The Hillside Stranglers

Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buno - the Hillside Stranglers from 1977 to 1978 in LA.

Prostitutes murdered by strangulation and dumped naked on the hillsides of LA until a dispute between the cousins caused a conflict that led Bianchi to head to Bellingham, WA and try murder on his own which lead to their undoing.
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b2ux

Banned
The Hillside Strangler is the media epithet for two men, Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono, who were convicted of kidnapping, raping, torturing, and killing girls and women ranging in age from 12 to 28 years old during a four-month period from late 1977 to early 1978. They committed their crimes in the hills above Los Angeles, California.
The first victim of the Hillside Strangler was a Hollywood prostitute, Yolanda Washington, whose body was found near the Forest Lawn Cemetery on October 18, 1977. The corpse was cleaned and faint marks were visible around the neck, wrists, and ankles where a rope had been used. It was discovered that the victim had been raped.
On November 1, 1977, police were called to a La Crescenta neighborhood, north east of downtown Los Angeles, where the body of a teenage girl was found naked, face up on a parkway in a residential area. The then homeowner covered her with a tarp to prevent the neighborhood children from viewing her on their way to school. Bruises on her neck indicated strangulation. The body had been dumped, indicating she was killed elsewhere. The girl was eventually identified as Judith Lynn Miller, a runaway prostitute who was barely 15 years old. This event caused the homeowner to relocate his family out of state for their protection. The coroner's report further detailed her being bound much like the first victim, Yolanda Washington.
Five days later, on November 6, 1977, the nude body of another woman was discovered near the Chevy Chase Country Club. Like Judith Lynn Miller, she had been strangled with a ligature. The woman was identified as 21-year-old Lissa Teresa Kastin, a waitress, and was last seen leaving work the night before she was discovered. Whereas some of the other victims were prostitutes, Lissa Kastin was a characteristically "good girl" who had also worked part time for her father's real estate and construction business. A ballet student, she was saving money to continue her training and hoped to become a professional dancer.
Two girls, Dolores Cepeda, 12, and Sonja Johnson,14 boarded a school bus and headed home on November 13, 1977. The last time they were seen was getting off this bus and approaching a car. Inside the car were reportedly two men. A young boy, cleaning up a trash-strewn hillside near Dodger Stadium found two bodies, six days later, November 20. Both girls had been strangled and raped, and were identified as Cepeda and Johnson.
Later that same day, November 20, 1977, hikers found the nude, sexually assaulted body of Kristina Weckler, 20, on a hillside near Glendale. Unlike previous victims, there were signs of torture, indicated by oozing injection marks. It was later revealed that Weckler had been injected with Windex.
On November 23, 1977, the badly decomposed body of Jane King, 28, an actress, was found near an off ramp of the Golden State freeway. She had gone missing around November 9. With the continued discovery of bodies in hilly areas, a task force was formed to catch the predator, dubbed the "Hillside Strangler."
On November 29, 1977, police found the body of Lauren Wagner, 18. She also had been strangled with a ligature. There were also burn marks on her hands indicating she was tortured. The law enforcement task force — Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and Glendale Police Department — began to assume that more than one person was responsible for the murders, even though the media continued to use the singular, Hillside Strangler.
On December 13, 1977, police found the body of 17-year-old prostitute Kimberly Martin on a hillside.
The final victim in Los Angeles was discovered on February 16, 1978, when a helicopter pilot spotted an orange Datsun abandoned off a cliff in the Los Angeles Crest area. Police responded to the scene and found the body of the car's owner, 20-year-old Cindy Hudspeth, in the trunk.
Sometime in 1977, the two men gave a ride to Catharine Lorre with the intent of killing her as well. However, when they discovered that Catharine was the daughter of Austrian actor Peter Lorre, famous for his role as a child murderer in Fritz Lang's acclaimed film M, they let her go without incident. She didn't realize who the men were until they were arrested.
After intensive investigation, police charged cousins Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono, Jr. with the crimes. Bianchi had fled to Bellingham, Washington where he was soon arrested for raping and murdering two women he had lured to a home for a house-sitting job. Bianchi attempted to set up an insanity defense, claiming that he had dissociative identity disorder, and a separate personality from himself committed the murders. Court psychologists, notably Dr. Martin Orne, observed Bianchi and found that he was faking the illness, so Bianchi agreed to plead guilty and testify against Buono in exchange for leniency.
At the conclusion of Buono's trial in 1983, presiding judge Ronald M. George, who would later become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of California, said he would have imposed the death penalty without a second thought if the jury had allowed it. Bianchi is serving a life sentence in the Washington State Penitentiary of the Washington State Department of Corrections in Walla Walla, Washington. Buono died of a heart attack on September 21, 2002, in Calipatria State Prison of the California Department of Corrections, where he was serving a life sentence
Veronica ComptonIn 1980, Bianchi began a relationship with Veronica Compton. During his trial, she testified for the defense. She was later convicted and imprisoned for attempting to strangle a woman she had lured to a motel in an attempt to have authorities believe that the Hillside Strangler was still on the loose and the wrong man was imprisoned. Bianchi had given her some smuggled semen to use to make it look like a rape/murder committed by the Hillside Strangler. She was released in 2003.

Judge Ronald George refused Prosecutor Roger Kellys request to have the case dismissed. The Attorney
General produced a new prosecution team and, after his new trial in 1982 Buono was convicted of nine murders, but was spared the death penalty, which clearly
upset Judge George. Bianchi is serving a life sentence in Washington State. Buono died alone of a heart attack on September 21, 2002, serving a life sentence
in Calipatria State Prison. Angelo Buono, Jr. born October 5, 1934 -2002

The victims:
Oct 1977 - Yolanda Washington, 19
Oct 1977 - Judy Miller, 16>
Nov 1977 - Lissa Kastin, 21
Nov 1977 - Dolores Cepeda, 12
Nov 1977 - Sonja Johnson, 14
Nov 1977 - Kristina Weckler, 20
Nov 1977 - Jane King, 28
Nov 1977 - Lauren Wagner, 18
Nov 1977 - Jill Barcomb, 18
Nov 1977 - Kathleen Robinson, 17
Dec 1977 - Kimberly Martin, 22
Feb 1978 - Cindy Hudspeth, 20
Jan 1979 - Karen Mandic, 22
Jan 1979 - Diane Wilder, 27
 

b2ux

Banned

Edwin Henderson, head of the Hillside Strangler Task Force, talks to news media about latest efforts to find the killer of the eleven young women pictured here. In the end, the line-up changed, but at this time, this is the order and number of victims known. The victims pictured here in order of known occurrence of the murders at the time are: Laura Collins, Yolanda Washington, Judith Ann Miller, Elissa T. Kastin, Jill Barcomb, Kathleen Robinson, Kristina Weckler, Sonja Johnson, Dolores Cepeda, Jane King, and Lauren Wagner.

Yolanda Washington was the first victim of the Hillside Strangler. Yoland was 20 years old at the time of her
death. Her naked body was found on the slopes of the distinguished Forest Lawn Cemetery, the resting
place of movie stars, on the night of Oct. 18, 1977. The body was naked, cleaned by the killlers so
as to leave no clues, and posed in a lascivious position. Yolanda was raped and strangled.

Judith Ann Miller was the second victim of the Hillside Strangler. She was 15 years old at the time of her death. On Oct. 31, 1977, her naked body was found on a hillside, laying close to the road, in the middle-class residential neighborhood of La Crescenta. She had been raped, sodomized and strangled to death. Her wrists, ankles, and neck bore the marks of the ropes that had bound her, as was the case with Yolanda Washington and those victims to come. She was small and thin, weighing about ninety pounds. The coroner determined that she had been strangled to death around midnight, some six hours or so before she was found. She had last been seen leaving the Fish and Chips restaurant at nine p.m. on the evening before she was found dead. Judith's family was down on its luck and had nothing to contribute about their daughter's friends.

Elissa Teresa Kastin, twenty-one, was murdered on Oct. 6, 1977 making her the third victim of the Hillside Strangler. She was a waitress at the Healthfaire Restaurant near Hollywood & Vine and lived just off Hollywood Blvd. She had made a comment to her mother that she was thinking of turning to prostitution to earn some extra money. She had last been seen leaving the Restaurant just after nine o'clock on the night she was murdered. Her naked, strangled body had been found near Chevy Chase Drive in Glendale, near a country club. There was evidence of rape, but not sodomy. There was a sizeable guardrail between the road and the spot where the body lay. It would have taken two men to lift the stocky victim over the guardrail, police estimated.

Jill Barcomb, 4th victim of the Hillside Strangler. Jill was 19-years old at the time of her death. She was living in Hollywood, having recently moved from New York shortly before her death and was last seen alive on November 9, 1977. Her beaten and strangled body was discovered the next day in Franklin Canyon, north of Beverly Hills. She had also known Judith Miller, another victim. Jill had pleaded guilty to prostitution in Syracuse, N. Y. in January 1977 and was placed on a one year probation. She was arrested once for violation of her probation and was allowed to continue on probation in September of that same year. Six weeks later she was found nude, beaten & strangled. Tests showed she had been sexually molested.

Kathleen Robinson was the fifth victim of the Hillside Strangler. She was 17 years old. She had been living in Hollywood and was a high school student. She was last seen alive on November 17, 1977 near the beach in Santa Monica. She was found strangled the next day in a parkway near Pico Boulevard in the Los Angeles Wilshire area. According to authorities, she had not been sexually molested. She had been living with her mother at the time of her murder and was a frequent hitchhiker.

Kristina Weckler was the sixth victim of the Hillside Strangler. She was 20 years old. She died on Nov. 20, 1997.
Her nude body was found in an obscure area in the ills between Glendale and Eagle Rock. Kristina was
a quiet honors student at the Pasadena Art Center of Design. She lived in an apartment at 809
E. Garfield Avenue in Glendale. Kristina's parents lived in San Francisco.

Sonja Johnson was the 7th victim of the Hillside Strangler. She was 14 years old. Sonja, who was from Eagle Rock and a student at St. Ignatius school in Highland Park had been missing since November 13. She had gone shopping at the Eagle Rock Plaza, with her friend, Dolores "Dollie" Cepeda. A witness had seen the girls get off a bus and go over to a large two-tone sedan to talk to someone on the passenger side of a car. A person on the passenger side of the witness' car corraborated the theory that they were two men, probably the killers. On Nov. 20, 1977 the bodies of Sonja Johnson and her friend were discovered by two little boys, whose parents did not beliee them at first, in Elysian Park.


Dolores "Dollie" Cepeda was the 8th victim of the Hillside Strangler. She was 12 years old. Dolores, who was from Eagle Rock, had been missing since Nov. 13 when she had gone with her friend, Sonja Johnson to the Eagle Rock Plaza. A witness had seen the girls get off a bus and go over to a large two-tone sedan to talk to someone on the passenger side of a car. A person on the passenger side of the witness' car corraborated the theory that they were two men, probably the killers. On Nov. 20, 1977 the bodies of Dolores Cepeda and her friend were discovered by two little boys, whose parents did not believe them at first, in Elysian Park. Dolores had been a student at St. Ignatius School in Highland Park.

Jane Evelyn King, twenty-eight, was killed on Nov. 23, 1977. She was the 9th victim of the Hillside Strangler.
Her body was found dumped at a southbound Los Feliz off-ramp of the Golden State Freeway.
Her maggot covered body was estimated to have been there approximately two weeks.

Lauren Wagner was the 10th victim of the Hillside Strangler. She was 18 years old. She had been a student at Monroe High School in the San Fernando Valley and lived with her parents. This photo is a copy of Lauren's photo from her high school yearbook, class of 1977. Her parents had found her car parked across the street from their home with the door ajar. They had gone to bed the previous night, expecting her home before midnight. When her father questioned the neighbors, he found that the woman who lived at the house where Lauren's car had been parked saw her abduction. Beulah Stofer, the neighbor, said that she had seen Lauren pull over to the curb around nine o'clock in the evening. Two men had pulled their car up beside hers. There was some kind of disagreement and Lauren ended up in the car with the two men. Her body was found on Tuesday, November 29 in the hills of Mount Washington on Cliff Drive.

Kimberly Diane Martin was the 11th victim of the Hillside Strangler. She was 17 years old. Police found her naked body on Dec. 14, 1997. Kimberly was a tall blonde girl who had been working for the Climax "modeling agency" (prostitution). Kimberley's last client had beckoned her to apartment 114 at 1950 Tamarind, which turned out to be a vacant apartment. The murderer had called from a pay phone in the lobby of the Hollywood Public Library on Ivar Street.

Cindy Lee Hudspeth was 21 years old when she died on February 16, 1978. She was the 13th victim of the Hillside Strangler. Her strangled, violated body was put in to trunk of her Datsun and was pushed off a cliff on Angeles Crest Highway. She had been a clerk that everybody liked. She hoped to make enough money to go to college one day and planned to give dance lessons to help raise the money. A vivacious young woman, she had won several dance contests. She had last been seen in her apartment building at 800 E. Garfield Ave. from where she had probably been headed toward Glendale Community College where she worked nights answering the phone. Between her apartment building and the community college, Cindy had been kidnapped in the late afternoon. Cindy had lived across the street from another victim, Kristina Weckler, even though the two women did not know each other.

There is some discrepancy about Laura Collins being one of the Hillside Strangler victims. The back of one
of these two photos says "not linked to 10 others". However she is shown as a victim in the Hillside
Strangler Task Force poster. Laura Collins was 26 years old at the time of her death.

Diane A. Wilder, Western Washington University identification photo, ca. 1979
(Courtesy The Bellingham Herald)

Karen L. Mandic, Western Washington University identification photo, ca. 1979
(Courtesy The Bellingham Herald)
 

Victim13

victim13
The picture with the broom is brutal. It looks like the body is in a morgue, yet all the blood makes it seem as if the murder took place where it is. Is it certain that it is a victim of the Boston Strangler? I've seen it attributed to him and the Hillside Stranglers. Does anybody know who the victim in the picture is?
 

Psycho-killer

Forum Veteran
The picture with the broom is brutal. It looks like the body is in a morgue, yet all the blood makes it seem as if the murder took place where it is. Is it certain that it is a victim of the Boston Strangler? I've seen it attributed to him and the Hillside Stranglers. Does anybody know who the victim in the picture is?
There was a note from the Boston Strangler found near her I think.
 

Aguchi71

Lurker
The pics were ok, but b2ux addition to the post had more info than Wikipedia, which is better, wonder where he got that info?
 

blue.beard

Fresh Meat
The picture with the broom is brutal. It looks like the body is in a morgue, yet all the blood makes it seem as if the murder took place where it is. Is it certain that it is a victim of the Boston Strangler? I've seen it attributed to him and the Hillside Stranglers. Does anybody know who the victim in the picture is?
The pic has been around a while, I've seen it attributed to the Boston Strangler, and a very good argument showing that it is a posed pic and not anybody's victim.
 
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