True-crime writer Ann Rule, who wrote more than 30 books, including a profile of her former co-worker, serial killer Ted Bundy, has died at age 83. Rule also wrote an account of Prairie Village doctor Debora Green, who killed two of her children in a 1995 arson.
Rule died at Highline Medical Center in Seattle at 10:30 p.m. Sunday, said Scott Thompson, a spokesman for CHI Franciscan Health. Her daughter, Leslie Rule, said on Facebook that her mother had many health issues, including congestive heart failure.
“My mom died peacefully last night,” Leslie Rule wrote. “She got to see all of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.”
Ann Rule’s first book, “The Stranger Beside Me,” profiled Bundy, whom she got to know while sharing the late shift at a Seattle suicide hotline. She has said she had a contract to write about an unknown serial killer before her co-worker was charged with the crimes.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Kansas City Star
Rule, who went to work briefly at the Seattle Police Department when she was 21, began writing for magazines like “True Detective” in 1969. A biography on her author website says she published more than 1,400 articles, mostly on criminal cases.
Rule said she was fascinated by killers’ lives, going back to their childhood to find clues about why they did what they did.
After attending numerous workshops on crime topics from DNA to arson, local law enforcement, the FBI and the Justice Department started turning to Rule for her expertise on serial murders.
She aided the Green River Task Force as that group sought another Seattle-area serial killer, passing along tips that her readers shared. She wrote a book about the case, “Green River, Running Red.”
Rule was born in 1931 in Lowell, Mich., to a schoolteacher and a football, basketball and track coach. They moved around a lot when she was a kid, traveling to Pennsylvania, Oregon and California because of her father’s coaching career.
She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington in creative writing, with minors in psychology, criminology and penology.
In April, prosecutors filed charges against two of her sons, alleging they took thousands of dollars from her.