The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule

The Stranger Beside Me

Ann Rule was a writer working on the biggest story of her life, tracking down a brutal mass-murderer. Little did she know that Ted Bundy, her close friend, was the savage slayer she was hunting.

Details The Stranger Beside Me

TitleThe Stranger Beside Me
Release DateJun 1st, 2001
GenreCrime, True Crime, Nonfiction, Mystery, Biography, Audiobook

Reviews The Stranger Beside Me

  • Jeffrey Keeten
    “And, like all the others, I have been manipulated to suit Ted’s needs. I don’t feel particularly embarrassed or resentful about that. I was one of many, all of us intelligent, compassionate people who had no real comprehension of what possessed him, what drove him obsessively.” Would you trust this man?Comparisons could be made between Lois Lane and the writer Ann Rule. She was caught in the middle of a bizarre set of circumstances that...
  • Paquita Maria Sanchez
    "Oh, I was just in the right place at the right time..."...NOT something that many of the women in Ted Bundy's life would come to say about meeting America's Grade-A machismo pin-up boy. In fact, as far as I can tell, Ann Rule was the only person to actually benefit from knowing him. And boy, did she ever.To state it quite plainly, Rule is not what one would call a "great" writer. Or even really a good "writer." She repeats herself to accentuate ...
  • Dan Schwent
    Like half the planet, my wife and I watched the Ted Bundy series on Netflix. For some reason, I decided I wanted more so I picked this up. Even though I scared the shit out of myself as a kid watching 20/20, Unsolved Mystery, and Dateline, true crime books aren't normally my thing. This one was an easy, compelling read.I find it fascinating that Ann Rule knew Ted Bundy and was writing a book about the Washington killings at the same time. Anyway,...
  • Jonathan Ashleigh
    This was an interesting read, and for the most part it was written adequately. Due to the geography of the murders (I am from Aspen), I had a particular interest in some of the events. My problem with the book is the self-important place which the author places herself when her own words make me feel as though she was nothing more than a "Ted groupie" who sent him money in jail and gave him information. At times, she claims Ted calls her only to ...
  • Johann (jobis89)
    “I was one of many, all of us intelligent, compassionate people who had no real comprehension of what possessed him, what drove him obsessively.”Ann Rule had signed a contract to write a book on a series of brutal and heinous murders of beautiful young women, not knowing she was going to be writing about the man she had worked alongside at a suicide hotline. A man she had found to be kind and understanding, someone she had began to see as a f...
  • Katie B
    3.5 starsI've read at least 10 of Ann Rule's true crime books over the years, but until now I hadn't read what is arguably her most famous one. She was already a published writer of true crime articles, but her book about serial killer Ted Bundy is really what put her on the map. What makes this book fascinating is Ann actually knew Ted before he became known to the rest of the world. The book is full of facts about Ted and his crimes, trials, an...
  • ✨Tamara
    Wow!!!!Ann Rule takes us on a thrilling journey of the life and death of serial killer Ted Bundy. Being friends with a serial killer isn't the easiest thing in the world. But Ann didn't find that out until much later...Oh, Ted Bundy... what can I possibly say about this American icon that hasn't already been said in this book? I had several problems with this book but it had absolutely nothing to do with the author. Problems such as the diagnosis...
  • Shaun
    Wow. This was an exhausting read. Between the epilogue, the afterword 1986, the last chapter 1989, the update: twenty years later 2000, and a postscript penned by Rule's daughter, I thought I might never finish this.That said, it is considered by many to be the definitive work not only on Bundy the serial killer, but also on Bundy the charismatic, attractive, and promising law student.And really. What are the chances? You're a struggling single m...
  • jv poore
    Ted Bundy was convicted of horrific crimes against young women and girls. I think it takes a special strength to tell his story as objectively as possible, but I cannot imagine the resolve and commitment required to write this book about a companion. Brilliantly balanced, the author somehow separates the young man that worked in the crisis center and went on to become her friend, with the wanted "Ted". As if I needed another reason to admire Ann ...
  • Jack
    For all that Ann Rule invokes her friendship with Bundy -both before and after Bundy's arrest - the truth is this book could have been written solely off of newspaper research and trial records. There's no real emotional-depth or analysis. And Rule's interjections of what was happening with her personal life are annoying; they don't connect to any of the other events she's writing about, and since her entire description of her feelings towards an...
  • Estelle
    An uneven read. Sometimes griping and fascinating, other times tedious and dragging. Even tho Ann Rule's relationship with Ted Bundy and her unique perspective on the whole case made the book interesting, I almost wished I read something written by a different person. Someone with better writing skills.I'd still recommend "The Stranger Beside Me" to anyone who wants a very detailed account of Bundy's life, but be prepared... This is a long and ti...
  • Ammar
    This was the first book I ever read by Ann Rule and it was the perfect true crime book. I found a battered copy at a used bookshop.I inhaled this book during a Christmas break and was so intrigued how close Ann came to know Ted Bundy when she was volunteering at the suicide help line.Yes he is a charismatic serial killer who targeted young women and when he got caught he denied nothing This book is a modern classic.
  • Becky
    OK, a couple things before we begin: 1) Thanks for the Kindle loan, 1.0!2) This is my 1000th review on Goodreads. Crazy! 3) I've been sick for a week with a sinus infection and not sleeping very well + sick brain, so... you know. Keep that in mind as you read my ramblings below. I finished this book with the deadline of loan expiration looming over me. I didn't think it would take me 2 full damn weeks to read a less than 600 page book, but appare...
  • Marialyce
    Mention the name Ted Bundy, google his name, and you will find a plethora of information on this man, one of the most famous of serial killers ever to roam this earth. He was a man who was ever so handsome, a man who could twist and and manipulate, a man who killed wantonly without a thought or a regret as to what his crime was doing not only to his victims but also to the families who were left behind. “Yet, in reality, Ted loved things more t...
  • Poonam
    Generally I do not read much of non-fiction but I do make an exception for True crime stories. I have read another book by Ann Rule and the thing I like about her books is that even though they are non-fiction they read like a fiction story.This book is about the famous serial killer Ted Bundy who terrorized U.S in the 70's. The story is told from perspective of his close friend (Ann Rule) who had known him before he was ever suspected in any of ...
  • Peter Monn
    Wow! So much better than I expected! So happy we chose this as our first book for Peter’s Book Club this year as a year of true crime! My full review will be up on my booktube channel at
  • Fiona
    Ann Rule has written a truly interesting book here; the updates as both the case progressed and her viewpoint adjusted are absolutely invaluable. For me, true crime is a window into how the human brain goes wrong. I'm endlessly fascinated by what the brain is capable of, both at the good and bad ends of the spectrum. Unfortunately, too often true crime is either neglectful of the victims, treating killers or otherwise awful people as the star of ...
  • Samantha
    This book was absolutely riveting. I had started reading it a while ago, but was reading another book as well and had set it aside for a while. When I picked it up again, I simply could not put it down.Ann Rule is one of the premiere true crime writers, but what made this one special was that she had been friends with Ted Bundy (and had worked with him at a Crisis Hotline!) before he was a suspect in the myriad heinous crimes he eventually confes...
  • Heather
    4.5/5, rounded down.This book scared the ever-living crap outta me, guys. (Which, admittedly, really isn't very hard to do... but still.)Call me uncultured if you must, but the only thing I knew about Ted Bundy before reading this was that he was a serial killer. That's literally the only bit of information I knew, so it goes without saying that this book taught me a whole heck of a lot. I don't know that I am happy to now be haunted by the idea ...
  • Katie
    3.5/5 stars. Full disclosure that I had a little less than 100 pages left, but since this is nearly 600 pages, I thought it was still worth posting a review. I was riveted from the beginning, but my interest slowly dwindled while reading. I adored her writing style but at a certain point I just wasn't interested in learning more about Ted Bundy. If you're fascinated by him, this is certainly worth a ready but if you're reading it only because you...
  • Sumit Singla
    Redundant, boring, and a massive drag. There is just so much wrong with this book that if I list all of it, my review might get to about half the length of the book.Ann Rule cannot write. There are far too many repetitions, poorly phrased sentences, typos, and missing words in the book. I can understand that the 'writer' might have created many chapters from her notes, but that is no excuse for poor editing. The length of the book is too much for...
  • Sonja Arlow
    2.5 starsThe book packs a punch because of its content not its writing.There are really two stories here:1) The horrific and fantastical story of Ted Bundy 2) The story of Ann RuleI loved the one and was disappointed in the other.This almost feels like fan fiction rather than investigative non-fiction. Some details were included only because the people asked the author to do so rather than these additions adding anything of value to the story.I f...
  • Kavita
    We serial killers are your sons, we are your husbands, we are everywhere. And there will be more of your children dead tomorrow. What are the chances of a ex-policewoman turned journalist working on a story about random murders taking place in the country actually having worked at close quarters with the same serial killer in a crisis centre? That's a pretty unique position to be in and Ann Rule was unfortunate enough to be on the spot. She had b...
  • ☮Karen
    In person book club read #12.I can't wait to talk about this one with the gals in the bookclub. I've always been fascinated by Ted Bundy, and actually think I read this before right after it was first published. Now I'm again a little obsessed, watching his interviews on youtube, and on Hoopla watched the made-for-TV movie based on this book. Very good!I clearly remember when Bundy was electrocuted for 36 murders, all young attractive women, many...
  • Lisa Greer
    I was hooked from the first page. What an opportunity Rule had. I know that is ghoulish, but wow. This definitely made her career, and it also shows that Bundy, like many others, is more than a cardboard cut out figure of a killer.This was really excellent. I think Rule had great insights, and I think she might be right when she said Bundy probably fooled James Dobson in the famous interview. She showed her slow realization that he was a sociopat...
  • Caroline
    ***NO SPOILERS***This, Ann Rule's most famous book, is a truly riveting read, never dry, not journalistic, and admirably thorough. One star docked, however, for an underlying sympathy toward Bundy that's very hard to understand much less accept. Rule, who'd been a close friend of Bundy's, spoke of sending him money (totaling several hundred dollars over the years) and stamps while he was imprisoned and continuing her friendly communications with ...
  • Lori
    Ann Rule's "The Stranger Beside Me" is probably the most frightening of all the accounts of Ted Bundy's murderous career. Why? Because Rule was a former policewoman, she considered Ted Bundy a co-worker and friend and never saw the sociopathic personality lurking behind his charming facade. As a society, I think we want to believe that we can easily spot those Bundys, Dahmers, Gacys . . . and Rule's book emphasizes the fact that we cannot. Those ...
  • Medhat The Book Fanatic
    The Stranger Beside Me is an outstanding true-crime classic that delves into and tackles the crimes of serial killer Ted Bundy in the 1970s.Ted Bundy is one of the most prolific serial-killers in the US history. He killed only women, young and beautiful. He stalked them in the most predatory way, and then killed them in the most horrific ways. (view spoiler)[ Not only is Ted Bundy a sadistic serial killer, he was also a rapist and necrophiliac. H...