- Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
- Publisher: Signet (July 1, 1981)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0451164938
- ISBN-13: 978-0451164933
- Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1.1 x 6.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,087 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,042,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Stranger Beside Me: Revised and Updated Edition Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 1981
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Not long ago, true crime writer Ann Rule recalls lying on an operating table. The anesthesiologist leaned over before putting her to sleep. "Ann," the anesthesiologist said softly, "tell me, what was Ted Bundy really like?" Despite meeting Florida's electric chair in 1989, the subject of Rule's bestselling book continues to haunt her. Rule and Bundy were friends. They met in 1971 at a Seattle crisis clinic, where they shared the late shift answering a suicide hotline. Their subsequent conversations, meetings, and letters spanned the rest of Bundy's life as he evolved into one of the century's most notorious serial killers. It's been 20 years since Rule first penned this chilling account. But the story--and her 2000 update--will still have readers reaching for their Xanax. No gratuitous gore here; just the basic, bone-chilling evidence. In fact, like a protective mother shielding us from horrors too awful to mention, Rule seems to avoid delving too deeply into crime scene descriptions. She devotes one paragraph in her new afterword to her discovery that Bundy engaged in necrophilia and returned to the scenes of his crimes to "line dead lips and eyes with garish makeup and to put blush on pale cheeks." She tells readers that John Hinckley, who shot Ronald Reagan, and David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam Killer, traded prison correspondences with Bundy. And she hints that Bundy's insatiable killer instincts may have started when he was a 14-year-old paperboy. (Ann Marie Burr, an 8-year-old girl on his route, mysteriously disappeared in the middle of the night and has never been found.) The skimpy update is over too soon, leaving readers wanting more and offering further proof of the public's never-ending fascination with serial killers. --Jodi Mailander Farrell
As dramatic and chilling as a bedroom window shattering at midnight. -- The New York Times
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The book reveals rich detail about serial killer, Ted Bundy's, creepy activities and horrific crimes.
In addition, Rule and Bundy had a platonic friendship, which started in 1971 as they worked a rape crisis hotline together. Three years after the friendship starts, young women begin to disappear in the area. Their contact, though infrequent, continues until Bundy's execution.
Additionally, through her true crime writing, Rule also has access to the law enforcement agencies involved in solving the disappearances and ultimate hunt for a yet unknown killer. So this narrative gives an up close and personal look at the killer, as well as the investigation. It spans all of Bundy's known victims in Washington, Oregon, Utah, Colorado and Florida.
Rule appears to make every attempt to be unbiased and self examining as she presents the details. Her personal experience certainly gives a another layer to this tale's narrative.
THE STRANGER BESIDE ME proves to be quite insightful into the baffling seemingly innocent and disarming facade of this serial killing psychopath.
In addition, this storyline is fascinating in and of itself, and no one tells Ted Bundy's story better and more completely than Ann Rule.