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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Stranger Beside Me: The Shocking Inside Story of Serial Killer Ted Bundy

For avid readers of this blog (there are "avid readers," right?), you know how quickly I will drop everything to read true crime. I have no idea why I hadn't heard of Ann Rule's The Stranger Beside Me: The Shocking Inside Story of Serial Killer Ted Bundy before, but shame on me. This book made my year.

Anne Rule was a housewife with young children when she began working at a suicide prevention hotline. She worked nights, often with a young, handsome, charming, and very caring volunteer. They worked side-by-side for a couple of years, getting to know each other and becoming, at least in Anne's eyes, close friends. Ted Bundy would soon become one of the nation's most notorious serial killers. His actions would shock those who knew him--even leading them to defend him early on. Anne, a future true crime novelist, was among them. 

Wowza. I don't know how I had never read this book previously. It's everything I ever hoped for and more, y'all. Anne Rule was yet to become a true crime novelist and is now one of our most prolific, and in part it is thanks to her experience with Ted. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and a big part of it was the alternating stories between Anne's experience with her friend Ted and the step-by-step history of the murders as we know it today. It was almost surreal to read this encounter--it is the very embodiment of the cliche, "Truth is stranger than fiction." Who could have made this up?

Ted Bundy has always fascinated me in the a similar vein to my love of true crime. Him especially though, and even more after reading this book, which I would argue is really the defining story of Bundy's killings. Rule dives into what made him who he was and what drove him to such lengths as to pursue woman for being exactly that--women. Rule looks into what makes a sociopath and why Bundy could not be considered insane for committing these crimes. She also takes a cold hard look into why she trusted him so much, and she is very upfront in discussing the moment she realizes that she, too, had been played by this man.

This was a flabbergasting read, one that I had the pleasure of diving into headfirst and loving every second. I really like Rule's writing style and I am looking forward to picking up more of her books. They are, after all, true crime. New author romance for me!

Kindle version on left, hard copy on right.


  1. I like the description of this book. Maybe I´ll read it soon. It is definitely going on my tbr pile :)

    1. Thanks for the comment, Ivana! Let me know what you think when you finish.