Every Breath You Take : A True Story of Obsession, Revenge, and Murder

Version: Abridged
Author: Ann Rule
Narrator: Blair Brown
Genres: Fiction & Literature, True Crime
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published In: August 2004
# of Units: 5 CDs
Length: 6 hours
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When beautiful, blond Sheila married the charming, handsome Blackthorne, she was convinced she had found her perfect soul mate, and helped him attain the privileged life of the country club set. But behind Allen's smooth facade, she discovered a violent, controlling sociopath -- a liar, a scam artist, a sexual deviant. When she finally fled with their two young daughters, she was skeletally thin, bruised, and beaten.

Although Sheila recovered and remarried, she still felt she was doomed. Joyously pregnant -- she and her new husband expected quadruplets -- Sheila still feared Blackthorne would use his millions and power to track her down. As did her killer, who left her in a pool of blood marked by the tiny footprints of her two-year old toddlers. Could the authorities ever link Sheila's murder to Blackthorne himself? Was his true obsession high-stakes golf and his extravagant pink mansion -- or was it to destroy Sheila?

Following a trail of deception from Oregon and Hawaii to Texas and Florida, Ann Rule gained complete access to Sheila's family, friends, and neighbors, as well as to the detectives and prosecutors on the case. With Every Breath You Take, Ann Rule has written a heart-pounding account of obsession, revenge, and murder that will enthrall listeners from beginning to end.

Reviews (20)

Thank you Ann

Written by Robyn on September 20th, 2011

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Ann truly did a wonderful job writing this book. Sheila would have been proud. I enjoyed the introduction narrorated by Ann explaining Sheila's request that if anything were to ever happen to her contact Ann Rule. The narrorator was easy to listen to and read the book beautifully. Ann's books never disappoint me.

Ann doesn't disappoint

Written by Anonymous from Walla Walla, WA on March 15th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Ann Rule never disappoints me and this book is no exception. Facinating story so well written. Enjoyed every disturbing minute of it.

What lengths psychos will go to,,

Written by Anonymous from Woodbridge, NJ on November 27th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Its just a shame he couldn't be jailed for something before he had Sheila killed. And like all the rest of 'em, they are so smart yet never smart enough to outsmart the cops. I'm often amazed at how the police solve crimes, how they get every piece of evidence no matter how well hidden the bad guy think it is. It makes me wonder how the bad guys get it into their heads that they can just get away with murder, that they've done their job so well that no one would find out. I just hope Sheilas' husband was able to get alot of help with the babies, I can't image having to raise all them alone. Its unreal that one foul person can ruin so many families.

Every Breath You Take

Written by Laurajean on October 28th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Its another good book by Ann Rule. It's so sad that people like this exist in our society.

Every Breath You Take

Written by Lidia from Corona, CA on August 11th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I always enjoy Ann Rule's books. She consistently proves that truth really is stranger than fiction.

Good Listen

Written by Marc on June 21st, 2007

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Very good. Not may favorite Ann Rule book but still a good listen.

Every Breath you Take

Written by Anonymous on January 16th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 4/5

This was a good book. It shows you the desperation some women feel when the break up with crazy obsessed men. I feel sorry for the children left behind.

Good read

Written by Anonymous on October 2nd, 2006

  • Book Rating: 3/5

This was my first Ann Rule book and I was very impressed. She is very descriptive and goes into deep histories of many of the characters. Sometimes this can get rather confusing, but at the same time-I appreciate the detail. Good story, but very sad. I have actually seen this case on American Justice, so it was cool to hear the full story behind it. I recommend it, it was a good read (or listen!).

Dry but detailed

Written by Amanda Runnels on January 22nd, 2006

  • Book Rating: 3/5

This could have been alot better, but you knew the ending and the culprit at the beginning. So, there was no mystery, just finding out how he was brought to justice. Just the facts.

Every Breath You Take

Written by David Gardner on November 18th, 2005

  • Book Rating: 3/5

This is a factual, straight-forward account of the murder of Sheila Bellush. It describes in detail the plot hatched by her former husband, Allen Blackthorne and his cronies. While all the facts are well presented, the characters seem underdeveloped (with the possiblde exception of Allen Blackthorne. This may be due to the abridgement. It is a disgusting but interesting account of how someone with power and money can put in motion a set of actions that end in murder. Three stars because it ocaisionally got tedious.

Author Details

Author Details

Rule, Ann

"Ann Rule is regarded by many as the foremost true crime writer in America, and the author responsible for the genre as it exists today. She came to her career with a solid background in law enforcement and the criminal justice system. Both her grandfather and her uncle were Michigan sheriffs, her cousin was a Prosecuting Attorney and another uncle was the Medical Examiner. Raised in that environment, she grew up wanting to work in law enforcement herself. She is a former Seattle Policewoman, former caseworker for the Washington State Department of Public Assistance, former student intern at the Oregon State Training School for Girls.

Ann Rule was born in Lowell, Michigan on October 22. Her father, Chester R. Stackhouse, was a football, basketball and track coach. Her mother, Sophie Hansen Stackhouse, was a schoolteacher who taught the developmentally disabled. The family moved often as ""Stack"" Stackhouse's coaching career bloomed. They lived in Saginaw and Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Coatesville, Pennsylvania, Salem, Oregon, Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, and Palo Alto, California. With her ex-husband, Bill Rule, Ann lived in El Paso, Texas, and Youngstown, N.Y. She now lives near Seattle, Washington, on the shores of Puget Sound. She is the mother of five, grandmother of three. Her daughter, Leslie Rule is also a writer. Leslie's books are Whispers From the Grave and Kill Me Again. Leslie has a new book out called Coast to Coast Ghosts--True Stories of Hauntings Across America

Laura works with children of battered women and the elderly, Andy Rule works in consumer research, Mike Rule manages Ann's office and does interviews for the Blind Radio Network, and Bruce Sherles works in the cookie industry.

Ann has been a full-time true crime writer since 1969. Over the past 30 years, she has published 20 books and 1400 articles, mostly on criminal cases. Ann graduated from Coatesville High School, and has a BA from the University of Washington in Creative Writing, with minors in psychology, criminology and penology. She studied two years at Highline Community College, taking courses in crime scene investigation, police administration, crime scene photography and arrest, search and seizure. She has attended every seminar that police organizations invite her to, including those on organized crime, arson, bomb search, DNA, etc. She has 30 hours credit at the University of Washington Medical School earned by attending the National Medical Examiners' Conference. She attended the King County Police Basic Homicide School for two weeks. Today, she herself teaches seminars to many law enforcement groups. She is a certified instructor in many states on subjects such as: Serial Murder, Sadistic Sociopaths, Women Who Kill, and High Profile Offenders. She was on the U.S. Justice Department Task Force that set up VI-CAP, the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program now in place at FBI Headquarters in Quantico, a computer tracking system to help identify and trap serial killers. She has testified twice before Senate Judiciary Sub-committees on victims' rights and on the danger of serial killers.

When Ann spent her summer vacations with her grandparents in Stanton, Michigan, she helped her grandmother prepare meals for the prisoners in the jail. She used to wonder why such friendly, normal-appearing, men were locked behind bars, and why the sweet woman in the cell upstairs--who taught Ann to crochet--was about to go on trial for murder. That was the beginning of her lifelong curiosity about the ""Whys"" behind criminal behavior. Her books all explore the reasons behind the front-page cases she covers.

Ann's books deal with three areas: the victims' stories; the detectives and prosecutors and how they solve their cases with old fashioned police work and modern forensic science, and the killers? lives. She tries to go back to the killers' early childhood, and even back into their family histories to find some of the genesis of their behavior. She spends many months researching her books, beginning with the trial and with many subsequent visits to the locale where the crimes occurred. Once she has finished her research, she returns to her office to write her books.

Currently, she is under contract to Simon & Schuster/Free Press and Pocket Books. Her hardcover books are with Free Press and her original ""Ann Rule's Crime Files"" series is published by Pocket Books. She is now writing her 9th and 10th ""Crime Files"" books.

20 of Ann's books have been New York Times' bestsellers, with Every Breath You Take and Last Dance, Last Chance both on the list at the same time. Four books have been made into TV movies, and five more are in the works. She won the coveted Peabody Award for her miniseries, Small Sacrifices, and has two Anthony Awards from Bouchercon, the mystery fans' organization. She has been nominated three times for Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America. She was also awarded the Washington State Governor's Award.

Ann is active in support groups for victims of violent crimes and their families, in the Y.W.C.A.'s program to help battered and abused women, and in Childhelp and Childhaven, support groups for children.

Ann's hobbies often take a backseat to her writing, but she has many interests. She loves animals and has two dogs and five cats at last count. She loves to garden, and collects ""way too many things,"" including: antique bottles and pill boxes, miniature cars, cobalt blue glass, police paraphernalia, wind chimes, and teddy bears. She is still working on her dollhouse, a rather unusual one--a house of ill repute. She tries to walk two or three miles every morning before she starts writing, and loves to beach comb and go to second-hand stores. Of course, she loves to read--mostly non- fiction--biographies, autobiographies, and books on medical science. Her favorite authors are Anne Tyler, Garrison Keillor, Jerry Bledsoe, James Neff, Kathy Casey, Lois Duncan, Edna Buchanan, John Updike, Erma Bombeck, Donna Anders, Carl Hiassen, and, of course, Leslie Rule!

Ann sends out a free newsletter about once a year by mail. For those who don't have access to the on-line newsletter or who want it in hard copy, please send your street or P.O. Box address to the her box number, and she will be glad to put you on the mailing list. The on-line newsletter will be updated frequently. "