In Memoriam: Ann Rule

Ann Rule, true-crime writing pioneer, died over the weekend at age 83. From the obituary in the Seattle Times:

Ms. Rule broke out with her first book, “The Stranger Beside Me,” published in 1980. In it she profiled [serial killer Ted] Bundy, whom she got to know while sharing the late shift at a Seattle suicide hotline. Bundy, who was executed in 1989 in Florida, confessed to 30 homicides in several states….

J.B. Dickey, owner of the Seattle Mystery Book Shop in downtown Seattle, said Ms. Rule did more than 15 book signings in the store throughout her career….

“She had a knack for getting under the skin of the killers and the victims to really make them well-rounded characters and people. They weren’t just flat figures on a page.”

Read the whole article for more on her background and bibliography.

While writing principally about stories with connections to the Pacific Northwest, Ann Rule sold over 20 million books and redefined the narrative approach to true-crime forever. Not bad for a woman who used to have to publish under a man's name for “believability.” May we offer our appreciation and sincere thanks for all the words.


  1. Melissa Keith

    I was saddened by this news. I enjoyed Ann’s books immensely. She worked very hard with law enforcement to hunt down killers. And Bundy as a coworker/friend? What a life she had, eh? She will be missed. RIP, Ann.

Comments are closed.

The owner of this website has made a commitment to accessibility and inclusion, please report any problems that you encounter using the contact form on this website. This site uses the WP ADA Compliance Check plugin to enhance accessibility.