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When a murder happens, questions arise — especially who did it and why? In the case of a series of murders in Los Angeles in the 1970s, authorities captured the culprit, but questions still linger about what exactly happened and why he did it. These are explored in the upcoming Peacock special, which takes a deep dive into serial killer Kenneth Bianchi.
"The Hillside Strangler: Devil in Disguise," a four-part docu-series premiering August 2 on Peacock, offers a new, in-depth peek inside the minds of notorious serial-killing cousins Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono, who allegedly impersonated off-duty police officers to lure unsuspecting victims to their deaths before leaving their bodies to be found on the hillsides of East Los Angeles during the 1970s.
In 1979, in Bellingham, Washington, at the time of his arrest for the murders of two local women, Bianchi was not a suspect in the Hillside Killings. However, due to similarities in both the Washington and California murders, not to mention Bianchi's recent departure from Los Angles, investigators began to consider his connection to the cases. When questioned, Bianchi flip-flopped back and forth, alternately denying and confessing to multiple killings in the L.A. and Washington areas.
During his confessions, Bianchi purported to have a split personality and claimed some of the killings were committed by an alter-ego. Bianchi also began implicating his cousin Angelo Buono as a second suspect in the L.A. killings. He later convinced an innocent woman to attempt murder on his behalf in an effort to create an alibi.
"The Hillside Strangler: Devil In Disguise" raises new questions around the psychology of Kenneth Bianchi: Was he a cold-blooded killer who conned those in his orbit, or a madman coerced into confession? Or is it possible, as Bianchi has claimed in recent years, that the truth may be even more complex? The series takes a deep dive into Bianchi's psychological analysis tapes and features audio recordings from the months following his arrest, leading up to his conviction. This four-part series features new and exclusive interviews with those close to the case, including Bianchi’s former girlfriend at the time of the Los Angeles killings, Sheryl Kellison.
“What excited us most about this project was the new angle into Kenneth Bianchi’s mental state at the time of his arrest and how it directly affected the outcome of the case, which sparks the question of whether or not justice had been served in the end,” stated Stephanie Steele – SVP, Current Production NBCU Television and Streaming. “In addition, the series highlights new voices that provide fresh insight into the uniquely troubling story of how these two men wreaked havoc on the people of Los Angeles in the late '70s.”
Tune into "The Hillside Stranger: Devil In Disguise" on Peacock on August 2.
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