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True crime author Ann Rule dead at 83

SEATTLE -- True crime writer Ann Rule, who wrote more than 30 books, including a profile of her former co-worker, serial killer Ted Bundy, has died at 83.

Rule died at Highline Medical Center, south of Seattle, at 10:30 p.m. Sunday, said Scott Thompson, a spokesman for CHI Franciscan Health. Rule's daughter, Leslie Rule, said on Facebook that her mother had many health issues, including congestive heart failure.

"My mom died peacefully last night," Leslie Rule wrote. "She got to see all of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren."

Why Ann Rule was intrigued with the Russel Douglas murder case

Ann Rule's first book, "The Stranger Beside Me," profiled Bundy, whom she got to know while sharing the late shift at a Seattle suicide hotline. She has said she had a contract to write about an unknown serial killer before her co-worker was charged with the crimes.

Rule, who went to work briefly at the Seattle Police Department when she was 21, began writing for magazines like "True Detective" in 1969. A biography on her author website says she has published more than 1,400 articles, mostly on criminal cases.

Rule said she was fascinated by killers' lives, going back to their childhood to find clues about why they did what they did.

After attending numerous workshops on crime topics from DNA to arson, local law enforcement, the FBI and the Justice Department started turning to Rule for her expertise on serial murders.

She aided the Green River Task Force as that group sought another Seattle-area serial killer, passing along tips that her readers shared. She wrote a book about the case, "Green River, Running Red."

Rule was born in 1931 in Lowell, Michigan, to a schoolteacher and a football, basketball and track coach. They moved around a lot when she was a kid, traveling from Michigan, to Pennsylvania, Oregon and California because of her father's coaching career.

Rule had been featured on "48 Hours," including in the 2012 episode, "Mystery on Twin Peaks Drive," about the 1998 death of Washington woman Ronda Reynolds. The case was the basis for one of Rule's books.

Rule also spoke to "48 Hours" when the broadcast focused on another case she'd written about -- the 2003 murder of Russel Douglas.

She earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Washington in creative writing, with minors in psychology, criminology, and penology.

In April, prosecutors filed charges against two of her sons,alleging they took thousands of dollars from her.