KING 5 is reporting that local true crime writer Ann Rule has died. If you've never read The Stranger Beside Me, about Rule's personal relationship with serial killer Ted Bundy, you really should. It's far and away her best book, and a classic of the true crime genre.

I wrote a snarky overview of Rule's writing back when I was the new kid at The Stranger, and while I regret the tone of the piece — I was so much younger then! — I do not regret my opinion of Rule's work. Her writing was often a little florid, but she was an impeccable journalist, an expert interviewer, and a terrific researcher. She deserved better from me than the piece I delivered, and I'm not going to link to it here.

Rule demonstrated exactly how reporters should cover crime: with facts, with hundreds of pages of research backing you up, and with a ton of compassion for the victims and survivors of the crime. She never sold a victim out in exchange for a great story. She always listened to survivors, and gave them time and space to tell their stories. There aren't enough reporters like her left anymore. It's so sad that Rule's last days were so difficult. She deserved better from the world after such a singular career and such an impressive body of work.