… the true crime author who was friends with one of America’s most infamous serial killers? Ann Rule, the queen of true crime, made a name for herself with The Stranger Beside Me, which told the story of Ted Bundy and her personal relationship with him, both before, during, and after his terrifying killing sprees.
I read horror novels like they’re going out of style and I devour twisted psychological suspense stories, but I have the strongest reactions to true crime accounts. I guess that’s not surprising, since these events actually happened, but The Stranger Beside Me scared the living daylights out of me.
Ann Rule’s account of her relationship with Bundy is straightforward but still manages to delve into the emotional aspects of the case, both in terms of her friendship with Bundy and in terms of his many female victims. The crime scenes are stomach-turning and graphic, which juxtaposes horrifically with Bundy’s suave, charismatic demeanor. Simply put, this book is terrifying and still gives me chills when I think about it. And if you find yourself reading a newer edition of this book, the extra chapters, epilogues, and forewords show just how far Ted Bundy’s infamy has spread through American culture…25 years after his execution, we’re still talking about him.
Reviewed by Katie (staff)