in crime, which began with petty theft and advanced to cat burglary, climaxed with the murders of three females. The book's strength is its lesson that diligent police work can indeed produce results. Russell is now serving a life term. Author tour.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.