Picks and Pans Review: Two of a Kind

updated 12/16/1985 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/16/1985 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Darcy O'Brien

"Thanksgiving week 1977 will be remembered as the time of the greatest horror and panic in the history of Los Angeles...in a mere nine days, five more bodies, all of them nude young women or girls, turned up on hillsides in the Glendale-Highland Park area, and connections among them were obvious to everyone." This grisly book is about Angelo Buono and Kenny Bianchi, who became known as "The Hillside Stranglers." Buono, who repaired car upholstery, had four wives and eight children before he settled into steady womanizing. Bianchi, his younger cousin from Rochester, N.Y., joined him, and before long they were pimping for prostitutes. Shortly afterward they began picking up women, performing sadistic sex acts with them and murdering them. Ten women died before the men were caught and then, because of legal complications, Buono almost went free. O'Brien, author of five other books, has written a horrifying story about real events. Much of it, he says, came from 300 interviews and the 57,079-page Buono trial transcript. (Both men received life sentences.) This is a vivid account of depravity spelled out in gruesome detail. It leaves so hideous an aftertaste it cannot be recommended except to students of abnormal psychology who are strong of stomach. (New American Library, $17.95)

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