Her grandfather and an uncle were sheriffs; another uncle was the medical examiner; a cousin was the district attorney.
Rule went West after high school, earning a bachelor's degree in creative writing from the University of Washington. After graduation, she became the youngest policewoman ever hired by the Seattle Police Department. Later, she was a caseworker for the Washington state Department of Public Assistance.
Since becoming a true-crime writer, Rule, who now lives outside Seattle, has tried to learn more about her subject. She attends law enforcement seminars on everything from how to search for bombs to dealing with street gangs and new ways to solve homicide. She has sat through more than 100 trials.
For more than 25 years, she has worked full time as an author and lecturer. She has written 1,400 articles on crime and published 17 books. Her recent book, And Never Let Her Go, is about the Capano case; she appears on a 48 Hours segment to discuss it.
When she is not writing or lecturing, she spends time with her five grown children and her many pets. She also collects police paraphernalia.