Kenneth Alessio Bianchi

With Angelo Buono, known as the“Hillside Stranglers”




Information summarized by

Jennifer Cable, Travis Hall, Brittney Hawks Meredith Hornsby,

 Amanda Howe


Serial killer researched by

Kathy Futrell, Sean Reardon, Lauren Sade, Aaron Shank, Brandon Torrence 


Department of Psychology

Radford University

Radford, VA  24142-6946









Life Event

May 22, 1951


Kenneth Bianchi is born in Rochester, New York to a 17-year-old alcoholic prostitute who gives him up for adoption

August 1951

3 months

Kenneth is adopted by Frances Scioliono Bianchi and her husband who is a worker in the American Brake-Shoe Factory. Frances is Angelo Buono’s mother’s sister making him Angelo’s adoptive cousin. Named Kenneth Alessio Bianchi, he is their only child.



By the time he could talk his mother knew he would be a compulsive liar. Throughout his childhood he idolizes Prince Valiant

November 25, 1954


First taken to hospital by his mother with complaints of not being able to sleep and wetting the bed 5 times. Quote from doctor after first hospital visit – “Mother needs help”




Kenneth has frequent lapses into trance-like states of daydreaming.  Frances consults a physician. These trance-like states of daydreaming are typified by his eyes rolling back in his head and inattentiveness. He is prone to temper tantrums and quick to anger as well. Doctor diagnoses him with petit mal syndrome and assures the Bianchi’s that there is nothing to worry about and that Kenneth will eventually grow out of these episodes.

January 2, 1957

Kenneth falls off of a jungle gym at Century Park School and sustains an injury to his face

August 12, 1957


Is examined again for his eyes rolling back into his head.  Mother says that these episodes only last a moment or so

December 18, 1958


Is checked by doctors for urinary dribbling



Is treated briefly at a psychiatric center in Rochester for mental problems




Begins having involuntary urination (Frances eventually makes him wear sanitary napkins).

November 28, 1960

Is sent to DePaul Psychiatric Clinic because of “involuntary urination, tics, absenteeism, and behavior problems.” Doctors perform a cystoscopy and retrograde pyelogram on Kenneth



Kenneth is moved twice from schools because he could not get along with his teachers. The mother believed the teachers made him nervous. His IQ is measured at 116. Mother says he is lazy, inattentive, and angry. Teachers say he is working below his capacity

July 1963


Decides that he likes pulling younger girls pants down and does just that to a six year old girl



Kenneth’s father, Mr. Bianchi, suddenly dies and Kenneth refuses to cry or show any emotion for his loss



Attends Gates-Chili high school (just outside Rochester). During this time he dates frequently, is clean-cut, and respective of elders. Joins a motorcycle club and gets a tattoo that reads, “Satan’s Own M.C.”



Proposes to a woman named Susan but is turned down

Writes his girlfriend saying that he has been suspected in the Alphabet murders and that he had in fact killed a man.  However, she thinks this is a sick joke and does not take the confession seriously.**(the exact date of this letter can not be confirmed, some sources list the time period as 1969 while others say it was 1972)

Marries Brenda Beck for a few months. She is unable to meet his standards for a woman. He is with several women at a time throughout the marriage.



Kenneth enrolls at Monroe Community College to become a police officer.



Kenneth marries again but this time his wife leaves him after eight months.



Applies with a sheriff’s office and is turned down.  Becomes a security guard but is often charged with theft by employers who suspect him.

Proposes to Susan a second time. However, she turns him down again and claims that he needs to have a stable job.

January 1976



Kenneth moves to Los Angeles and first lives with Angelo Buono (his adoptive cousin).  Buono begins to introduce Bianchi to the world of perverse sex.


Obtains a job with the California Land Title Company. 

His mother sends him money to buy a car with which he buys a 1972 Cadillac.

Applies with the Los Angeles Police Reserves

Sleeps with one of Angelo’s son’s girlfriends

July 1976

Moves out of Angelo’s home and into his own apartment on East Garfield Avenue.  Shortly thereafter he moves in with Kelli Boyd who he had met at work





Applies to Glendale Police Department but is rejected

Applies to Los Angeles Police Department but there are no openings

After purchasing phony psychology degrees and credentials, Kenneth rents office space from a legitimate psychologist.  Very few people see Kenneth for help.

Begins using the false excuse that he has cancer so that he can skip work, which he does quite often.

Is fired from his job after marijuana is found in his desk

May 1977

Kelli becomes pregnant by Kenneth. He proposes to her but she turns him down. However, she continues to stay with him.

September 1977

Angelo and Kenneth discuss the idea of getting young girls to work for them as prostitutes.  It is Angelo’s idea as a way for them to get money (as they are short on cash).  They purchase a list of names of men who frequent prostitutes from Deborah Noble.  Unbeknownst to Angelo and Kenneth, Deborah delivers a “trick list” and deceives them.

October 1977

Deborah Noble and her friend Yolanda Washington deliver the list of men to Angelo.  Yolanda is 19 years-old, a part-time waitress and a prostitute.  Yolanda tells Angelo that she usually works a particular stretch on Sunset Boulevard. 

Angelo and Kenneth soon find out that the list is a fake and seek out to get revenge for the money they paid. 

October 17, 1977

Angelo and Kenneth begin their rampage. They seek out Yolanda Washington, rape and strangle her in the back seat of Kenneth’s car.

October 18, 1977

Washington’s boy is found near Universal City in a cemetery. She still has the fabric around her neck that was used to strangle her.

October 31, 1977

Victim Two-Judith Miller, a 15 years-old runaway and prostitute.


November 1, 1977

Miller’s body is found with ligature marks on her ankles, wrists, and neck. She has also been raped.

November 5, 1977

Victim Three-Elissa Kastin, a 21 years-old waitress.

November 6, 1977

Kastin’s nude body is found on a highway embankment. She is found with ligature marks similar to those found on Judith Miller.  She has also been raped and sodomized.

November 9, 1977

Victim Four-Jane King, a 28 year–old aspiring actress.

November 13, 1977

Victims Five and Six- Sonja Johnson age 14 and Dolly Cepeda age 12.

November 20, 1977

A nine year-old boy finds the bodies of Sonja Johnson and Dolly Cepeda in Highland Park. They too are found nude with ligature marks and had been raped.

Victim Seven- Kristina Weckler, a 20 year-old college student. She is found the same day with ligature marks on the inner arm and  on her neck.

November 23, 1977

Jane King’s body is found near Los Feliz off-ramp on the Golden State Freeway.  She has been sodomized and strangled.

(sources on the condition of King’s body coincide.  Some say she had been raped, while others report that the body was so badly deteriorated that rape could not be definitively determined)

November 28, 1977

Victim Eight-Lauren Wagner, an 18 year-old student.

November 29, 1977

Lauren Wagner’s body is found nude, strangled, and with electrical burns on her palms.  She also has ligature marks on her body and had been raped.

December 13, 1977

Victim Nine - Kimberly Martin, an 18 year-old call girl who went by the name of Donna*.  Her body is found the same day in a vacant lot on a hillside.

*(some sources report Martin’s name as Kimberly Diane Martin, while others say she went by “Donna”)

February 17, 1978

Victim Ten-Cindy Hudspeth, a 20 year-old college student. Her body is found in the trunk of her car which had been pushed over a cliff. She is also found nude, raped, and with ligature marks on her body.

This is the last murder that Angelo and Kenneth participate in together, and Angelo’s final murder before being arrested and ultimately sent to prison.





Kenneth moves to Bellingham, Washington to be with Kelli and their son Ryan.  He obtains a job as a security guard for a hardware store.*

Kenneth applies with the Whatcom County Sheriffs Reserve and accepts a position there.  This would be his last known place of employment.*

(the actual dates of Bianchi’s move to Washington, and his dates of employment in Washington are not known)

January 12, 1979

Police in Bellingham, Washington are notified that two young women from Western Washington University, Karen Mandic and Diane Wilder, are missing.   The police later find out that Kenneth Bianchi had offered the girls $100 to housesit for him.

January 1979

Police are led to an abandoned car in a heavily wooded area.  Inside the car they discover the bodies of Mandic and Wilder.  Both women have been strangled and their bodies contain multiple bruises.  Upon identifying Bianchi as a suspect in the murders, they search his home.  The search produces jewelry that matches the descriptions of that worn by Kimberly Martin and Yolanda Washington.  Police are now able to identify Bianchi as one of the Hillside Stranglers.

October 22, 1979


Angelo Buono is arrested after Kenneth Bianchi tells police of his and Angelo’s involvement in the murders.

June 1980





Bianchi receives a pen-pal letter from Veronica Lynn Compton, 23.  She asks him for his opinion on her play about a female serial killer.

June – September 1980

Compton and Bianchi continue to correspond with each other. Compton suggests a defense strategy for Bianchi.  She would travel to Bellingham and kill a woman and place his semen at the scene since he is a non-secretor.  This would “show” that the strangler is still on the loose.  

September 16, 1980

Compton visits Bianchi in prison.  While visiting she receives his semen in a rubber glove that is hidden in a book.  She then flies to Bellingham, Washington and picks out a female victim, but ruins the murder attempt. 

October 3, 1980

Compton is arrested in California, and convicted in 1981 in Washington.

October 4, 1980

Bianchi writes a “letter to the world”, stating that he is innocent and that Angelo Buono is the true killer.

July 6, 1981





In order to convince the court that his testimony was unreliable, Bianchi testifies that he might have faked the multiple personality disorder, but he could not be sure if he was telling the truth when he stated earlier that Buono was involved in the murders.  Now he does not even think that he committed the murders either.

July 31, 1981

Prosecutor files a petition to dismiss the case against Buono due to Ken’s irrationality and conflicting testimony.

August 1, 1981

Judge Ronald George dismisses the petition.

November 3, 1981

Judge Ronald George delivers his judgment: “My judgment was that Bianchi faked both the hypnosis and the multiple personality, and I came to that conclusion based on the circumstantial evidence acquired by the police, the contradictory testimony of Bianchi with regard to his mental status and the opinions voiced by the psychiatrists who examined him.”

October 21, 1983


Bianchi receives his sentence (life in prison with the possibility for parole).

General Information





     Number of victims


     Country where killing occurred

United States

     States where killing occurred

California and Washington State

Childhood Information

     Date of birth

May 22 1951


Rochester, New York

     Birth order

Only Child

     Number of siblings




     Raised by

Adoptive parents – the Bianchis;   Biological mother was a prostitute who gave him up for adoption at birth

     Birth category

Only child

     Parent’s marital status

Married (adoptive parents)

     Family event

His adoptive father died of a heart attack.  His adoptive mother, who he was very attached to, then had to start working to support the family.

     Age of family event


     Problems in school?

By age eleven he was having furious tantrums during class.

     Teased while in school?


     Physically attractive?


     Physical defect?


     Speech defect?


     Head injury?

Age of 11- fell off of a jungle gym and hit his head.

     Physically abused?


     Psychologically abused?

There is a possibility that he was mentally abused, but there is no documentation of any certain event.

     Sexually abused?


     Father’s occupation

Adoptive father was employed by the American Brake shoe factory.

     Age of first sexual experience


     Age when first had intercourse


     Mother’s occupation

Was employed, but her exact occupation is unknown

     Father abused drugs/alcohol


     Mother abused drugs/alcohol

Biological mother abused alcohol.

No alcohol abuse reported for adoptive mother

Cognitive Ability

     Highest grade in school

Completed high school

     Highest degree

High School Diploma

    Grades in school

Teachers reported that he was working below his capacity



Work History

     Served in the military?




          Type of discharge


          Saw combat duty


          Killed enemy during service?


     Applied for job as a cop?

Yes, for a while he started taking classes to become a police officer but dropped out before finishing.  He then applied for a job with a  Sheriff’s Department but was turned down. 

     Worked in law enforcement?

Yes,  held a position as a security guard

     Fired from jobs?

Yes, asked to leave after being found stealing,  and fired from another job after marijuana was found in his desk.

     Types of jobs worked

He went through several jobs, one job he held was at a title company.  He also prepared a fake diploma for himself and began to practice as a psychologist.  

     Employment status during series




     Sexual preference


     Marital status

He had a common law wife and re-married while in prison

     Number of children

He had one child

     Lives with his children


     Living with

Common-law wife


     Animal torture


     Fire setting


     Bed wetting

No, but he had bladder control problems.


     Abused drugs?

No, but was fired from a job when pot was found in his desk.

     Abused alcohol?


     Been to a psychologist?

Yes, mother sent him to one as a young boy.

     Time in forensic hospital?



Petit mal syndrome

Killer Criminal History

     Committed previous crimes?

He was suspected in the Alphabet murders in New York, but his involvement was never confirmed

     Spend time in jail?


     Spend time in prison?


     Killed prior to series?  Age?

Not positive, but yes, if he did commit the Alphabet murders

Serial Killing

     Number of victims

12 (the last two murders were carried out solely by Kenneth Bianchi, Angelo Buono was not involved with these)

     Victim type

Vulnerable young women (prostitutes, low-income, students, low scale models and actresses);   Also murdered two very young girls – ages 12 and 14

     Killer age at start of series


     Gender of victims


      Race of victims

White and African American

      Age of victims

12 to 28.

      Method of killing

Strangulation, rape, various types of torture

      Type of serial killer

Organized lust

      How close did killer live?

Drove to crime

      Killing occurred in home of victim?


      Killing occurred in home of killer?

Possibly,  evidence was found in Bianchi’s apartment


No weapons, as most of the murders were ruled as death by strangulation.   However, various items were used to tie and bound the victims.

Behavior During Crimes



     Tortured Victim?

Yes, as the murders progressed the detectives investigating saw the Hillside Stranglers experimenting more and more with methods of torture. 

     Stalked victims?




     Quick & efficient?

No, torture was evident

     Used blindfold?


     Bound the victims?

Yes, ligature marks on the victims hands and feet were the “calling card” of the Hillside Stranglers.

After Death Behavior

     Sex with the body?


     Mutilated body?


     Ate part of the body?


     Drank victim’s blood?


     Posed the body?


     Took totem – body part


     Took totem – personal item


     Robbed victim or location


Disposal of Body

     Left at scene, no attempt to hide


     Left at scene, hidden


     Left at scene, buried


     Moved, no attempt to hide

Yes – once murdered, the bodies were moved to remote locations near hillsides

     Moved, buried


     Cut-op and disposed of


     Moved, too home




     Date killer arrested

January 10, 1979.

     Date convicted

October 21, 1979


Sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

     Killer executed?


     Name and state of prison

Washington State Penitentiary.

     Killer committed suicide?


     Killer killed in prison?


Date of death

N/A – Still living






     The Hillside Stranglers (videotape)  (1998).  Arts and Entertainment Television.


     Mind of a killer.  (1995).  Chatsworth, CA:  Kozel Multimedia.



Candida, F.  (1981, July 7).  Hillside Strangler Case:  The 2 faces of Bianchi.  Los

     Angeles Times.


Farr, B.  (1981, July 26).  Prosecution memos list holes in strangler case.  The

     Los Angeles Times.


They’ll be back.  (1997).  Newsweek,  129 (11),  12-13.


Wilson, W.  (1981, May 13).  Stranglers’ power of psychological manipulation.

     Sacramento Bee.


Wilson, W.  (1981, May 12).  The Bianchi case:  finding a labyrinth of personalities.

     Sacramento Bee.


Wilson, W.  (1981, May 10).  Tragedy’s evidence ignored too long.  Sacramento



Wilson, W.  (1981, May 14).  Was Buono just Bianchi’s dupe in Hillside Stranglings?

     Sacramento Bee.



Newton, Michael  (1990).  Hunting Humans:  An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial

     Killers.  Loompanics Unlimited:  Port Townsend, Washington. 


O’Brien, Darcy.  (1985).  Two of a Kind:  The Hillside Stranglers.  New York:  New

     American Library.


Schwarz, Ted.  (2001). The Hillside Strangler.   NY: Vivisphere Publishing




* -  New websites used for information summary

** - Websites originally used for research but are no longer active