Ann Rule is regarded by many as the foremost true crime writer in America, and the author responsible for the genre as it exists today. She came to her career with a solid background in law enforcement and the criminal justice system. As a child, Ann spent her summer vacations with her grandparents in Stanton, Michigan, helping her grandmother prepare meals for the prisoners in the jail. She wondered why such friendly, normal appearing, men were locked behind bars, and why the sweet woman in the cell upstairs (who taught Ann to crochet) was about to go on trial for murder. That was the beginning of her lifelong curiosity about the "Whys" behind criminal behavior. Following in the footsteps of her grandfather, a sheriff in Michigan, Ann joined the Seattle Police Department when she was 21, worked a year and a half, but couldn’t pass the eye test. After five years of rejection slips, she finally sold her first article for $35! Soon, she found her niche when she began writing for fact-detective magazines like TRUE DETECTIVE. Ann was a full-time true crime writer from 1969 - 2015. Over the past 30 years, she has published 33 books and 1400 articles, mostly on criminal cases. Ann has a BA from the University of Washington in Creative Writing, with minors in Psychology, Criminology and Penology. She has completed courses in Crime Scene Investigation, Police Administration, Crime Scene Photography and Arrest, Search, and Seizure, earning her an Associates Degree from Highline Community College. Ann not only attended several police seminars on organized crime, arson, bomb search, and DNA, but taught her own seminars to law enforcement groups, and was a certified instructor in many states on subjects such as: Serial Murder, Sadistic Sociopaths, Women Who Kill, and High Profile Offenders. She was a member of the U.S. Justice Department Task Force that set up the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (VI-CAP), and testified twice before Senate Judiciary Sub-committees on victims' rights and on the danger of serial killers. Ann's books deal with three areas: the victims' stories; the detectives and prosecutors and how they solve their cases with old fashioned police work and modern forensic science; and the killers’ lives. Ann spent months researching for her books, investigating the killers' early childhood, and even back into their family histories to find some of the genesis of their behavior. Eight of Ann's books have been made into TV movies, and five more are in the works. She won the coveted Peabody Award for the miniseries based on her book,Small Sacrifices, and has two Anthony Awards from Bouchercon, the mystery fans' organization. She has been nominated three times for Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America. She was also awarded the Washington State Governor's Award. Ann is active in support groups for victims of violent crimes and their families, in programs to help battered and abused women, and support groups for children caught in traumatic living situations. Ann Rule passed away in July of 2015. From Ann Rule: “My first book, THE STRANGER BESIDE ME, was about Ted Bundy, but, amazingly, I had the book contract to write about an unknown killer six months before Bundy was identified as the "Ted Killer." And I had known him all along, and didn't realize it; he was my partner in the all-night shift at Seattle's Crisis Clinic!” “To choose a book subject, I weed through about 3,000 suggestions from readers. I'm looking for an "anti-hero" whose eventual arrest shocks those who knew him (or her): attractive, brilliant, charming, popular, wealthy, talented, and much admired in their communities--but really hiding behind masks.”
Featured Article: True Crime—The State of Serial Killers, Washington
If you’ve ever watched Twin Peaks, you’ve seen how the state is almost a character itself. All those tall trees and fog add an extra layer of eeriness as the police search for a killer. Washington has seen more than its fair share of killers in real life. The state has the dubious honor of having the eighth-highest number of serial killers on record (California holds the top spot), and was home to arguably the most famous of all American serial killers: Ted Bundy.