Read Two of a Kind: The Hillside Stranglers by Darcy O'Brien Free Online
Book Title: Two of a Kind: The Hillside Stranglers|
The author of the book: Darcy O'Brien
Edition: NAL Books
Date of issue: October 1st 1985
ISBN 13: 9781568650777
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 8.47 MB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 1894 times
Reader ratings: 7.7
Read full description of the books:
I was always aware of Darcy O'Brien as an impeccable fiction writer, especially for his book, A Way of Life, Like Any Other, which won the prestigious Ernest Hemingway Award. However, I did not know that he was equally adept at writing true crime, and The Hillside Stranglers is indeed his pièce de résistance. O'Brien gets into the nitty gritty of the underbelly of the deviant Los Angeles sex scene where booze, violence and pimping all went hand in hand. Added to that is the depictions of the gruff, cynical and world weary mentality of the investigators, particularly Detectives Frank Salerno and especially Bob Grogan, whose rough edged view of the California seedier side was reminiscent to that of a sewer system, a man who yearned for a Biblical flood to wash all the garbage away.
Lurking in that garbage were two men-Angelo Buono and Kenny Bianchi-cousins, who were linked by their conscious-less sex fetish depravity to abduct, rape, torture, sodomize and strangle ten females without remorse; the more horrific they could be, the better they liked it, and from 1977 to 1979, the hills of Los Angeles would be the dumping ground where these innocent victims would be placed. O'Brien does a very good job at detailing the crimes without being too graphic and macabre. Yet, he shows a sympathetic respect for the victims, their families and all those involved. A difficult treading act, to be sure. The backgrounds of the victims, while not always rosy and happy, depicted some of them as woman or young girls on the edge, but they had the potential to be more than what they were often portrayed as in the mass media.
How does a serial killer come into being? What are the ingredients that makes someone indifferent to the tortured pains of another human being? Darcy O'Brien is also very good at exploring this dynamic. While not a sociologist or psychiatrist, he lets the simple facts of the case speak for itself. Merging case points of the crime with a human profile of the killers, he is able to create a reliable picture that brings to the forefront the grim backgrounds of Angelo Buono and Kenny Bianchi. They were two peas in a pod, and the former certainly had a dark and disturbing affection for the latter, for he called him Mi Numi, a Sicilian phrase that means something close to blood brother or something in that vein. Both of their backgrounds oozed serious problems that would definitely manifest itself in later life, and without a doubt, they hated women to the fullest. They were animalistic, conniving, indifferent and violent, Angelo especially. Ken was just a fast talking con man who followed his gutter talking violent cousin. When they came together, citizens paid the ultimate price.
The crimes aside, the most fascinating part of the book was the actual court case, the longest criminal court case in U.S. history. Judge Ronald George, who happened to be the author's old roommate while at Princeton University, played a pivotal role in bringing the case forward for criminal proceedings. The defense did everything humanly possible to not work and do the job at hand; their dismissal excuses also verged on the ridiculous, and more often than not, Judge George had to deal with the idiocy of the male ego as well as manipulative defense lawyers. Added to the circus was Ken Bianchi, whose defense tactic of Multiple Personality Disorder was such a farce that he was more a hinderance than a help. These things were all seen as a collective charade, and the case was able to continue forward, and justice ultimately did prevail. Darcy O'Brien's The Hillside Strangler was a disturbing and compelling read, richly detailed and scary, a work not for the faint of heart. It will be the definitive book for years to come.
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Read information about the authorDarcy O'Brien was born in Los Angeles, the son of Hollywood silent film actor George O’Brien and actress Marguerite Churchill.
O'Brien attended Princeton University and University of Cambridge, and received a master's degree and doctorate from the University of California, Berkely. From 1965 to 1978 he was a professor of English at Pomona College. In 1978 he moved to Tulsa, and taught at the Univesity of Tulsa until 1995.
O'Brien was married three times and had one daughter named Molly O'Brien.
O'Brien died of a heart attack in Tulsa on March 2, 1998.
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