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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

4.3 (503 )
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  •  
    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
  •  
    Theresa 07-06-13
    Theresa 07-06-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Troubling account of a psychopath"
    Any additional comments?

    I bought this book because it was mentioned several times in the book "Without a Conscience" by Robert D. Hare. While I found the story of Ted Bundy interesting, the effect he had on Ann Rule was as chilling as his murders.
    Hour after hour I listened to the book waiting for the realization that Ann would finally come to about what a monster Ted Bundy was, but it never came.
    Ann Rule, calmly and with almost the same callousness that Ted Bundy displayed in his life, reports on his murders and yet, she Ann, still talks about him as if her were a favored lover.
    I can certainly understand protecting and supporting your friend until it is proven he is a monster, but at some point common decency should make you cringe in horror with the rest of the population at these atrocities.
    This book makes the point of Dr Hare's book even more evident. When you deal with a psychopathic personality you can be taken in to the point of no return. The Stranger Beside Me" is the embodiment of that.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phillip Arlington, TX 01-28-13
    Phillip Arlington, TX 01-28-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Just OK."

    I had always heard that this book was a classic of true crime. I am by no means an aficionado of the genre but I thought this was a rather boring book. It read a bit like a text book and had no real narrative flow.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brenda 10-23-12
    Brenda 10-23-12

    I am a retired Court Reporter and I LOVE books. All kinds of books but my favorites are mysteries and period books. I like civil war books and some biographies.

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    "What a unique experience the author had!"

    I've read a lot of true crime books and this one was one of the very best. To be friends with one of the worst serial killers and not know it for a long time would be, for a writer, both interesting and terrifying. I thought the author did a great job in writing this book.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie Borger, TX, United States 06-20-12
    Stephanie Borger, TX, United States 06-20-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Terrible Narrator Performance"
    Would you try another book from Ann Rule and/or Lorelei King?

    From Ann Rule, but never Lorelei King.


    What didn???t you like about Lorelei King???s performance?

    Her attempt to "sound like" various characters was very, very annoying and detracted from the story.


    Was The Stranger Beside Me worth the listening time?

    Yes, though there were times I didn't think I could stand the narration another moment.


    11 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    matthew plymouth, in, United States 06-17-12
    matthew plymouth, in, United States 06-17-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Great narration; plodding storytelling"
    If you could sum up The Stranger Beside Me in three words, what would they be?

    long and dry


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator was great - I really appreciated her vocalization of the characters and her telling of the plot - it was just about the only thing that made it listenable. The story was long and drawn out, full of conjecture, and SLOW.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Colleen beaverton, OR, United States 06-11-12
    Colleen beaverton, OR, United States 06-11-12
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    "Interesting Story"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I believe it was Ann Rule's first book, so it is a little clumsy, but still an interesting story. I would like to see this rewritten now that she's honed her skills. There is so much more she could do to bring you into the moment. Some parts are a little too clinical and removed. She's added "chapters" over the years at the end, as time has gone by... again, a rewrite where she could incorporate that into the book would be better.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Learning about the "humane" side of Ted Bundy. So often we forget that people aren't black and white and he did some good things.


    What three words best describe Lorelei King’s voice?

    Unremarkable...which is good.


    Did The Stranger Beside Me inspire you to do anything?

    I wanted to see more and learn more about the victims so I did some research while listening.


    Any additional comments?

    You will not walk away understanding why he did what he did...which probably why it makes it such an interesting story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benoibe New Orleans, LA, United States 10-22-13
    Benoibe New Orleans, LA, United States 10-22-13 Member Since 2010

    Audio-addict!!

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    "Wow!! A really amazing book!"

    I was pleasantly surprised by this book. That's putting it mildly. I was entranced by it! I like true crime books, but I stay away from subjects that are too gruesome and scary, like the murders of Ted Bundy.
    I worried this book would give me nightmares. However, Ann Rule does not fill her book with gory details. Instead Ann tells the shocking and fascinating story of life in the years of his murders and trials, and of her relationship and correspondence with him. The book is updated to reflect all the changes in his legal situation.

    There is a lot of heart in this book. Ann Rule writes it with such compassion and true emotion. It's incredibly well written!! I can't say that enough. Instead of coming away with nightmares, I was able to view the horror and tragedy of Ted Bundy from an unusual and fascinating perspective. Rule stays away from the sensationalism that you might expect from a "serial killer" expose. She has written an unbelievably compelling story. It was really interesting to read (hear) her shifting of thoughts and emotions regarding Bundy and his crimes, as she battled with the realization that he may have used her just like he used the other women in his life. Oh it is just a really good book.

    I highly recommend this. It is a book that will stay in my thoughts for a long time to come. And I will continue to read Ann Rule. This isn't my first if her books, but I think this is her best that I've read so far!!

    Great Narration.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Smail Summerville, SC United States 07-27-14
    S. Smail Summerville, SC United States 07-27-14 Member Since 2013

    A 33 year old with a painfully short attention span. Audible brought me back to reading."

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    "Fantastic Narrator!"

    I read multiple reviews that said how awful the narrator was for this book, and I nearly turned away but had been convinced by the high overall rating the book had. I'm glad I ended up doing that. I'm not sure why those people thought the narrator did a bad job. Okay, her male voices sound a little silly sometimes, but the variation in her female voices is great. Her overall narration is very good too.

    I'm not big on writing reviews because let's be honest, I'm not very good at putting my thoughts into words. But at the very least I wanted to make sure to do my part to assure people that this lady knows what she's doing. I'll let people smarter than I am review the book itself. (Which is good by the way. One of Ann Rule's best.)

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julia Kane 10-20-14
    Julia Kane 10-20-14 Member Since 2014

    British ex-pat living in NC. Have more personalities than Sybil which is reflected in my choice of books! Frustrated writer at heart.

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    "May I introduce you to Ted Bundy?"
    What did you love best about The Stranger Beside Me?

    I felt that I met Ted Bundy. That I could have liked the person that he showed the world. As for his evil side I would only meet him armed with an AK47 and forty US Marines!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Ann Rule, having known Ted, had a fondness for the 'good Ted'. Ted was younger than Ann and perhaps he let her see the vulnerable side that made her want to 'Mother' him. He in turn was tall, well built and protective towards Ann. I think that made him show her his 'Big Brother' side.
    It must have seemed so eerie when Ann was reporting on a serial killer only to find that it was her friend of several years. A man who knew where she lived and knew that she was a single Mother with teenage daughters who wore their hair long dark hair with a center part. A very fashion forward look of the '70s plus a favored look of Ted Bundy's.


    Which character – as performed by Lorelei King – was your favorite?

    Had to be Ted Bundy because of his two personalities.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    The updated version over the original and Ann's feelings about the outcome. I was just surprised that Ann Rule did not visit Ted towards the end of his life.


    Any additional comments?

    Even if you have read the original volume this updated version is GOLDEN. Treat yourself to a good read as this is the quintessential true crime serial killer classic.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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