In the Still of the Night by Ann Rule

In the Still of the Night

By Ann Rule

  • Release Date: 2010-10-12
  • Genre: True Crime
Score: 3.5
From 10 Ratings
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FROM TRUE-CRIME LEGEND ANN RULE comes this riveting story of a young woman whose life ended too soon—and a determined mother’s eleven-year crusade to clear her daughter’s name.

It was nine days before Christmas 1998, and thirty-two-year-old Ronda Reynolds was getting ready to travel from Seattle to Spokane to visit her mother and brother and grandmother before the holidays. Ronda’s second marriage was dissolving after less than a year, her career as a pioneering female Washington State Trooper had ended, but she was optimistic about starting over again. "I’m actually looking forward to getting on with my life," she told her mother earlier the night before. "I just need a few days with you guys." Barb Thompson, Ronda’s mother, who had met her daughter’s second husband only once before, was just happy that Ronda was coming home.

At 6:20 that morning, Ron Reynolds called 911 and told the dispatcher his wife was dead. She had committed suicide, he said, although he hadn’t heard the gunshot and he didn’t know if she had a pulse. EMTs arrived, detectives arrived, the coroner’s deputy arrived, and a postmortem was conducted. Lewis County Coroner Terry Wilson, who neither visited the death scene nor attended the autopsy, declared the manner of Ronda’s death as "undetermined." Over the next eleven years, Coroner Wilson would change that manner of death from "undetermined" to "suicide," back to "undetermined"—and then back to "suicide" again.

But Barb Thompson never for one moment believed her daughter committed suicide. Neither did Detective Jerry Berry or ballistics expert Marty Hayes or attorney Royce Ferguson or dozens of Ronda’s friends. For eleven grueling years, through the ups and downs of the legal system and its endless delays, these people and others helped Barb Thompson fight to strike that painful word from her daughter’s death certificate.

On November 9, 2009, a precedent-setting hearing was held to determine whether Coroner Wilson’s office had been derelict in its duty in investigating the death of Ronda Reynolds. Veteran true-crime writer Ann Rule was present at that hearing, hoping to unbraid the tangled strands of conflicting statements and mishandled evidence and present all sides of this haunting case and to determine, perhaps, what happened to Ronda Reynolds, in the chill still of that tragic December night.


  • WOW ... Fantastic

    By willsmomanddad
    WOW, I'll state it again! I really believe in my heart that there was a 'rape' of justice here for Ronda! I also hope that Ms. Rule will have a followup book, soon to let us, the readers, know when there has been a trial. I can not believe the sex was consensual (?). Especially when the HIV factor weighs in! I believe she on top of everything else, was raped!!!
  • In the Still of the Night-Review

    By kbarkhouse
    I love true crime, and Ann Rule is my favorite author. This book is not classic Ann Rule. I had to force myself to finish it! I have read all of Ann Rules books, this was far from her best work. Disappointing.
  • Disappointing

    By CBeatty59
    A true crime book without at least an arrest of a suspect is disappointing. Rule milks this story for all it's worth, but it's only marginally interesting. Parts of it are very sloppily written, with repetitions, typos and other mistakes. Her compassion for the victim's mother sometimes clouds her journalistic judgment. All in all, this is NOT vintage Ann Rule.