By Ann Rule
FROM TRUE-CRIME LEGEND ANN RULE comes this riveting tale of a tender girl whose lifestyles ended too soon—and a made up our minds mother’s eleven-year campaign to transparent her daughter’s identify.
It was once 9 days prior to Christmas 1998, and thirty-two-year-old Ronda Reynolds was once on the point of go back and forth from Seattle to Spokane to go to her mom and brother and grandmother ahead of the vacations. Ronda’s moment marriage used to be dissolving after below a yr, her profession as a pioneering lady Washington kingdom Trooper had ended, yet she used to be positive approximately beginning once more. "I’m truly looking ahead to getting on with my life," she informed her mom past the evening earlier than. "I simply want a few days with you guys." Barb Thompson, Ronda’s mom, who had met her daughter’s moment husband just once prior to, used to be simply chuffed that Ronda was once coming domestic.
At 6:20 that morning, Ron Reynolds referred to as 911 and informed the dispatcher his spouse used to be useless. She had dedicated suicide, he stated, even supposing he hadn’t heard the gunshot and he didn’t comprehend if she had a pulse. EMTs arrived, detectives arrived, the coroner’s deputy arrived, and a postmortem was once performed. Lewis County Coroner Terry Wilson, who neither visited the demise scene nor attended the post-mortem, declared the style of Ronda’s demise as "undetermined." Over the subsequent 11 years, Coroner Wilson could swap that demeanour of demise from "undetermined" to "suicide," again to "undetermined"—and then again to "suicide" back.
But Barb Thompson by no means for one second believed her daughter dedicated suicide. Neither did Detective Jerry Berry or ballistics professional Marty Hayes or legal professional Royce Ferguson or dozens of Ronda’s pals. For 11 grueling years, during the ups and downs of the felony approach and its never-ending delays, those humans and others helped Barb Thompson struggle to strike that painful note from her daughter’s loss of life certificates.
On November nine, 2009, a precedent-setting listening to was once held to figure out even if Coroner Wilson’s workplace have been derelict in its accountability in investigating the loss of life of Ronda Reynolds. Veteran true-crime author Ann Rule was once current at that listening to, hoping to unbraid the tangled strands of conflicting statements and mishandled facts and current each side of this haunting case and to figure out, maybe, what occurred to Ronda Reynolds, within the sit back nonetheless of that tragic December evening.