A #1 New York Times Best Seller, Ann Rule’s The Stranger Beside Me gives us a unique perspective into the hidden world of Ted Bundy. Rule gives a chilling and intimate description of her time at a crisis hotline alongside her co-worker, the then charming, sensitive and trustworthy Ted Bundy, and the devastating realization that he was a brutal killer hiding in plain sight. After multiple arrests and an escape from jail, Bundy would later confess to the murders of at least thirty-six women and soon after was executed for three cases. Rule, a certified instructor for police training seminars, prosecutors and forensic science organizations, delves into how this savage killer -- a man she thought she knew -- could have fooled so many, including a professional like herself.
I was eager to begin The Stranger Beside Me as I had always wanted to read the book. Something always came up, and it was never convenient until last week.
Ann Rule may be the Mother of the modern Crime novel. Her relationship with Ted Bundy brought something special to the genre. It gave an insight into the man, a look behind the mask of a monster. Each murder account is terrorizing; each autopsy description horrifying.
However, as anyone who writes about someone they know, there will be bias. The bias happens a little later in the book as she comes to terms with the fact that the state of Florida sentenced Ted Bundy to death. However, she reflected upon it and did came to terms with it. Outside of that, there is very little bias.
The Stranger Beside Me is a very quick read. It gripped my attention from beginning, but that focus wavered in the end. I felt like there were too many updates and forwards toward the end of the book. This is only a nitpick. I’m sure others will overlook it.
Ann Rule was a fantastic author, and I will always recommend her books to fellow True Crime Junkies.