NAME: The Hillside Stranglers
SPAN OF MURDERS: 1977 - 1978
NUMBER OF VICTIMS: 10
SENTENCE: Life Imprisonment (Bianchi) Life Imprisonment without Parole (Buono)
DATE OF BIRTH: 22/05/1951 (Bianchi) 05/10/34 (Buono)
STATUS: Serving sentence (Bianchi) Died in prison in 2002 (Buono)
MORE INFO: In 1977 and 1978 a series of young women, strangled and naked, were discovered dumped on the hillsides northeast of Los Angeles. The unknown assailant was dubbed 'The Hillside Strangler', although police suspected at the time that the killer was being helped by an accomplice but didn't reveal that to the press at the time.
After ten victims had died, some of which had been abducted from their affluent neighbourhoods, the killings abruptly stopped and the trail went cold. However, the next year, petty criminal Kenneth Bianchi was arrested in Washington. Working as a security guard he had lured two female students into a house he was guarding and strangled them. Whilst in custody on suspicion of murder, the cops were able to link him to the Hillside murders and discovered he had been helped by his older cousin Angelo Buono.
It was revealed that Bianchi and Buono had cruised around LA in Buono's car and used fake badges to persuade women that they were undercover police officers, driving them to Buono's home to torture and murder them. However, without help from his partner, Bianchi had left many clues in Washington and had been quickly apprehended.
After the most expensive trial in California's history up to that time, Bianchi and Buono were sentenced to life imprisonment. Buono died of a heart attack at Calipatria State Prison in 2002 aged 67. Bianchi, serving at Washington State Penitentiary, was denied parole in 2010 and will be eligible to apply again in 2025.