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Book Bag: Ann Rule's Stranger Beside Me

Book Bag: Ann Rule's Stranger Beside Me

As more information comes out about alleged Craigslist Killer Philip Markoff's predelictions (for gambling, answering ads for casual sex with men, collecting souvenirs from his victims), one can only feel for his fiancée and family who must be blindsided by what has happened.

His fiancée has publicly offered her support, saying that she still loves him and that, "What has been portrayed and leaked to the media is not the Philip Markoff that I know." Maybe the media's portrayal is based on faulty police information — or maybe this case reminds us that we sometimes don't really know the people we feel closest to. To find out what true crime book the Craigslist Killer case reminds me of,

The Markoff case brought to mind crime writer Ann Rule's memoir The Stranger Beside Me, about her friendship with serial killer Ted Bundy who was executed in 1989 for murdering three women.

A crime reporter at the time, Rule worked alongside Bundy at a crisis hotline center and was friends with the man people described as handsome, intelligent, and likeable (as many sociopaths are).

Rule discusses their parallel lives — hers as a crime reporter, his as a serial killer — and what it felt like when her friend, she discovered, was a sadistic, cunning sociopath who may have killed as many as 100 women. This chilling account reveals the toll such people have on the innocent friends and family who are left behind to puzzle at who their loved one really was.

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