Cover image for Two of a kind : the Hillside stranglers
Two of a kind : the Hillside stranglers
Publication Information:
New York : New American Library, c1985.
Physical Description:
xxiv, 423 p. : ill.
General Note:
"A Signet book."
Personal Subject:



Material Type
Shelf Number
Book 364.1 OBR 1

On Order

Reviews 2

Kirkus Review

The horror story of Angelo Buono and Kenneth Bianchi, Italian cousins, who together are known as the Hillside Strangler, a pair of psychopaths who raped, tortured, strangled or otherwise murdered ten young females in Los Angeles in 1977-78 and dumped their naked bodies on various hillsides. This is a tale impossible to believe unless it hadn't happened. At the time of their first murder together, Buono was 44, Bianchi, 26. Buono, married several times and with a great tribe of children, was an inveterate wife-beater and sodomizer, once sodomizing his resistant wife on the hying-room floor in front of their children. Around the house he always referred to his abandoned mother as ""that cunt"" and did the same for his wives. But the intense, thuggish, compulsively neat, killer-eyed Buono had an absolute magnetism for women and the parade of his conquests herein is headspinning in numbers and variety. He ""melted"" them, especially teenagers, and even apparently ""broke in"" his 14-year-old daughter, explaining to his wife that the kid was ready. He progressed as a minor criminal into straight self-employment as a car-upholsterer in his own garage at home. When his adoring New York cousin Kenny, a compulsive liar with phony California diplomas as a psychologist and other professions, showed up and began staying with him, they hit upon the idea of pimping for two runaways they'd imprisoned in Bianchi's house. Their small-time racket more or less flourished, with the two of them intimidating their girls with endless sexual abuse and beatings with a wet towel, and seemingly they enjoyed watching each other sodomizing one of the girls while the other masturbated. Eventually both girls fled. The cousins were so incensed that they decided some other young women should pay. They found that they enormously enjoyed watching girls die with clear plastic bags over their heads while being raped or sodomized and strangled by slow degrees with a rope. When the two of them hit a publicity bonanza as the Hillside Strangler (on Thanksgiving weekend 1977, five bodies showed up; later a naked body was found spread-eagled on a hillside facing City Hall), they were in seventh heaven. But Kenny's behavior became too erratic for Angelo, who banished him to Washington State. Kenny was listless and despairing until he decided suddenly to energize the hicks and strangle two girls at once. Unfortunately for him, they'd written a note about whom they were going out with. . .and the case slowly began to break for the police. Stupendously stomach-turning detail, meant to re-enforce the reader's hatred of these two monsters who might have waltzed free or at least had hopes of parole under ""sentimental"" California laws. They're doing life--without parole. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Library Journal Review

This is the first complete account of the ``Hillside Stranglers,'' Angelo Buono and his younger cousin, Kenneth Bianchi, who sexually abused and murdered ten young women in Los Angeles in 1977-78. (Ted Schwarz's The Hillside Strangler , LJ 5/1/81, was written when it was erroneously thought that Bianchi was a multiple personality.) O'Brien, an academic, novelist, and friend of the Buono trial judge, tells a graphic and gripping story, with occasional lapses of objectivity due to his detestation of the killers. This case has made headlinesBuono was convicted in 1983 after the judge refused the prosecutor's motion to drop the chargesand this book is recommended for true crime collections. Gregor A. Preston, Univ. of California Lib., Davis (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.