Ann Rae Stackhouse was born on October 22, 1931, in Lowell, Michigan. One of two children of Chester R. Stackhouse and Sophie Marie Hansen, her mother was a teacher, specializing in developmentally disabled children; her father was a sports coach. As Rule did during young adulthood, her family members had careers in law enforcement. Rule’s grandfather and uncle were sheriffs in Michigan, another uncle was a medical examiner, and one cousin was a prosecutor. Rule spent summers with her grandparents doing volunteer work in the local jail. Rule graduated from Coatesville High School in Chester County, Pennsylvania and later earned an associate degree from Highline Community College in Des Moines, Washington. Rule also attended the University of Washington, studying creative writing, criminology, and psychology. Rule’s career path included working as a law enforcement officer for the Seattle Police Department as well as writing for publications geared toward women. Beginning in 1969, she wrote for True Detective magazine under the nom de plume “Andy Stack.” While working at a suicide crisis hotline center in Seattle, Rule met Ted Bundy in 1971. Both were volunteering their time. She didn’t realize until a few years later that Bundy was responsible for a series of murders and while working together, Rule noted nothing disturbing in Bundy’s personality at the time. To Rule, Bundy was “kind, solicitous, and empathetic”. Her first book, The Stranger Beside Me, is considered one of the definitive biographies of Bundy and was written under her own name rather than her previously used pen-name. Rule’s next three books (The Lust Killer, Jerry Brudos; The Want-Ad Killer, Harvey Carignan; and The I-5 Killer about Randall Woodfield) were released with her pen-name but, following her success of the Bundy book, were re-released with Rule as the author. In April 2012, 48 Hours Mystery covered Rule’s successful effort to help a mother prove her daughter’s 1998 death was murder. The resulting book was In the Still of the Night. One of her most recent books, Practice to Deceive, about a 2003 murder on Whidbey Island, Washington, was released in October 2013. On the island for the launch of a book tour, Rule fell in the hotel and broke her hip, forcing the cancellation of the event.
It was reported in April 2015 that two of Rule’s sons, Michael Rule and Andrew Rule, had been charged with crimes related to the theft of money from the author. King County authorities stated that over time, both sons had taken “more than $100,000 from Rule…one of whom demanded money while she ‘cowered in her wheelchair’,” authorities said. Michael Rule, 51, is charged with first-degree theft and forgery. According to court documents, he is accused of writing checks from Rule’s bank account totaling $103,628. Andrew Rule, 54, also charged with first-degree theft, is accused of convincing his mother to give him $23,327. According to an April 2015 Huffington Post article, Rule had been in declining health since October 2013 as a result of her broken hip. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office records noted at that time that she “is on oxygen at all times” and was suffering from “extreme confusion” as well as being “vulnerable to undue influence” and “is unable to perform many activities of daily living without assistance.” According to prosecutors, Rule’s sons started taking advantage of her poor health and the authorities were made aware of the thefts by her son-in-law, Glen Scorr. According to the Huffington Post article, Scorr “suspected his mother-in-law was being financially exploited by her two sons.” Following a joint investigation by the King County Sheriff’s Office and Normandy Park Police Department, it was discovered that Rule’s children receive around $25,000 per month in salary through her corporation, Rule Enterprises LLC. Michael Rule resides on a property next to his mother’s Normandy Park home. The Huffington Post reported that law enforcement investigators discovered he “pressured her into providing him with funds above his monthly salary” and “forged her signature on checks from March 2014 to February 2015.” Court documents further stated Michael Rule would verbally abuse Rule, and would “yell at his mother demanding money as she cowered in her wheelchair.” During the investigation, Rule stated, “Mike often goes into rages, where he throws things across the room and sweeps a counter clean with his arm.”
Authorities also stated Andrew Rule had been aggressive when trying to get money from Rule during 2014, including threatening suicide, and screaming obscenities at her. Rule was granted an order of protection against Andrew Rule in January 2015. He subsequently violated the order on March 27, 2015. While he was in police custody, Andrew Rule told law enforcement he “battled drug and gambling addictions for years and that he used the money provided to him by his mother on gambling and strip clubs.” Andrew Rule has denied any culpability in regard to the first-degree theft charges. Rule’s family and publisher, Simon & Shuster, announced to the media on July 27, 2015, that she died as a result of congestive heart failure on July 26, 2015. Her death followed a visit to the emergency room where she went for treatment due to a heart attack. Rule had been moved to hospice care one day before she died.
- October, 22, 1931
- Lowell, Michigan
- July, 26, 2015
- Burien, Washington
Cause of Death
- congestive heart failure