Ann Ruleís Crime Files have been hitting the big lists in the book world for many years now. Volume 13, Mortal Danger and Other True Cases, encompasses two longer
cases from the not-so-distant past and a small grouping of shorter pieces whose tales are just as important, although the details do not require the length of the first two.
Rule first goes into the dangerous territorial saga between Kate Jewell and Dr. John Branden. Over
the course of a relationship that spanned a decade and all the classic qualities attributed to violent domestic abuse and mental abuse,
other extenuating circumstances raised the level of terror and the bizarre. A sad tale such as this,
full of the complicated situations in which women find themselves and the victim status that
traps them in a circle of ongoing horror, shows some light and a way to get out if the strength and opportunity present
The second story is much more contemporary, and its violent political aftershocks affected the vice-presidential candidacy of one potential hopeful and the newly claimed
judgeship for an individual who had built her career on being tough. In Washington state, November 2007, the murdered bodies of Bev and Brian Mauck were found on their living room floor with several gunshot wounds to the heads and signs of trauma to Bevís body. In this small, rural, virtually crimeless part of the state, the murder of this vivacious and good-natured
couple would be the beginning of an amazing spiral down the rabbit hole into a bloodbath that began years
before in another state.
As the investigation began to uncover disturbing truths about Daniel Tavares, a recently released convict residing next door, the gut-wrenching travesty took
on a whole new light. This man was connected, though nothing had been officially confirmed, with the serial murders deemed ďthe Highway Killings,Ē the murder of Gayle Botelho, and the murder of his mother, all in Massachusetts. Why was he allowed fresh out of prison without any kind of monitoring system?
Ultimately, many would pay dearly for their ineptitude in failing to keep this monster where he belonged behind bars, but Brian and Bev Mauck had to pay the biggest price.
Ann Rule really does a phenomenal job researching, detailing, and relating the stories of these unfortunate victims and how their tragic tales came about. She not only tells a story but also educates her readers, not so much giving a list of doís and doníts but highlighting a victimís thinking
and a predatorís odd behavior, including hints about the types of places that
are safe houses, reasons that are traps for staying in a dangerous situation, or
providing information for contacting help. While Rule is an author, she plays a
role like America's Most Wanted, telling stories that need addressing and identifying both the victims and the aggressors by their defining characteristics to give aid in identifying people for who they are. Rule has
crafted some riveting reading in her volumes including Mortal Danger, but more than that, she is
ensuring that the victims of these ruthless monsters are not forgotten and that their stories can help others in situations similar to those that took their lives.