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Angelo Buono - The Hillside Strangler

Rapist, Torturer and Murderer

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Angelo Buono

Angelo Buono

Mug Shot
Angelo Buono, Jr. was, along with his cousin Kenneth Bianchi, one of the Hillside Stranglers who went on a two month rape, torture and murder spree in 1977, in California.

The Early Years

Angelo Buono, Jr. was born in Rochester, New York, on October 5, 1934. In 1939, Angelo moved with his mother and sister to Glendale, California. A dark side emerged from young Buono. He began to verbally assault his mother, a behavior that later intensified towards all women he encountered.

His vile side mixed with a disinterest in education soon led Buono into trouble with the police. By the age of 14, Buono had been in a juvenile delinquent facility and was bragging about raping and sodomizing local young girls.

The "Italian Stallion"

Beginning in his late teens, Buono married and fathered several children. His wives, first attracted to his macho self-proclaimed "Italian Stallion" style, would quickly discover his disrespect and disdain for women. He would ultimately become physically and sexually abusive, often creating such terror in the women that they feared for their lives.

Buono had a small, semi-successful car upholster shop attached to the front of his home. This offered him seclusion, which was what he needed to act out his sexual perversions with many of the young girls in the neighborhood. It is also, where his cousin, Kenneth Bianchi, joined him in 1976.

A Career Jump Into Pimping

Buono and Bianchi embarked on a new career as small-time pimps. Bianchi, who was more attractive then his wiry, large-nosed cousin, would lure young runaway girls to the home, then force them into prostitution, keeping them captive with threats of physical punishment. This worked until their two best "girls" escaped.

Needing to build up their pimp business, Buono purchased a trick list from a local prostitute. When he figured out he had been scammed, Buono and Bianchi set out for revenge, but could only find the prostitute's friend, Yolanda Washington. The pair raped, tortured and murdered Washington on October 16, 1977. According to authorities, this was Buono and Bianchi's first known murder.

The Hillside Strangler and Bellengrath Link

Over the next two months, Bianchi and Buono raped, tortured and killed another nine women ranging in ages from 12 to 28. The press named the unknown "killer" as the "Hillside Strangler," but police were quick to suspect that more than one person was involved.

After two years of hanging around his piggish cousin, Bianchi decided to return to Washington and reunite with his old girlfriend. But murder was on his mind and in January 1979, he raped and murdered Karen Mandic and Diane Wilder in Bellengrath, Washington. Almost immediately the police linked the crime to Bianchi and began to interrogate him.

The similarities of his crimes to those of the Hillside Strangler was enough for the detectives to join forces with the L.A. detectives and together question Bianchi. Enough evidence was found in Bianchi's home to charge him with the Bellengrath murders.

Prosecutors decided to offer Bianchi a life sentence, instead of the death penalty, if he gave full details of his crimes and the name of his partner. Bianchi agreed and Angelo Buono was arrested and charged with nine murders.

The End for Buono

In 1982, after two lengthy trials, Angelo Buono was found guilty of nine of the ten Hillside murders and received a life sentence.

Four years into serving his sentence, he married Christine Kizuka, a supervisor at the California State Department of Employee Development and a mother of three.

In September 2002, Buono died of a suspected heart attack while in Calipatria State Prison. He was 67 years old.

Interesting Note: In 2007, Buono's grandson, Christopher Buono, shot his grandmother, Mary Castillo, then killed himself. Castillo was married to Angelo Buono at one time and the two had five children. One of the five was Chris' father.

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