Ann Rule Dies

Published: July 28, 2015

Ann Rule Dies, 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 84.

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

Rule passed peacefully and was able to see all of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren before she died.

Rule’s first book, “The Stranger Beside Me,” profiled Bundy, whom Ann Rule got to know while sharing the late shift at a Seattle suicide hotline.

“Rest in peace to our beloved true crime author and former Seattle police officer, Ann Rule,” Rule’s publisher, Simon & Schuster, Tweeted.

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 has written more than 30 best-selling true crime novels, chronicling some of the most heinous murders.

“A lot of writers in her genre focused on the predators,” said Rule’s daughter Leslie. “That’s what made her special. She had a great empathy for the victims.”

Washington Congressman Dave Reichert, who served as King County Sheriff, said, “Ann Rule was a good friend, and I’m sorry to hear of her passing. I know her legacy and story will live on through her prolific writing. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.”

Longtime friend Pat Kelly said Rule was a simple woman who loved the simple life.

“She loved going to Value Village,” he said. “She’d go there for hours at a time, all day thrift-shopping.”

According to her website, Rule was born in Lowell, Mich. While at Highline Community College she studied crime scene investigation, police administration, crime scene photography and arrest, and search and seizure. She earned her BA degree in creative writing from the University of Washington.

She worked as an officer for the Seattle Police Department and in 1969 began writing for True Detective magazine.

The Seattle Police Department issued a statement Monday, saying “We are deeply saddened to learn the news of Ann Rule’s passing. 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. As a True Crime author, Ann maintained professional friendships with her former SPD colleagues and remained an outspoken advocate for victims of violent crimes and their families. She will truly be missed.”

According to her website, eight of Rule’s books have been made into TV movies. She won a Peabody Award for the miniseries “Small Sacrifices,” which chronicled the case of Diane Downs, an Oregon mother convicted of shooting her three children, killing one.

In April, prosecutors filed theft charges against two of Rule’s sons, alleging they took thousands of dollars from her.

A public memorial service is being planned. Rule’s daughter says it is likely a couple of weeks away. Because of her mother’s love for animals, Leslie Rule asked that donations be made to animal charities of the donor’s choice. She specifically mentioned Sunny Sky’s Animal Rescuein Puyallup, saying it has fallen on hard financial times.

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