Author Ann Rule

Ann Rule Bio

Ann Rule is regarded by many as the foremost true crime writer in America, and the author responsible for the genre as it exists today. She came to her career with a solid background in law enforcement and the criminal justice system. Both her grandfather and her uncle were Michigan sheriffs, her cousin was a Prosecuting Attorney and another uncle was the Medical Examiner. Raised in that environment, she grew up wanting to work in law enforcement herself. She is a former Seattle Policewoman, former caseworker for the Washington State Department of Public Assistance, former student intern at the Oregon State Training School for GirlsAnn Rule was born in Lowell, Michigan on October 22.

Her father, Chester R. Stackhouse, was a football, basketball and track coach. Her mother, Sophie Hansen Stackhouse, was a schoolteacher who taught the developmentally disabled. The family moved often as "Stack" Stackhouse's coaching career bloomed. They lived in Saginaw and Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Coatesville, Pennsylvania, Salem, Oregon, Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, and Palo Alto, California.

With her ex-husband, Bill Rule, Ann lived in El Paso, Texas, and Youngstown, N.Y. She now lives near Seattle, Washington, on the shores of Puget Sound. She is the mother of five, grandmother of five.


Ann has been a full-time true crime writer since 1969. Over the past 30 years, she has published 33 books and 1400 articles, mostly on criminal cases. Ann graduated from Coatesville High School, and has a BA from the University of Washington in Creative Writing, with minors in psychology, criminology and penology. She has an Associate Degree from Highline Community College, taking courses in crime scene investigation, police administration, crime scene photography and arrest, search and seizure. And she has a Master’s Degree in Compassionate Letters from Willamette University.

Ann has attended every seminar that police organizations invite her to, including those on organized crime, arson, bomb search, DNA, etc. She has 30 hours credit at the University of Washington Medical School earned by attending the National Medical Examiners' Conference. She attended the King County Police Basic Homicide School for two weeks. Today, she herself teaches seminars to many law enforcement groups. She is a certified instructor in many states on subjects such as: Serial Murder, Sadistic Sociopaths, Women Who Kill, and High Profile Offenders. She was on the U.S. Justice Department Task Force that set up VI-CAP, the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program, now in place at FBI Headquarters in Quantico, a computer tracking system to help identify and trap serial killers. She has testified twice before Senate Judiciary Sub-committees on victims' rights and on the danger of serial killers.

When Ann spent her summer vacations with her grandparents in Stanton, Michigan, she helped her grandmother prepare meals for the prisoners in the jail. She used to wonder why such friendly, normal-appearing, men were locked behind bars, and why the sweet woman in the cell upstairs--who taught Ann to crochet--was about to go on trial for murder. That was the beginning of her lifelong curiosity about the "Whys" behind criminal behavior. Her books all explore the reasons behind the front-page cases she covers.


Ann's books deal with three areas: the victims' stories; the detectives and prosecutors and how they solve their cases with old fashioned police work and modern forensic science, and the killers’ lives. She tries to go back to the killers' early childhood, and even back into their family histories to find some of the genesis of their behavior. She spends many months researching her books, beginning with the trial and with many subsequent visits to the locale where the crimes occurred. Once she has finished her research, she returns to her office to write her books.

Currently, Ann Rule is under contract to Simon & Schuster/Free Press and Pocket Books. Her hardcover books are with Free Press and her original "Ann Rule's Crime Files" series is published by Pocket Books. She is now writing her 16th and 17th "Crime Files" books. All of Ann's books have been New York Times' bestsellers, with
Every Breath You Take and Last Dance, Last Chance, and the current Don't Look Behind You and In the Still of the Night all in the top list at the same time.

Eight of Ann's books have been made into TV movies, and five more are in the works. She won the coveted Peabody Award for her miniseries,
Small Sacrifices, and has two Anthony Awards from Bouchercon, the mystery fans' organization. She has been nominated three times for Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America. She was also awarded the Washington State Governor's Award. Ann is active in support groups for victims of violent crimes and their families, in programs to help battered and abused women, and support groups for children caught in traumatic living situations.

Ann's daughter, Leslie Rule, is also an author.  Leslie's books are Whispers from the Grave, Kill Me Again
  Coast to Coast Ghosts--True Stories of Hauntings Across America, Ghosts Among Us, When the Ghost Screams--True Stories of Victims Who Haunt, Ghost in the Mirror and her latest, Where Angels Tread--Real Stories of Miracles and Angelic Intervention.

Ann's hobbies often take a backseat to her writing, but she has many interests. She loves animals and has two dogs and five cats at last count. She loves to garden, and collects "way too many things," including: antique bottles and pill boxes, miniature cars, cobalt blue glass, police paraphernalia, wind chimes, and teddy bears.  Of course, she loves to read--mostly non- fiction--biographies, autobiographies, and books on medical science. Her favorite authors are Anne Tyler, Garrison Keillor, Jerry Bledsoe, James Neff, Kathy Casey, Dawna Kauffman, Lois Duncan, Edna Buchanan, John Updike, Erma Bombeck, Donna Anders, Carl Hiassen, and, of course, Leslie Rule. 

Ann’s books Include The Stranger Beside Me (about her partner at Seattle's Crisis Clinic--Ted Bundy!) Possession, Lust Killer, Want-Ad Killer, The I-5 Killer, Small Sacrifices, If You Really Love Me, Too Late to Say Goodbye, And Never Let Her Go, Everything She Ever Wanted, Heart Full of Lies, In The Still of the Night, Empty Promises, Mortal Danger, Dead by Sunset, Bitter Harvest,  Every Breath You Take, Green River Running Red, But I Trusted You, Smoke, Mirrors and Murder, No Regrets, Kiss Me Kill Me, Last Dance Last Chance, A Rage to Kill, In the Name of Love, The End of the Dream, A Fever in the Heart, You belong to me, Without Pity, Worth More Dead, and A Rose For Her Grave.  They are all still in print.

She is currently working on
Deadly Neighbors, Fatal Friends, and Practice To Deceive—out in late 2012

 

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