Ann Rule

  • Born: October 22, 1931
  • Died: July 26, 2015
  • Location: Seattle, Washington


Ann Rule

True-crime writer

True-crime writer Ann Rule, who wrote a profile of her former co-worker, serial killer Ted Bundy, has died at age 83, according to the Associated Press.


SEATTLE (AP) — True-crime writer Ann Rule, who wrote more than 30 books, including a profile of her former co-worker, serial killer Ted Bundy, has died at age 83.

Rule died at Highline Medical Center at 10:30 p.m. Sunday, said Scott Thompson, a spokesman for CHI Franciscan Health. Rule's daughter, Leslie Rule, said on Facebook that her mother had many health issues, including congestive heart failure.

"My mom died peacefully last night," Leslie Rule wrote. "She got to see all of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren."

Ann Rule's first book, "The Stranger Beside Me," profiled Bundy, whom she got to know while sharing the late shift at a Seattle suicide hotline. She has said she had a contract to write about an unknown serial killer before her co-worker was charged with the crimes.

Rule, who went to work briefly at the Seattle Police Department when she was 21, began writing for magazines like "True Detective" in 1969. A biography on her author website says she has published more than 1,400 articles, mostly on criminal cases.

Rule said she was fascinated by killers' lives, going back to their childhood to find clues about why they did what they did. But her books focused on victims, and she became an advocate for victims' rights.

"By deciding to focus her books on the victim, Ann Rule reinvented the true crime genre and earned the trust of millions of readers who wanted a new and empathetic perspective on the tragic stories at the heart of her works," Carolyn Reidy, president and chief executive officer of Simon & Schuster, said in a statement.

After attending numerous workshops on crime topics from DNA to arson, local law enforcement, the FBI and the Justice Department started turning to Rule for her expertise on serial murders.

She aided the Green River Task Force as that group sought another Seattle-area serial killer, passing along tips that her readers shared. She wrote a book about the case, "Green River, Running Red."

Rule was born in 1931 in Lowell, Michigan, to a schoolteacher and a football, basketball and track coach. They moved around a lot when she was a kid, traveling from Michigan, to Pennsylvania, Oregon and California because of her father's coaching career.

She earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Washington in creative writing, with minors in psychology, criminology and penology.

She was the mother of five children and the grandmother of five.

Condolence & Memory Journal


Posted by MAY HORNE - FREDERICK, MD - Friend   January 11, 2017

Only Ann could tell you a true story you knew the ending to and keep you up all night to read the last page.. I will miss her genius. I send my deepest sympathy to her family. May you find comfort in your memories.

Posted by Lori Graham - Newton, KS - Reader   October 07, 2015

I am shocked and saddened to hear of Ann's passing. I had no knowledge that she had been ill. At a store today I found myself looking for Ann Rules' newest book, when I realized there won't be anymore. I feel as though I've lost an old friend. May she rest in peace and may the Lord watch over her loved ones.

Posted by Teresa Dugan - Miami, FL - Reader and admirer   September 28, 2015

I have a broken heart, I feel I have lost a close and dear friend. I have been reading Ann Rule's books from the start, always looking forward to the next one. She has kept alive the victims, the surviving victims and families. Rest In Peace My Dear Friend...........

Posted by Donna Stordahl - Kingman, Arizona, AZ - Fan   September 05, 2015


My brother, who died in 1997, told me I had to read Ann Rule's books. From her first book to her last I was hooked. Her style of writing was absolutely perfect. I just found out this evening, 8-24-15, while I was at the library complaining that I wanted to read more of Ann's books. She was my absolute favorite crime writer. I will miss her deeply and will always be grateful for the books she left us. My condolences to the family. Rest in peace Ann and may God bless you always.

Posted by Shirl Wilson - Forest Park, IL - Fan   August 25, 2015

I had to post again, as I am feeling like two sentences was just not enough. I do live in WA, Seattle/ Tacoma has been my home for many years and am an Oregonian. I've known of Ann most of my life as I have two older sisters, one that was just the right age and wanted to party in Seattle during green river. I loved Ann's compilation books! She was also in LE herself, and although Bundy is her claim to fame, she was SO SO much more than that, and it is so sad to know she is gone. What a strong voice for women, a strong literary presence! I hope her family does what Louis Lamours did and publishes unfinished books they find!!

Posted by Jennifer Forsberg - Shelton, WA - Fan   August 18, 2015


I will miss waiting for Ann Rules next book. My favorite book was Small Sacrifices. Rest in peace Ann. God bless her family.

Posted by Sharon Thompson - Rock Island, IL - fan   August 13, 2015

Ann had a unique and rare away of putting her readers into the victim's and their families' shoes and those of the people who worked to solve the crimes against those victims unlike so many stories about crime that focus on the suspects. She was a true advocate of law and justice at the ground level. She will always be remembered for her contribution to her readers and law enforcement.

Posted by Dick Kraske - Seattle, WA - Friend   August 06, 2015

so sad to hear of her passing , will miss waiting for a new book. she will be deeply missed by her family , friends and fans

Posted by Carol Busking - Romeoville, IL - fan   August 04, 2015

Ann Rule was an amazing writer, I've read all her books She was a very kind lady who loved to eat at Wah Kues. Thank you for all your books and may you rest in peace

Posted by Debbie Wickham - Normandy Park, WA - Friend   August 04, 2015

Ann was amazing! An inspiration for women everywhere! Thank you Ann and the Rule family for sharing such an amazing woman!

Posted by Jennifer Forsberg - Shelton, WA - Fan   August 03, 2015


I'm so sorry to hear of Ms. Rule's death; I enjoyed her books immensely...

Posted by S.A.A. - Huge fan   August 02, 2015

I've read all Ann's books-and waited anxiously waiting for each one to be published--what a wonderful writer--no one can replace her--I thought she was probably in her early 60's and was surprised to find she is only 3 years older than myself so thankfully I will not have to spend a lot of time without her--I feel we were sisters from different Mothers--my best to her family and all others that loved her--

Posted by Charlene E Gregory - Las Vegas, NV   August 02, 2015

Rip best true crime writer

Posted by p spinnazola - Boston, MA - fan   July 31, 2015

I've read a lot of Ann's books over the years. All well written & to the point. There will never be another Ann Rule.
The book she wrote about Ted Bundy was spell-binding. Goes to show you, you don't know who you live next to or who you work with. Rest in peace. God Bless.

Posted by J.R. - New Britain, CT - Fan   July 31, 2015

My prayers go out to her family. I love her work and she will be greatly missed.

Posted by Nancy H - Tacoma, WA - Admirer, fan   July 30, 2015

What an impression she left on me. One of my true Heroins.

Posted by Brenda - Dillsburg, PA - Fan of Ann's writing   July 30, 2015

I feel like I've lost a friend. I started reading Ann's books in the late 70's and have continued to this day. She was the best about getting to the personalities of the crimes. And she always gave credit to the police and legal team. Ann, you opened my eyes about many things. I am really going to miss you.

Posted by Barbara Brittain - Surfside, SC, SC - fan   July 29, 2015


So sorry to lose her, what a shock. I tried to buy everything she wrote and watched her on the true crime programs. She was the best author and a very knowledgeable human being. My thoughts and prayers to her family and loved ones; she will be missed.

Posted by Deborah Etter - Madera, CA - Fan   July 29, 2015

I didn,t realize Ann was so ill since breaking her hip so I was shocked to hear of her death.My condolences to all of her family. I have been a fan since the late 1970's and always looked forward to her next book. I will miss that....:

Posted by Irene Schorzman - East Wenatchee, WA - Fan   July 29, 2015

Sorry for her family's loss. It's a big loss for all her fans. I have enjoyed her writing for many years. I seen her in person once and she was so down to earth.

Posted by Leoma - Greensburg, KS - Fan   July 29, 2015

My thoughts go out to Ann's family. I am one of her biggest fans of her true crime books. She was a pioneer of true crime, having lived it as a police officer, then a writer and author of true crime. She will be missed. RIP, Ann.

Posted by Pauline Palmer - Houston, TX - Fan   July 28, 2015

I loved all of her work. She was and always will be amazing!!!

Posted by peggy deniston - milton, WA - fan   July 27, 2015

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Ann Rule