Crime Author Sues Seattle Weekly For Libel

| by Amanda Schallert
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A crime author is suing the Seattle Weekly for libel, after the paper published a critical review of her and her book without including key facts about the submission writer’s conflict of interest.

The Seattle Weekly review accused author Ann Rule of “sloppy storytelling” in her 2003 true crime book Heart Full of Lies, which is about a woman who killed her husband, according to the Daily Mail.

But the paper failed to disclose that the review was written by the killer’s current husband and to correct multiple factual mistakes in the article, according to

The paper ran the controversial article on its front page along with a cartoon of Rule.

Rule’s book is based on the life of Liysa Northon, who was convicted and imprisoned for the manslaughter of her husband. 

The author of the review — Rick Swart — was engaged to Northon when he accused Rule of making up parts of her story.

Caleb Hannan was the editor of the Seattle Weekly at the time, but the paper has changed ownership since the article ran.

Rule accused Hannan of not doing his job — proper fact-checking, reporting and editing — when he did not conduct background checks on the author. 

"Any meaningful inquiry by the Seattle Weekly or Hannon should have discovered this significant source of bias," Rule’s complaint says.

Rule is seeking damages for the harm she claims the negative review caused her.

Sources: The Daily Mail,