Gerald Friend

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Gerald Arthur Friend (born 1938) is a serial rapist and kidnapper from Lakewood, Washington, currently serving two consecutive 75-year terms at Airway Heights Corrections Center.

Friend was originally jailed for abducting a 12-year-old girl from Sumner, Washington in July 1960, when he was 22. He picked up the hitchhiking girl and her brother, but forced the boy from the car at gunpoint. He then drove the girl to Mount Rainier National Park where he beat her, raped her, and cut her hair. The victim eventually escaped by jumping into a river, where she was discovered by a passing motorist. Several days later, Friend's father found him hiding in a field near their home; Friend drew a .22 pistol and was wounded in the ensuing struggle. His father took him to the hospital and turned him in to police.[1][2] Friend was convicted of rape and torture, and was sentenced to a minimum of 75 years. However, after serving 20 years at Walla Walla, and escaping twice, he was paroled in 1980.[3][4]

In June 1987, he abducted a 14-year-old girl at knifepoint when she accepted a ride after a rock concert. He repeatedly raped and tortured her while she was tied to a pulley suspended from the ceiling of his mobile home. The girl escaped by jumping from his truck at a gas station. Friend was stopped a day later for a traffic violation and arrested when the deputies recognized him. He was convicted of first-degree kidnapping and rape that August.[2][3] He was ordered to serve the remainder of his 1960 sentence, in addition to a second 75-year sentence.[4] The following year, his second victim sued the state and the Department of Corrections for prematurely paroling Friend in 1980.[4]

Police in King County suspected Friend in the Green River Killer case, and considered him a suspect in the murder of two girls in Tacoma in 1987.[3] However, police were unable to uncover a connection to those crimes.

The 1987 kidnapping of the 14-year-old victim was the inspiration for the Nirvana song "Polly," released in 1991. Songwriter Kurt Cobain had read about the incident in a newspaper.[5][6]


  1. ^ "Youth held on charge of kidnapping". The Spokesman-Review. 20 July 1960. 
  2. ^ a b "Jury convict man in kidnap, torture-rape of 14-year-old". Spokane Chronicle. 19 August 1987. 
  3. ^ a b c "Rape suspect on Green River list". The Spokesman-Review. 18 June 1987. 
  4. ^ a b c "Girl sues state for freeing man who later raped her". Spokane Chronicle. 16 September 1988. 
  5. ^ Rocco, John (1998). The Nirvana companion: two decades of commentary: a chronicle of the end of punk. Schirmer Books. p. 243. ISBN 0-02-864930-3. 
  6. ^ Klosterman, Chuck; A.V. Club (2009). "Shoot the whole day down". Inventory: 16 Films Featuring Manic Pixie Dream Girls, 10 Great Songs Nearly Ruined by Saxophone, and 100 More Obsessively Specific Pop-Culture Lists. Simon and Schuster. p. 71. ISBN 1-4165-9473-6.