RIP Anne Rule! The author of over 30 popular non-fiction true crime books passed away on Monday, July 27 in her hospital bed. She was battling with several health issues, including congestive heart failure.
“My mom died peacefully last night,” “She got to see all of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.”, said Leslie Rule on Monday.
Ann Rule is probably best known for her first book The Stranger Beside Me, written about her co-worker Ted Bundy, the infamous serial killer, whom she got to know while working at the Seattle suicide hotline.
Other well known books include Small Sacrifices,” which is about Diane Downs, a Southern Oregon woman who wsa convicted of shooting her three children, killing one and seriously wounding two; then came “The Lust Killer,” about shoe fetishist and necrophiliac Jerome Brudos, of Salem, Ore.; and last but not least “The I-5 Killer,” discussing the case of Randall Woodfield, a Newport, Ore., high-school football star and previous Green Bay Packers draftee who found his victims on the I-5 corridor.
Ann Rule was always fascinating by serial killers, by true crime, passion which she shared freely in over 1400 magazine articles. Her side was, however, with the victims of the crimes, lobbying for their rights in her books.
Over time many law enforcing agencies including the FBI and various local police offices began to seek out Anne Rule for her expertise and insights into the minds of serial killers. She helped the Green River Task Force in finding Gary L. Ridgway, one of the most notorious serial killers in the US.
Born in Lowell, Michigan in 1931, Ann Rule (born as Ann Stackhouse) moved around a lot as a child when her family traveled to Michigan, to Pennsylvania, Oregon and California due to her father’s football, basketball and track coaching career.
At the age of 21 she joined the Seattle Police Department. The SPD said: “We are deeply saddened to learn the news of Ann Rule’s passing,” the SPD said in news release. “Ann was a pioneer in American policing, joining the Seattle Police Department’s Women’s Bureau prior to pursuing her passion for writing in 1969 … She will truly be missed.”
Towards the end of her life Ann Rule got again in the spotlight due to personal issues regarding her family, where her two sons were charged with bilking her out of $100,000.
It is interesting to note that her passion for law enforcement and police work might have also come from her being surrounded by it in her family. Her grandfather and uncle were both sheriffs, another uncle was a medical examiner, and one of her cousins was a prosecutor.
She literally grew up among people fighting crime one way or another, so her direction might have had something to do with it as well. Whatever the reason, she was a darn good true crime author, one who will be forever missed. She definitely changed the way true crime books are written about serial killers.