"Hillside Strangler: A Murderer's Mind", written by Ted Schwarz.

Essay by vogUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, September 2003

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The "Hillside Strangler: A Murderer's Mind", written by Ted Schwarz, is a true crime book based on the heinous and sadistic murders of ten women in Los Angeles, California between the fall and winter of 1977-78 and an additional two murders of women in Bellingham, Washington in January, 1979. In the end, one man stood accused of taking the lives of twelve women; that person being none other than Ken Bianchi. However, as the events unfolded, it became abundantly clear that Ken Bianchi did not act alone in the case of the California murders. Information later divulged by Bianchi, together with forensic evidence, unmistakably tied in Bianchi's cousin; Angelo Buono. Together, the two terrorized L.A. until Bianchi left for Bellingham, where he committed two murders on his own. Those last two murders left police with enough evidence to make an arrest and eventually tie together the Bellingham and L.A.

murders with Angelo and Bianchi.

The women murdered in L.A., California found their final resting place on the hillsides throughout California and this led the media to dub the perpetrator as the "Hillside Strangler." The chosen title was to the detriment of the female population in L.A., as the term implied that only one person was responsible. Strong evidence had been collected that implicated two individuals, nevertheless the police failed to correct the media. In turn, the victims did not even think twice about getting into a vehicle with two men.

The main focus of the book, however, is the insanity defense presented by the defendant Ken Bianchi. In order to support an insanity defense, Bianchi claimed he was suffering from a mental disorder called "multiple personality disorder" (MPD), which is characterized by one or more "alter personalities" in one body.

Ken Bianchi came across as a mild...