The Queen of True Crime

Ann Rule (1931-2015) is the original Queen of True Crime and was one of the most prolific true crime writers of the 20th Century. Her first book, The Stranger Beside Me (1980), which chronicled her close friendship with Ted Bundy, is considered one of the definitive accounts of the Bundy murders and ensuing trial. Rule conducted a series of jailhouse interviews with Bundy, as well as detailing police procedures and years of geographically dispersed law enforcement efforts.

Rule's following books are equally well-wrought true crimes that range from high-profile serial killers such as The I-5 Killer (1985) to grisly domestic killers, such as Diane Downs in Small Sacrifices (1987). Her subjects were often what she described as ‘antiheroes’ – ‘attractive, brilliant, charming, popular, wealthy, talented, and much admired in their communities – but really hiding behind masks.’

A self-declared “psychological detective”, Rule’s ability to personify the monstrous killers in her books was only matched by the empathy and sensitivity with which she portrayed the plights of their victims, and amplified their stories to the reading public. Her enviable abilities in muscular characterization and building atmosphere surpass the boundaries of non-fiction and lend her writing an engrossing, filmic quality. In the New York Times’ obituary of Rule, William Grimes wrote ‘in a crowded field, she consistently led the pack, taking up most of the real estate in the true crime shelves of bookstores’. 

Recent News