October 22, 1935
Lowell, Michigan, United States
|Notable work(s)||The Stranger Beside Me
Ann Rule (born Ann Stackhouse on October 22, 1935) is an American true crime writer of such works as The Stranger Beside Me, about serial killer and former Samaritans co-worker Ted Bundy, and Small Sacrifices, about child murderer Diane Downs.
Early life and education
Rule was one of two children born to Chester R. Stackhouse and Sophie Hansen. Her mother was a teacher, specializing in developmentally disabled children, and her father was a sports coach. Members of Rule's family had careers in law enforcement. Her grandfather and uncle were sheriffs in Michigan, another uncle was a medical examiner, and a cousin was a prosecutor. Rule spent her summers with her grandparents doing volunteer work in the local jail.
Rule graduated from Coatesville High School and then attended the University of Washington. She majored in creative writing, with minors in criminology, penology and psychology. She extended her education for two more years at Highline Community College by taking criminology courses.
Rule worked as an officer for the Seattle Police Department. Early in her career she wrote for several publications geared for women. Beginning in 1969, she wrote for the magazine True Detective under the nom de plume "Andy Stack" when she first started writing for the magazine.
Her first book was The Stranger Beside Me, which she wrote under her own name. Her next three books (The Lust Killer, Jerry Brudos; The Want-Ad Killer, Harvey Carignan; and The I-5 Killer about Randall Woodfield) were written as Andy Stack.
In 2003, Rule's publisher released Heart Full of Lies, a book narrating the events of the Liysa Northon murder trial. A defamation lawsuit filed by Northon against Rule and her publishers was dismissed in January 2011 by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Northon was released from prison in October 2012 twelve years after killing her husband.
Rule filed a lawsuit against the Seattle Weekly newspaper in July 2013, saying she was defamed in 2011 when the fiancé of Northon wrote an article accusing Rule of "sloppy storytelling." The suit, filed in King County Superior Court in July 2013, argues that damage was done because Rule, to sell her books, relies on her reputation for accuracy.
In 2008, the Library of America selected Rule’s story "Young Love" from the book Empty Promises for inclusion in its two-century retrospective of American true crime writing, True Crime: An American Anthology.
Her latest book, Practice to Deceive, about a 2003 murder on Whidbey Island, Washington, was released in October 2013. On the island for the launch of a book tour, Rule fell in the hotel and broke her hip, forcing the cancellation of the event.
- "Biography: Ann Rule, A Taste For Crime Investigation". CBS News. July 20, 2001. Retrieved 2008-03-05.
- "Ann's Biography (Official Site)". Retrieved 2009-11-21.
- TruTV Crime Library, "Ann Rule: Revealing the Strangers Beside Us"
- Courthouse News Service, "Ann Rule Awarded Costs in Anti-SLAPP Decision," January 18, 2011
- "Liysa Northon, featured in Ann Rule's 'Heart Full of Lies,' to get out of prison Tuesday". The Oregonian. October 8, 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
- Ann Rule-Defamation story - MSN Entertainment News
- "True Crime: An American Anthology: Table of Contents". Literary Classics of the United States. 2008. Retrieved 2011-07-24.
- CBS, "48 Hours Mystery," "Author Ann Rule helps mother search for truth," April 21, 2012
- Rule’s Freeland book signing canceled after fall - Whidbey News-Times
- Coast to Coast AM, "Ghost Trilogy," Guest, Leslie Rule, May 23, 2007