Famed true crime writer Ann Rule was victimized by her own two sons, who pilfered more than $120,000 from the bestselling author through intimidation and harassment even though their ailing mother gave them each thousands of dollars in a monthly allowance, according to prosecutors in Washington state.
Rule, a prolific writer who has penned more than 30 titles, has been in poor health since she broke her hip in an October 2013, since which time she’s been confined to a wheelchair and needed a full-time caregiver.
The 84-year-old woman’s weakened state allowed her sons, Michael, 51, and Andrew Rule, 54, to pounce, according to King County court documents obtained by the Huffington Post.
“By every witness’s account, Andy would pester and bully Ann relentlessly for money, sometimes threatening suicide, sometimes trying to make her feel guilty, sometimes screaming obscenities at her, until she would finally give in and write him a check,” the affidavit reads. “To put distance between her and Andy, Ann Rule arranged for him to pick up his salary checks from her attorney’s office, but this did not stop the persistent financial harassment.”
Ann eventually was forced to obtain a restraining order against her son, which he violated and was arrested for on March 27, according to the documents.
During an interview after that arrest, Andy “admitted that he has battled with drug and gambling addictions for years, and that he used the money provided to him by his mother on gambling and strip clubs.”
In just January alone, Andy gambled some $12,000 on racehorses, winning some $9,000.
Cops learned that Andy was able to bamboozle his ailing mom out of $23,327 between October 2013 and March, the docs show.
“I have never in my life, as God as my witness, stolen anything whatsoever from my mom,” Andy Rule told KIRO-TV when asked about the allegations.
His brother, Mike, was even more ruthless, despite a $9,000 monthly allowance, according to prosecutors.
Mike and his wife live on a property adjoining Ann Rule’s Normandy Park home and Mike was known to check in on his mother daily.
But he became overbearing, eventually wresting control of her financial matters from her in-home caregiver and longtime bookkeeper, giving him unlimited access to Ann Rule’s blank checks and bank accounts, the documents say.
He’d also show his “volatile temper,” constantly haranguing cash from his mom.
“He would yell at his mother demanding money as she cowered in her wheelchair,” the documents reveal.
When one of Rule’s bookkeepers expressed concerns over missing checks, Mike Rule refused to hand over transaction logs or left out key pages, the documents say.
Once Ann Rule’s accounts began to be overdrawn, the caregivers eventually downloaded a bank app to look at transactions and found dozens of checks, often made out to Mike or Marie Rule, had Ann Rule’s forged signature.
Authorities say he stole at least $103,628, money which Ann Rule said her son did not have permission to access.
The writer “was extremely dismayed to learn the scope of the theft,” the documents read.
Mike Rule is charged with theft and forgery while Andy is charged with theft. Both men are out jail awaiting trial.
Ann Rule has not spoken about the allegations against her sons. She’s best known for 1980’s “The Stranger Beside Me,” her firsthand account of befriending Ted Bundy - and later learning he was a serial killer.