The saga of the “Hillside Stranglers” continues. We’ve mentioned Angelo Anthony Buono Jr. in a previous post. Kenneth A. Bianchi, along with his cousin Buono was convicted of multiple murders in the late 1970s.
For the last 40 years, Bianchi has filed multiple lawsuits and more than a dozen personal restraint petitions professing his innocence to the crimes. These petitions come in spite of the fact that Bianchi pleaded guilty on October 19, 1979, in order to escape the death penalty, The Bellingham Herald reports. He agreed to a guilty plea for killing Western Washington University students Karen Mandic and Diane Wilder.
He also pleaded guilty to five hillside strangler killings in California. He received two life sentences for the murders in Washington and five life terms for the killings in California, according to the article. His claims of innocence stem from what he calls illegal searches and seizures. He says that the death penalty was hung over his head to compel him to plead guilty for a lighter sentence.
Death Penalty Ruse
Bianchi pleaded guilty to five of the 13 “Hillside Strangler” slayings in exchange for avoiding the prospect of a death penalty sentence, according to the article. Evidence brought to light in recent years gives some reason to believe that Bianchi could not have been responsible for the Western Washington University students’ deaths.
In June, he filed three petitions, in which he pointed out that the FBI has now discredited the science behind hair evidence used in the case. What’s more, he claims that he could not have killed Mandic and Wilder based on the time clouding in the victims’ eyes. Bianchi’s third appeal asserts that two of his pubic hairs found in the house where Mandic and Wilder were murdered were planted.
On August 29, the Court of Appeals dismissed Bianchi’s three recent petitions, the article reports. The record states that “He has been filing petitions challenging his conviction on ineffective counsel grounds, and on other grounds, since the 1980s.” Bianchi filed all three petitions acting as his own legal counsel.
“The courts in my three legal briefs gave each lip service, never ruled on the merits, never recognized the truth of each, and dismissed based on procedure, not merit. All my briefs have true and correct merit,” Bianchi said. “I’ve had courts ignore my facts, and instead adopt information from old news stories. Facts are the most important part of any petition, and over the years, as facts came to my knowledge, and through case law a legal ground arose, I filed.”
Bianchi, 68, is incarcerated at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla.
Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyer
Please contact the Law Office of Ronald G. Brower if you or a loved one require legal assistance. With more than three decades of experience, Attorney Brower can help you achieve the best possible outcome in any case.