The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule Book Review
The lowdown from Goodreads
Publication Date April 1, 1992
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 bestselling 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.
The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule Book Review
Ted Bundy seems to be everywhere right now. In conjunction with the 25th anniversary of Bundy’s exection, Netflix released a documentary Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes. At the same time, the trailer for Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile starring Zac Efron dropped. It seems Ted Bundy has made a comeback of sorts.
Momma Told Me About Ted
The truth is Ted Bundy has lived in my nightmares almost as long as I can remember. Like a lot of women, my mother has an infatuation with true crime. If given another career choice, likely she would’ve been an excellent forensic investigator. My mom doesn’t mess around. She’s one of those people who want answers. No way you’re getting off easy with her. Melissa wants to know why & she wants to know exactly what she is dealing with. As I get older I can really understand the value in all of those things.
As soon as I mentioned to her I was reading this book, the very first thing she said was, “that son of a bitch passed through my town driving down Interstate 10 to get to Florida.” At that moment, she recalled her age, the time of year & it was like she was 19 years old again. No time passed & she was a young, single female in the midst of a killer.
Why Do We Want to Know About Serial Killers?
That’s the thing about true crime, right? If you know these crimes and you come to know the victims & killers, the cases change your psyche. Once we realize these killers walk side by side with us, it makes us look at everything & everyone a bit differently. This personifies Ted Bundy.
I chose to read this book on audio because it is read by the author. Ann Rule worked very closely with Ted Bundy. Not only that, but she had a very personal relationship with him. Ann knew about his girlfriends, his breakups, his career goals & more. Ann offers a pretty in-depth look at what a “normal guy” Ted Bundy was. Through her personal stories, she takes readers on a parallel journey of the crimes & the path of the man she knew.
Charismatic & Dangerous
As soon as I started driving, I could not stay away from our local mall. I remember very clearly my mother looking me dead in the eye and saying you need to be wary of somebody walking up to you with a cast or a sling asking for help. When I asked her why she said that’s one of the ways Ted Bundy got his victims.
She wasn’t lying. Bundy did all this & more. While he’s definitely not my type, his looks & charisma helped him lure women. He just couldn’t stop. I mean, hello? The man broke out of jail & was on the lam. Yet, he still couldn’t help but brutally murder women.
I am Really Into This book! Ann Rule gives us a detailed look at her friend, Ted. As we match her friend with the crimes he ultimately committed, it makes him all the more frightening. This is a must-read for any true crime lover.
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Ann Rule wrote thirty-five New York Times bestsellers, all of them still in print. Her first bestseller was The Stranger Beside Me, about her personal relationship with infamous serial killer Ted Bundy. A former Seattle police officer, she used her firsthand expertise in all her books. For more than three decades, she was a powerful advocate for victims of violent crime. She lived near Seattle and passed away in 2015.