Who Is Ruth Finley, The Focus Of ‘The Killer Inside’?

Ruth Finley | YouTube

The Killer Inside: The Ruth Finley Story is coming to Lifetime this month. The true-crime movie stars Teri Hatcher as Ruth Finley, a housewife in the 1970s who suddenly found herself tormented by a stalker and in fear for her life. However, what police discovered after years of investigating was darker than anyone could have believed.

Here is what you need to know about the real Ruth Finley.

Ruth Finley Was Tormented By A Stalker Known As The Poet

From 1978 to 1981, a Wichita woman named Ruth Finley found herself stalked and tormented by an unknown assailant. This person was sending her ominous and threatening letters. They set her house on fire, sent a red bandana to her home, a knife to her workplace, and more. The assailant even attacked her and stabbed her three times, once in the back, puncturing her kidney.

Ruth Finley talking to Oprah | YouTube
Ruth Finley talking to Oprah | YouTube

This was happening at the same time the BTK killer was running loose in Wichita, killing people and sending letters to the police and press seeking fame. This caused Wichita police to think that maybe the two cases were related. Ruth, 48, and her husband Ed, 50, had no enemies, so when they first went to the police, no one knew what to do about the threats.

Dubbed The Poet, based on letters sent to Ruth, the police began to watch the Finley household and waited to catch a glimpse of whoever it could have been. However, in 1981, The Poet began sending threatening letters to people other than Ruth, and Police Chief Richard LaMunyon took interest when his wife received one.

That is when he discovered the truth.

Ruth Finley Was The Poet

LaMunyon realized something was suspicious when he looked at the letters and set up a new surveillance on Ed and Ruth. When the police spotted them mailing some letters, they moved on and retrieved the letters from the postbox. They included bills or private correspondence. However, two of the letters were from The Poet.

Teri Hatcher | Lifetime
Teri Hatcher | Lifetime

After police questioned Ed and he passed a polygraph test, they called in Ruth. When Detective Mike Hill laid things out for Ruth, she seemed shocked. Then she broke out in tears and said that she knew there was something wrong and it must have been her.

The police agreed not to press charges against Ruth as long as she went to a psychiatric hospital. Dr. Andrew Pickens took her case and realized that Ruth had DID and she was tormenting herself for those years without even knowing it. When she stabbed herself, she really thought she was fighting off an assailant.

It turns out that when Ruth was a child, a family friend had began sexually abusing her. He used a red bandana to keep her quiet (explaining the red bandana she sent herself). The alt was created then to protect her from the pain. Her husband Ed had a heart attack at the same time the BTK killer was on the loose, and her alt came back and almost destroyed her life.

What Happened To Ruth Finley?

Ruth Finley told her story to the world when she went on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1994. She remained in treatment for five years, and by the time she came out, she had regained control of her life and was back in control.

Ruth then spent the rest of her life advocating for mental health therapy. She died in 2019 at 89.

Are you planning on watching The Killer Inside: The Ruth Finley Story on Lifetime? Let us know in the comments below.

Shawn Lealos
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