Throughout time the world has encountered numerous serial killers who have taunted members of society. From Charles Manson, to Ted Bundy and Jeffery Dahmer, the United States has bred some of the sickest criminals to ever walk this planet.
In the 1970’s, Los Angeles, California was terrorized by one of the most deranged serial killers of all time…
In 1934, in the town of Rochester, New York, Anthony Buono was born to two loving parents. Although the love his parents shared for him was eternal, the love they shared for each other had an expiration date. The two got divorced and Anthony’s mother moved with her son to Glendale, California.
The effects of divorce on children varies, depending on the relationship between the two parents, the age of the child, and many other factors. It is uncertain if the divorce is directly what caused Buono’s hatred towards women, but it is not unlikely. Buono was married several times, and had multiple children, however, his relationships never lasted…
Anthony Buono had a cousin named Kenneth Bianchi. In 1975, Bianchi decided to move out to California to spend time with his cousin. When the two got together, the city of Los Angeles would never be the same. Buono quickly taught Bianchi how to use fake police badges to get sexual favors from prostitutes.
Their knack for abusing prostitutes quickly grew worse. The pair committed their first murder together in October of 1977. The victim was a 19-year-old prostitute. Over the next few weeks, the pair struck again, killing two more women.
The first three murders did not gather as much attention as what came next. The following two victims of Buono and Bianchi were two young girls, aged twelve and fourteen. Over the following year, they proceeded to kill four more women. A total of 10 women were murdered by this deranged pair.
The people of Los Angeles were petrified, as it became apparent that a serial killer was on the loose. The media, unaware that there was in fact two psychopaths involved, nicknamed the killer the Hillside Strangler…
Too Close for Comfort
In the midst of Buono and Bianchi’s killing spree, Bianchi applied for a job with the Los Angeles Police Department. During his application process, he had been taken on several ride’s with police searching for the Hillside Stranglers. Buono was unaware of Bianchi’s newfound job interest.
Bianchi felt the need to tell Buono about his recent job application. When he did, Buono absolutely lost his mind. He demanded that Bianchi leave the state immediately and move to Washington. Bianchi agreed and moved out of state.
In January of 1979, police in Los Angeles received a call from Bellingham, Washington. Apparently, there had been a dual homicide in their district that matched the likeness of the Hillside Strangler. Two girls, Karen Mandic and Diane Wilder had been found raped and strangled in the trunk of Mandic’s car.
The Bellingham police began an intense investigation into the murders. What they discovered was that a man named Kenneth Bianchi, a security guard, had hired the girls to house sit his home for a staggering $100 per hour. Bianchi became the number one suspect and was arrested…
Once Bianchi was brought in for questioning, Bellingham police performed a background check on their suspect. What they discovered was more than they had expected. First, Bianchi had lived in the same building as one of the victims of the Hillcrest Strangler victims. Another victim lived across the street from Bianchi. Additionally, another victim had been last spotted at Bianchi’s building.
Police received a warrant to search Bianchi’s home. There, they found Bianchi’s pubic hairs that had also been found on one of the victims. While police were searching his apartment, Bianchi explained that he could never be a serial killer, and told police about how he grew up with a wonderful childhood in Rochester, New York.
Police looked into the background that Bianchi discussed. They found that he in fact had far from a wonderful childhood. According to reports, Bianchi’s mother used to scream at him constantly and tortured him as child. For punishment, when Bianchi was a child he was forced to place his hands into an open flame.
Bianchi displayed many characteristics of a serial killer from when he was a child. Psychiatrists look for certain traits in children to spot a growing problem. Bianchi apparently was a constant bed wetter. Additionally, he used to kill animals…
Bianchi’s lawyer knew this case was not looking good for his client. He contemplated using a plea of insanity, so he hired psychiatrists to evaluate Bianchi. While under hypnosis, Bianchi uncovered a staggering piece of evidence. He told the psychiatrist that he killed those women in Los Angeles. When the psychiatrist asked why, Bianchi explained it was because he hates women.
Bianchi revealed more than the police had bargained for while under hypnosis. In addition to his admission of guilt, Bianchi revealed that he did not act alone in these murders. He explained that he acted in partnership with his equally as cruel cousin Anthony Buono.
Bianchi quickly turned on his cousin when he saw what was at stake. In return for a life sentence, Bianchi testified against Buono. At first, the prosecution feared they did not have enough evidence to nail Buono. The judge, despite their fears, pushed forward for a trial, and was able to successfully prosecute Buono in the case.
The jury handed Buono a life sentence. This was the same punishment that Bianchi received. The judge on the case felt that a life sentence was too light of a punishment and stated that he had felt the death penalty would have been a much more appropriate sentence…
In 1986, Buono married a woman from prison. Her name was Christine Kizuka, a supervisor at the California State Employment Development Department. She was the mother of three children. What she saw in Buono is a mystery to us.
In September of 2002, Buono was found dead in his prison cell. There was no trauma visible to the body, and it is believed that he died of natural causes. Bianchi is still alive, serving the rest of his life behind prison bars.