Noted true-crime writer Ann Rule has died. I cannot honestly say that I am not saddened by her passing. More of a sense of relief.
I empathize with the family’s sense of loss. At least Ann Rule died a natural death after living a full life, and her survivors don’t have to deal with the horror of homicide. But I have no sorrow for the woman herself. Not after the way she treated me and my family, and others that she wrote about.
Ultimately, she and her publisher became unrepentant opportunists, capitalizing on the misery of others, and, in the case of the deaths of my parents, Loren and Jody Edwards, with little regard for the facts.
I understand the unwritten rule of not speaking ill of the dead, but painting a rosy portrait of an author with documented factual errors in her so-called true-crime books does no service to the newspapers’ readers, or hers.
In my book, Dare I Call It Murder?, I documented many egregious errors and omissions in her account of my parents’ deaths.
Rick Swart documented errors in another of her books in his article, “Ann Rule’s Sloppy Storytelling,” published in the Seattle Weekly in 2011. Ann Rule sued Swart and the publication for defamation, but a Seattle court tossed out the lawsuit last year.