Serial killer Kenneth Bianchi and his cousin, Angelo Buono, went on a killing spree between October 1977 and February 1978, raping and murdering 10 victims in Los Angeles. The men posed as policemen and targeted prostitutes to begin with, moving on to middle-class women and girls. They usually left the bodies on the hillsides of the Glendale Highland Park area, earning the moniker "The Hillside Strangler." Bianchi later committed two more murders in Washington state. After what was reported as the country's longest trial at the time, both men eventually received life prison sentences.
Background and Early Life
Serial killer Kenneth Alessio Bianchi was born on May 22, 1951, in Rochester, New York. Bianchi, whose natural mother was an alcoholic prostitute, was adopted at birth and had a love-hate relationship with women even as a young child. Interested in police work but unable to secure a job, he eventually settled for a post as a security guard.
'The Hillside Strangler'
In 1975, Bianchi left Rochester and moved to Los Angeles, where he lived with his older adoptive cousin, Angelo Buono. Bianchi later moved in with his girlfriend, Kelli Boyd, and had a child. A chronic liar, he set up a psychology practice with a phony degree and told Boyd he was dying of cancer.
Before long, he and Buono teamed up for a spree of kidnappings, rapes and murders that claimed 10 victims, mostly in and around Los Angeles, between October 1977 and February 1978. Posing as policemen, the cousins began with prostitutes, eventually moving on to middle-class girls and women. They usually left the bodies on the hillsides of the Glendale-Highland Park area, earning the moniker "The Hillside Strangler." During the four-month rampage, Buono and Bianchi inflicted unspeakable horrors on their victims, including injecting them with deadly household chemicals.
Capture, Conviction and Sentencing
In October 1979, police captured Bianchi in Bellingham, Washington, where he had relocated to be with Kelli Boyd. There he also committed two more murders. He quickly implicated Buono, who was arrested soon after. During the long, meandering trial, Bianchi fabricated an insanity defense and stated that he had multiple personality disorder. He was deemed to be lying, and Bianchi eventually pleaded guilty to the the Washington murders and five of the California murders, testifying against his cousin to avoid the death penalty. Bianchi received six life sentences, and Buono was sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole. Buono died while imprisoned in 2002.
Bianchi wed a Louisiana pen pal in September 1989 in a prison chapel ceremony. In 2010, Bianchi's latest request for parole was denied.
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