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Publisher's Summary

For weeks, the body count of sexually violated, brutally murdered young women escalated. With increasing alarm, Los Angeles newspapers headlined the deeds of a serial killer they named the Hillside Strangler. The city was held hostage by fear. But not until January 1979, more than a year later, would the mysterious disappearance of two university students near Seattle lead police to the arrest of a security guard - the handsome, charming, fast-talking Kenny Bianchi - and the discovery that the strangler was not one man, but two.

Compellingly, O'Brien explores the symbiotic relationship between Bianchi and his cousin Angelo Buono and their lust for women as insatiable as their hate, before examining the crimes they remorselessly perpetrated and the lives of the unsuspecting victims they claimed. Equally riveting is O'Brien's account of the trial - one of the longest and most controversial criminal court cases in American history - with the defense team parading, one after another, expert witnesses who had been effectively duped by Bianchi's impersonation of a man suffering multiple personality disorder. It's one way a man might contrive to get away with murder.

Darcy O'Brien weds the narrative skill of an award-winning novelist with the detailed observations of an experienced investigator to unravel this chilling true-crime story.

©1985 Darcy O'Brien (P)2021 Tantor

What listeners say about The Hillside Stranglers

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TOO much detail of rape, sodomy & bleeding rectums

I identify as someone who enjoys a well written true crime novel. I've read some of the best books about America's most disturbed, deranged, and blood thirsty killers, and have my fair share of particular favorites. However, this book made me not only squirm, but it possibly could have traumatized me... There's way too many depictions of the numerous rapes these men (who should've suffered the death penalty first hand) committed, and it doesn't help that Darcy O'Brien details bleeding rectums, women choking and blacking out repeatidly while being forced to give oral sex, and having their deceased bodies be desecrated and mocked in the very end... Seriously, it seems like O'Brien got some sort of sexual gratification himself by just talking about how Lauren Wagner, Judith Miller, the 2 girls from Eagle Rock, perished and were ultimately tortured... Not only can I never watch another documentary piece about the Hillside Stranglers, it hurts me internally to ever look at the pictures of the victims in the future. I hope Kenneth Bianchi is suffering in prison!

14 people found this helpful

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Porn masquerading as true crime

Let me clarify by saying that true crime is one of my favorite genres. Generally I can handle graphic descriptions of rape and murder but this is way over the top. The author writes as though he was present during the crimes and was privy to private conversations between Buono and Bianchi. I agree with other reviewers that the author got some twisted sexual gratification by describing the torture these poor women endured before being murdered. I quit after the cousins are congratulating themselves because they abducted a woman who had removed her pubic hair. Then they were planning to abduct, rape and murder a young girl who just had peach fuzz. I mean really!! Did the author even know what the demon cousins talked about? And frankly, I do not understand why the author left out the murder of Yolanda Washington and the fact the the cousins acted as pimps for a time but included some idiocy about Buono petting his bunnies. The author was all over the board and didn't present the murders in order. If you don't give this one a pass, which I recommend you do, listen with headphones.

9 people found this helpful

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Amazon Sucks

Second to last amazon product I use because I have one already purchased. Treat your workers properly sicko Bezos. No more cash from me. Bye bye. How much $$$ is enough?

7 people found this helpful

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listen to it everywhere

LOVE IT. I LISTEN TO THIS WHEN I WENT PLACE AND CLEANING. GOING TO LISTEN TO IT AGAIN .

4 people found this helpful

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Unsettling…

The story is well read but the story itself, the way it’s told, is disturbing. I could stomach it for awhile but they start talking about the 12yo and I had to shut it off. He tells it in first person view (I guess?) and it’s horrible. Def not my taste but maybe because it’s a dose of reality? A look into the minds of the abuser/killer from their point of view? Either way, I couldn’t stomach it. Well read though. I could easily follow who was speaking by the voice of the reader.

3 people found this helpful

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ugh.. the narrator

good reading! the narrator is great when he's not doing the character voices. the voices he uses for the characters is just bad.

3 people found this helpful

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if you like true crime, buckle up.

You are in for one hell of a ride with this great book about some truly disgusting and pathetic garbage people.. As far as true crime goes, this book was very informative. I purchased this book after listening to the Morbid podcast on the hillside stranglers based off of Alaina's reccomendation. It is definately not for the faint of heart so proceed with caution. My heart goes out to the victims and their families and I'm glad that these sorry excuses for human beings were brought to justice.

2 people found this helpful

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Disturbing

Very disturbing. I listen to a lot of true crime and this was hard to get through. It was really good but now I feel gross and pissed.

2 people found this helpful

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Narrator

Great true crime novel. The narration, ugh. Painful and difficult at times. Horrible Italian accents.

2 people found this helpful

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Somewhat annoying narration.

Good book If you can get by the narrator's annoying way of saying "Angelo SAID" !

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • marie
  • 05-19-21

Got a bit boring

Too much courtroom at the end, seemed OK up until that , so 3 stars

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kevin Blake
  • 10-19-21

Excellent and thorough account of an infamous case

My only slight criticism is that the conversations between Bianchi and Buono have to be imagined by the author, which lends an air of dramatisation to what is an otherwise factual account. On the other hand, this helps to bring the story of this evil pair to life.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-26-21

Excellent

Very well written. Thought the narrator was excellent. Covered the whole case start to finish. Harrowing at times, amusing at others. Would recommend.

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  • Daniel Lee
  • 05-20-21

Definitely worth a listen.

I loved this well written, well performed book. The only issue I have is the narrator can sound robotic at times, but it quickly goes away.

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  • claire adams
  • 05-02-21

A compelling tale

I liked the writer's style and the occasional humour - missing in most true crime books. Some of the descriptions of the crimes seemed unnecessary since they followed a very similar pattern. This part of the book felt at times salacious. However, overall the story was told in useful detail. The sections on the interrogations and the court case kept my interest to the end. The narrator was excellent.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-12-21

Horrifying yet fascinating.

I've known the story of the Hillside Stranglers for many years so this story was not new to me. What drew me to the book was that given its length the story would provide far more detail. I was not disappointed.
I will be looking for more books by the author and also narrator.

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  • Nogbad the bad
  • 03-26-21

Riveting

Unbelievable stuff these two nut jobs should have been executed the details of their horrendous crimes are gut wrenching
Excellent true crime