The Stranger Beside Me (W.W. Norton & Company, 1980)
The world knew Ted Bundy to be a brutal serial killer, but for author Ann Rule, Bundy was a co-worker that she worked side-by-side with at a suicide hotline center. To her, Bundy was a handsome, charismatic friend. In The Stranger Beside Me, she recounts how she came to terms with the fact that the Bundy she knew was not necessarily the Bundy he really was. The Stranger Beside Me is an autobiographical and biographical look at Bundy’s life and crimes. In it, she writes about the events of the Chi Omega murders at Florida State University in January 1978 in third person. It’s not until Bundy’s capture and trials that rule is fully able to accept that Bundy is indeed a killer. This book is deeply unsettling and very personal. Rule has since gone on to become a renowned true crime author.
A film adaptation, the 2003 made-for-TV movie of the same name, The Stranger Beside Me starred Billy Campbell as Bundy and Barbara Hershey as Rule.