Few true crime authors get to meet the subject of their work, let alone get to be friends with them. Ann Rule was one such author.
Beginning her career as a law enforcement officer for the Seattle Police Department, Ann Rule broke out as a crime writer with True Crime in 1969 written under the name Andy Stack. A couple years later she began volunteering at a suicide crisis hotline. It was there that she met Ted Bundy. In her book, The Stranger Beside Me, Rule recounts how she liked Bundy. He was handsome and friendly. They worked together convincing people not to kill themselves. He seemed like the perfect guy.
But even then Ted Bundy was committing atrocious acts. He kidnapped and raped young women. He bludgeoned them savagely to death. Sometimes the body was never recovered.
As the death toll grew, Ann Rule began following the murders, collecting information for a new book. It wasn’t until one of the witnesses mentioned that the suspect referred to himself as Ted did Ann Rule begin to see the cracks in Ted’s perfect persona.
Growing suspicious, Rule put a tip in with a friend from law enforcement to check out Ted Bundy. Unfortunately, due to the high number of tips coming in, Ann’s suggestion got lost in the pile.
The murders continued until Bundy was finally in custody and was charged for kidnapping and assault. While out on bond, Rule had lunch with Bundy and confessed, “I cannot be completely convinced of your innocence.”
“That’s okay,” He replied.
Shortly after, he escaped custody. He was free for a short time before being recaptured. As a murder case was being built against him, Rule was in a race to save his live. She tried to arrange a deal in which he could go to a mental facility in return for confessing to her.
Fortunately or unfortunately, it didn’t work. Bundy was convicted of aggravated kidnapping, attempted murder, burglary, and the murder of more than 30 victims. He was sentenced to death via electric chair.
Rule recalled feeling sick the day of his death.
In the aftermath, Rule finished her book The Stranger Beside Me. Due to her inside relationship and her reputation for truthfulness, it became the definitive biography on Ted Bundy.
Ann Rule went on to have a successful career as a true crime author. In one case, her work led to solving the 1998 murder case of Ronda Reynolds. Ann Rule died on July 27, 2015 as a result of congestive heart failure.
What do you think about Ann’s friendship with one of the world’s most notorious serial killers?
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Featured image via Escapist
h/t Washington Post