Famed true-crime writer Ann Rule, who investigated some of Oregon's most notorious killings, died Sunday in Seattle, her family says. She was 83.
Rule wrote more than 30 New York Times best-sellers—many investigating crimes in the Pacific Northwest.
In her early years of criminal investigation, Rule worked at a Seattle crisis help line alongside serial killer Ted Bundy, who later confessed to 30 homicides over seven states, including Oregon and Washington.
In her book The Stranger Beside Me, Rule said she realized Bundy was "a sadistic sociopath who took pleasure from another human's pain and the control he had over his victims, to the point of death, and even after."
But when Rule first met Bundy, she was tricked by his manipulative personality. In a People magazine profile from September 1987, Rule said of Bundy: "I used to think that if I were younger or my daughters were older, this would be the perfect man.â
Downs briefly escaped from a Salem prison in 1987, but Rule wasn't intimidated by the woman she helped keep behind bars. "I decided a long time ago," she told People magazine, "that if I was going to be afraid, I shouldn't be doing what I'm doing."
Rule's 2003 book Heart Full of Lies: A True Story of Desire and Death covered a family camping trip at a Wallowa-Whitman National Forest campground that went wrong in 2000 when Liysa Northon shot and killed her then-husband Chris Northon.
In 2011, Rick Swart, a freelance journalist, published an article in Seattle Weekly called "Murderer She Wrote," claiming grave errors in Rule's book about Northon. One week later, WW reported that Swart failed to mention he was engaged to be married to Northon, who was incarcerated at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility.
Rule filed a defamation case against Swart before her death.
In 2010, WW reported that Ann Rule contacted Horman's family just two weeks after the disappearance of Kyron Horman.
Rule's daughter Leslie Rule later disputed the claim in a lengthy comment she posted on the story, saying that Rule "would absolutely NOT approach the family of a victim so soon after a tragedy."