“Three percent of all males are deemed to be antisocial and without conscience, while only one percent of females seem to lack compassion for others. But the icy manipulations of that one percent are utterly fascinating. No one can be crueler than a woman without a conscience.” – Ann Rule, Empty Promises and Other True Cases.
Ann Rule, a seminal author who redefined the true crime genre, passed away at Highline Medical Center in Washington on Sunday at the age of 83. She is survived by her five children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Ann Rule first rose to fame in the true crime genre following an astronomical coincidence. It was the mid-1970s and Ann had been writing various true crime articles for just over five years. She also worked the night shift at Seattle’s Crisis Clinic. There, she spent many of her working hours beside a quiet, reserved man named Ted Bundy.
Bundy later confessed formerly to eight murders in Washington which prompted Ann to pen The Stranger beside Me, an exposé on the man many deemed to be the devil incarnate.
Rule’s recounting of her time with Ted Bundy launched her into stardom and realigned the typically male-dominated world of True Crime. Ann Rule went on to write more than 30 books and 1,400 articles over the course of her five decade-long career.
One of the final publications from Ann Rule follows 32 year-old Ronda Reynolds, a woman whose entire life was falling apart. Nothing seemed to be going well for Ronda whose short, second marriage was already dissolving just as her career as a Washington State Trooper was coming to a premature close. In spite of this, Ronda confided in her mother one night that she was ready to face whatever chapter was to come next in her life. The next morning, Ronda’s husband phoned the police to inform them that she had committed suicide. Over the following years, the case was examined and reexamined with stunning ineptitude being revealed at every turn. Ann Rule’s book follows this case with her trademark empathy as it spans eleven years, winding in and out of courts with seemingly no resolution in sight.