Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November 13: Hillside Strangler

On this date in History .... 1977:

12 yr old Sonja Johnson & 14 yr old Delores Cepeda, the youngest two of the Hillside Strangler victims, were killed. Their bodies were discovered a week later. Eleven of the fourteen Hillside Strangler murders took place between Oct 18 & Dec 9 of 1977, with six of those eleven taking place in November. 

The two murderers were cousins. After 400 witnesses testified in the trial, Angelo Bueno was sentenced in 1984 to life w/o parole & died in prison in 2002. Ken Bianchi, convicted on Halloween 1983, was denied parole in Aug 2010 and is re-eligible in 2025.

Bianchi had always wanted to be in law enforcement but he dropped out of the law enforcement classes and his application to the sheriff’s department was rejected.  He found jobs as a security guard but because he was always stealing from his employers, he changed jobs frequently.  He moved to Los Angeles and hooked up with his cousin Angelo.

The two experimented with different murder methods which included lethal injection, electrical shock, and carbon monoxide poisoning.  When Bianchi admitted to Angelo that the LA police were questioning him about the murders, Angelo sent him to Washington, where Bianchi murdered two college girls.  But because he was working alone, he left too much evidence behind.  He was found and connected to the Hillside Strangler murders.  He tried faking multiple personalities but that didn’t work and eventually he confessed everything he knew, implicating his cousin.

One young lady was very lucky. In 1977, the two murderers stopped one 22-year old and planned to kill her but when they found out she was the daughter of actor Peter Lorre, they let her go.  She had no idea how lucky she had been until the two were arrested and their story got out.

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