True Crime Author Was Victim of Financial Elder Abuse from Sons
Bestselling true crime author Ann Rule was reportedly the victim of financial elder abuse from her sons, who stole $100,000 while also psychologically torturing her, according to authorities.
Michael Rule, 51, and Andrew Rule, 54, were both arrested and charged with theft. Michael, who is accused of writing $103,628 in fraudulent checks from his mother’s bank account, has been charged with first-degree theft and forgery, while Andrew has been charged with first-degree theft for coercing their mother to give him $23,327. Both sons are out of jail on personal recognizance bonds.
Although neither has been officially charged with elder abuse yet, those charges could come later. On March 2nd, Rule’s son-in-law, Glen Scorr, reported to the Kind County Prosecuting Attorney’s office in Washington State that he believed Rule was the victim of financial elder abuse at the hands of her two sons.
The 84-year-old internationally best-selling true crime author has been in declining health since October 2013, when she fell and broke her hip. According to court documents, she is “on oxygen at all times,” suffers periods of “extreme confusion,” and is “vulnerable to undue influence.”
“She is unable to perform many activities of daily living without assistance,” according to statements. Prosecutors allege that her sons began taking advantage of her last year.
Ann Rule is most famous for her book, The Stranger Beside Me, about serial killer Ted Bundy.
Michael Rule lives on a property adjoining his mother’s Normandy Park home, and allegedly began to pressure her, starting last year, into giving him more money than his monthly stipend that is part of her estate. According to the Normandy Park Police Department, Ann Rule had set aside money for four of her children in the amount of $25,000 per month through her corporation, Rule Enterprises LLC. Authorities say that Michael Rule began to verbally intimidate his mother, and began to forge her signature on her checks between March 2014 and February 2015.
Michael Rule’s elder abuse was not just financial, but verbal and bordering on the physical, according to court documents. He would often “yell at his mother demanding money as she cowered in her wheelchair,” and once, Rule became so enraged that he “screamed at her and threw a cellphone across the room, smashing it to pieces.”
“Mike often goes into rages, where he throws things across the room and sweeps a counter clean with his arm,” Ann Rule reportedly told police. One of her caregivers even quit because she was so afraid of Michael’s violent temper.
Andrew Rule also became verbally aggressive and financially abusive toward his mother beginning in 2014.
“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 court documents claim.
Both Michael and Andrew deny the theft charges. Potential financial elder abuse charges are still pending as the case is still under investigation.
The Strom Law Firm Defends Victims of Financial Elder Abuse
If you believe your loved one is the victim of financial elder abuse from a nursing home, caregiver, or even family member, you do not have to suffer in silence. The South Carolina elder abuse attorneys at the Strom Law Firm offer a free, confidential consultation to discuss your worries and to see how we can help. Contact us today. 803.252.4800