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tv   City in Fear Hillside Strangler  MSNBC  June 2, 2012 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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mes... next time, you drive. next time, signal your turn. ...that's why we got a subaru. love wherever the road takes you. glendale police have another apparent murder of a woman on their hands. >> the bodies of seven women have been found in a radius of seven miles. >> it wasn't just some crazed one-time killer. >> you could see ligature marks on the ankle and around her neck. >> handcuffs went on and it was all over for those girls. >> there was nothing they could do except probably cry. pray. plead. >> to see somebody's life prematurely put off, it was chilling. very chilling. >> whoever it was, was seeking to terrorize women in los angeles. >> that one. i don't think. maybe that one. who are they going to pick?
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>> somebody, one killer or a team, has been murdering young girls, lots of them. >> you have to take a look at it, especially if you're a woman, it could be me. >> "city in fear." here's john seigenthaler. >> the murder victims were all young women. they were tortured. their nude bodies callously dumped on hillsides for anyone to discover. this was the chilling scenario in los angeles during the fall of 1977, as a serial killing spree thrust the entire city into a state of fear. for more than a year, every woman in l.a. was considered a
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potential victim of the hillside strangler. >> i've lived in l.a. all my life, and we get pretty used to crime here. we've had the manson murders, of course, which was pretty awful, but you never expected to see something that malicious and evil happen here again. >> i don't think i really understood what a serial killer was until this crime happened, and because it was so close to home, it felt like it could be me or a friend or anyone i knew. >> october 18th, 1977, a few miles from downtown los angeles, the nude body of a young woman is discovered face down on the slopes of forest lawn cemetery. she is later identified as 19-year-old yolanda washington, a prostitute known to work the streets of hollywood. investigators determined she had been raped and strangled. >> yolanda washington disappeared in the general area of sunset and vine. she was working.
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she was observed getting into a car, never to be seen again. >> no connection to anything, you know. here's another woman of the street who winds up strangled and nothing unusual and obvious. >> two weeks later, on the morning of halloween, another nude body is discovered on the side of a road in a residential neighborhood. >> they told us that a body had been found up the street and, of course, we were all petrified. they told us that the paperboy had found the body early in the morning, when it was dark, and so all these police arrived while we were still asleep, and then we wake up and there's police everywhere. >> you could see ligature marks on the ankles. you could see a ligature mark around her neck. it was obvious to us that she had been murdered. >> the ligature mark is caused by an item of rope or material or something tied around that area, which causes bleeding, internal bleeding, et cetera,
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and leaves a redness that's very apparent and very visible. >> investigators later identified the victim as judy miller, a 15-year-old runaway, who, like yolanda washington, had been working as a prostitute on the streets of hollywood. >> the l.a. sheriff's office could look at this grisly find on a halloween, an ironic note, as the beginning of the awareness that this was bigger than just some crazed one-time killer. >> police suspect that the miller and washington murders may be connected. then on november 6th, another body is found near a country club in glendale. unlike the other two victims, 21-year-old lisa caston was not a prostitute, but a waitress at a hollywood health food restaurant. she was last seen around 9:00, leaving work the previous night.
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>> here's a young woman who, as far as we know, had gotten out of her car and was walking to her apartment when she was stopped, she was kidnapped, and the next thing you know, she turns up at the bottom of a hill. >> this is kfwv news. good afternoon, everyone. i'm vince campagne. here is the latest news at noon. glendale police have another apparent murder of a young woman on their hands. kfwv's cecilia pedrosa has the direct report from chevy chase drive. >> i walked over a short distance from where i had parked my mobile unit to do the report from the scene. i walked a few steps and there i saw in the clump of bushes the body of a nude young woman. it was a frightening thing to see. to see somebody's life prematurely cut off, dead in a clump of bushes, nude without a stitch of clothing on her body. it was chilling. very, very chilling. >> the ligature marks on lisa caston's ankles and neck indicate she was tied up and
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strangled. they are also identical to the marks found on the second victim, judy miller. >> there's no doubt you've got both victims still at the coroner's office. looked like they were a xerox copy of each other. it was very obvious that these individuals had been killed by the same person or persons. >> the first two murders weren't really publicized, so they didn't penetrate the consciousness around here, and then i heard that the first murders were in sort of a high-risk profession and you dismiss that, too, like prostitutes. >> but the deaths of the three young women would take on a frightening new dimension in the weeks to come. >> this was not the halloween scary story to make your kids shudder. this was the kind of story that would result in all of southern california shuddering. >> coming up, as investigators speculate that there may be more than one killer, the murderers become more sadistic.
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november 1977, in less than a month, the bodies of three young women have been found naked and strangled in the hills around los angeles. although the public has no idea that a serial killer may be at work, investigators are convinced the murders are connected. >> the type of ligature that was used to strangle them was similar in every case, and it was so compelling that, if you saw all of the marks, you would have to conclude that the same person or persons had committed those murders. >> there was a reluctance to admit that these cases might be tied together. it might terrify the public if they believed that there was a serial killer out there. >> there is another piece of information the police have yet
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to reveal, that there may be more than one killer. >> there was an appearance of maybe two guys were involved in the moving of the body of judy miller because of how the body was placed in a flower bed. there was no drag marks, no marks on the heels of the victim to establish one guy dragged her there. people don't pick up bodies and lay them down. you know, they're dumping them. >> almost all the bodies appeared to be in a position where you would expect that there was one person at the feet and one at the hands, and that they basically flung the body sideways. >> as police continued their investigation, on november 13th, 12-year-old dolores cepeda and 14-year-old sonya johnson go shopping at their neighborhood mall. when they don't return home, their parents report them missing. >> something as innocent as going shopping, looking for some jeans or sweaters or whatever it was, something any youngster would be doing on any given day. >> there was the belief for a
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while when they disappeared, that the two little latina girls might be runaways, even though their history did not indicate that at all. but i think that was the fondest hope of their relatives, was that perhaps they had, for some reason, chosen to run off somewhere. >> but a week later, on november 20th, two boys playing near dodger stadium find what they think are mannequins discarded on a hillside with other debris. they turn out to be the nude bodies of dolores and sonya. >> you hear in the news that two girls, such young girls, you know, 12 and 14, where their life is just starting and your stomach just kind of crunches andouarthose families feeling >> investigators believe that prior to being strangled, the girls had been sexually assaulted and held captive for days. >> pro
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scariest moments that anybody could ever experience, and then to have your body thrown in a trash dump. these guys were killers, but they were sadistic people, who had no, absolutely no respect for any human life. >> but the day would not end before investigators are called to another grisly crime scene on a hillside a few miles away. the murder victim is identified as kristina weckler, a 20-year-old art student. >> the body was located in a very quiet residential area. she was placed off the road, somewhat to look -- to probably make an attempt to conceal her from traffic or from people in the area. it was very apparent by looking at her that she had sustained some ligature markings on her wrist and her ankles and also some ligature markings on the neck. >> an autopsy later confirms that the killers are becoming more perverse in how they torture their victims. >> in kristina's case, they experimented with several
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different ways to kill her, and one of these creatures came up with the idea, maybe we'll inject her with some kind of a cleaning fluid. >> the news report, you're supposed to be impartial, you're supposed to have this facade in front of you and not react to anything. bs. forget about it. on occasion, for something like this, you've got to react. you're a human being and it's got to affect you one way or another. so you have to take a look at it, especially if you're a woman. it could be me. >> with thanksgiving only a few days way, the body count is now six. then on wednesday, november 23rd, police discover yet another victim, 28-year-old jane king. >> you think about jane king, it's a really sad story because here was an aspiring actress, a pretty girl, as the pictures suggested, who was last seen at
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a bus stop on franklin avenue in hollywood. and, unfortunately, the next time she is seen is when her body was found off of a freeway off-ramp in the glendale area. >> today's discovery means that the bodies of seven women have been found in a radius of seven miles at this location, and the investigations continue. >> what was really poignant about it was that many of us, going to our news room, day after day, have driven past jane king's body, lying there in the shrubbery, and never seen it. >> as thanksgiving arrives, news of king's death turns a day of family reunions and celebration in los angeles into a day of fear and dread. >> we were already terrified already, and then comes thanksgiving, and now there's more bodies, and we're scared to death to even go out. because we're going to come home after dark, and we have to
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debate, well, should i go to grandma's this year or not? >> the thanksgiving in 1977 was incredible. it was bizarre. the media just went -- they went crazy with this case, like, you know, nude victims, obvious sexual assault, and somebody coined the phrase -- >> the hillside strangler. >> the hillside strangler. >> the hillside strangler. >> to this day, i don't know who coined that. i don't know how. somebody in the media named that, and that creates more panic. >> somebody called it the hillside strangler, and all of the sudden, this was real. it had a name, and you could almost see the kind of monster that was lurking out there, preying on your wives and daughters. >> as soon as it was even like this time of night, we were in the house. and on weekends, you couldn't go out, you couldn't go to the mall, couldn't go to the movies unless you had your parents with you. so yeah, life as we knew it was
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over. we were stuck in the house with our parents. >> coming up, police are forced to confront the unthinkable. could the hillside strangler be one of their own? >> all of the sudden, the people that you would normally turn to in a situation like this for safety or help, you couldn't, because they might be after you. wanna know the difference between a trader and an elite trader?
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there is murder, bloody and foul, in the otherwise peaceful area around glendale, california, a suburb of los angeles. somebody, one killer or a team, has been murdering young girls, lots of them. >> tuesday, november 29th, 1977, over the past month, the bodies of seven young women have been discovered on hillsides throughout los angeles, all victims of the hillside strangler. police are still in the early stages of their investigation when they are called to yet another gruesome crime scene. the nude body of 18-year-old lauren wagner is discovered in the hills of mt. washington, near downtown l.a.
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her throat, wrists and ankles all bear the ligature marks found on the other victims. >> she also had some sticky kind of residue on her hands, also had some burn marks on her fingers and her palm, which we contributed to some sort of torture that they were doing with her. >> her hands had been taped together, and they had taken the electrical cord and plugged it in and unplugged it. >> wagner's death is disturbing for another reason as well. not only was she abducted from in front of her parents' house, she was miles away from where the other victims disappeared. investigators now fear that the killers are expanding their territory. >> they can strike in the san fernando valley. they can strike in glendale.
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they can strike in hollywood. in other words, if you're a young woman or you know a young woman, the danger touches your life. >> things got crazy. we had a task force. you know, i always believed that if you have more than two detectives working a case, you've got one too many. we had to sift through 11,000 pieces of information without a computer, without any scientific aid at all. >> while many clues are common to the eight victims, there is one that is particularly mysterious to investigators. >> it became very apparent that the victims were never in a position where they resisted and fought back. >> there was almost no evidence under the fingernails, anything like that, to be described as defensive wounds. >> the fact that there didn't appear to be a struggle between the perpetrators and the victims, one would assume that the victims were going willingly, and so you would think there was some pretty good con going on, or they were somehow convincing people that it was okay to come with them. >> as word gets out that the
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victims may have, at first, trusted their killer or killers, the fear among los angeles area women takes on a chilling new dimension. >> it could have been the guy that takes your tickets at the theater. it could have been a colleague. it could have been the guy that pumps your gas. it could have been anybody, and you didn't know, and it was terrifying. >> we were carrying pepper spray. i was carrying a knitting needle up my arm so that, if necessary, i could stab somebody, you know. it's -- imagine living like that. >> at our school, the policeman even came and talked to us about protecting ourselves, how to use our keys as brass knuckles, and if anyone comes near you, if they're friendly, don't talk to them, stay in the house at night, and just be wary of everybody. >> susan ball is learning how to defend herself. she skipped night school for a week. she says she can't sleep because of the murders. >> i guess i just want to learn how to maybe give myself a few seconds so i can live.
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>> mrs. lorna nardizzi says everyone is scared. women won't go out alone. >> i have two young daughters, and i want to be able to tell them how they can protect themselves. >> these people or this person, whoever it was, was seeking to terrorize women in los angeles, so women were terrorized. men who were fathers, husbands, sons even, were equally terrorized by the prospect that their female relatives or female loved ones would be victims of these -- of this random killer or killers. >> as police canvas the neighborhood of the eighth victim, lauren wagner, an eyewitness emerges with a shocking account of lauren's abduction. the two men who approached her appeared to be police officers. >> they even had a car that looked somewhat like a police car. at that time in the dark, it had a white top and a blue bottom. >> los angeles police are investigating one theory that the attacker may be posing as a
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plainclothes officer in a police car. they are issuing an unprecedented warning to women drivers stopped by officers. >> be certain of the identification of the occupants, even to the extent of continue to roll and asking to see identification and badge. >> we heard rumors they were investigating their own officers, and we weren't sure what that was about. we were told something about the case, but we weren't told enough, for instance, to know that the ligature marks that we were told existed on the victims were, in fact, consistent with the type of handcuffs used by los angeles police department, and that's why lapd was looking at their own officers as possible perpetrators. >> all of the sudden, the people that you would normally turn to in a situation like this for safety, for help, you couldn't, because they might be after you. >> as a citizen, you hope that the police is there to protect you. so all of the sudden, if they're
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implying that it could be a real police or somebody impersonating a police, how do you fight back? >> wednesday, december 14th. two weeks after the discovery of lauren wagner's body, investigators are called to a hillside near downtown los angeles. there, they find the ninth victim of the hillside strangler, kimberly martin, a 17-year-old call girl. >> turned out she had been called to a vacant apartment, and that was checked by police later, after her body was found. substantial struggle ensued in this case, so they had a problem. the noise was heard by residents in the complex. somehow they got her out of there. >> when they threw kimberly martin's body down that hillside, they threw her differently than they did on the others, i would say. i mean, she essentially plowed
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down the hill, and she ended up with her legs and arms laid apart. >> not only is martin's body so obscenely displayed, the hillside is within view of one of the city's most prominent landmarks, city hall. >> i think the placement of the body of kimberly martin was a message to the city of los angeles, that, in fact, if we can kill this girl, if we can place her body almost within eyesight of city hall, we own this city. we own you. and there is nothing you can do about it. >> later, police search the apartment where martin was abducted. >> we just tore that apartment apart. we examined every inch in that apartment where that incident took place and found nothing to connect anybody to her death. >> investigators also interviewed tenants in the building. little do they know that one of the residents they questioned is actually one of the killers. coming up, among thousands of
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leads, only one holds the truth. >> goes to the blackboard, gets a piece of chalk and writes "two italians are your suspects." [ creaking ] [ male announcer ] trophies and awards lift you up. but they can also hold you back. unless you ask, what's next? [ zapping ] [ clang ] this is the next level of performance. the next level of innovation. the next rx. the all-new f sport. this is the pursuit of perfection. i had[ designer ]eeling enough of just covering up my moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. i decided enough is enough. ♪ [ spa lady ] i started enbrel. it's clinically proven to provide clearer skin. [ rv guy ] enbrel may not work for everyone -- and may not clear you completely,
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hello. mixed reactions in cairo square after they are sending hosni mubarak to prison. some are disappointed though. wanted him executed. more than 1,200 firefighters in new mexico are battling the largest firefighter in the country. flames burned an area the size of new york city. the fire is about 15% contained. now back to "the hillside strangler." due to graphic subject matter, viewer discretion is advised.
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"city in fear." once again, john seigenthaler. >> during november and december of 1977, residents of los angeles faced a holiday season punctuated by terror. the brutal killing spree of the hillside strangler. nine victims, all young women, ranging in age from 12 through 28, had been sexually assaulted, tortured and strangled. their naked bodies gruesomely discarded on hillsides throughout the city. a special police task force enlisted the public's help to identify suspects, but while thousands of leads came in, most were more of a hindrance than a help. >> everybody in los angeles had an opinion who the suspect was.
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shrinks were sending us profiles, what they looked like, what their tendencies were and i always thought that was terrific, except i don't have a name or an address. >> my boyfriend is acting funny, my ex-husband fits the profile, you should go get him. some of it is vindictive, i want you to go hassle my ex-husband. some of it was fearful, so and so is acting different. i think you should look at them. >> when you have that much attention to an incident, you are getting the whackos out of the woodwork. >> a few days ago, this man called police and said he was the los angeles strangler. he was not. when he was released, he explained his bizarre behavior this way. >> i was smoking angel dust and am not in control of my speech right now. >> we had copouts left and right. i'm the hillside strangler. save me. so it was a tense time, very intense time. >> one of the most bizarre tips
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turns out to be information detective grogan will never forget. >> i got a call from the back gate, and this policeman says, "i got a german guy down here at the back gate that doesn't speak very good english, and he says that he's contacted you relative to the hillside strangler." he's a private investigator from berlin, and he's doing his own investigation. so he immediately says, in broken german, trying to tell me how he's going to give me some information. he goes to the blackboard, gets a piece of chalk and writes, "two italians are your suspects," on the chalkboard, and then says, "might be related." >> at that moment, detective grogan has no way of knowing the german investigator's seemingly random profile is 100% accurate. in the los angeles suburb of glendale, 43-year-old angelo buono is known as a reputable businessman.
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he owns angelo's trim shop, an auto upholstery business located behind his house. >> he had a very successful upholstery business, done some of the cars of the movie stars that i heard in los angeles. worked on some fine vehicles, was an excellent craftsman. >> chamber of commerce-type guy, stopped in at the local coffee shops and places. was friends with everybody. the waitresses all knew him. he was a friendly guy. >> buono's cousin, 26-year-old kenneth bianchi, is a small-time con artist who lived in nearby hollywood. >> this is a guy who pretended to be a psychologist. he got himself a diploma and put it up on his wall and is sharing office space with a real psychologist. so women are coming to him. they're his patients. they're talking to him with -- revealing their darkest secrets and their needs. >> bianchi would walk women back to their cars after work and he would tell them they needed to be careful, that he was there to
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protect them. and then he'd say, "you really have to be careful, because you don't know who the hillside stranger is. i could be the hillside strangler." >> and he was. for months, bianchi and buono had been stalking the streets of los angeles, randomly targeting and murdering young women. >> you know they're going out looking, looking for prey, and just imagine what they were talking about. i mean, that one? maybe that one? who are they going to pick, and it was just some woman at random, someone maybe a little close to the curb that they could grab her. >> their headquarters was angelo buono's upholstery shop in glendale. that's where they did a lot of the activity. that's where they did their planning. that's where they brought their victims after they kidnapped them to torture, rape and do all kinds of unspeakable acts upon them before killing them. >> ironically, bianchi holds a
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long fascination with law enforcement and once applied to be an lapd reserve. in the middle of his brutal killing spree, he even requests to go on a ride-along with a los angeles police officer. >> he has the balls to go down to the highland parks police station, the center of where all this is occurring, and volunteer for a ride-along, which we had a ride-along program. bianchi insisted the sergeants take him to the crime scenes where the hillside strangler's bodies were found. >> just as investigators suspected, bianchi and buono have also posed as police officers in order to abduct their victims. >> they both carried badges. in fact, they had a seal on a car that was a county seal that they used in their kidnappings of these victims to convince them that they were law enforcement people. >> handcuffs went on, and it was all over for those girls. they may not have known it then. they may not have known each one of the steps they were going to face toward death.
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but imagine, here are these guys with total control over these women. there was nothing they could do except probably cry, pray, plead. >> but after nine women have been abducted, tortured and strangled since late october, suddenly the killings stopped. >> i think when we hadn't had a murder in a while, we all sort of calmed down. so, yes, we were relieved but we still were nervous. >> we went through a period of two months, nothing's happening. it's almost like you don't want to say, god, if he doesn't kill again, what are we going to do? you don't want to think that, but you're wondering how am i going to solve this thing? >> it would be months before investigators understood why bianchi and buono stopped their killing spree. >> one is, buono's mother was ill. secondly, bianchi's girlfriend was expecting a child and was born at the end of that month,
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and third thing is, you had heavy rain, and it tends to keep people inside, including murderers. >> but the rain would soon end, and the killing would resume. coming up -- >> just looking into the trunk, you could see enough to say you got another one. ♪ home of the brave. ♪ it's where fear goes unwelcomed... ♪ and certain men... find a way to rise above. this is the land of giants. ♪ guts. glory. ram. of how a shipping giant can befriend a forest may seem like the stuff of fairy tales. but if you take away the faces on the trees... take away the pixie dust.
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resist tempting fate one more time. february 16th, on a busy street in the san fernando valley, a retired schoolteacher witnesses two men trying to force a young woman into the back seat of their car. >> and so this grandmother, who is a feisty lady, she pulls over, she immediately tells them to let go of the girl, and tells the girl to get in the car, and the girl does. >> and as the car drove off, angelo buono turned around and said to her, "god will get you for this." >> the tenth victim in broad daylight, trying to abduct somebody, that's almost like a thumb in your nose at the authorities. we did it in the dark and you couldn't catch us. look at what we can do now. look at what we're capable of. >> although buono and bianchi are foiled in the attempt to abduct a woman, another opportunity arises later that afternoon. 20-year-old cindy hudspeth drops by the upholstery shop to have work done on her car. >> obviously they were stirred
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up, out looking for a victim and fate presents one, and they take her. >> the following morning, a los angeles county sheriff's department helicopter spots a car 50 feet down the embankment of a mountain road. >> there were no signs of life. we had an apparent fatality, so ground units were dispatched, as i recall, to check out the scene. >> inside the trunk search and rescue workers discover the nude body of cindy hudspeth. >> just looking into the trunk, you could see enough to say we've got another one. she had the marks that we'd seen before. she had ligature marks on the ankles, ligature marks on the wrist, ligature mark on the neck. >> you know, after a couple months, you begin to lose your fright and think that things are returning to normal, and maybe this won't happen again. then all of the sudden, bang, it's all starting again.
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they were back. >> the impatience of the public with the police is almost beyond measure when they see no relief in sight. they haven't gotten anybody. the public expects, after being raised on crime dramas, that the cops will come riding into the scene, and they will get somebody under arrest. well, the cops don't have anybody, and the public wants to know why. >> meanwhile, investigators grow equally as frustrated with their inability to crack the case. >> i think everybody in law enforcement, regardless of what agency they were assigned to, was involved with this and there were no boundary lines. and i think we were all looking over and above our regular tour of duty. so this was -- again, it was a 24-hour thing. it was a vigil, and it was a collective effort. >> every police officer, when
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they discover a body, has an obvious emotional reaction to that. this is somebody's sister, daughter, mother. they were able to set their emotions aside, temporarily, but i can tell you that the emotions ate them up. they really did. >> but then, weeks passed with no additional victims. >> the silence was deafening. and nobody could figure what was going on. if the murderers have gotten killed, have they gone out of town? have they gone away? have they gone out of business? what is happening here, and we had no idea. >> what los angeles residents have no way of knowing is that bianchi's girlfriend, who had just given birth to their son, has decided to move back to her hometown of bellingham, washington. at the same time, a rift is developing between bianchi and buono. >> buono decided that bianchi was out of control and told him to get out of los angeles or he would kill him.
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bianchi got a used car, loaded the trailer with all of his belongings in it, and drove up to washington. >> friday, january 12th, 1979, nearly one year after cindy hudspeth was discovered dead in the trunk of her car, the hillside strangler case has gone completely cold. then in bellingham, washington, two college roommates, karen mandic and diane wilder, mysteriously disappear on their way to a house-sitting job. within hours, their bodies are found stuffed inside the trunk of mandic's car. the next day, police identify and detain a suspect, a security guard named kenneth bianchi. coming up -- >> i'm a dual personality. i didn't do it. phillip did it. harry did it. peter did it. >> a killer's desperate attempt to clear his name. >> i [ bleep ] killed those broads. you know, to smarten him up, to show him he couldn't push me around. thought they were dead. [ laughter ]
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january 12th, 1979. in bellingham, washington, two young women are found strangled in the trunk of a car. almost immediately, police link the victims to a security guard who had offered them a house-sitting job. his name? kenneth bianchi. meanwhile, in los angeles, detective frank salerno has spent the last two years embroiled in the hillside strangler case. >> i get a phone call from the homicide bureau, and they tell me about a call that had been received from bellingham, washington. they had a suspect and the bureau had done a background. they had run a dmv history on him, and lo and behold, his dmv showed an 800 address on garfield in glendale, which put him in the same complex as the
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weckler girl, across the street from hudspeth. >> both cindy hudspeth and kristina weckler both were victims of the hillside strangler. bianchi is linked to another victim as well. he had lived in the hollywood apartment building where call girl kimberly martin was lured prior to her death. police even interviewed bianchi at the scene as a potential witness. >> there was no doubt that we had -- we had one of the hillside stranglers. he was going to be it. >> bianchi is questioned by investigators from both bellingham and los angeles. they also interview his girlfriend. >> she told us, his only friend, his only companion, the guy named angelo buono, who was his cousin, and that's what led us to angelo. >> while investigators believed that buono may be the other killer, their suspicions grow even stronger, based on the location of his upholstery shop. >> los angeles is a huge area, and these killings were taking place in various areas, and the bodies were being left in different places. the placement of the bodies
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really had -- were like the spokes of a wheel, and if you look to the hub of the wheel, guess what? it was angelo buono's upholstery shop. >> when i first talked to buono in his garage, i remember it was in his garage. he was pretty cocky and kind of, obviously, thinking that my cousin's going to eat this. they're never going to get me. he made a comment that kind of pissed me off at the time, is that, "hey, it's kenny." i says, "you know, i'm going to come back and arrest you. i will do that." >> meanwhile, back in washington, bianchi makes a stunning revelation. not only does he confess to the bellingham and the hillside strangler murders, he also claims to have multiple personalities. during a videotaped hypnosis session, bianchi appears to
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assume the personality of the killer. >> i [ bleep ] killed those broads. you know, to smarten him up, to show him he couldn't push me [ bleep ] around. >> we go up, interview him over a period of two weeks, after he tries all of this insanity stuff. i'm a dual personality. i didn't do it. phillip did it, peter did it, harry did it. this is the showman. this is the pretender. this is the guy with a great line of bull. this is the wannabe cop, and there's a guilt look about this guy that you can't mistake. he's got the map of serial murderer on his face. >> after further examination, bianchi's multiple personality disorder proves to be a fraud. having already confessed to the murders, he makes a desperate plea bargain. in exchange for prosecutors not seeking the death penalty against him, bianchi agrees to testify against buono in the hillside strangler case. moments later, los angeles police arrest buono at his upholstery shop. >> we walked up and i said,
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"angelo, i told you, we'd come back. you're under arrest." it was just as simple as that. >> the day he was arrested may have been the full circle of what had gone on because now this man, who imprisoned girls using police handcuffs, has some degree of feeling for what his victims went through. >> one looked like a serial killer, which was the cousin, angelo buono, but bianchi looked like the perfect handsome, charming man. >> there was no question that we had two of the most brutal, vicious rapists, torturers, killers in the history of the united states, and there was no way that we were going to allow these people to ever hit the streets again. >> the buono trial begins in november 1981. with bianchi testifying against him, the two brutal murderers
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who share a sadistic passion for killing, now find themselves at odds. >> i don't think they ever looked at each other. they never really acknowledged each other in any way. it was pretty cold. >> with a massive amount of evidence to present, and bianchi frequently changing his testimony, the trial would last more than two years. at the time, it was the longest criminal trial in u.s. history. on january 9th, 1984, angelo buono is sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. >> it was a great deal of satisfaction when the case was over. there was no celebration, because you don't celebrate the deaths of ten women, but you do get a great deal of satisfaction out of knowing that not only were the deaths of these women vindicated by the conviction of these two killers, but also by
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the fact that these two killers would never, ever again see the light of day outside of prison. >> they finally had these guys behind bars. all of a sudden, the sense of relief in los angeles was palpable. we had our city back. could you go out again. you could do things. >> buono would spend nearly 19 years behind bars before suffering a fatal heart attack in his cell on september 21st, 2002. bianchi continues to serve multiple life sentences at the washington state penitentiary in walla walla. >> the fact that angelo died alone in prison makes me feel okay. the fact that bianchi is sitting up there in walla walla, getting attention still from media people, getting marriage proposals from wacky broads, you know, bothers me. because i'd like to go up and put a bullet in his head and end it, because the fact of what really disturbs me is that the parents live with that every
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day. every day, that idiot has a forum that brings back the pain that they suffered as a result. >> what motivates anybody to kill anyone, especially the lives of young girls who are so totally defenseless? it doesn't make sense. why terrorize a city? why kill some -- a number of young women who can't defend themselves? who can answer that question? >> no one, including buono and bianchi, has ever provided a motive or an explanation for the murders. >> kenneth and angelo, two very sexual depraved individuals, two cowards who preyed on innocent victims. that's the sad summation of this. >> it showed how vulnerable we all are to people of this ilk, and their randomness of who was chosen. it's just by luck that you
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weren't spotted and picked up. >> it was a tragedy. it's still a tragedy. it is something that the city will always be remembered by, because the killings did take place here. >> it burns itself into your existence, and it remains there, and i think it remains there to this day because, for a time, we knew ultimate fear, and we had no answer for it. >> in 1980, kenneth bianchi began corresponding with 23-year-old veronica lynn compton. together they hatched a plan to get him out of prison. she would murder a woman in bellingham to make it look as though the hillside strangler was still at large, but during the murder attempt, compton's victim overpowered her. she was later convicted of attempted murder and after 14 years behind bars was released on parole. that's our report. thanks for watching. i'm john seigenthaler.


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