America’s #1 true-crime writer fulfills a murder victim’s desperate plea with this shattering New York Times bestseller.“If anything ever happens to me…find Ann Rule and ask her to write my story.” In perhaps the first true-crime book written at the victim's request, Ann Rule untangles a web of lies and brutality that culminated in the murder of Sheila Blackthorne Bellush—a woman Rule never met, but whose shocking story she now chronicles with compassion, exacting detail, and unvarnished candor. Although happily ensconced in a loving second marriage, and a new family of quadruplets, Sheila never truly escaped the vicious enslavement of her ex-husband, multi-millionaire Allen Blackthorne, a handsome charmer— and a violent, controlling sociopath who subjected Sheila to unthinkable abuse in their marriage, and terrorized her for a decade after their divorce. When Sheila was slain in her home, in the presence of her four toddlers, authorities raced to link the crime to Blackthorne, the man who vowed to monitor Sheila's every move in his obsessive quest for power and revenge.
Ann Rae Stackhouse was born in Lowell, MI in 1931. Her mother taught school, specializing in developmentally disabled children, and her father was a coach. Ann was in law enforcement in her young adult years, as was many in her family. She received various degrees from different colleges and universities, including studying creative writing, criminology, and psychology at University of Washington.
Ann's marriage, and eventual divorce changed her last name to Rule, which she keeps as her author name. Her extensive education and experience as a police woman gave her the perfect credentials to become regarded by many as the foremost true crime writer in America, setting the standards for the genre. For example, while she was volunteering at a suicide hotline center in Seattle in 1971, she met a work study student by the name of Ted Bundy, not realizing until a few years later that it was the same Bundy responsible for a series of murders. To her, he was kind, solicitous, and empathetic. She wrote her first book about him, considered one of the definitive biographies of Bundy.......The Stranger Beside Me (written under her own name, rather than the previously used pen name).
Rule has been a full-time crime writer since 1969, and has published 33 books and 1400 articles, mostly on criminal cases.
Today, she teaches seminars to law enforcement groups, a certified instructor in many subjects such as: Serial Murder, Sadistic Sociopaths, Women Who Kill, and High Profile Offenders. She has consulted with the FBI at their headquarters in Quantico, VA tracking a system to help identify and trap serial killers. She testimonies twice before the Senate Judiciary Sub-committee on victim's rights and the danger of serial killers.
Simon and Schuster currently have Rule under contract. Eight of her books have been made into TV movies, and more are in the works. Ann is in active support groups for victims of violent crimes and their families, in programs to help battered and abused women, and support group.
I love true crime books, and this one was okay, just not great. I've read this author's work before, and this just wasn't up to par for me.