Crime Writer Ann Rule Dies, Who Was Bizarrely Friends With Ted Bundy Before Anyone Knew He Was A Serial Killer

By Gina Tron

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On July 26, 2015 crime writer Ann Rule died. She was likely most famous for authoring “The Stranger Beside Me,” a true crime novel about serial killer Ted Bundy. Ann had signed a book contract to write about a series of unsolved murders in the Seattle area. Little did she know that she already knew the killer. Yeah, you read that correctly. She knew the killer. Ted Bundy volunteered alongside her at a suicide crisis call center. The two were friends. It made for a riveting novel and is considered the most well-rounded and definitive biographies of the infamous serial killer. 

Before writing true crime novels, Ann worked as a police officer for the Seattle Police Department. She also wrote for True Detective magazine under the pen name "Andy Stack.” She went on to write over two dozen New York Times bestsellers, including “The I-5 Killer” about Randall Woodfield and “Small Sacrifices” about Diane Downs. Many of her books were turned into movies. 

Ann had said about her writing, “I want to warn potential victims. Many of them are women, and many of them are battered women. It's a cause for me. When I look back, though, so many of the books I've written are about wives who just couldn't get away.”

She died at the age of 83 from congestive heart failure.

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