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The Hillside Strangler: Inside Story of Bloody L.A. Reign of Terror Carried Out by Two Cousins (FPD CASE VAULT)

the hillside strangler inside story bloody la slayings
Source: Associated Press; Bettmann/CORBIS

Kenneth Bianchi; Angelo Buono

Sep. 8 2023, Published 4:05 p.m. ET

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Craven cousins Angelo Buono and Kenneth Bianchi paralyzed Los Angeles when they brutally tortured, raped and murdered 10 young women on the city's hillsides during a four-month trial of terror.

Between Oct. 18, 1977, and Feb. 17, 1978, bloodthirsty Buono and Bianchi preyed upon unsuspecting females between the ages 12 to 28.

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Often posing as cops, the sadistic fiends roamed the streets in their "undercover police car" and forced their victims into the vehicle. They would drive the poor souls to their lair where the women were sexually assaulted and tortured before being strangled to death.

After each murder, the men would thoroughly clean the bodies before posing them in provocative positions on the city's hillsides, thus earning their collective name, The Hillside Strangler.

Inside Story of The Hillside Strangler and 2 Cousins Bloody Slayings
Source: Bettmann/CORBIS

A member of the Los Angeles County Coroner's office yells instruction up a hillside as members of the Los Angeles Police Hillside Strangler task force investigate the body of a woman (her leg can be seen) found in the truck of a car. Cindy Lee Hudspeth, 20, is thought to be the 13th victim of the Hillside Strangler. The car, spotted by a helicopter February 17th, had been driven or pushed off the highway.

It was assumed the bloody rampage was the work of one man. But as suddenly as the murder spree began, it all stopped.

No longer able to get along, the killer cousins went their own ways. Bianchi went to Bellingham, Wash., to join his girlfriend and son, and took a job as a security guard.

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Before long, he got the urge to kill again. On Jan. 11, 1979, Bianchi lured two Western Washington University co-eds into a house he was hired to protect.

Once again, he raped, tortured and murdered the young women. But Bianchi left behind clues that linked him to the gruesome Los Angeles murders.

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Inside Story of The Hillside Strangler and 2 Cousins Bloody Slayings
Source: Bettmann/CORBIS

Kenneth Bianchi, the Hillside Strangler, testifies in a courtroom against his cousins and accomplice Angelo Buono. July 6, 1981 Los Angeles, California, USA.

In a desperate bid to escape the death penalty, Bianchi agreed to testify against his cousin.

Both men were sentenced to life in prison. Bianchi is in the Washington State Penitentiary at Walla Walla. Buono, 67, died at California's Calipatria Prison in California in September 2002.

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