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The Stranger Beside Me: The Shocking True Story of Serial Killer Ted Bundy | [Ann Rule]

The Stranger Beside Me: The Shocking True Story of Serial Killer Ted Bundy

Ann Rule was working on the biggest story of her career, tracking the trail of victims left by a brutal serial killer. Little did this future best-selling author know that the savage slayer she was hunting was the young man she counted among her closest friends. Everyone's picture of a natural winner, Ted Bundy was a bright, charming, and handsome man with a promising future as an attorney. But on January 24, 1989 Bundy was executed for the murders of three young women - and had confessed to taking the lives of at least thirty-five more women from coast to coast.
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Publisher's Summary

Ann Rule was working on the biggest story of her career, tracking the trail of victims left by a brutal serial killer. Little did this future best-selling author know that the savage slayer she was hunting was the young man she counted among her closest friends.

Everyone's picture of a natural winner, Ted Bundy was a bright, charming, and handsome man with a promising future as an attorney. But on January 24, 1989 Bundy was executed for the murders of three young women - and had confessed to taking the lives of at least thirty-five more women from coast to coast. Ann Rule, who kept in constant contact with Bundy throughout the investigation, tells his story as no other person can, capturing the essence of his magnetic power, unholy compulsion, and demonic double life.

Available for the first time on audio, this shocking true story is an unforgettable listening experience. In an emotional reading, Rule tells us about Ted Bundy - the man she thought she really knew...the stranger beside her.

©2008 Ann Rule (P)2012 Simon & Schuster

What the Critics Say

"As dramatic and chilling as a bedroom window shattering at midnight." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (453 )
5 star
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4.3 (410 )
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4.2 (406 )
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Performance
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  •  
    aaron los angeles, CA, United States 03-27-12
    aaron los angeles, CA, United States 03-27-12 Member Since 2013

    Let's face it, these authors aren't paying me, so there's no need to lie!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "More Like a Police Report than a Vibrant Story!"

    This book is unique in the sense that the author was actually close friends with Bundy, and you can feel the need she has to defend him permeating the pages. She presents the details of his killings in a cold, detached way that comes across as somewhat boring. She manages to convey the sense of how each murder/victim was different, but she does it in a way that feels like you're reading some kid's book report. It's just not that colorful.

    I like some of Rule's other books, but this one doesn't do Bundy justice. For a criminal as charismatic and manipulative as he was, his story deserved to be told with more excitement and horror. In fairness to Rule, this was her first successful book, so I'm sure she's been improving as a writer with each subsequent book.

    The 3 hour epilogue is helpful, in that it brings us up to the point that Bundy is finally executed... I doubt that's a spoiler for anyone. If it is, sorry.

    The narrator was great. I've read reviews of the abridged version that says that narrator was horrible. This one is spot on.

    Overall, if you're interested in Bundy, this is the book for you, NOT the abridged version. You'll certainly have a clear understanding of just how monstrous this man actually was.

    16 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pat 05-23-13
    Pat 05-23-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Definite favorite for Ted Bundy readers!"

    I can't believe it took me so long to read this book. What a great perspective from someone who actually knew the monster. Very interesting and offers a different view from other books out there.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Parusski Jackson TN 05-10-12
    Parusski Jackson TN 05-10-12 Listener Since 2000

    Member since 2000

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good but with reservations"

    Unfortunately, Ann Rule stumbles with The Stranger Beside Me, by claiming to be an intimate friend of Ted Bundy. She transforms the short, erratic time she worked with the man into a close relationship. Yet, despite herculean efforts, nothing more than a casual acquaintanceship is described. Also, Rule frequently repeats that she was highly regarded by law enforcement agencies, thus attempting to validate her own self-importance. Furthermore, Rule is enamored with Bundy, often mentioning how sophisticated and gentlemanly he was. Eventually listeners will tire of the lavish praise heaped on one of histories most prolific killers.

    However, interspersed with the leaps of fantasy are outstanding snippets of the gruesome horrors perpetrated by Ted Bundy. Of course, Rule does a superb job of describing his descent into murderous madness. To begin with, we see an intelligent, polite young man. But, gradually a portrait emerges of a monster. In addition, the notorious killer was suspected of abducting and killing eight year old Ann Marie Burr, in 1961. She is thought to have been Bundy's first victim, with the murder being perpetrated when he was only 14. Lorelei King delivers an effortless performance as she recounts Bundy's childhood, the murders he committed, his capture, imprisonment and trial. All things considered, it would be remiss to imply that this is less than an engaging account of the infamous serial killer.

    18 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    La Becket New York, NY 12-05-12
    La Becket New York, NY 12-05-12 Member Since 2013

    LaB

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Embarrassingly terrible narration"
    What would have made The Stranger Beside Me better?

    One would think it would be difficult to make this sensationalist account of Ted Bundy -- one of America's most enduringly interesting serial killers -- boring. And yet somehow, Lorelei King manages.

    She attempts to pitch her voice unnaturally low for all male characters -- the vice she shares with many female narrators -- but also bizarrely forces her voice higher whenever women are speaking. Beyond distracting.


    16 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Johnson 06-24-14
    S. Johnson 06-24-14

    S. Johnson

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    "Interesting and Real"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    YES YES YES. If the topic interests you this is a first hand experience written by someone who know Ted Bundy. Well written and should I add written with the neutrality of a professional. great book


    What other book might you compare The Stranger Beside Me to and why?

    none


    What does Lorelei King bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She was easy to listen to and presented the story perfectly with the right innuendos


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    definitely


    Any additional comments?

    get it you won't regret

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 07-26-13
    David 07-26-13 Member Since 2015

    Holocaust Scholar

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Factual Account"

    Rule produced the best of the Ted Bundy books. She was the one of those who, initially, thought that there had been a ghastly mistake. It was fascinating to watch as she came to the realization that the trusted companion, from a crisis center, was a monster. Rule held her emotions in check, when It must have made her skin crawl to remember her experiences. This book was the making of her career. It is the First but not the Last word on the Bundy Case. It does whet the appetite to read more.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Malia LONG BRANCH, NJ, United States 08-24-12
    Malia LONG BRANCH, NJ, United States 08-24-12 Member Since 2011

    Avid reader turned listener.

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    "Another Good One from Ann Rule"

    This is my 3rd Ann Rule book, 1st being Dead By Sunset, and 2nd: Green River, Running Red. I say this one was "good". It's clear, like other reviewers have said, that this was her first book, but the relationship between her and Ted make for a more interesting story than had she not known the main character of what was to be her first book. I didn't find her vacillating feelings for Ted annoying, like some other reviewers did, nor did I think she exaggerated the extent of her relationship with Ted. I think it was all pretty appropriate.
    There is definitely something lacking with this story, which I can't put my finger on, but I'd recommend it to an Ann Rule fan or someone looking to learn more about Ted Bundy and his crimes.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peggy Washington, DC, United States 12-02-13
    Peggy Washington, DC, United States 12-02-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Creepy"

    The author tricked me into believing that Ted Bundy was a handsome, clever, ordinary guy--just as he tricked her. If we believe Ann Rule, it was long after capture and late in the judicial process that she saw the truth about the guy she had once worked with. And that's what makes the whole thing really creepy.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Big jim Picotto Great White North 04-16-15
    Big jim Picotto Great White North 04-16-15 Member Since 2015

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brutal story, great storytelling"

    I had no idea that Ann Rule knew Ted Bundy. I found that she came awfully close to injecting herself a little too much into the story. But she backed away enough to tell a very entertaining but frightening tale of this monster. It is a shame she didn't get a chance to interview him prior to his execution, but a good tale nonetheless. Worth the credit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tara Cheney, WA, United States 10-21-13
    tara Cheney, WA, United States 10-21-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Terrifying and Shocking"

    Ann has a way with bringing a story to light. She can lift the victims in a way that makes you feel like they were your neighbors, your friends, your family. But she has a way of making the killers seem that way as well.
    A perfect murderer, intelligent and cunning, Bundy swept the nation with his killing spree from Washington to Florida. To this day there isn't an accurate body count, and now that he's gone, there may never be.
    As her first official novel, Stranger Beside Me casts an eerie shadow on our beloved author as she narrates her friendship with one of the worst killers of the 20th century.
    I couldn't imagine having to admit that one of my best friends was a mass murderer and a psychopath.
    This book isn't just about Bundy and his slayings, though they do go into incredible detail, it's also about one woman's struggle to see the devil in the angel she thought she knew.
    Her journey was long, exhausting, and disappointing, but she weaves her tale so wonderfully that it seems as if you were right there with her throughout the ordeal.

    This book is a MUST READ for ALL Ann Rule fans. Again, as I've said before, it's a must read for all of those who reside in the Pacific North West.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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