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The Essential Ann Rule: 8 Chilling True Stories About Sociopaths and Serial Killers

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Ann Rule has written thirty-five New York Times Bestsellers. Her first, The Stranger Beside Me, detailed her personal relationship with the infamous serial killer Ted Bundy. Now, it’s no wonder she’s known as one of America’s best true-crime writers. Drawing on her firsthand experience as a former Seattle police officer, she shares the stories of serial killers and sociopaths, bringing to light some of the most depraved acts and reminding us that sometimes the biggest mistake can be trusting the wrong person.


The Stranger Beside Me
by Ann Rule

Ann Rule’s unforgettable classic account of the horrifying murders in the Pacific Northwest and her shock when she discovered her friend—Ted Bundy—was not only a suspect but also one of the most prolific serial killers in American history. The Stranger Beside Me is Rule’s compelling firsthand account of not just her relationship with Bundy, but also his life—from his complicated childhood to the media circus of his trials

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The Stranger Beside Me
Ann Rule

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Ann Rule, “America’s best true-crime writer” (Kirkus Reviews), her unforgettable classic account of the horrifying murders in the Pacific Northwest and her shock when she discovered her friend—Ted Bundy—was not only a suspect but also one of the most prolific serial killers in American history.

Meeting in 1971 at a Seattle crisis clinic, Ann Rule and Ted Bundy developed a friendship and correspondence that would span the rest of his life. Rule had no idea that when they went their separate ways, their paths would cross again under shocking circumstances.

The Stranger Beside Me is Rule’s compelling firsthand account of not just her relationship with Bundy, but also his life—from his complicated childhood to the media circus of his trials. Astonishing in its intimacy and with Rule’s clear-eyed prose, you can’t help but share in her growing horror at discovering that her friend was one of the most notorious American serial killers.

An unforgettable and haunting work of research, journalism, and personal memories, The Stranger Beside Me is “as dramatic and chilling as a bedroom window shattering at midnight” (The New York Times).

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The Essential Ann Rule: 8 Chilling True Stories About Sociopaths and Serial Killers

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 10, 2020

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Lying in Wait
by Ann Rule

Ann Rule presents a collection of fascinating and disturbing true-crime stories—drawn from her real-life personal files—in this seventeenth volume in the #1 New York Times bestselling Crime Files series. With her ability to translate the most complex cases into storytelling “as dramatic and chilling as a bedroom window shattering at night” (The New York Times), Rule expertly analyzes the thoughts and deeds of the sociopath.

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Lying in Wait
Ann Rule

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Green River, Running Red
by Ann Rule

With her signature riveting prose and in-depth research, Ann Rule takes us behind the scenes of the search for the Green River Killer, a terrifying specter who ritualistically killed young women and eluded authorities for years. Green River, Running Red is the suspenseful and unforgettable “definitive narrative of the brutal and senseless crimes that haunted the Seattle area for decades” (Publishers Weekly).

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Green River, Running Red
Ann Rule

In this provocative and eye-opening classic of investigative journalism, the #1 New York Times bestselling author and “America’s best true-crime writer” (Kirkus Reviews), Ann Rule, explores the nearly twenty-year long search for America’s most prolific and horrifying serial killer.

In 1982, the body of Wendy Coffield is discovered floating near the sandy shore of Washington’s Green River. Authorities have no idea that this tragic and violent death is only the beginning of a string of murders that will rock and terrify the Seattle area for two decades.

With her signature riveting prose and in-depth research, Ann Rule takes us behind the scenes of the search for the Green River Killer, a terrifying specter who ritualistically killed young women and eluded authorities for years. From seeking the help of incarcerated serial killer Ted Bundy to Ann Rule’s horrifying realization that the killer she was writing about had attended her book signings, Green River, Running Red is the suspenseful and unforgettable “definitive narrative of the brutal and senseless crimes that haunted the Seattle area for decades” (Publishers Weekly).

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The Essential Ann Rule: 8 Chilling True Stories About Sociopaths and Serial Killers

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 10, 2020

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Fatal Friends, Deadly Neighbors
by Ann Rule

Ann Rule’s sixteenth volume in her True Crime Files series, Deadly Neighbors delves into the unsolved case of a billionaire’s son mysteriously falling off a balcony to his death and more. In these shattering inside views of both headlined and little-known homicides, Rule speaks for vulnerable victims who relied on the wrong people.

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Fatal Friends, Deadly Neighbors
Ann Rule

#1 New York Times bestselling author and queen of true crime Ann Rule’s sixteenth volume in her True Crime Files series, Deadly Neighbors delves into the unsolved case of a billionaire’s son mysteriously falling off a balcony to his death and more.

In July 2011, billionaire Jonah Shacknai’s Coronado, California, mansion was the setting for two horrifying deaths only days apart—his young son’s plunge from a balcony and his girlfriend’s ghastly hanging. What really happened? Baffling questions remain unanswered, as these cases were closed far too soon for hundreds of people; Rule looks at them now through the eyes of a relentless crime reporter. The second probe began in Utah when Susan Powell vanished in a 2009 blizzard. Her controlling husband, Josh, proved capable of a blind rage that was heartbreakingly fatal to his innocent small sons almost three years later in a tragedy that shocked America as the details unfolded. If anyone had detected the depth of depravity within Josh Powell, perhaps the family that loved and trusted him would have been saved. In these and seven other riveting cases, Ann Rule exposes the twisted truth behind the façades of Fatal Friends, Deadly Neighbors.

These doomed relationships are the focus of queen of true crime Ann Rule’s sixteenth all-new Crime Files collection. In these shattering inside views of both headlined and little-known homicides, Rule speaks for vulnerable victims who relied on the wrong people. She begins with two startling novella-length investigations.

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The Essential Ann Rule: 8 Chilling True Stories About Sociopaths and Serial Killers

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 10, 2020

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Practice to Deceive
by Ann Rule

Accessible only by ferry, Whidbey Island is known for its artistic communities and stunning natural beauty. But when the blood-drenched body of Russel Douglas was discovered the day after Christmas in his SUV in a hidden driveway near Whidbey’s most exclusive mansion, the whole island was shocked. Ann Rule unravels this shattering case of Christmastime murder—presented with the clarity, authority, and emotional depth that Rule’s readers expect.

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Practice to Deceive
Ann Rule

This New York Times bestseller—from “America’s best true-crime writer” (Kirkus Reviews) and the author of The Stranger Beside Me—is a shocking tale of greed, sex, scandal, and murder on an isolated and eerie island in the Pacific Northwest.

With more than 50 million copies of her books in print—from her chilling personal account of knowing Ted Bundy to sixteen collections in her #1 bestselling Crime Files series—Ann Rule is a legendary true crime writer. Here, in Practice to Deceive, Rule unravels a shattering case of Christmastime murder off the coast of Washington State—presented with the clarity, authority, and emotional depth that Rule’s readers expect.

Nestled in Puget Sound, Whidbey Island is a gem of the Pacific Northwest. Accessible only by ferry, it is known for its artistic communities and stunning natural beauty. Life there is low-key, and the island’s year-round residents tend to know one another’s business. But when the blood-drenched body of Russel Douglas was discovered the day after Christmas in his SUV in a hidden driveway near Whidbey’s most exclusive mansion—a single bullet between his eyes—the whole island was shocked. At first, police suspected suicide, tragically common at the height of the holiday season. But when they found no gun in or near the SUV, Russel’s manner of death became homicide.

Brenna Douglas, Russel’s estranged and soon-to-be-ex wife, allowed him to come home for a Christmas visit with their children. The couple owned the popular Just B’s salon. Brenna’s good friend Peggy Sue Thomas worked there, and Brenna complained often to her that Russel was physically and emotionally abusive. Peggy Sue’s own life has been one of extremes. Married three times, hers is a rags-to-riches-and-back-again tale in which she’s played many roles, from aircraft mechanic to “drop-dead gorgeous” beauty queen as a former Ms. Washington. But in 2003, her love affair with married guitarist Jim Huden led the two Whidbey Island natives to pursue their ultimate dreams of wealth and privilege—even at the expense of human life.

Unravel the tangled web woven by Russel Douglas’s murder in Practice to Deceive, a heart pounding true-crime tour de force.

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The Essential Ann Rule: 8 Chilling True Stories About Sociopaths and Serial Killers

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 10, 2020

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Don't Look Behind You
by Ann Rule

Ann Rule chronicles fateful encounters with the hidden predators among us in this riveting collection, fifteenth in the bestselling series drawn from her personal files, beginning with a stunning case that spanned thirty years and took a determined detective to four states—ending, finally, in Alaska—where he unraveled not one but two murders. In another true story, a petite woman went to a tavern and met a violent death in the form of a seven-foot man who had seemed shy and harmless. You’ll feel a chill as you uncover these and numerous other cases of unfortunate victims who made one tragic mistake: trusting the wrong person.

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Don't Look Behind You
Ann Rule

I’LL BE WATCHING YOU

Walking home on a dark night, you hear footsteps coming up behind you. As they get closer, your heart pounds harder. Who is closing in with dangerous intent—a total stranger? Or someone you know and trust? The answer is as simple as turning around, but don’t look behind you . . . run. Ann Rule, who shared her own nerve-jangling account of unknowingly befriending sadistic sociopath Ted Bundy in The Stranger Beside Me, chronicles other fateful encounters with the hidden predators among us in this riveting collection, fifteenth in the bestselling series drawn from her personal files. First in line is a stunning case that spanned thirty years and took a determined detective to four states—ending, finally, in Alaska—where he unraveled not one but two murders. A second case appears to begin and end with the hunt for the Green River Killer, focusing on a Washington State man who was once cleared as a suspect in that deadly chain of homicides. But the millionaire property owner believed he had successfully buried his own murderous past and the awful truth behind his young wife’s disappearance. She vanished soon after she left for a day at the Seattle World’s Fair, and her three small children grew up believing their mother had abandoned them. But one amazing witness remained—the missing woman’s best friend, who heard her last words in a frantic phone call—“He’s coming!”—before the line went dead. Only since Robert Hansen’s suicide has the monster within been revealed. In another true story, a petite woman went to a tavern, looking only for conversation and fun. Instead, she met violent death in the form of a seven-foot man who had seemed shy and harmless. You’ll feel a chill as you uncover these and numerous other cases of unfortunate victims who made one tragic mistake: trusting the wrong person—even someone they’d known intimately, or thought they knew.

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The Essential Ann Rule: 8 Chilling True Stories About Sociopaths and Serial Killers

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 10, 2020

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Mortal Danger
by Ann Rule

Ann Rule brings her brilliantly informed understanding of the sociopath to this riveting true crime collection, featuring a Southern California family man who lured a beautiful flight attendant into a passionate and dangerous relationship, a woman who masterminded her husband’s murder to gain his inheritance, a monstrous sadist whose prison release damaged a presidential candidate’s campaign, and many more.

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Mortal Danger
Ann Rule

In this unputdownable true crime collection from New York Times bestselling author Ann Rule, discover fascinating cases of the spouse, lover, family member, or helpful stranger whose lethally violent nature, though masterfully disguised, can and will kill.

The author of The Stranger Beside Me brings her brilliantly informed understanding of the sociopath to this riveting true crime collection. Featured here is the case of a Southern California family man who lured a beautiful flight attendant into a passionate and dangerous relationship. Other cases include that of the woman who masterminded her husband’s murder to gain his inheritance...the monstrous sadist whose prison release damaged a presidential candidate’s campaign and ended in a bitter double tragedy in a quiet neighborhood three thousand miles away...the shocking DNA link between a cold-blooded crime and a cold case...and inside the horrific case of the man who crossed an ocean and several countries to stalk the Eurasian beauty who had fled from him in desperation.

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The Essential Ann Rule: 8 Chilling True Stories About Sociopaths and Serial Killers

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 10, 2020

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But I Trusted You
by Ann Rule

In this volume of Ann Rule’s Crime Files, discover unforgettable cases of the spouse, lover, family member or a helpful stranger who is totally trusted—until it’s too late. Headlining this page-turning anthology is the case of middle-school counselor Chuck Leonard, found shot to death outside his Washington State home. A complicated mix of family man and wild man, Chuck played hard and loved many...but who crossed the line by murdering him in cold blood? And why?

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But I Trusted You
Ann Rule

In this volume of Ann Rule’s Crime Files, discover unforgettable cases of the spouse, lover, family member or a helpful stranger who is totally trusted—until it’s too late.

Trust. It’s the foundation of any enduring relationship between friends, lovers, spouses, and families. But when trust is placed in those who are not what they seem, the results can be deadly. The New York Times bestselling author Ann Rule offers a riveting, all-new collection from her true-crime files, with the lethally shattered bonds of trust at the core of each bloodsoaked account.

Whether driven to extreme violence by greed or jealousy, passion or rage, these calculating sociopaths targeted those closest to them—unwitting victims whose last disbelieving words could well have been “but I trusted you....”

Headlining this page-turning anthology is the case of middle-school counselor Chuck Leonard, found shot to death outside his Washington State home on an icy February morning. A complicated mix of family man and wild man, Chuck played hard and loved many...but who crossed the line by murdering him in cold blood? And why? The revelation is as stunning as the shattering crime itself, powerfully illuminating how those we think we know can ingeniously hide their destructive and homicidal designs. Along with other shattering cases, immaculately detailed and sharply analyzed by America's #1 true crime writer, this fourteenth Crime Files volume is essential reading for getting inside the mind of the hidden killers among us.

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The Essential Ann Rule: 8 Chilling True Stories About Sociopaths and Serial Killers

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 10, 2020

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