True Crime Author Ann Rule
When we opened The Bookend Café, we had a pretty good idea of which genres of books would be popular with people living and vacationing at the beach. However, there were a few surprises. One big surprise was the popularity of true crime books. It really shouldn’t come as a surprise given the popularity of crime shows on TV and in movies.
There are many good authors who write true crime but one of the most popular is Ann Rule. According to her website, Ann has been a full-time true crime writer since 1969 and since then she has published over 30 books and 1400 articles, mostly on criminal cases. Early in her career she wrote for the magazine True Detective under the name "Andy Stack". The magazine editor suggested she use a male name in order to be taken seriously as a crime writer despite having a short stint as a police officer herself (with the Seattle Police Department).
Rule’s first and arguably most famous book was The Stranger Beside Me, a 1980 autobiographical and biographical true crime book about serial killer Ted Bundy, whom she knew personally before his arrest for a series of murders. At the time Rule started researching the book, the murders were still unsolved, but over time it became clear that the killer was Bundy. Rule had worked with Bundy on a suicide hotline in the Seattle area and it was not until Bundy's capture and trials that she fully accepted that Bundy was a serial killer.
Many true crime books, like The Stranger Beside Me explore high-profile, sensational crimes, while others are devoted to more obscure investigations and trials. At The Bookend Café we have many books in the genre including Finding Chandra by Scott Higham and Sari Horwitz, about the disappearance of Chandra Levy; Columbine by Dave Cullen, a detailed investigative look at the school shooting tragedy; and of course, many books by one of the women who helped create the genre, Ann Rule.