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Bianchi Charged as Hillside Strangler; Nolan Ryan on Baseball, May 10, 1979

May 10, 2009 | 10:00 am

May 10, 1979, Hillside Strangler

May 10, 1979: Gas rationing, a SALT (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks) agreement with the Soviets and Dial Torgerson reports from Jerusalem that U.N. troops turn back an Israeli force pursuing Palestinian guerrillas into Lebanon.

May 10, 1979, Hillside Strangler
Former security guard Kenneth Allesio Bianchi, in custody on charges of killing two Washington state coeds, is accused in five Hillside Strangler cases.

Suspected but not yet charged, The Times says, is Bianchi's cousin Angelo Anthony Buono Jr., a "ruggedly handsome" lady's man who runs an auto upholstery shop in Glendale.

"The only thing I have to say is I haven't did nothing," Buono tells The Times.

Bianchi and Kristina Weckler lived in the same apartment building and he lived across the street from Cindy Lee Hudspeth. He and Yolanda Washington's sister worked for the same real estate title company, The Times says. 

May 10, 1979, Victims

--Kimberly Diane Martin, a 17-year-old working at Climax Nude Modeling Service,  found Dec. 14, 1977, at 2006. N. Alvarado St., Silver Lake.

--Yolanda Washington, a 19-year-old waitress, found Oct. 18, 1977, at 6510 Forest Lawn Drive. She had a 3-year-old daughter.

--Kristina Weckler, a 20-year-old student at the Art Center in Pasadena, found Nov. 20, 1977, in the 4100 block of Ranons Ave., Highland Park.

May 10, 1979, Hillside Strangler

"All I know is if he did them things, they ought to get his ass," Buono says in discussing his cousin Bianchi.
May 10, 1979, Hillside Strangler  
Questions arise about Police Chief Daryl Gates, Sheriff Peter J. Pitchess and Dist. Atty. John Van de Kamp identifying Buono even though he was not a suspect at the time.
May 10, 1979, Victims

--Evelyn Jane King, a 28-year-old aspiring actress involved in Scientology, found  23, 1978, in a clump of brush near the Los Feliz offramp of the Golden State Freeway.

--Cindy Lee Hudspeth, a 20-year-old cocktail waitress, found Feb. 17, 1978, in the trunk of her car, which was pushed off Angeles Crest Highway.

May 10, 1979, Bellingham

"Anytime, I think, that you find a brutal slaying in a community you get a ... change in perspective on the part of the people in the community. And each time this happens, I think, you get a residual effect that lasts long after the crime is forgotten," Bellingham, Wash., Police Chief  Terence Mangan.
May 10, 1979, Bellingham  
Noting the similarities between the killings of Karen Mandic and Diane Wilder (the women's strangled bodies were found in the trunk of a car abandoned on an isolated cul-de-sac at the foot of a steep, wooded hill), Mangan decided to contact Los Angeles police as a "shot in the dark." 

May 10, 1979, Costs

"There may be as many as four or five sets of stranglers. There may be one. There may be two." LAPD Cmdr. Ray Ruddell, on the difficulty of solving the case.
May 10, 1979, Comics

Bleak days for the comics: "Tumbleweeds," "Wizard of Id," 'Broom Hilda,"  "Crock" and "John Darling" plus a short-lived "Star Wars" spinoff. "Rick O'Shay" has been taken over by Mel Keefer and Marian Dern. Worst of all, Mell Lazarus' "Momma," which was poorly drawn and unfunny. The only bright spot: "Doonesbury."  



May 10, 1979, Sports Angels fans who suffered through the first generation of teams to play in Anaheim Stadium can divide the years into two eras: before and after Nolan Ryan.

Before Ryan arrived, Angel games were sleepy, well-mannered affairs with lots of available seats. No need to come early, parking was a snap and the ticket lines were ... well, there weren't ticket lines. If the Angels were playing an established East Coast team such as the Yankees or Red Sox, it felt like a road game with hundreds of loud fans cheering their team on.

Ryan changed all that. He pitched four no-hitters and offered the promise of another no-hitter with each start. Tickets were harder to get when he pitched. You never knew what might happen, so you wanted to be there, just in case.

His years with the Angels were almost up by 1979. Mark Heisler, The Times' longtime NBA columnist, was writing about baseball then and put together an old-fashioned Times feature, long and filled with great detail.

Nolan Ryan is a full-grown phenomenon, a law unto himself. He is like no other pitcher walking the earth. No one has ever thrown as hard, been as wild, achieved as much and lasted as long. Rockwell International scientists have clocked him at 100.9 mph and Ryan suspects he has thrown harder than that. "I don't feel my fastest pitch was ever timed," he said.

With the prospect of free agency looming, Ryan talked about the business of baseball and all the teammates who have come and gone: "One thing about this game. There's no sentiment, no loyalty. If you can't perform for them, it's over. It's a business. That's their attitude. It's got to become your attitude."

Ryan left for the Astros and after that the Rangers. He added three more no-hitters, so the record for career no-hitters that he shared with Sandy Koufax is now his. Anaheim Stadium didn't go back to its early quiet years when he left, but things weren't the same either.

-- Keith Thursby



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