'Hillside Strangler' weds pen pal in prison ceremony

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Kenneth Bianchi, one of the two Los Angeles-area 'Hillside Stranglers,' has married his Louisiana pen pal after meeting her for the first time this week, prison officials said Friday.

Bianchi, 38, wore a black tuxedo and Shirlee Joyce Book, 36, Monterey, La., wore a white wedding dress with a small veil during the 15-minute ceremony in the prison chapel Thursday morning, Washington State Penitentiary spokesman Richard Bauer said.


Bauer said it was the first marriage for Bianchi, who is serving a life term in prison for killing two Bellingham, Wash., women.

Bianchi also pleaded guilty to the murders of five young women in Southern California and was a key witness against his adoptive cousin, Angelo Buono, who was convicted in nine of the 1977 and 1978 sex-and-strangulation slayings.

The killings were attributed to the 'Hillside Strangler' because many of the victims' bodies were found on hillsides in Los Angeles and Glendale. The killings were the subject of a TV movie this year.

Bianchi, who claims to be a born-again Christian, started corresponding with Book in 1986 and had talked to her by telephone, but met her for the first time Wednesday, Bauer said.


The newlyweds posed for pictures for the National Enquirer and granted the tabloid an interview, but have informed prison officials they will grant no other interviews, Bauer said.

They had no time alone after the wedding, but can apply for a conjugal visit, officials said. The application process usually takes 60 to 90 days.

Attending the wedding were the minister, who asked the prison that his identity not be revealed; Bianchi's parents, two of Bianchi's inmate friends, Book's mother and Book's attendant.

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