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Angelo Buono, Jr.
Background information
Birth name: Angelo Buono, Jr.
Also known as: The Hillside Strangler
Born: October 5, 1934(1934-10-05)
Rochester, New York
Died: September 21, 2002 (aged 67)
Cause of death: heart attack
Conviction: Murder
Sentence: Life imprisonment
Number of victims: 10
Span of killings: October 16, 1977 – February 16, 1978
Country: USA
State(s): California
Date apprehended: October 22, 1979

Angelo Buono, Jr. (October 5, 1934 – September 21, 2002) was an American serial killer. Buono and his cousin Kenneth Bianchi together are known as the Hillside Stranglers. [1]


Early life

Buono was born in Rochester, New York to first generation Italian-American emigrants from San Buono, Italy. In the time leading up to the killings, Buono had already developed a long criminal history, ranging from failure to pay child support and grand theft auto to assault and rape. In 1975, when Buono was 41, he met Kenneth Bianchi. [2]

A self-described "ladies' man", Buono persuaded his younger cousin to join him in prostituting the women and young girls they brought to bed, holding them as virtual prisoners. In late 1977, the pair began killing them as well, claiming 10 documented victims by the time they were arrested in early 1979.


The legal case against Buono was based largely upon Bianchi's testimony. The case's original prosecutors from the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office moved to dismiss all charges against Buono and set him free.

The presiding judge, Ronald M. George, denied the motion to dismiss. He refused to release Buono, and he reassigned the case to the California Attorney General's office.

Buono's trial would become the longest in American legal history, lasting from November 1981 until November 1983. During the trial, Bianchi, in exchange for a lighter sentence, testified against Buono. The jury convicted Buono on nine counts of murder.

The jury sentenced Buono to life imprisonment, with George commenting that he felt a death sentence would have been the appropriate punishment.

Prison sentence and death

In 1986, Buono married Christine Kizuka, a mother of three and a supervisor at the California State Department of Employee Development.[3]

Buono was found dead on September 21, 2002 at Calipatria State Prison. Buono, who was alone in his cell at the time of his death, died of a heart attack.

After his death

In 2007, Buono's grandson, Christopher Buono, committed suicide shortly after shooting his grandmother, Mary Castillo, in the head. Castillo was at one time married to Angelo Buono, and had five children with him, including Chris' father.[4][5]

In the 1989 film The Case of the Hillside Stranglers, Buono was portrayed by actor Dennis Farina. In the 2004 film The Hillside Strangler, Buono was portrayed by actor Nicholas Turturro.


External links

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