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 ahead of Christmas 1998, and thirty-two-year-old Ronda Reynolds was once on the brink of trip 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 under a 12 months, her occupation as a pioneering woman Washington nation Trooper had ended, yet she used to be confident approximately beginning yet again. "I’m truly looking ahead to getting on with my life," she advised her mom past the evening sooner 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 ahead of, used to be simply chuffed that Ronda used to be coming domestic.
At 6:20 that morning, Ron Reynolds known as 911 and advised the dispatcher his spouse used to be useless. She had devoted suicide, he stated, even though he hadn’t heard the gunshot and he didn’t recognize if she had a pulse. EMTs arrived, detectives arrived, the coroner’s deputy arrived, and a postmortem used to be carried out. Lewis County Coroner Terry Wilson, who neither visited the dying scene nor attended the post-mortem, declared the way of Ronda’s loss of life as "undetermined." Over the subsequent 11 years, Coroner Wilson might swap that demeanour of dying 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 acquaintances. For 11 grueling years, throughout the ups and downs of the criminal process and its never-ending delays, those humans and others helped Barb Thompson struggle to strike that painful notice from her daughter’s loss of life certificates.
On November nine, 2009, a precedent-setting listening to used to be held to figure out even if Coroner Wilson’s place of work were derelict in its responsibility 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 proof and current both sides of this haunting case and to figure out, maybe, what occurred to Ronda Reynolds, within the kick back nonetheless of that tragic December evening.