In the Still of the Night: The Strange Death of Ronda Reynolds and Her Mother's Unceasing Quest for the Truth

In the Still of the Night: The Strange Death of Ronda Reynolds and Her Mother's Unceasing Quest for the Truth

by Ann Rule

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439171851
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication date: 10/12/2010
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 51,621
File size: 18 MB
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About the Author

Ann Rule wrote thirty-five New York Times bestsellers, all of them still in print. Her first bestseller was The Stranger Beside Me, about her personal relationship with infamous serial killer Ted Bundy. A former Seattle police officer, she used her firsthand expertise in all her books. For more than three decades, she was a powerful advocate for victims of violent crime. She lived near Seattle and passed away in 2015.


Seattle, Washington

Date of Birth:

October 22, 1935

Place of Birth:

Lowell, Michigan


Creative Writing Program, University of Washington

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In the Still of the Night: The Strange Death of Ronda Reynolds and Her Mother's Unceasing Quest for the Truth 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 173 reviews.
bookjunkiesmom More than 1 year ago
I am a big Ann Rule fan,and this book does not deliver. Her style,as usual is stellar,but I expect resolution by the end of the story she has told. There is not only no resolution,but it is also extremely frustrating, because we know Ronda Reynolds' murderer and we know that he or they are walking free. I for one,do not want to read another story like this from Ann Rule unless there is closure at the end. Ann,I still love your writing and your meticulous research,not only of the main characters,but of every nuance of the story; the backdrop where the story takes place,the individuals' backgrounds,etc.There is no one better at what you do.Please give us closure in the next book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was intrigued with the story and Ann Rule's writing, as usual, was great. But she usually ends her books with some kind of closure or verdict. I am a huge Ann Rule fan, but it left me a bit unsatisfied because we do not have an answer, verdict or closure in the end.
BobbiMN More than 1 year ago
This book really puts you in touch with victims families but also adds all aspects of everyone involved. Another good read by my fav "Ann". :)
gabesgirl61 More than 1 year ago
I got so involved with the story of this mothers' struggle to find the truth of her daughters death that I didn't want to put my Nook down! Ann Rule is such a gifted writer and she makes all of her True Crime books read like novels. I want to know the 'end' of this story...who did kill Ronda???? Her mom deserves to know and justice must be served in this case.
sg54 More than 1 year ago
If you are a true crime buff you won't want to put your Nook down. I have read just about everything that Ann Rule has written and, as usual, she didn't disappoint. She always delivers.
Barbie Fiorentino More than 1 year ago
I am very glad Ann wrote this book to help Barb Thompson gain a larger audience in her unending quest for justice for her daughter!
Katia Borowski More than 1 year ago
im a big ann rule fan. the only thing that kind of sucked was the ending. i totaly get why she wrote the book just wish there was more to the story. someone is responsible for the murder and i hope one fay her family will get justice.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all of Ann Rules books and did not like this one as much as any of the others. Just wasn't suspensful. I do understand why she wrote the book, so everyone will know Rhonda Reynolds story and I believe it needed to be told.
HOWLINGWOLF73 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not one of the best V.C. Andrews books. I think it would have been tons better if the word "Daddy" wasn't used like 6 times on every page. Got to be very annoying. Almost didn't finish the book because of it. Some of her other series were much better than this one.
arielfl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is not my favorite Ann Rule book, that would be Small Sacrifices. This book was rather strange for me because this is the first one that she wrote that I can remember where the killer is not in jail when the book is written. In fact no killer is identified at all though several suspects are explored. The true story revolves around a young former state trooper named Ronda Reynolds who is rather unlucky in love. When she is thirty three and newly married to and on the verge of divorce with husband number two, she is found dead of a bullet wound to the head in her closet. She was planning on leaving her two timing husband who was sleeping with his ex, for good the next day. Ronda's death was initially ruled a suicide and the book is about her mother's effort to get the ruling changed to homicide. Along the way Barb, Ronda's mother picks up many supporters, one of whom is the author Ann Rule. After ten long years Barb is finally able to get a jury to rule Ronda's death a homicide but who is the murderer? Is it soon to be ex husband number two Ron Reynolds, one of his awful teenage male children, or Ron's ex wife who he was still sleeping with Katie? We don't know but Ann Rule explorers all of these possible suspects. Ann Rule asks for tips in this case on her website and Ronda's mother maintains a website as well. My main complaint about the book is that it feels like it was written before the story was finished and in actuality it may never be. Ann Rule is not just telling the story, she is trying to make it at the same time. I missed all of psychological dissection of the killer that is present in all of her other full length books. I would still recommend this book and I hope Ronda's killer is one day found and brought to justice.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful book. Hope she has a follow up once this case is solved. Stupid of cops thinking she killed herself. Evidence shows and proves that Rhonda was murdered.
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Lindsie More than 1 year ago
While this book may not have had the ending that readers expected, the book gives insight into the terrible case of Ronda Reynolds murder. Rule is compassionate in telling the story and gives justice to Ronda and her mother Barb even if the case hasn't been finished quite yet. I hope that Ann Rule will be able to finally set the record straight about the death. Moreover, I hope Barb gets the justice she deserves. Perhaps then Rule can finish the story that has captivated readers for the past 14 years. A+
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If you like true crime then Ann Rule is your girl. I have read several of her books and found them riveting. But this one. not so much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not my favorite but decent. It's amazing to "hear" Ann's voice as she recounts the mysteries so I feel as if I'm a detective on the case.
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