Utterly unique in its astonishing intimacy, as jarringly frightening as when it first appeared, Ann Rule’s The Stranger Beside Me defies our expectation that we would surely know if a monster lived among us, worked alongside of us, appeared as one of us. With a slow chill that intensifies with each heart-pounding page, Rule describes her dawning awareness that Ted Bundy, her sensitive coworker on a crisis hotline, was one of the most prolific serial killers in America. He would confess to killing at least thirty-six young women from coast to coast, and was eventually executed for three of those cases. Drawing from their correspondence that endured until shortly before Bundy’s death, and striking a seamless balance between her deeply personal perspective and her role as a crime reporter on the hunt for a savage serial killer — the brilliant and charismatic Bundy, the man she thought she knew — Rule changed the course of true-crime literature with this unforgettable chronicle.
Review by Twinsie Angie
I purchased audio,
I am a huge podcast listener. I love true crime. I am also an avid audio book listener. Well one day I had credits to burn, and no books were really hitting my interest. Then I scrolled and BOOM this book!! I have always wanted to read its sooooo here we go.
Now from what I understand the audio is not the full book Ann wrote but it hits all the highlights of the Ted Bundy timelines. I admit hearing the author herself TELL the story made me want to listen all the more.
I really can’t say this story added any more detail to the horror that is Bundy but hearing her tell how this monster was someone she considered a friend was interesting. Hearing her day how she was conflicted that this “Ted” can’t be HER Ted also made me feel for her as a person. She too was swindled by the con man that is Ted Bundy.
Ann Rule was a popular American true crime writer. Raised in a law enforcement and criminal justice system environment, she grew up wanting to work in law enforcement herself. She was a former Seattle Policewoman and was well educated in psychology and criminology.
She came to prominence with her first book, The Stranger Beside Me, about the Ted Bundy murders. At the time she started researching the book, the murders were still unsolved. In the course of time, it became clear that the killer was Bundy, her friend and her colleague as a trained volunteer on the suicide hotline at the Seattle, Washington Crisis Clinic, giving her a unique distinction among true crime writers.
Rule won two Anthony Awards from Bouchercon, the mystery fans’ organization. She was nominated three times for the Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America. She is highly regarded for creating the true crime genre as it exists today.