Hillside Strangler Angelo Buono Jr. was sentenced today to...


LOS ANGELES -- Hillside Strangler Angelo Buono Jr. was sentenced today to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murders of nine young women and girls in a string of sex slayings that terrorized the city six years ago.

The same jury that convicted Buono of the murders returned the life sentence after one hour of deliberations.


Prosecutors told the jury that death was the only appropriate punishment for Buono, the mass murderer whose 'dark deeds of night' frightened the nation's third largest city.

The jury spent more than two years listening to testimony in the longest criminal trial in U.S. history.

Prosecutors Roger Boren and Michael Nash told jurors Thursday it was their duty to condemn the former Glendale, Calif., upholsterer to death for the killing spree of the winter of 1977-78.

'Not to impose the death penalty simply cheapens the lives of these girls,' Boren said, adding the victims were tortured and many were young.

The murders committed by Buono, 50, and his cousin, Kenneth Bianchi, were 'worse than animal behavior,' Boren said. 'Animals don't torture.'

Merely keeping Buono off the streets is 'too small a price to pay,' Nash said, and described the lives of some of the victims.


'Lauren Wagner never got the career she wanted. Kimberly Martin never had the chance to have a child,' Nash said.

'The most appropriate punishment in this case, the only thing that's right in this case, is putting him to death for the dark deeds of night he committed,' Boren said.

Defense attorney Gerald Chaleff, however, told the jurors they had a choice of penalties.

'The law tells you, you do not have to impose the death penalty,' he insisted.

He also said Buono should not be given a harsher sentence than Bianchi, who pleaded guilty and got a life prison term in exchange for testimony.

'The state made a deal with the devil (Bianchi) and Mr. Buono was the devil's due,' Chaleff said.

Earlier Thursday, outside the presence of the jury, Buono stood before Judge George and complained: 'My moral and civil rights have been violated. I will not and I won't take part in these proceedings.'

Defense attorneys called 10 character witnesses for Buono, including his sister who described how he cared for their mother who was dying of cancer the same year as the killings.

The prosecution called one witness Thursday to rebut defense claims that Buono was a non-violent person.


Stillman Sorrentino, 48, who was convicted of assault with intent to commit murder in 1978, said he was a boyhood friend of Buono's and recalled that 'he talked about rape ... all the time.'

The jury heard nearly 400 witnesses and viewed 1,800 exhibits before deciding, in a series of verdicts returned over several days, that Buono helped commit nine of the 10 slayings.

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