The Hillside Stranglers: The Inside Story of the Killing Spree That Terrorized Los Angeles

Open Road Media
11
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The riveting true crime account of the Hillside Stranglers and the horrific serial killings they unleashed on 1970s Los Angeles.
 
For weeks that fall, 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, 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.
 
Like Truman Capote in In Cold Blood and Norman Mailer in The Executioner’s Song, 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.
 
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About the author

Darcy O’Brien (1939–1998) was born in Los Angeles, California. He is a bestselling author of eleven works of fiction and nonfiction, including the PEN/Hemingway Award–winning novel A Way of Life, Like Any Other, based on his experiences with his movie-star parents, George O’Brien and Marguerite Churchill; The Hidden Pope, nominated for the Pulitzer Prize; The Hillside Stranglers, which became a bestseller and was made into an NBC TV movie; and Murder in Little Egypt, winner of the Edgar Award. O’Brien’s knowledge of the field of criminal justice made him a frequent speaker and panelist on television and radio, and he published numerous articles in the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, among others.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Jul 1, 2014
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Pages
448
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ISBN
9781497658592
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Criminals & Outlaws
True Crime / Murder / Serial Killers
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Three riveting accounts of horrific crimes and the twisted minds behind them by an Edgar Award–winning author, in one volume.

A father’s ultimate betrayal, a savage killing spree that terrorized Los Angeles, and the brutal slaying of a rich man’s college-aged daughter. In this heart-stopping true crime collection, New York Times–bestselling author Darcy O’Brien uncovers the dark underside of the American dream.
 
Murder in Little Egypt: Dr. John Dale Cavaness selflessly attended to the needs of his small, southern Illinois community. But when Cavaness was charged with the murder of his son Sean in December 1984, a radically different portrait of the physician and surgeon emerged. Throughout the three decades he had basked in the admiration and respect of the people of Little Egypt, Cavaness was privately terrorizing his family, abusing his employees, and making disastrous financial investments. In this New York Times bestseller, as more and more grisly details come to light, so too does rural America’s heritage of blood and violence become clear.
 
The Hillside Stranglers: 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. 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. The Hillside Stranglers is the disturbing portrait of a city held hostage by fear and a pair of psychopaths whose lust was as insatiable as their hate.
 
A Dark and Bloody Ground: On a sweltering evening in August 1985, three men breached Roscoe Acker’s alarm and security systems, stabbed his daughter to death, and made off with over $1.9 million in cash. The killers were part of a hillbilly gang led by Sherry Sheets Hodge, a former prison guard, and her husband, lifetime criminal Benny Hodge. The stolen money came in handy shortly afterward, when they used it to lure Kentucky’s most flamboyant lawyer, Lester Burns, into representing them. “The smell of wet, coal-laden earth, white lightning, and cocaine-driven sweat rises from these marvelously atmospheric—and compelling—pages” (Kirkus Reviews).
An Edgar Award–winning author’s true crime account of a grisly string of killings in Kentucky—and the shocking spectacle of greed that followed.

Kentucky never deserved its Indian appellation “A Dark and Bloody Ground” more than when a small-town physician, seventy-seven-year-old Roscoe Acker, called in an emergency on a sweltering evening in August 1985. Acker’s own life hung in the balance, but it was already too late for his college-age daughter, Tammy, savagely stabbed eleven times and pinned by a kitchen knife to her bedroom floor. Three men had breached Dr. Acker’s alarm and security systems and made off with the fortune he had stashed away over his lifetime.

The killers—part of a three-man, two-woman gang of the sort not seen since the Barkers—stopped counting the moldy bills when they reached $1.9 million. The cash came in handy soon after when they were caught and needed to lure Kentucky’s most flamboyant lawyer, the celebrated and corrupt Lester Burns, into representing them. Full of colorful characters and desperate deeds, A Dark and Bloody Ground is a “first-rate” true crime chronicle from the author of Murder in Little Egypt (Kirkus Reviews).
 
“An arresting look into the troubled psyches of these criminals and into the depressed Kentucky economy that became fertile territory for narcotics dealers, theft rings and bootleggers.” —Publishers Weekly
 
“The smell of wet, coal-laden earth, white lightning, and cocaine-driven sweat arises from these marvelously atmospheric—and compelling—pages.” —Kirkus Reviews
 
“A fascinating portrait of the mountain way of life and thought that forged the lives of these criminals.” —Library Journal 
Discover the definitive book on the Menendez case—and the primary source material for NBC’s Law and Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders.

A successful entertainment executive making $2 million a year. His former beauty queen wife. Their two sons on the fast track to success. But it was all a façade.

The Menendez saga has captivated the American public since 1989. The killing of José and Kitty Menendez on a quiet Sunday evening in Beverly Hills didn’t make the cover of People magazine until the arrest of their sons seven months later, and the case developed an intense cult following. When the first Menendez trial began in July 1993, the public was convinced that Lyle and Erik were a pair of greedy rich kids who had killed loving, devoted parents.

But the real story remained buried beneath years of dark secrets. Until now.

Journalist Robert Rand, who originally reported on the case for the Miami Herald and Playboy, has followed the Menendez murders from the beginning and has continued investigating and interviewing key sources for 28 years. Rand is the only reporter who covered the original investigation as well as both trials. With unparalleled access to the Menendez family and their history, including interviews with both brothers before and after their arrest, Rand has uncovered extraordinary details that certainly would have changed the fate of the brothers’ first-degree murder conviction and sentencing to life without parole.

In The Menendez Murders: The Shocking Untold Story of the Menedez Family and the Killings That Stunned the Nation, Rand shares these intimate, never-before-revealed findings, including a deeply disturbing history of child abuse and sexual molestation in the Menendez family going back generations, and the shocking admission O.J. Simpson made to one of the Menendez brothers when they were inmates at the L.A. County Men’s Central Jail.

The New York Times bestselling, authoritative account of the life of Charles Manson, filled with surprising new information and previously unpublished photographs: “A riveting, almost Dickensian narrative…four stars” (People).

More than forty years ago Charles Manson and his mostly female commune killed nine people, among them the pregnant actress Sharon Tate. It was the culmination of a criminal career that author Jeff Guinn traces back to Manson’s childhood. Guinn interviewed Manson’s sister and cousin, neither of whom had ever previously cooperated with an author. Childhood friends, cellmates, and even some members of the Manson family have provided new information about Manson’s life. Guinn has made discoveries about the night of the Tate murders, answering unresolved questions, such as why one person near the scene of the crime was spared.

Manson puts the killer in the context of the turbulent late sixties, an era of race riots and street protests when authority in all its forms was under siege. Guinn shows us how Manson created and refined his message to fit the times, persuading confused young women (and a few men) that he had the solutions to their problems. At the same time he used them to pursue his long-standing musical ambitions. His frustrated ambitions, combined with his bizarre race-war obsession, would have lethal consequences.

Guinn’s book is a “tour de force of a biography…Manson stands as a definitive work: important for students of criminology, human behavior, popular culture, music, psychopathology, and sociopathology…and compulsively readable” (Ann Rule, The New York Times Book Review).
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