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A Superior Court judge ruled confessed Hillside Strangler Kenneth...

LOS ANGELES -- A Superior Court judge ruled confessed Hillside Strangler Kenneth Bianchi faked having multiple personalities and being under hypnosis, during which he implicated his cousin and co-defendent, Angelo Buono Jr., in the series of murders.

Judge Ronald George's decision Tuesday was expected to hamper prosecutors' efforts to convict Buono.

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George made the ruling in granting a defense motion to exclude all hypnosis-induced testimony from the murder trial of Buono, who is charged with 10 of the Hillside Strangler slayings committed in the Los Angeles foothill areas between October 1977 and February 1978. He is set to go on trial Nov. 16 with Bianchi as the prosecutions star witness.

Authorities had previously stated that they could not convict Buono, 45, without Bianchi's testimony, but George ruled 'that for whatever motive, Mr. Bianchi did consciously fake the hypnosis.'

Bianchi, 30, agreed to testify against Buono in October 1979, in a deal with prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty to five of the strangulations and two similar murders in Bellingham, Wash.

On nine occasions from March to June, 1979, Bianchi was hypnotized by court-appointed pyschiatrists in Whatcom County, Wash., where he had been charged with the strangulations of two college coeds.

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It was during the hypnosis sessions that Bianchi took on the personality of Steve Walker, an alleged alter-ego, and first implicated Buono in the Hillside Strangler killings.

Buono's attorneys, Gerald Chaleff and Katherine Mader, had contended the testimony of Bianchi was tainted because they were susceptible to suggestions while under hypnosis.

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