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The stranger beside me de Ann Rule
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The stranger beside me (1980 original; edició 2000)

de Ann Rule

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
2,458595,131 (3.94)95
Overview: Utterly unique in its astonishing intimacy, as jarringly frightening as when it first appeared, Ann Rule's The Stranger Beside Me defies our expectation that we would surely know if a monster lived among us, worked alongside of us, appeared as one of us. With a slow chill that intensifies with each heart-pounding page, Rule describes her dawning awareness that Ted Bundy, her sensitive coworker on a crisis hotline, was one of the most prolific serial killers in America. He would confess to killing at least thirty-six young women from coast to coast, and was eventually executed for three of those cases. Drawing from their correspondence that endured until shortly before Bundy's death, and striking a seamless balance between her deeply personal perspective and her role as a crime reporter on the hunt for a savage serial killer - the brilliant and charismatic Bundy, the man she thought she knew - Rule changed the course of true-crime literature with this unforgettable chronicle.… (més)
Membre:MaryJeanPhillips
Títol:The stranger beside me
Autors:Ann Rule
Informació:New York : New American Library, 2001, c2000.
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:****
Etiquetes:eaudiobooks

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The Stranger Beside Me de Ann Rule (1980)

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I had some many pet peeves while reading this book, so it took me a long time to read all of it.
One issue I had with this book, was the way the text on the pages looked.
On some of the pages the text looked like it was written on a old fashioned type writer and the text was very blotchy and difficult to read, whereas the other pages it was fine and the text was normal.
The next issue I had with the book, was the way the sentences were very long and written in a disjointed way in which it made the book sometimes a bit difficult to understand or read.
There was a lot of boring legal technical jargon that I didn't always understand and it was boring to read about.
The information about the police investigation was fine but the courtroom proceedings was really boring and a drag to read about.

Other things about this book that were incredibly annoying was the fact that whenever the author could use the term female to describe woman that was either a "Ted Bundy groupie" and in love with him or a woman that Ted loved in the past, the would used the term woman instead.
For example a "woman" eye witness in court gave a testimony about seeing Ted Bundy at the Chi Omega fraternity house on the evening of the attack of the female students that were sleeping.
Why would you say woman when it would make more sense to just say female? This really annoyed me while I was reading this book and kept thinking about why the authors didn't say female instead of woman all the time. This might be a minor issue to some people that want to read this book, but if there is something that occurs in a book that i'm reading that annoys me then I will be bothered by it the whole time, that i'm reading the book.
None of the people that were investigating Ted even themselves believed he was capable of murder, until he was arrested and the evidence that was collected was used to prove Ted whereabouts on certain dates/times.
People were always underestimating Ted Bundy and what he was genuinely capable of, which would be extreme acts f violence, sexual sadism, torture, rape, murder, mutilation/decapitation of his victims.
So far for some reason this is not mentioned in a any book about Ted Bundy, it has only been briefly mentioned in one film about Ted Bundy Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
(which is something a court Judge said to Ted Bundy)
He decapitated some of his victims, some of their remains were never found, so I don't understand why this isn't mentioned, when it's something that Ted Bundy actually did.
He returned to their corpses to have sex with his victims until putrefaction occured (the organs have liquefied)
It wasn't until a jury found Theodore Robert Bundy guilty that people took it seriously that he was in fact capable of kidnapping I had some many pet peeves while reading this book, so it took me a long time to read all of it.
One issue I had with this book, was the way the text on the pages looked.
On some of the pages the text looked like it was written on a old fashioned type writer and the text was very blotchy and difficult to read, whereas the other pages were fine and the text was normal.
The next issue I had with the book, was the way the sentences were very long and written in a disjointed way in which it made the book sometimes a bit difficult to understand or read. There was a lot of boring legal technical jargon that I didn't always understand and it was boring to read about. The information about the police investigation was fine but the courtroom proceedings was really boring and a drag to read about.

Other things about this book that were incredibly annoying was the fact that whenever the author could use the term female to describe one woman that was either a "Ted Bundy groupie" and in love with him or a woman that Ted loved in the past, the would used the term woman instead. For example a "woman" eye witness in court gave a testimony about seeing Ted Bundy at the Chi Omega fraternity house on the evening of the attack of the female students that were sleeping. Why would you say woman when it would make more sense to just say female?
This really annoyed me while I was reading this book and kept thinking about why the authors didn't say female instead of woman all the time. This might be a minor issue to some people that want to read this book, but if there is something that occurs in a book that i'm reading that annoys me then I will be bothered by it the whole time, that i'm reading the book.
None of the people that were investigating Ted even themselves believed he wasn't capable of murder, until he was arrested and the evidence that was collected was used to prove Ted whereabouts on certain dates/times.
It wasn't until a jury found Theodore Robert Bundy guilty that people took it seriously that hes was in fact capable of using a ruse to kidnap his victims, then torture, rape, murder them etc
The author and anyone else that either knew or met Ted Bundy vastly underestimated him. For some women this mistake would be fatal.

One other thing about this book, which was really annoying was how naive the author was to not anticipate the fact the Ted was guilty and also capable of vile, disturbing disgusting acts of violence towards women that he found attractive. Leading up to the time, that Ted was arrested, tried in court and found guilty of murder on multiple accounts the author still didn't believe that Ted might be found guilty and what he was capable of.
I think the author's opinion of Ted was biased because she was "friends" with him, and they worked together in a crisis clinic to aid people that were suicidal and considering killing themselves. She was however caught up in the facade of Ted's personality and acute ability to deceive people in a nice and pleasant demeanor, so you wouldn't suspect the darker intentions or agenda he was planning and scheming the whole time he was friends with the author Ann Rule.
I don't think she even realized that maybe Ted was manipulating her and their friendship, because she was closer to him than most women, except for the women he did love although, I think he lied about his intentions to get married to Meg Anders.
Ted Bundy was a pathological liar, he was good at lying, at manipulating people to do what he wanted/expected them to do.
Just because he was nice and polite, on the surface seemed nice, trustworthy or pleasant to women & people in general on the surface it doesn't mean that was his true nature.
He was always capable of kidnapping, rape, torture, murder he also could have stopped anytime that he wanted to but his compulsion controlled him, not the other way round.
Whenever he was around one or more women, he felt an uncontrollable urge or compulsion to hurt them.
The chronological order of the book was annoying and all over the place.
For example the author mentioned that Ted was an illegitimate child and his family lied about who his parents were due to being born in the 1946 I think it was, I could be wrong about the date. Ted was brought up to believe who he thought was brought to believe that his grandparents were his parents but he wasn't told about this and he later found out for himself in medical/hospital files.
His "grand-dad" was actually his father and his "sister" was actually his mother. During one disturbing incident when Ted was only three years old, Ted was standing outside of his Aunt's bedroom and she woke up to find knives arranged around her head while she was sleeping, and she turned and looked at Ted he just stood there and grinned at her.
There was also another incident that involved Ted and a cousin of his, when they went out to the garden shed they found a stash of violent pornography that showed images of violent and sexual violence directed towards women. He was only five years old when this supposedly happened.
In his life later on after being arrested and questioned Ted blamed these violent detective magazines (that he was obsessed with) and alcohol as the cause of his violent behavior towards women.
I think it did warp his perception of women and sex but he chose his victims, because they were vulnerable and by themselves. They were all easy targets, they were all easy to manipulate or overpower and take advantage of.
This compulsion took over his life and controlled him. Eventually his compulsion to kill would be triggered by the first woman he ever fell in love with rejecting him.
Stephanie Brooks was the first woman that Ted ever loved, but she thought that Ted wasn't ambition or going anywhere in his life so she broke up with Ted.
Ted couldn't stand to be humiliated and reject so this triggered him to kill women that looked exactly like her, so he could effectively kill her over and over again.
Stephanie meant everything to Ted, she was the first woman that Ted had an intimate relationship with, although sometimes Ted's behavior was very strange such as Ted staring at Stephanie's body while she was sleeping. Ted was arrested for having what was believed to be "burglar kit" in his car, and on one other separate occasion his was stopped by the police but he tried to get away in his car but he was arrested again and lied about where he was going or coming from.
He started his criminal career as a peeping tom, and voyeur by spying on women from outside of their house while they were getting changed, he also stole credit cards and used fake names to obtain more credit cards to be able to afford to buy fancy French cuisine which was his favourite.
He also stole other items such as a tv set and anything else that he needed but couldn't afford to buy.
It was only after but a direct result of his failed relationship with his first girlfriend Stephanie Brooks that he escalated from petty crime, to coercion, kidnapping and murder.
He would stalk potential victims, then use a ruse like he had a broken arm, because he was wearing a sling or cast and "needed help to carry his books to his car" then when no one was looking he would hit them over the had with a crowbar or other blunt object and kidnap them in his car, while they were unconscious.
He would take the victims to a secluded area, when he would sexually assault, torture the victims and then strangle them.
His crimes were premeditated and vicious vile acts towards women and at least two children.
His youngest victim was 12 years old, but I believe he killed a local girl that went missing when he was 15, because he lived in the same general area and not far from where the girl lived, she disappeared and was never seen or heard from again ever..
I was stunned to read that he was treated like a minor celebrity while in prison, because people were aware of who he was, and he liked having power and control due to the legal knowledge he had.
There are many young women that have gone missing, in or around the time that Ted Bundy was alive, but we will never find out just exactly how many women he killed, so some family will never get answers about if Ted killed them or not, which is devastating to the survivors or family members of the victims that weren't so lucky.
Most of Ted Bundy's crimes took place in the 1970's so I wasn't even born yet and he died via the electric chair on January 24th 1989, two years after I was born.
I liked reading this book, but I would have preferred reading it if it was written but a police detective that was involved in the police investigation.
Most of the book was really interesting, and chapter 49 was the most informative about Ted's personality, motivation, or the way he thinks, but after that chapter the rest of the book was a drag to read and it was a bit boring and repetitive due to the death sentence for Ted being delayed all the time, he was in prison for a few years before he was executed., etc The author and anyone else that either knew or met Ted vastly underestimated him.For some women this mistake would be fatal.

One other thing about this book, which was really annoying was how naive the author was to not anticipate the fact the Ted was guilty and also capable of vile, disturbing disgusting acts of violence towards women that he found attractive. Leading up to the time, that Ted was arrested, tried in court and found guilty of murder on multiple accounts the author still didn't believe that Ted might be found guilty and what he was capable of.
I think the author's opinion of Ted was biased because she was "friends" with him, and they worked together in a crisis clinic to aid people that were suicidal and considering killing themselves. She was however caught up in the facade of Ted's personality and acute ability to deceive people in a nice and pleasant demeanor, so you wouldn't suspect the darker intentions or agenda he was planning and scheming the whole time he was friends with the author Ann Rule.
I don't think she even realized that maybe Ted was manipulating her and their friendship, because she was closer to him than most women, except for the women he did love although, I think he lied about his intentions to get married to Meg Anders. Ted Bundy was a pathological liar, he was good at lying, at manipulating people to do what he wanted or he expected them to do. Just because he was nice and polite, or pleasant to women or people in general on the surface it doesn't mean that was his true nature. He was always capable of murder, rape or kidnapping, he also could have stopped anytime that he wanted to but his compulsion controlled him, not the other way round. Whenever he was around one or more women, he felt an uncontrollable urge or compulsion to hurt them.
The chronological order of the book was annoying and all over the place.
For example the author mentioned that Ted was an illegitimate child and his family lied about who his parents were due to being born in the 1946 I think it was, I could be wrong about the date. Ted was brought up to believe who he thought was brought to believe that his grandparents were his parents but he wasn't told about this and he later found out for himself in medical/hospital files. His "grand-dad" was actually his father and his "sister" was actually his mother. During one disturbing incident when Ted was only three years old, Ted was standing outside of his Aunt's bedroom and she woke up to find knives arranged around her head while she was sleeping, and she turned and looked at Ted he just stood there and grinned at her. There was also another incident that involved Ted and a cousin of his, when they went out to the garden shed they found a stash of violent pornography that showed images of violent and sexual violence directed towards women. He was only five years old when this supposedly happened. In his life later on after being arrested and questioned Ted blamed these violent detective magazines (that he was obsessed with) and alcohol as the cause of his violent behavior towards women.
I think it did warp his perception of women and sex but he chose his victims, because they were vulnerable and by themselves. They were all easy targets, they were all easy to manipulate or overpower and take advantage of.
This compulsion took over his life and controlled him.
Eventually his compulsion to kill would be triggered by the first woman he ever fell in love with rejecting him/humiliating and disappointing him, for judging him.
Stephanie Brooks was the first woman that Ted ever loved, but she thought that Ted wasn't ambition or going anywhere in his life so she broke up with Ted. Ted couldn't stand to be humiliated and reject so this triggered him to kill women that looked exactly like her, so he could effectively kill her over and over again. Stephanie meant everything to Ted, she was the first woman that Ted had an intimate relationship with, although sometimes Ted's behavior was very strange such as Ted staring at Stephanie's body while she was sleeping. Ted was arrested for having what was believed to be "burglar kit" in his car, and on one other separate occasion his was stopped by the police but he tried to get away in his car but he was arrested again and lied about where he was going or coming from.
He started his criminal career as a peeping tom, and voyeur by spying on women from outside of their house while they were getting changed, he also stole credit cards and used fake names to obtain more credit cards to be able to afford to buy fancy French cuisine which was his favourite. He also stole other items such as a tv set and anything else that he needed but couldn't afford to buy. It was only after but a direct result of his failed relationship with his first girlfriend Stephanie Brooks that he escalated from petty crime, to coercion, kidnapping and murder.
He would stalk potential victims, then use a ruse like he had a broken arm, because he was wearing a sling or cast and "needed help to carry his books to his car" then when no one was looking he would hit them over the had with a crowbar or other blunt object and kidnap them in his car, while they were unconscious. He would take the victims to a secluded area, when he would sexually assault the victims and then strangle them. His crimes were premeditated and vicious vile acts towards women and at least two children. His youngest victim was 12 years old, but I believe he killed a local girl that went missing when he was 15, because he lived in the same general area and not far from where the girl lived, she disappeared and was never seen or heard from again ever..
I was stunned to read that he was treated like a minor celebrity while in prison, because people were aware of who he was, and he liked having power and control due to the legal knowledge he had.There are many young women that have gone missing, in or around the time that Ted was alive, but we will never find out just exactly how many women he killed, so some family will never get answers about if Ted killed them or not, which is devastating to the survivors or family members of the victims that weren't so lucky.
Most of Ted Bundy's crimes took place in the 1970's so I wasn't even born yet and he died via the electric chair on January 24th 1989, two years after I was born.
I liked reading this book, but I would have preferred reading it if it was written but a police detective that was involved in the police investigation.
However I think Ann Rule was a good writer, and this was a interesting book to read.
Most of the book was really interesting, and chapter 49 was the most informative about Ted's personality, motivation, or the way he thinks, but after that chapter the rest of the book was a drag to read and it was a bit boring and repetitive due to the death sentence for Ted being delayed all the time, he was in prison for a few years before he was executed by electric chair in 1989, two years after I was born. ( )
  EvilCreature | Sep 7, 2022 |
“Any of us who have raised children know, as John F. Kennedy once said, that “to have children is to give hostages to fate.”
― Ann Rule, The Stranger Beside Me

I start this review rather unsure of just how to do a review. My reading experience here was far from normal.

So this book is about Ted Bundy. I'm sure most or all of you know who he was. Bundy was one of the world's most heinous serial killers. He was a nightmare come to life.

But this is not solely his story. The author is Ann Rule. I've read many of her books but never really felt the need to read this one although I knew of it. But for some reason it did not call to me.

Someone I know and think highly of recommended it which is how I found my way to Ann's story --- decades after it was first written. I trust this person's book taste and the book sounded frankly chilling and fascinating from a psychological standpoint.

And it was. It was also very long. This was the first book in I am not sure how long that took me DAYS AND DAYS to finish. Usually, I can read a book in a day. Not here. I doubt you will be able to either.

It is one of those books that you experience rather than read. I can say I was mesmerized.

This does not mean it was perfect -- far from it. I will speak of what I did not like in this review. But there isn't any way I could have given it less than a five. It is the best book I've read this year, by far.

Ann Rule -- the famous crime writer who knows human nature better than almost everyone and anyone I've seen, was taken in by Ted. You see, she knew him. They were friends. They met when both were volunteers at a suicide hotline. Believe it or not. She looked on him as a younger brother. They developed a bond. They became good friends and confidantes.

So much so that when Bundy became a suspect many years later in horrific murders -- more than one, more than two -- Ann went into denial. She couldn't believe it.

This book is the tale of their meeting, their friendship, the crimes that begin to envelop and take over Washington state -- and then Utah and other states -- it is a story of violence, of loss, of despair and of Rule's growing awareness which then turns to alarm, then denial then horror.

It is not a typical true crime book yet I cannot imagine any fan of true crime not wanting to read this.

The telling of the murders -- how they happen, the burgening terror, the dread -- was gripping. You feel you are there. She paints portaits of the tragic victims --a few survived. Most did not.

And she tells of Bundy -- who frankly I did not know much about until after reading this.

One can see how much she cared about him. Rule had lost a sibling to suicide before she ever met Bundy. She possibly could have had some transference. She doted on Ted, unwilling or unable to believe he was a killer -- for years.

Some people did not like that. Many critics found her denial obtuse and almost naive. It was. But it was also understandable.

When one reads this, to really get a handle on why Rule stuck by him, why she sent him money in prison, why she believed in him -- one has to think of their own relationships.

Think perhaps of a time you trusted the wrong person. Also think of your friends and family. And think if one of them -- maybe one you cared for the most -- was also accused of heinous crimes. Would YOU believe it?

Coming from it that way I can understand Ann's denial. She makes no attempt to sugercoat it and she is hard on herself.

I do admit to wondering if the fact that she was trying to make it as a true-crime writer at that time had anything to do with her continued friendship with Bundy. I suspect it might have but I've no proof. Never though did I doubt she cared about Ted -- or her memory of what she once thought he was.

Ted himself struck me as odd. If there was one thing I wish Rule had done differently it would be to show the reader more of his personality. I really had little interest in his letters, many of which were featured here. I wanted her to go deeper into every-day interactions with people. How was he able to exist so long incognito with nobody suspecting?

I did not feel I ever knew the Bundy she presented. I really wanted to know more about his every day life with his partners, his family, his friends.

It was also a bit to long. I began losing interest around 70-75%. the court stuff bored me. I've read to much of it in other books.

It is a scary book. No -- it is a TERRIFYING book. Not for the faint of heart. NOT.

You will come to care for the victims and it is horrific what happens to them.

Rule can write eeriness. I wish she were still around. I have been a fan for longer than I can remember.

Her denial was deep and as honest as I am trying to be here --I DID judge her after awhile. I did judge the letter writing, the money she sent him, the long conversations. given some of my bizarre decisions in life, I've no right. (Although I never met up with a serial killer.) But it was hard to believe a woman so tough, such a survivor could be in denial as long as she was. Still, I understand it, in a way.

There is no question but that Rule was lonely when she met Ted. There is no question that they confided much. And there is no question that all of this has haunted her.

In short -- a brilliant, spell-binding non-fiction novel that brought forth my love of reading, reminding me why I do love it so much. I hope Rule --wherever she is now -- is at peace. She remains the best true-crime writer in the world, as far as I'm concerned. ( )
  Thebeautifulsea | Aug 5, 2022 |
Not as impressive as the hype led me to believe, this is a good book marred by attempts to keep it current in later editions.

The multiple addendums included in this late edition (necessitated by how long it took from the final conviction to the execution) make this feel like it's never going to end which is oddly appropriate. It also kills the momentum of the finale (the book ends, then it ends again, then it ends again). Hard to get around that without re-writing the original but it left me frustrated.

Rule writes well, of course, although that is somewhat spoiled by the many typographical errors in this edition (it reads like an earlier version was scanned in by OCR software then not proofread, the way visually-similar but nonsensical words frequently appear throughout).

Not a keeper for me. ( )
  ElegantMechanic | May 28, 2022 |
Ann Rule is not great at voicing audiobooks but this was nevertheless absolutely fascinating ( )
  ElspethW | Feb 26, 2022 |
This was Rule's first book and it truly launched her career in true crime, though she had been a true crime magazine writer before. And before that, she was a cop.
Rule had volunteered at a crisis hotline in the early 70's and happened to work many of the same shifts as a young student named Ted Bundy. Like lots of women, Rule enjoyed Bundy's company, though because of their age difference, Rule saw him as an interesting friend, not a potential boyfriend. She didn't recognize that he was a sociopath.
This book covers more than 15 years of both Rule and Bundy's lives, in which Rule gets divorced, goes to Hollywood to write her first screenplay, raises her children and pursues her career as a writer. Bundy became a transient murderer and rapist who kidnapped, tortured and killed young women and a twelve year-old child. Law enforcement was often outmatched by Bundy, both because he could appear so normal and blend in, but also because once he was in custody they expected him to behave like a normal person, not to starve himself to fit through a tiny hole in the ceiling, or to jump out a two story window, which he did.
Bundy's multiple trials are included, for which Rule had a press pass. Bundy's ability to antagonize one minute and plead for mercy the next is on full display, and we see a man who prized his own skin above all else.

I've always found it confusing to hear Bundy described as handsome, as he is by many women here, including Rule. I don't get it, he's always looked like a thin-lipped, scrawny nerd to me, not good-looking at all.
I'm also a little on the fence about Rule's friendship with Bundy, which lasted for years and saw them exchange many letters and phone calls even while he was being charged with a litany of horrible crimes. Rule includes many of Bundy's written passages and transcribes many of their phone calls, which makes me lean towards the obvious, that Rule, and especially, Bundy were using each other. Rule wanted to get a career as a book author started and she happened to know a serial killer. Most people, especially women of that time, would have run the other way when a guy they knew was accused of murdering women, but Rule seems to have hung onto Bundy with both hands, claiming she didn't believe in his guilt for years, even in spite of her having worked with many of the cops who were charging Bundy. To me, it defies belief that a former cop who writes up crime cases thought that he could be wrongly charged with so many heinous crimes by multiple states. She wanted the story, and to get it, she had to be Bundy's friend so he'd keep in contact with her. And Bundy, knowing Rule talked to her former co-workers often, used Rule to get inside information about how much the police knew, but he also surely knew she would write about him and he wanted to be famous.
I have the anniversary edition, which has an epilogue, an afterward and a new final chapter, making it a real doorstop. It's a remarkable feat in true crime writing and I see why it's a famous book. ( )
  mstrust | Nov 2, 2021 |
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And tortures him now more, the more he sees
Of pleasure not for him ordained: then soon
Fierce hat he recollects, and all his thoughts
Of mischief, gratulating, thus excites:
"Thoughts, whither have ye led me? with what sweet
Compulsion thus transported to forget
What hither bought us? hate, not love, nor hope
Of Paradise for Hell, hope here to taste
Of pleasure, but all pleasure to destroy,
Save what is in destroying; other joy,
To me is lost...."
Paradise Lost: Book IX (Lines 469-79)
Dedicatòria
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This book is dedicated to my parents; Sophie Hansen Stackhouse and the late Chester R. Stackhouse...for their unfailing love and support, and because they always believed...
Primeres paraules
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I never expected to be writing about Theodore Robert Bundy once again.
No one glanced at the young man who walked out of the Trailways Bus Station in Tallahassee, Florida at dawn on Sunday, January 8, 1978.
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(Clica-hi per mostrar-ho. Compte: pot anticipar-te quin és el desenllaç de l'obra.)
(Clica-hi per mostrar-ho. Compte: pot anticipar-te quin és el desenllaç de l'obra.)
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Wikipedia en anglès (3)

Overview: Utterly unique in its astonishing intimacy, as jarringly frightening as when it first appeared, Ann Rule's The Stranger Beside Me defies our expectation that we would surely know if a monster lived among us, worked alongside of us, appeared as one of us. With a slow chill that intensifies with each heart-pounding page, Rule describes her dawning awareness that Ted Bundy, her sensitive coworker on a crisis hotline, was one of the most prolific serial killers in America. He would confess to killing at least thirty-six young women from coast to coast, and was eventually executed for three of those cases. Drawing from their correspondence that endured until shortly before Bundy's death, and striking a seamless balance between her deeply personal perspective and her role as a crime reporter on the hunt for a savage serial killer - the brilliant and charismatic Bundy, the man she thought she knew - Rule changed the course of true-crime literature with this unforgettable chronicle.

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