Perhaps the most famous true crime writer in the country, Ann Rule, 83, has died. Rule was a longtime resident of the Seattle area having been born in Michigan.
She wrote many well-known and highly regarded true crime books, but her first book, The Stranger Beside Me, perhaps the best book on serial killer Ted Bundy, remains her most famous work. The title of the book tells all, for Rule worked alongside Bundy at a suicide hotline, thought she knew him, but she didn't have a clue he was out kidnapping women, killing them, and then raping and mutilating their bodies. He held a tremendous rage against women, plus he suffered from necrophilia. A lot of other people were in the same boat as Rule and probably felt guilt because they just didn't have an indication at all he had that murderous streak. His case is arguably the most depressing of all serial killer cases, for he had succeeded in fooling so many people he was "normal." Of course, he was able to lure young women, who thought he was simply "not that type of man" to do what he actually did.
I have read that book and a number of her other books. They are easy reading despite the grim content, which I think was key to her success.
According to her website, eight of Rule's books have been made into TV movies. She won a Peabody Award for the miniseries "Small Sacrifices," which chronicled the case of Diane Downs, an Oregon mother convicted of shooting her three children, killing one.
Rule herself was the subject of a true crime story, as two of her sons were charged with theft earlier this year. They were accused to stealing thousands of dollars from their aging mother.
Pretty damned shitty if you ask me. Still pretty damned shitty if you don't ask me.