Monday, September 19, 2011

The Stranger Beside Me Book Review

The Stranger Beside Me is written by Ann Rule who is well known for her true crime books. It was written in 1980 and it revolves around the serial killer Ted Bundy. Ann Rule worked with him at a crisis centre and she knew him pretty well before she found out that he was a serial killer.

Ted Bundy(pictured above) was a handsome, intelligent, charming young man who was one of the most brutal serial killers in U.S. history. He was cold and calculating and he had no mercy for those women he killed. It is thought that he began his murdering career after his girlfriend jilted him because he was going nowhere. He was devastated and he worked his way up until he became a very successful person and he won her back. But, then he dumped her suddenly as revenge for her dumping him. Then he began to batter and rape and strangle women. He was clever though and he took the women with him and disposed of them elsewhere. Some of the bodies still haven't been recovered. He wanted young pretty women with their long hair parted in the middle as it reminded him of his first girlfriend who had hurt him. They were all smart and they all had a lot to live for.

Bundy  moved around from Washington to Utah to Colorado and to Florida where he committed his final crimes. Bundy had a girlfriend while he was killing women and he had a life away from his crimes. He picked up two women in the same day and neither of them were ever seen alive again. He continued on with his killing spree in Utah and more women disappeared. He would have kept killing if he had not been pulled over by a cop and questioned. The cop found the tools of his trade in the trunk. There was a ski mask, a crow bar, rope and handcuffs. He tried to explain away the find by saying that they were common household items but the cops were suspicious of him and he was kept under 24 hour surveillance after he was released. As Bundy had tried to kidnap a woman called Carol DaRonch, she was able to identify him from a line up. He was charged with the kidnapping. He was also charged with murder.

This began a trial which would last for a long time. While he was in custody, he escaped and jumped out of a window. He headed for Aspen but was soon recaptured. He escaped again a few months later and this time he headed to Florida. He went to the Chi Omega sorority house and he killed two girls and almost killed 2 others. Then he broke into the house of another girl and almost killed her two. A while later, he picked up and killed 12 year old Kimberly Leach and this would turn out to be his last murder.
He was caught once again and he was charged with the Florida murders. His trial dragged on for years and Bundy was representing himself. He loved the attention he got from the media and he was cocky, arrogant and he relished the details of his murders. He was sentenced to death by electric chair and he died in 1989.

The book deals with Ann Rule's(pictured above) relationship with Bundy and how it was hard for her to believe that he was a serial killer. She tells us all about her letters from him and how he felt about his crimes etc. It is a great crime book and it is a must for any true crime fan. It is interesting and well written. I enjoyed it a lot and I really recommend it. It is a great insight into the mind of a killer.


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