Acclaimed for her "devastatingly accurate insight" (The New York Times Book Review) into the criminal mind, Ann Rule has chronicled the most fascinating cases of our time in her bestselling Crime Files series. For this sixth stunning collection, Rule has culled from her private files the most-asked-about homicide cases -- riveting accounts of seemingly normal men and women who are compelled d by a murderous rage to suddenly lash out at innocent victims.
Torn from the headlines, here is the case that shocked a nation: the Seattle city bus ride that turned to mayhem and murder at the hands of a gunman. Ann Rule unmasks the forces that drove quiet, clean-cut Silas Cool to shoot the driver, causing the bus to plunge off the Aurora Bridge into an apartment building. The catastrophe left three dead -- including Cool -- and dozens injured. While the scene unfolds as in a terrifying movie, Rule finds very real answers to the haunting question "how could this happen?" -- and expertly constructs the unseen chain of events that resulted in an explosive and shattering tragedy.
Included here are nine other sensational cases that illuminate Rule's unique and authoritative view of the human psyche gone temporarily berserk. No one can match Rule's meticulous research, or reveal the motives to murder in such explicit and chilling detail. You may think you know who is safe and who is dangerous; in A Rage to Kill, Ann Rule frighteningly shows that none of us are truly protected from the flashes of irrational violence that can erupt from the killers among us.
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Posted May 24, 2009 by jz , oregonNot my favorite of her books but she makes the headlines come to life.
January 17, 2001
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Excerpt from A Rage To Kill And Other True Cases: by Ann Rule
This is a case that might well have come out of a bad dream. It demonstrates how little control humans have over their own destinies, and how disaster sometimes comes while we are involved in the most mundane pursuits. Along with a million other people, I watched it unfold on my television screen. But don't jump to conclusions; this is not a review of the Columbine High School massacre in Littleton, Colorado, although the motivation behind the two incidents are, perhaps, almost identical. Rage and resentment hidden beneath a bland faýade can explode in ways we might never imagine, and sometimes that kind of hatred can smolder for a very long time, even for decades.
On the day after Thanksgiving, 1998, I was cleaning my kitchen, which, for me, was playing hookey from writing. Like many moms with big families, I had spent all the day before cooking and this seemed a good time to try to create some kind of order in my kitchen drawers and cabinets. This was my idea of a holiday, polishing silver, lining cupboards and washing dishes while I watched daytime television.
But I was snapped out of my reverie when I heard the announcer cut into Oprah with a news bulletin; his voice had a nonprofessional edge to it that gave away what was clearly his own shock. I looked up at my little kitchen TV set to see an image there that made no sense at all. I recognized a familiar bridge, but everything else was a jumble of crushed metal, emergency vehicles, victims with bloody clothing, and sobbing bystanders. For the next three hours, I watched, transfixed with horror.
We all tend to think that really bad things are not going to happen in the town where we live-- that we are somehow protected by the law of averages, fate, and even angels. The classic quote from bystanders who cluster around a murder or a multiple fatality accident is always, "Things like that don't happen in our town." Television reporters seem to love that quote, no matter how predictable it has become. But sometimes, terrible things do happen right down the street from where we live. The tragedy that occurred in Seattle on the day after Thanksgiving, 1998, was like that, and the reasons behind it made for an unfathomable puzzle at first.
I set out to try to find some answers. What I eventually discovered was shocking. More than any case I've written about to date, this one demonstrates that there are people who live and breathe and move among us who live in a completely alien world. In Seattle, on the day after a holiday that traditionally signifies warmth and love, one of those people brought untold pain to perfect strangers. I had to know who he was, what he looked like, and, most important, what drove him to do what he did. You couldn't really tell who he was from the statements of almost forty eyewitnesses; he might have been a dozen different men.