The Hillside Stranglers' Extremely Odd Connection To Ted Bundy

It was over the course of four months (late 1977 – early 1978) that two cousins, Angelo Buono, Jr. and Kenneth Bianchi, strangled 10 different women to death in a collaborative effort of malice and perversity. The victims — girls between the ages of 12 and 28 years old — were also viciously tortured and other crimes. For a time, Los Angeles police believed the crimes to be the work of a single killer, though it was later revealed that the infamous Hillside Strangler was actually a dynamic duo of terror and bloodshed (via Investigation Discovery). 

Buono and Bianchi, like countless other serial killers, developed certain patterns in the selection and execution of their victims. As Investigation Discovery reports, the two would often impersonate police officers and offer rides to unsuspecting females who they found walking alone at night. They'd beat, torture, commit other crimes, and then strangle them before disposing of their bodies in various spots around the city. Predators have a system and that's how they work. But what about their prey? Do they, in turn, have a system of selecting the predator they'd most like to be devoured by? 

Shirlee Joyce Book, bleeding heart superfan

As it turns out, certain parts of life were just beginning for one of the Hillside Stranglers after a conviction for his heinous crimes arrived. According to All That's Interesting, Kenneth Bianchi was well into his life-long stint behind bars when one of his longtime penpals, Shirley Joyce Book of Louisiana, came to visit him in prison one afternoon in 1989. The distant lovers decided to make the most out of their long-awaited face-to-face union and got married that very day. Touching, huh?

It's hard to imagine someone willingly entering into a marriage with a convicted murderer and rapist, but as it turned out, Shirley Joyce Book was enraptured by the idea of making Kenneth Bianchi her husband. However, he wasn't her first pick. Before choosing to "settle down" with the convicted killer, Book aimed for someone higher on the ladder of terror: the notorious Mr. Ted Bundy himself (per All That's Interesting). 

Fatally InfatuaTED

In the midst of the Ted Bundy craze that has swept the world over the past few years, most of us have become pretty familiarized with his infamous crimes. Between 1974 and 1978, Bundy is reported to have slain at least 20 different women in a manner similar to that of the Hillside Strangler duo (torture, beating, strangulation, etc.). His youngest victim, 12-year-old Kimberly Leach, was even the same age as Buono and Bianchi's youngest victim, as Biography reports. 

It would appear that Shirley Joyce Book had a type because she actually attempted to seduce Bundy through letters as well. However, after it became clear that he simply wasn't interested, she resolved to turn her heart-shaped glasses on Kenneth Bianchi instead. Their marriage lasted only four years, though, as Book filed for divorce in 1993 upon discovering that Bianchi was maintaining written correspondences with several other female fans from behind bars (via All That's Interesting). It would appear that a serial killer's penchant for commitment is as fickle as perhaps their regard for innocent life.