The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule

Dr T

Recommended Posts

The next book I read was The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule. Since I was reminded of the Zodiac book I read a long time ago I thought I'd read about another serial kill. I picked up this book about Ted Bundy. The author, Ann Rule, worked along side him at a telephone hotline where she heard him do work that saved people's lives. Ms. Rule appeared to have a crush on Bundy with his handsome looks, good verbal ability, and clean-cut appearance back in the 60's and 70's. I appeared to me that she was torn whether or not to believe his innocence. This book goes through a biography of Ted's life, the troubled youth, his schooling, the crimes, and legal aspects of his cases. It was interesting that he quickly was liked by people and was a young republican name as he was growing up. I did not think the book went too deep into the gore of the crimes and did not talk about all of the seventy six or so murders that he committed. It was interesting how it chronicled where he lived and how he went through towns particularly in Utah. To me, he did not appear to be a person that handles refusal well. I know that is not much about that book but I'd be happy to talk to anybody that wants to talk about it. Just let me know. I’d like to here what you thought of that book. Thank you
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Read this one last year (as well as Green River Running Red) while reacquainting myself with the serial killers who so fascinated me from my adolescence. Forty years since the Tate/LaBianca murders, that's what kicked it off.

I think with this book her personal connection to the killer, knowing him separately to his crimes, makes it interesting in that she interacted with him as a person before discovering his (ahem) 'extracurricular' activities. I felt there was a bit of a crush there too, and that appears to haunt her.

Knowing Ted the Person, as opposed to just Ted the Monster, or even worse Ted the Media Construct, she tries to get across to us the complexity of his personality and crimes. He wasn't a ravening beast stalking the streets with foam and blood dripping from his mouth after all.

There was a chance he could have ended up as a decent man, he was undoubtedly intelligent and personable, but there was something missing inside of him which he tried to fill by killing. Ann saw that potential for good and then discovered like the rest of the world just what horrors were waiting inside of him. She also had to contend with her own disbelief, and the growing realisation that Ted was trying to manipulate her as well.

These are just some quick disorganised morning thoughts, I'm not trying to make my definitive statement on the book or anything. I had a big talk with a friend a few weeks ago on this one, and Ann Rule's writing style, which covered a lot of ground. But the head isn't quite together right now and I'd need to refresh myself on the book.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for your thoughts Nomad. From that book he did not appear to me to really have an attraction to her. It might have had something to do with her children or something. He liked to drink too and maybe she wasn't like that but I don't really know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

You guys might want to also check out these two titles on Ted Bundy. Both of these books are still currently being used in the classrooms of the F.B.I.'s VICAP division for the training of new recruits.

The Only Living Witness: The True Story of Serial Sex Killer Ted Bundy by Stephen G. Michaud

Michaud and Aynesworth are a reporter and an investigator team who interviewed serial killer Ted Bundy while he was on death row in Florida. This volume chronicles his activities throughout several states but is at its best in a long section of transcripts from the interview in which, while he never admits his quilt, Bundy offers vivid details of the crimes and commentary on the mindset of a serial killer.

Ted Bundy : Conversations with a Killer by Stephen G. Michaud

A collection of interviews in which Bundy offers a matter-of-fact, third-person account of how "someone" performing kidnappings, rapes, and murders might go about it and how that person might act under these circumstances. His frankness offers perhaps the most unfettered look into the mind of a serial killer, and many of his observations are quite surprising, as Bundy reveals himself to be clever, insightful, and intelligent--far from how most would picture a psychosexual killer.

Edited by Conan_Doyle
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.