Ann Rule typically turned out two books each year. One of the was a hardback book focusing on a particular crime and its ensuing investigation, while the other was a paperback covering several crimes in less detail. Ms. Rule died in July 2015 at the age of 83.
"The Stranger Beside Me" was Ms. Rule's first book. Published in 1980, it was about the crimes of a former co-worker, Ted Bundy. From then on, she was known for her true-crime books, several of which became television movies. Ms. Rule was a former provisional officer who later earned an associate's degree in criminal justice. She also did freelance writing before publishing her first book.